It’s been awhile since we Blogged to you our fellow Vintage Lovers and these little Bears are what brings us back to you. We would like to share some thoughts with you on some items we featured in one of our Vintage Showcases [here]. This time around, we have chosen to feature those all time favorites The Beanie Babies. Oh yes we said it Beanie Babies, that’s right the same crazy collecting, fast-food trading, kill you with love stuffed bears. So lets get to it shall we.
Did you know Beanie Babies made their debut in 1993 at the WORLD TOY FAIR in NYC. When they first came out there were critics everywhere, skeptical because of the “stuffing, or lack of if you will.” The creator, Ty Warner, decided instead to use typical stuffing, he chose do use PV/PVC pellets. The reason behind it was so that you as the consumer could now position your animal and pose it the way you wanted to. The lack of stuffing caused critics that were so skeptical about it, they even referred to it as road kill.
Nevertheless, as a result TY became the first billion dollar plush toy co. according to Fortune magazine.
Did you know that there is one for every letter of the alphabet? Including the letter x? The Company started originally with just 9 animals. So who were these ‘Original Nine’ beanies? Who were these first Beanie Babies to cause a mad craze worldwide? Who were these first Beanies Babies that caused hundreds of crazed fans to stalk mail carriers, stand in line for hours before sunrise, counterfeit Beanies Babies for profit, and start a whole new breed of avid collectors? Who were these under-stuffed plush toys that would lead to the building of “an empire based on inexpensive toys filled with plastic pellets?”
Drum Roll Please…Introducing the Original Beanie Babies:
Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Brownie the Bear (later renamed to Cubbie the Bear), Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Patti the Platypus, Chocolate the Moose, Spot the Dog and Pinchers the Lobster!
These Beanies Babies first appeared in small gift stores in the Chicago, Illinois area in January 1994. They would be the first to mark Ty, Inc. as a company of quality and reasonably priced stuffed toys. However, when the word got out that people were trading to collect those nine…the whirlwind kicked up and off the ground it took. Glad that it did, or we would have never seen some of the collections that we have, for example. The “Peace Bears.”
What about these peace bears? That’s ok we all are. They were originally introduced in 5-11-97. There are no two alike, but you can identify them from one of the 6 groups they have for them:
autumn/neon, pastel whitewashed, spring/summer, transitional and vivid
The rarest Peace bears will be from Indonesia. They will have either a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th generation tag.
Here is a list of the peace bears:
|___ Peace (Indonesian No # Pastel/Whitewashed)
___ Peace (Indonesian No # Neon)
___ Peace (Pastel/Whitewashed FH 101 TY INC.)
___ Peace (Pastel/Whitewashed FH 102 TY INC.)
___ Peace (4th Gen. Deut. w/3rd Gen No star tush)
___ Peace (4th Gen. Fareham Hants/Deutschland)
___ Peace (CE FH TY INC in CAPS)
___ Peace (CE FH Ty Inc mixed case.)
___ Peace (4th Gen. Faraham Hants)
___ Peace (FH w/ ii error & suface error)
___ Peace (FH w/ ii error & Surface sticker)
___ Peace (FH No # TY INC)
___ Peace (FH No # TY INC Neon)
___ Peace (FH 100 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 101 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 102 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 102 TY INC Neon)
___ Peace (FH 107 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 108 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 110 TY INC)
___ Peace (Gosport 111 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (Gasport 111 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 112 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 113 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 113 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 114 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 115 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 115 TY INC)
___ Peace (Gosport/Gasport 115 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 116 Ty Inc)
___ Peace (FH 116 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 119 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 120 TY INC)
___ Peace (FH 121 Ty Inc)
Speaking of generations…did you know that there are 15 TOTAL generations for the TY tags?
When these little stuffed Beanie Babies dominated the market, other companies jumped on board of course to help fuel the demand of them by introducing the babies with their product attached…for example. McDonalds came out brilliantly so with their added line of bears for collectors.
This was a craze that swept the nation, until 1999 when TY announced it would no longer make these, sending everyone into a widespread panic and caused TY’s fortune to increase as we all scrambled to collect what we did not have in our personal collections. It was a fun and crazy time for all the house wives and moms out there, maybe even for some of the dad’s. When it finally did end, we were all sad to see them go, but maybe relieved too as our pocket books were no longer empty and we could afford to put food back on the table for the family.
If you have a great story you would like to share about with your experiences with these lovely little creatures, please feel free to reach out to us and share either through email (email@example.com), Facebook or Etsy. You can find more fun Vintage items and stories at www.atticsandbasements.com. Happy Treasure Hunting!!
*(we failed to keep the research links to this article so we do apologize. We are fixing that for future blogs.)