The Toy Fair 2020 - Beanie but don't say Baby
Upstairs I was excited to discover a large stand proudly displaying the latest incarnation of the infamous Beanie Babies living as Beanie Boo toys. Having read "The Great Beanie Baby Bubble" by Zac Bissonnette this year I was rather expecting to see Ty Warner himself holding forth on the stand. The book (published in 2015) mentions that the author found the emprasario at a toy fair - post bubble and still active in face-to-face sales very recently.
I do recommend the book. It's the gripping fairytale of an 'evil' genius megalomaniac who managed to lure the masses into the purchase of millions of goggle eyed fur babies. At first they bought innocently, for the usual reasons of sharing and creature comforts. Later, for nerdish reasons of collecting the set, and finally, in a selling your soul kind of way, people bought Beanie Babies as an investment. The toys were selling in the secondary market for hundreds of dollars - especially on eBay. But for reasons revealed in the book (no spoilers) the bubble burst, and today, second hand Beanie Babies from the 1990s are mostly worthless.
So I was very impressed to see that the brand has survived and is perhaps revived. The website is lively and either on-trend or way ahead of the game (I'm not sure) because it features a whole Runway section with fashion videos for kids.
There are sliders for sale which are the latest teen fad. They're shoes that look like beach shoes, but kids wear them outdoors with socks in the winter. They are defiantly sloppy. And they're encrusted with two tone reversible sequins - another kid craze. All the products have catchy, well contrived titles and these are dubbed Flippables.
The character design is exemplary. If you love kitsch! And even if you don't, could you say no to these Take Me Home eyes?
Or this sweetie - Lola the llama.
Could the bubbles start to rise again? Consider the FAQs page on the Ty website with its polite but subtly tempting warning:
Can I order items previously sold on Ty Store?
Items on Ty Store are available while supplies last. If the item is no longer featured in Ty Store, please understand it is no longer available for purchase.