The Original Nine Beanie Babies

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

How it all began…

In 1993, at the World Toy Fair in New York City, nine small, plush-like toys made their introduction to the world, styled in various animal forms. But these plush toys were unlike the usual plush toys filling the market. The new toys were partially filled with PVC plastic pellets, or “beans”, which had a new, unique appearance. As a result, they were incredibly posable. These bean-filled animals would soon become what is now known as the “Original Nine” Beanie Babies.

Despite critics who being sceptical of their appearance, gave them horrific nicknames like “road-kill” due to their somewhat flattened appearance, little did they know that Beanie Babies would shortly become a worldwide phenomenon!

Initially, they didn’t catch on. However, when they did, they were a global success and undoubtedly became one the most successful toys ever! Millions of Beanie Babies were simultaneously sold around the world with hundreds of different characters flooding on to the market.

Ty had a simple marketing strategy, and that was to keep it simple! Each character would only have a few colours of fabric and simple facial features. Every Beanie Baby adorned a red heart swing tag featuring the word “Ty” on the front in white. The first generation tags were simple double-sided paper tags including the name and style number on the rear of the tag. Poems were eventually introduced on 4th generation swing tags, giving a personality to each Beanie Baby. Tush tags were small fabric tags which initially were white with black lettering (later changed to red lettering) and were attached to the Beanie Baby’s rear end.

Finally, it’s time to introduce you to the Original Nine Beanie Babies!…

Chocolate the Moose

Chocolate the Moose Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“Licorice, gum and peppermint candy
This moose always has these handy
But there is one more thing he likes to eat
Can you guess his favourite treat?”

Chocolate is a dark brown moose with orange antlers. He lays flat, but can be posed seated if you prefer.

He didn’t receive a poem until he featured a 4th generation swing tag. His poem suggests that his favourite treat is chocolate. Also, you’ve got to love the pun in his name…Chocolate Moose!

Chocolate was one of the last of the Original Nine Beanie Babies to retire, eventually doing so on 31st December 1998.

Cubbie the Bear

Cubbie the Bear Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“Cubbie used to eat crackers and honey
And what happened to him was funny
He was stung by fourteen bees
Now Cubbie eats broccoli and cheese!”

Poor Cubbie. I’m not quite sure what’s funny about being stung by fourteen bees. Incidentally, Cubbie wasn’t really his original name. When the cute little brown bear was first introduced, it was under the name “Brownie”, but shortly after his release, Brownie was retired and was re-introduced as Cubbie. The two are almost identical in every way except for the name difference. Cubbie eventually went into retirement on 31st December 1997.

Flash the Dolphin

Flash the Dolphin Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“You know dolphins are a smart breed
Our friend Flash knows how to read
Splash the Whale is the one who taught her
Although reading is difficult under the water!”

Flash, the adorable grey dolphin has her birthday on 13th May 1993.

Apparently, Flash and Splash are good friends because Splash is the whale who taught Flash to read. Flash and Splash were retired together on 11th May 1997 with Echo the Dolphin taking her place.

Legs the Frog

Legs the Frog Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“Legs lives in a hollow log
Legs likes to play leap frog
If you like to hang out at the lake
Legs will be the new friend you make!”

Legs is a bright green coloured frog who was introduced 8th January 1994. His birthday is on 25th April 1993.

His eyes were slightly different to the solid black buttons of the other Original Nine because they were black buttons with a green ring around the edge. According to his poem, Legs loves to play leap frog and hang out by the lake. He will also be the new friend you make!

Legs is one of the easier of the Original Nine to get hold of, especially with a 4th generation hang tag. He was retired on 1st October 1997.

Patti the Platypus

Patti the Platypus Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“Ran into Patti one day while walking
Believe me she wouldn’t stop talking
Listened and listened to her speak
That would explain her extra large beak!”

Patti has had four different colour changes in her lifetime! She was originally released in a magenta, almost red colour but has also been fuchsia, maroon and raspberry!

She was born on 6th January 1993.

The original magenta version is incredibly rare and fetches a lot of money when sold.

Pinchers the Lobster

Pinchers the Lobster Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“This lobster loves to pinch
Eating his food inch by inch
Balancing carefully with his tail
Moving forward slow as a snail!”

Pinchers was originally released under the name “Punchers”. However, this is thought to be a spelling error as Punchers was quickly retired and re-released as Pinchers.

Pinchers is bright red in colour with cute black button eyes and black thread antennae, but he was also later released as a McDonald’s Teenie Beanie and a Beanie Buddy. Pinchers’ birthday is on 19th June 1993 and he didn’t retire until 1st May 1998.

Splash the Whale

Splash the Whale Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“Splash loves to jump and dive
He’s the fastest whale alive
He always wins the 100-yard dash
With a victory jump he’ll make a splash!”

Splash is a black and white orca whale who was introduced on 8th January 1994. He makes a great pair with Flash the Dolphin because according to Flash’s poem, Splash was the one who taught her to read. He also has the signature black button eyes.

Splash was one of the first of the Original Nine to be retired and did so on 11th May 1997.

Spot the Dog

Spot the Dog Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“See Spot sprint, see Spot run
You and Spot will have lots of fun
Watch out now, because he’s not slow
Just stand back and watch him go!”

Spot is a white coloured dog with black ears, a black patch on the left side of his face and the majority of those released have a black spot on his back. He was finally retired on 1st October 1997.

Earlier versions of Spot were released missing a spot. This “spot-less” Spot was quickly taken off the market and later re-introduced with the spot. The earlier version with the missing spot is considered to be much more valuable than the later version.

Squealer the Pig

Squealer the Pig Ty Original Nine Beanie Baby


“Squealer likes to joke around
He is known as class clown
Listen to his stories awhile
There is no doubt he’ll make you smile!”

Squealer was introduced to the market on 8th January 1994. He is a pale pink pig with a slightly darker pink snout, ears and curly tail. His cute little black button eyes are just calling out for a cuddle. Additionally, he was one of the longest running of the Original Nine, only retiring on 1st May 1998. His birthday is on 23rd April 1993.

Do you have any of the Original Nine Beanie Babies? 

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