The Beanie Bubble

Ready for a little bit of toy history, Hollywood style?

It was 30 years ago that Ty Warner launched the product that would firmly place his eponymous company, Ty Inc., in the history books: Beanie Babies.

The plush craze made billions and became the subject of numerous books and documentaries, including Zac Bissonnette’s 2016 book, The Great Beanie Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute. The book, published by Penguin Random House’s Portfolio division, serves as the basis for the new film, The Beanie Bubble, and has since been reissued with an updated subtitle: The Amazing Story of How America Lost Its Mind Over a Plush Toy — and The Eccentric Genius Behind It.

Now, as the film from directors Kristin Gore and Damian Kulash hits streaming on Apple TV+ today, the real-life Warner (played in the film by Zach Galifianakis) is commenting on the production and serving up a fun giveaway for families that would still like to catch it on the big screen!

I applaud the filmmakers for capturing the unprecedented energy and excitement — though not the facts — surrounding the original release of Beanie Babies 30 years ago. The movie is, by its own admission, partly fiction. But, like the filmmakers, I am in the business of dreams, and I admire their creative spirit. To the fans and collectors of Beanie Babies who have been there for the last three decades, thank you for all the love you have shown."
Ty Warner, Chairman, CEO, and Founder, Ty Inc.

To celebrate the 30-year legacy of Beanie Babies, Warner’s company will give away free Beanie Babies at 37 select theatres across the U.S.

While supplies last, families attending screenings (find your local theater here) can receive the Patti II Platypus Beanie Baby, “a snuggly soft Ty fabric buddy complete with the official Ty Heart and a special birthday poem.”

“We hope you like our new Beanie Baby collection. We’ve tried to capture all the magic again — 30 years later,” adds Warner.

How many Beanie Babies do you have in your collection?

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.