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East Sussex - Iron Country
(Collectors Corner)

Beanie Babies
by Wendy

America is awash with Beanie Mania, and now it is spreading like wildfire over here. If you are not already aware, Beanies are cute beanbag creatures or characters, originally made as cuddly toys, but which have fast turned into a cult collectable.

BEANIE MANIA HITS BRITAIN.

Well, Robertsbridge anyway! A few short months ago I started noticing posters in various shop windows in the area, announcing such things as “Beanie Babies Have Arrived” and “Beanie Babies stocked Here”. I had no idea what these Beanie Babies were, until one evening my husband came home with this little present for me, “to cheer me up” because I wasn’t feeling very well. I opened the bag he gave me to reveal this squishy little beanbag dog called, according to his label, Bernie.Reading the heart-shaped hang-tag on his ear, I suddenly realized I now actually owned one of these famed Beanie Babies!

As a hopeless collectamaniac, it was at this point that I started to take an interest, and went into some of the shops to see what other animals had been immortalised as Beanie Babies. At first I decided that I would just collect dogs, - being a dog-lover and having two Jack Russell Terriers myself. This was fine for a start, but after buying fifteen Beanie dogs I couldn’t find anymore different ones. “Never mind” I thought, “the bears are cute - I’ll collect those as well.” Little did I know how hard they would be to get hold of! It seems that everyone wants the bears, and most shops seem to operate a points system, whereby you have to buy so many other Beanies in order to qualify to buy a bear. One bear called Britannia, which apparently many Americans would kill for, as it is only available in the U.K., I had to purchase eleven other Beanies before I could buy it. Well, that was it – I ended up having to buy all sorts of different birds, animals, crabs, unicorns and goodness knows what else, to be able to get the bears. From that point on I was truly hooked, a new hobby was born. I was a fully fledged Beanie collector!The problem is there is a flaw in this “points system”, as you run out of different models to buy in order to get these elusive bears and other models that these shopkeepers hold to ransom!

Another problem is where to store ones Beanies. I started off buying a chromed vegetable rack, in the form of four mini supermarket wire baskets. “That will hold loads,” I thought. Well, it does hold quite a few, but it wasn’t long before I had to go out and buy a bamboo and wicker three drawer chest of drawers to contain the overspill! My children curse me, as they forget this new piece of furniture is at the bottom of the stairs, and are constantly walking into it and stubbing their toes on it. I’ve got bad news for them, as the Beanie Baby collection nears the one hundred mark, I may well need a second chest of drawers soon!

Some people would probably say that I am mad – (my daughter for one!)- but it’s a fun hobby, and what the heck – it’s cheaper than smoking, and it doesn’t ruin your health! Also as a great animal lover, it’s the closest I’ll ever come to owning my own zoo!

Click Here for the Official Ty Beanie Babies Home Page Ty official Site

If you are a collector, of Beanies, or anything, we would love to hear from you.
Tell us about your collection, especially if it is interesting, unusual or amusing.

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Page Last Updated: 02/04/1999
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