Last week I visited Shona, a very good friend of mine and a super mum. Shona has just had her fourth baby, a beautiful little girl called Jorga-Marie. Walking downstairs in her home, I poked my head in her eldest daughters bedroom and found quite a collection!
“OMG Shona! I can’t believe I have just found my next Collectable Pride in your daughters bedroom”, I screamed excitedly. What were these soft toys? I loved how they were displayed, all sat up together in a gang, waiting for Ahleea’s return home from school. I have never seen a Beanie Kid before but guessed they were Australian made by the patriotic netball player, the koala Beanie kid and the Aboriginal Beanie Kid.
I was right! They are Australian. Beanie Kids started in September 1997 by Sam Gowing who was the Designer and a brother and sister team, Jacqui and Irwin Tobias. Every Beanie Kid has their own name, birthday and zodiac sign on their ear tag (swing tag) and a cloth tag (called a tushtag). So you can celebrate their birthday or buy a Beanie Kid with the same birth date as your own.
Ahleea started collecting Beanie Kids when she was six years old. She saw her older cousins collection of 15 Beanie Kids, and she was hooked. That was two years ago and her collection has grown to 91! Her first one was Bridesmaid Beanie kid, and her favourite is Amber the cheerleader. She has no desire to stop buying them. Luckily for her, Beanie kids have no intention to stop producing new ranges of Beanie Kids. Monthly a new Beanie Kid is produced. This is called a current Beanie. You don’t know how many will be produced or for how long until it is ‘retired’. Of course these retired Beanies become highly collectable. Especially if there is a slight flaw in the packaging or Beanie itself.
A favourite past time for Ahleea’s is spending time on the official website http://www.beaniekids.com/. You can build your own Beanie Kid on line, enter lots of competitions and find out all the new bears that have become Current Bears. You can also see whose birthday it is- Beanie kid that is.