Ty Beanie Babies – Bruno the Dog – Retired
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Ty Beanie Babies
Did You Know?
The Start of the Craze
The Beanie Baby craze started with neighbors trading them in a Chicago Suburb. News stories followed the trend and the rest is history.
Ebay a Major Factor
Beanie Babies made up 10% of ebay's sales in the early 90's.
Original Line Up
Nine original dolls started the fame: Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Legs the Frog, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Brownie the Bear, Patti the Platypus, and Pinchers the Lobster.
Tabasco Sauce Inspired One Of The Most Popular Beanie Babies - Snort the Bull. Snort was originally named Tabasco the Bull but changed to "Snort" in order to avoid any legal issues with the brand. The first version actually had red feet, just like the color of the sauce!
Identification Made Easy
Beanie Babies were identified in two ways: their swing tag, which was the heart-shaped marker complete with a name and often a poem, and also their tush tag, which was usually found at the rear end of the doll.
Making Beanie Babies Different
Less Stuffing Was Used To Make Them Different and make them stand out more from their competitors.
In the Beginning - Exclusively Sold In Small Stores
When Beanie Babies were first introduced to the market, Ty Warner wanted them only sold in boutique shops and specialty stores - creating a sense of exclusivity.
Retirement Creates Demand
Ty Warner was a genius when it came to making his dolls more desirable than they already were. He created the concept of "retiring" his dolls so that consumers rushed to grab them while they could.
Annual sales in 1998 for Ty Inc. were over $1.4 billion making the company the first-ever billion-dollar plush company, according to Fortune.
Employees Recognized for Success
In December of 1998, the company gave employees a Christmas bonuses equal to their annual salary.
In their heyday, Beanie Babies were worth 50% less without those little cardboard hearts. This was partially due to counterfeit Beanie Babies being produced. The tags made the buyer know it was the real deal.
Beanie Baby Creator Driven
The creator Ty Warner was obsessed with the designed each toy, according to Zac Bissonnette's book The Great Beanie Baby Bubble. He went to the factories in China and Korea to oversee every little detail. If he didn't like a design, production would be halted which would drive up the prices for that particular design.
10 Things You Didn't Know About Beanie Babies by Kate Storey, countrylivingmagazine.com
12 Surprising Things You Never Knew About Beanie Babies, by Nicoletta Richardson, littlethings.com.