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Ty Zoo and Aquarium Promotions & Exclusives

The first Ty Beanie Baby Days Giveaway promotion took place at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois (outside of Chicago). Snocap, the arctic fox, was given to the first 4,000 children (11 years or younger) who entered the zoo on either July 26 or 27, 2003. Four thousand Beanie Babies were given away on each of the two days. Children also received a special commemorative card with Snocap. The Giveaway weekend became an annual Brookfield tradition until 2009, when Ty announced the program had been discontinued.

Beanie Baby Day “Giveaways” at Brookfield Zoo:

   July 26-27, 2003 - Snocap the arctic fox (with a commemorative card)
   July 31-Aug 1, 2004 - Fridge the polar bear (with a commemorative card)
   July 30-31, 2005 - Jumpshot the giraffe (with an extra swing tag)
   Aug 12-13, 2006 - Weaver the monkey (with an extra swing tag)
   June 30-July 1, 2007 - Independence the bear (no special card or swing tag)
   July 12-13, 2008 - Ponder the frog (with an extra swing tag)
   February 7, 2016 - Buittercup the Giraffe (with and exclusive Santa Barbara swing tag)

Additional Beanie Baby exclusives at Zoos and Aquariums:

   (List being compiled)

Only the 2003 and 2004 promotions included a blue commemorative card. Beanie Babies given out during the 2005, 2006, and 2008 zoo event came with an extra commemorative swing tag attached to the Beanie. At the 2007 promotion, Independence (the bear) was given to children but without any distinguishing cards or tags.

During each year's event, the Brookfield Zoo sold additional beanies at the Ty Super Store along with other unique merchandise to raise funds for the zoo. In addition to the annual giveaways and Beanie sales, the zoo also sold t-shirts, pendants, patches, candy, and pencils to commemorate the Beanie Baby weekends. The annual events even conducted Beanie-themed activities, such as Beanie Baby Bingo.

Snocap - July 26-27, 2003 - Brookfield Zoo

(photo soon)

Fridge - July 31-August 31, 2004 - Brookfield Zoo

Fridge - Polar Bear - Ty Beanie Babies  Fridge - Polar Bear - Ty Beanie Babies

Jumpshot - July 30-31, 2005 - Brookfield Zoo

Jumpshot - Brookfield Zoo - Ty Beanie Babies

Jumpshot - Brookfield Zoo swing tag front  Jumpshot - Brookfield Zoo swing tag back

Weaver - August 12-13, 2006 - Brookfield Zoo

Weaver - Brookfield Zoo - Ty Beanie Babies

Weaver - Brookfield Zoo swing tag front  Weaver - Brookfield Zoo swing tag back

Independence - June 30-July 1, 2007 - Brookfield Zoo

(photo soon)

Ponder - July 12-13, 2008 - Brookfield Zoo

Ponder - Frog - Ty Beanie Babies

Ponder - Brookfield Zoo swing tag front  Ponder - Brookfield Zoo swing tag back

The six Brookfield Zoo events were the only beanie “giveaways” at any zoo where the Beanie was actually "free" and included with the purchase of a general admission ticket. There were a few subsequent promotions at other zoos, but at those events the exclusive Beanies had to be purchased.

   July 2006, Santa Barbara Zoo - Admiral the penguin
   May 2007, San Francisco Zoo - Monarch the grizzly bear
   May 2007, St. Louis Zoo - Maliha & Jade the elephants (swing tag name is Shocks)

Admiral - July 2006 - Santa Barbara, California

Admiral, the penguin, was sold exclusively at the Santa Barbara Zoo Store (for $6.95) in honor of the opening of the Crawford Family Penguin House. The Crawford House contained nine rare Humboldt penguins and opened a month prior to the July 2006 release of the limited edition penguin. Admiral came with a special yellow heart-shaped swing tag.

Admiral - Santa Barbara Zoo - Ty Beanie Babies

Admiral - Santa Barbara Zoo swing tag front  Admiral - Santa Barbara Zoo swing tag back

Monarch - May 2007 - San Francisco, California

Monarch the brown grizzly bear sold exclusively at the San Francisco Zoo. Monarch was announced by Ty in a Press Release on April 4, 2007 and was officially added to the current list on Ty’s website on May 9, 2007. Monarch was available at the Zoo’s Wildlife Connection gift shop and online for $7.99.

The monarch grizzly bear is depicted on the California state flag, and has a historical relationship with the San Francisco Zoo. The swing tag poem says:

“Through the kindness of Mr. Hearst
The Monarch Grizzly was the first
And on our flag, so proud and true
First at the San Francisco Zoo!”

The reference to Mr. Randolph Hearst in the poem refers to the publisher of the SF Examiner in the late 1880s. In 1889, in an attempt to expand readership, he challenged a reporter to locate and return with the supposedly extinct grizzly bear. The reporter returned with a 1600 pound grizzly. Hearst named it Monarch after the header of his newspaper that read: “Monarch of the Dailies.” The bear dazzled crowds until its death in 1911.

(photo soon)

Maliha & Jade - May 2007 - Saint Louis, Missouri

The St. Louis Zoo sold an exclusive gray elephant Beanie Baby named Maliha & Jade. Maliha & Jade is actually another Beanie Baby named Shocks, but with a different swing tag. The tush tag on Maliha & Jade has the name Shocks. This St. Louis exclusive was created to honor the birth of two new elephant calves: Jade & Maliha. This zoo exclusive Beanie Baby elephant was available on-line or by phone for $6.00.

Maliha & Jade - swing tag inside  Maliha & Jade - swing tag back

Maliha & Jade - tush tag front

Special thanks to Chris P. from Michigan for permission to use his research and photographs for this article. His original article appeared at (now inactive).


Last update - December 24, 2016

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