Ty Beanie Buddies
Beanie Buddies started out as larger versions of Beanie Babies. The value of some Beanie Babies had risen so high on the secondary market that many collectors could not afford to buy them. Ty decided to make larger versions of the more popular Beanie Babies so collectors could still buy animals like the Royal Blue Peanut or Humphrey, albeit in a larger size. The Beanie Buddies originally sold at retail for $10.
The first nine Beanie Buddies introduced on September 30, 1998, were Beak, Humphrey, Jake, Peanut in 2 versions royal blue & light blue, Quackers, Rover, Stretch, Teddy (cranberry) and Twigs. Twigs has the distinction of being the first Beanie Buddy retired by Ty.
Beanie Buddies were originally made with a new material called Tylon or with a terrycloth fabric. Tangerine was the only Buddy that was made in both of these fabric types. The Tylon is extremely soft, smooth and specifically designed to hold vibrant colors. A good example of the color capabilities of Tylon is Lizzy (below).
Beanie Buddies come in a large assortment of sizes, but are typically from 11 to 14 inches tall. Several of them like Peace, are available in regular, large, extra large and jumbo sizes. The jumbo size Peace is approximately 44 inches tall.
In 2009/2010, Ty transferred most of the non-retired Buddies into the Classic family line. These ex-Buddies are now sold with Classic swing tags. Even though the swing tags are similar to traditional 4th generation Classic tags on the outside, some have The Beanie Buddies Collection printed on the inside.
Ty now uses the Beanie Buddies category for licensed plush products like movie and TV cartoon characters.
As of October 2017, Ty has produced more than 600 different Beanie Buddies.