Collecting Beanie Babies was once the craze to end all collector’s crazes. Somehow, the company Ty turned cheap, tiny, plush animal dolls into a billion dollar industry where people were practically killing each other to get all the new releases. But as Ty ramped up production to meet demand, some Beanie Babies were less… sensible than others. Here are 30 that blow the beans right out of our minds.
1) Luau the Pig
Let’s start simple, shall we? This pig is named after the ancient Hawaiian feast in which a pig is roasted over an open fire as the main course. It’s a bit like naming a cow Hamburger, with the knowledge that you will watch in stony silence as the cow is fed into a grinder and transformed slowly into a pile of ground beef.
2 and 3) Biscuit and Gravy the Dogs
These two “friends” were both Bob Evans exclusives, the country restaurant chain that’s like if Cracker Barrel and McDonald’s had a baby and tried to make it morbidly obese. At any rate, dogs eat feces, so the fact that these dogs’ favorite meal is Bob Evans’ cuisine probably isn’t that impressive.
4) April Fool the Bear
A holiday bear (I guess?) that had “April Fools” printed on its chest. This is notable because some of the bears apparently had the “April Fools” printed upside-down, and yet somehow this was not intentional but an actual production error. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.
5) Dinky the Dodo Bird
Some places list Dinky here as a duck, some list him as an extinct dodo bird. Either way, all I know is he looks like Big Bird after a year-long meth binge.
6) Billionaire the Bear
Ty made nearly $2 billion dollars in 1998 alone from the sale of Beanie Babies; in commemoration of the insane sales Beanie Babies earned the company, employees were issued a new Billionaire the Bear plush every year from 1998-2006. There’s nothing employees love more than a physical reminder that they’re working to help some other person make millions of dollars they’ll never see.
7-10) Smart, Smarter, Smartest and Smarty the Owls
Smart the Owl was released as a present for the graduation class of 2001. Strangely, Smarter the Owl was released for the class of 2002, meaning Ty thought the class of 2001 was less educated than the newer graduates. In 2003, Smartest arrived, as Ty decided the American public education system had reached its peak, and successive graduate would fall ever further into ignorance. This is proven by the fact that Ty didn’t even bother to release an owl for the class of 2004, who were apparently morons who could barely dress themselves. Smarty came along for the class of 2005, a sort of participation Beanie Baby, presumably for being less dumb than those imbeciles of 2004.
11) Barbaro the Horse
Commemorating the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner… who shattered his leg a mere two weeks later, spent the rest of the year enduring multiple operations, and was eventually euthanized in early 2007. Why wouldn’t you want to commemorate that with a plush toy?
12) Poopsie the Bear
Gee, I wonder who this bear could have been inspired by? Another question: If you’re going to risk Disney’s wrath and basically rip off Winnie the Pooh, why not use the “Winnie” portion of his name for inspiration? Why the “pooh” part? And, more importantly, why make the reference to fecal matter even more overt?
13 and 14) Alabama and Louisiana the Bears
Bears issued to raise money for the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund? Okay, sure. So what’s the inscription in their little tags?
In memory of those who lost their homes, their loved
ones, or their lives, as a result of Hurricane Katrina
We extend our deepest sympathies
Together we’re a stronger nation
Holy shit. Did you just say we’re a stronger nation because a storm killed our loved ones? Alabama and Louisiana, you are monsters.
15) Pinata the Bear
Apparently this bear’s first name was “Children Please Beat Me with a Bat and Eat the Delicious Plastic Pellets Inside, Because They Are Candy” Bear.
16) Princess the Bear
After Princess Diana in a car crash in 1997, Ty rushed to the factory to churn out this navy blue bear to memorialize the beloved princess. Thousands were purchased, some because of a love of Diana, many more in certainty they would be hot collector’s items in the future. Princess here is worth absolutely nothing nowadays, which seems appropriately depressing to me.
17) Osito the Bear
Osito is Spanish for bear. This special Beanie Baby was created to celebrate Mexico, and has the Mexican flag on its left breast. Fun fact: Osito was only sold in the United States. I feel like he probably should have been named Mierda the Bear instead.
18) Promise the Bear
This affably named bear was an exclusive given to employees of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. If you were employee of the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and received this bear, please let me know if this was as soul-crushingly awful as it sounds.
19) ShaqBear the Bear
Guys, I think Shaquille O’Neal got a bear pregnant.
20) October the Birthday Bear
There were special Beanie Baby bears created for each month to commemorate all the birthdays of the month. This one is notable for mentioning Martin Luther King Jr’s. birthday as October 23. As you may remember, Martin Luther King Jr’s. birthday is actually January 15th—we have a national holiday to celebrate it on the third Monday of January each year. It’s his son, Martin Luther King III, who has a birthday on October 23rd. This is magnificently unfortunate.
21 and 22) We Do the Bears
Things you need to know about this couple: 1) The female bear is nude. That’s messed up. 2) These are (beanie) babies. Getting married. That’s also messed up. 3) In a Saw-like gesture of passionate affection, they have had their feet horrifically grafted together and “WE” and ”DO” branded on their feet.
23) Holy Father the Bear
Created in memory of his holiness Pope John Paul II; I’m sure God and Jesus were super-psyched that the head of the Catholic church was recognized for his achievements and religious leadership with an eight-inch bear doll filled with plastic pellets. I can only assume that like the Pope, Holy Father the Bear has the power to absolve other Beanie Babies for their sins, but has excommunicated Mardi Gras the Bear for his pathological desire to see boobies.
24) Runner the Mongoose
Runner here has the honor of having the most murderous tag poem in Beanie Baby history:
“I’m not so mean, I’m really shy
But every cobra has to die,
I grab them by their little head
And whack them till they’re stone cold dead!”
Interestingly, there are no Cobra Beanie Babies, because Runner brutally murdered them all.
25 and 26) Cheek to Cheek the Monkeys
Okay, unlike the We Do couple, these two monkeys have not been surgically connected to each other, although it’s worth noting that they are not even slightly cheek to cheek, despite their name. What makes them noteworthy is of course the large lipstick is on Cheek #1’s cheek… although Cheek #2 is not wearing any lipstick. Who kissed this monkey? What does Cheek #2 know? Are their cheeks in an open relationship?
27) Halo the Bear
This is a dead bear.
28) Junglelove the Monkey
“Jungle love” at best refers to having wild, primal sex, as if one were jungle animals. More normally “jungle love” is a companion term with “jungle fever,” which is used to describe when white people are sexually attracted to black people and want to be really, really racist about it. As least Junglelove here has the decency to look as appalled by his name as we are.
29) Chef Robuchon the Bear
A very limited exclusive Beanie Baby made for the L’Atelier Four Seasons hotel in New York City, commemorating the head chef there, and given only to press and guests at the grand opening. So the reasons you can be commemorated with a Beanie Baby: 1) be God’s official voice on earth for millions; 2) be a beloved member of royalty whose life was cut tragically short; or 3) cook some goddamn food.
30) The End the Bear
He is the Omega of Beanie Babies, the one who comes to destroy all that has come before. He is undefeatable, he is implacable, he is death—he is The End of All Things Beanie. The End was the final baby released in 2000, and I’ll let Wikipedia describe what happened next: “When introduced, implied that Beanie Babies would come to an end. This did not happen.”
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