Often, the first thing you notice are the eyes – massive, spherical, often laden with glitter, and sporting a massive pupil with the power to make a grown man melt into goo. Next, you’ll notice the super-soft, lightly weighted body, with surprising pops of sparkle. Finally, your eyes fill fall on that iconic ty tag, complete with birthday and poem, and the nostalgia will get you.
You have discovered beanie boos! You’re not the first to fall in love with this adorable and iconic line of children’s plush toys from the maker of beanie babies. Beanie boos are the slightly softer and more sparkly older siblings of the original beanie babies, and if you pay attention, you will spot these sweet, soft children’s toys everywhere.
Are you wondering when the beanie boo craze began, and how these big-eyed plush animals rose to popularity? This guide to beanie boos is for you! Read on to learn everything there is to know about the cutest plush toys on the market, whether you’re interested in toy collecting or simply snuggling!
The First Beanie Boos
Beanie boos hit the market in the summer of 2009, a full sixteen years after beanie babies appeared on the scene. It had been a decade since Ty, the company whose toys sport the iconic heart-shaped red tag, stopped producing beanie babies. The beanie craze had reached a fever pitch by the mid-90s, emerging as adorable collector’s items, happy meal toys, and beloved friends to dozens of rising millennial children.
What could follow the success of the beanie baby, the internet age’s first viral sensation? Most collectors had come to recognize that their beanie baby collection wasn’t going to fetch them loads of cash anytime soon. If Ty was going to create another near-viral line of plush, they needed to be irresistible for reasons beyond their monetary value.
Ty decided to test the waters by producing the original seven beanie boos, which Ty released as a set. You might remember a penguin named Waddles, a frog named Kiwi, a monkey named Coconut, an elephant named Peanut, a panda named Bamboo, a koala named Bubblegum, and husky named Slush. The OG beanie boo crew appeared as a unit, popping up on the plush carousels in card stores, gift shops, and toy stores across the country seemingly overnight.
The original seven beanie boo toys sold so well that the second collection hit stores the same year.
Fame Becomes Beanie Boos
One of the original seven boos couldn’t handle the fame. Peanut the Elephant was the first beanie boo to officially retire, making it the rarest boo out there for collectors.
Peanut left an elephant-sized space for some new friends to join the collection – with some changes. Bubblegum the Koala became Kooky the Koala, and a new hot pink and white lemur boo took over the monicker Bubblegum instead. The other new addition was Cleo, another lemur that sported a turquoise and beige color scheme.
As quickly as Bubblegum 2 and Cleo appeared on the scene, however, they were quickly retired due to their unfortunate resemblance to stuffed animals from the popular plush line YooHoo and Friends. The collection of retired, and now rare, beanie boos continued to grow, with Bubblegum the Koala, and both lemurs added to the ranks of hard-to-find boos.
If you’ve seen a Peanut the Elephant since it’s because Ty released him once again, but with blue ears. The pink-eared Peanut is the star of any collection. The next beanie boos that Ty retired would be Kiwi the frog and Kooky the Koala – who seemingly did not benefit from rebranding.
Even so, it was clear that Beanie Boos were here to stay. Ty took home the award for best plush at the 2011 Learning Express convention.
Beanie Boos Sparkle On
The iconic sparkle-eyed Beanie Boos would appear in a special collection for the girl’s clothing brand Justice in 2012. Sapphire the Zebra and Treasure the Unicorn were trendsetters. All boos produced between March of 2012 and 2017 have those glitter-filled eyes, making any boos produced before that a little more rare and collectible.
It was the glitter that seemed to help Beanie Boos take off. Claire’s would carry an exclusive line in 2013, followed by the advent of McDonald’s happy meal exclusive “Teenie Beanie Boos.”
As of January of 2012, Beanie Boos would be available in four standard sizes: a 5-inch “clip,” a 6-inch “regular,” a 13-inch “medium,” and a 16-inch “large.” From then on, you couldn’t walk through an American elementary school without finding a tiny beanie boo clipped to nearly every student’s backpack.
Boos with multicolored eyes (but no glitter) became available in stores in 2017 in the form of a Parrot named Wynnie and a Unicorn named Pixy (who would receive a glitter-eyed makeover almost immediately).
May of 2017 marked the release of McDonald’s second set of Teenie Beanie Boos to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their relationship with Ty.
Variations on the Beanie Boo
The success of Beanie Boos lead to a few variations on the popular line. This includes seasonal products, and products made with unique materials. Some of these variations include:
- Mini Boos
- Beanie Ballz
- Teeny Tys
The big eyes and soft fur of these lovable plush toys meant that they had found a place in the hearts of the next generation of Ty collectors. This popular line of Ty Plush is here to stay!
Do You Collect Beanie Boos?
Beanie Boos are adorable, soft, lovable additions to any plush collection. The further we get from their release in 2009, the rarer the earliest Beanie Boos become. If you are a lover of this big-eyed line of plush toys, now is the time to add a rare plush to your collection!
You can find rare Beanie Boos, rare Beanie Babies, and more at MyBBs. Visit our online store to find the missing piece of your collection. You never know what rare Ty plush you might discover!