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Patti

stuffed animal | platypus

In 1993, toy manufacturer, H.Ty Warner, introduced his first nine Beanie Babies, moderately priced, diminutively sized, plush animals that he sold exclusively through specialty and gift shops. Warner had developed some definite ideas about how to produce, market, and distribute toys during his 20-year tenure at Dakin, an internationally successful maker of plush toys. Warner left Dakin in the mid 1980s and founded his own Ty Co., by 1986. His first products were plush Himalayan Cats, ten in all, which sold for about $20.00 each. Though popular, Warner cats were not the completion of his plans for plush toys. Beanie Babies appeared quietly enough seven years later. In little time, Beanies became the best selling toys of specialty shops throughout the United States: adults and children indulged in a Beanie frenzy that lasted about seven or eight years. The popularity of Beanies has as much to do with Warner's blatant manipulation of the market as it does with the quality (though consistently high) of the toy. Warner beanies had the characteristics Warner was sure would make them successful. He priced the toys at about $5.00 each so everyone could afford the toys, especially kids with allowance money. Ty Co. made the Beanie small enough to fit into kid's pocket, and the variety of many animals brought kids back for more. Warner's plan for Beanies included other strategies: limit production; avoid large chain retailers to maximize the perceived exclusivity of Beanies; offer little in the way of advertising or advance notice of new Beanies to be issued and old Beanies to be retired; and personify each Beanie for consumers with a name, a poem, and a birthday. Warner's schemes were unbelievably successful. Millions and millions of consumers stood in long lines waiting to purchase new Beanies or paid thousands of dollars for one rarity. Since 1993, more than 1,240 different Beanies have been offered. Beanies are still available today, although the past frenzy of Beanie collecting has much diminished.

  • Manufacturer: Ty Inc.
  • Material: fabric | printed cardboard | plastic
  • Origin: China
  • Style: collectible
  • Object ID: 114.4683
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