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Beanie Babies: the latest toy craze

bear March 15, 1997
Web posted at: 10:23 p.m. EST (0323 GMT)

From Correspondent Brian Cabell

ATLANTA (CNN) -- Unassuming piles of plush called Beanie Babies are elbowing out Tickle Me Elmo and Power Rangers as the latest must-have toys among adults and children. movie icon (1.2M/33 sec. QuickTime movie)

The demand for the likes of Hippity, Hoppity and Floppity, Wrinkles, Radar and Spooky, is outstripping supply. There are more than six dozen different bean-bag animals to collect.

"Everybody wants one, and everybody's got to have one," said a freckled girl wearing braces and a white sweatshirt.

This is a certifiably 1990s craze: The Beanie Babies even have their own Web site.


Adults, theoretically for their children, are snapping up armfuls of the $5 bean-bag animals. Shipments are infrequent, and the stores selling them are few and small.

"I've gone to Zany Brainys, Hello Kitty, two Hallmarks and Enchanted Treasures," said shopper Carrie Abrahamsen. "I have like 45 of them. I call every morning at 10 o'clock."

Eager shoppers line up before the stores open in hopes of nabbing some of the more prized toys. One woman, shopping for needy children, said she has bought "a couple thousand dollars" worth.

"But I've also gotten them for my grandchildren, my friends and things like that. I'm the beanie baby lady," said Joan Leininger.

spill the beans

Some of those desperate enough for the toys have apparently lost their heads, enduring cracked eggs and beans dumped on their heads to win free Beanie Babies from an Atlanta radio station.

The craze actually started three years ago in Chicago, and has spread in spurts to other cities. The manufacturer, Ty Inc., is based in Oakbrook, Illinois.


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