Big on bean plush

It may only be August, but hints of the holiday-heavy months are starting to appear on the horizon. For toy enthusiasts and collectors of bean plush goodies of all types, this month marks the unveiling of the 2008 Halloween Releases from the Ty® Beanie Babies Collection. The four-figure set includes Vanish the Ghost, Trickster the Bear, Treator the Bear and Scaredy the Cat (a member of the Beanie 2.0 family).

Of course today’s Web-centric world is taking bean plush collecting to a more interactive and online-focused plane and drawing in new collectors, as well as appealing to former bean plush collectors. Although bean plush collecting is said to have catapulted from near obscurity to a national craze in the mid-1990s with the arrival of Ty Inc.’s original nine Beanie Babies, today’s “plush-plus” market is setting a whole new tone.

“It seems that every toy marker is now trying to produce a product that marries the real world of dolls and plush to the online world,” stated Denise Van Patten, in her Toy Fair 2008 report on Doll Collecting.

In her report Van Patten reviewed various web-interactive plush and doll products and ranked them, based on her and Toy Fair-crowd assessment. Sitting at the top spot is the pioneer of the movement, Webkinz.

warman's bean plush field guide“The interactive plush collections have breathed new life into the plush collecting frenzy,” said Julie Stephani, a long-time collector, and contributor to both editions of Warman’s® Bean Plush Field Guide. “Webkinz and Shining Stars have taken over placement in many stores where TY Beanie Babies were once the only collection in town.”

Now, Ty (along with Mattel, RUSS, 10 Vox Entertainment, among others) is also in the game, with two interactive collections of its own, Girlz, and Beanie Babies 2.0 (plush animals reminiscent of the earlier Beanie Babies collection, but with secret codes used to unlock their interactive world). Last month, RUSS® announced the addition of the SeaPals line – a virtual underwater experience, where SeaPals owners learn about their plush character, its marine environment, and how to protect natural resources.

Interactive bean plush toys have obviously made a big impression on the youth of the nation, but they aren’t the only ones, as more collectors discover these innovative items. Recently, a retired Webkinz Cheeky Dog and Cheeky Cat together (with unopened tags) sold for $995 on eBay, according to Van Patten’s report. While this isn’t average auction action for Webkinz, even retired models, it’s an indication of cross-over popularity.

Whether you’re an “old-school” collector with a bunch of “unplugged” bean plush collectibles, or a modern-age fan of today’s Web-centric plush-plus arena, you’re sure to enjoy Warman’s® Bean Plush Field Guide. This fun and fact-filled guide into the word of bean plush contains 4,000 listings for all types of bean plush collectibles including all Ty® releases and variations from 1985 through the present-day Beanie Babies 2.0, a Ty® Beanie Baby hang tag and tush tag identification tutorial, and 900 color photos. Receive FREE SHIPPING when you order this or any Warman’s® Field Guide between now and August 31, at Mention Coupon Code ATRBART28 when you order to receive your savings at checkout.


About Antoinette Rahn

Antoinette Rahn is the former online editor and content manager for Antique Trader. She has a penchant for collecting petroliana, vintage advertising items, Irish collectibles and general Americana. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Tom.