Are Beanie Babies Still Being Made? The '90s Plush Toys Have Taken Different Forms Over The Years
It's the iconic '90s children's toy we all had to have — the relatively useless sack of beans that we were inexplicably obsessed with anyway. You know what I'm talking about: Beanie Babies. These days, some of them are apparently worth quite a bit of money, leading me to wonder one thing: Are Beanie Babies still being made? (Asking for a friend...) The short answer is... sort of.
Here, let me explain.
Produced by the toy company Ty, Beanie Babies made their debut in 1993 starting with just nine original characters: Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Patti the Platypus, Brownie the Bear (who was later renamed Cubbie), and Pinchers the Lobster. However, they weren't the instant hit that many of us remember them to be. The tides soon turned, however; a few years after they first hit the scene, the Beanie Baby craze started locally in Chicago with friends who traded the toys (sometimes turning $5 into $1,000). The media eventually got wind of the story, and from there, they grew into a national obsession.
Beanie Babies have undergone a few variations over the years. For example, 1996 introduced us to Teenie Beanies, tiny versions of the original line which were available at McDonald's. These, too, proved popular, sometimes even resulting in fights among customers.
As is often the case with fads, though, the obsession with Beanie Babies eventually started to wane, leading Ty to bring production of Beanie Babies to an end in December of 1999.
But some people just couldn't let go. Demand during the new millennium inspired the company to start up once again with a brand new character: The Beginning Bear. In 2008, Beanie Babies 2.0 arrived, which came with a code that gave you access to a now-defunct interactive BB website. The line was discontinued in 2009.
This brings us to our original question: Do Beanie Babies still exist? Ty hasn't gone anywhere, and they're one of the largest plush manufacturers in the world; and indeed, Ty has other lines of plush toys, including Beanie Boos, Beanies, and Peek-A-Boos. The closest you're probably going to find to Beanie Babies as we knew them in the '90s, though, is the Ty Classics line. Some of them even come laid out flat on their bellies in the same way that the original Beanie Babies were.
That said, though, some of the Beanies also resemble the Beanie Babies of old. There's even a version of Peace available, a Beanie Baby who was originally introduced on May 11, 1997. Original Peaces are going for thousands of dollars on eBay, probably because each of the tie-dyed bears was unique (no two were alike); however, if you want to save yourself some money and don't really care about the tie-dye, you can get one from the Beanies line on Ty's website for $5. Easy peasy.
So, long story short: While the original Beanie Babies line has long since been discontinued, you can still buy toys that are close enough to get the job done, along with about a gazillion other bean bag toys. But if you're looking to get your hands on the nostalgic originals of our childhood, check out sites like eBay and Craigslist to see who's selling the goods.