The phones worked, the computers didn’t crash and the Beanies still existed. After announcing six months earlier that it would cease production on all Beanie Babies as of January 1, Ty rescinded the death warrant when thousands of the toy’s supporters voted overwhelmingly to keep Beanies alive.
Last December, in what could be interpreted as the craftiest ploy in demand manipulation that a toyco has ever undertaken, Ty decided to place the Beanies’ fate in the hands of consumers by holding a vote on its site. Over 200,000 people paid US$0.50 each to cast their ballot, according to Mary Beth Sobolewski, editor of Mary Beth’s Bean Bag Monthly. (Ty reportedly donated all the voting fees to charity.) On January 2, Ty posted the results of the Beanie referendum, which found that-are you sitting down?-91% of participants wanted the Oak Brook, Illinois-based toyco to continue Beanie production.
In addition to the news, Ty also announced on its site that it would be adding three new larger sizes to its Beanie Buddies line and would also introduce a line of Beanies for infants called Baby Ty. Ty began showing the new Beanie product at gift and toy trade shows last month. At press time, Ty had yet to issue a retail release date for either the new buddies or Baby Ty items.