8 Uses for those Old Ty Beanie Babies

What to do with Bins of Beanies

Ty Warner seated at a table with Beanie Babies and celebratory sign
Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies toys, shakes hands in a rare appearance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Beanie Babies toy line at the American International Toy Fair February 16, 2003.

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Ty Beanie Babies, created by Ty Warner, were one of the biggest fads ever to hit the US market and will long be remembered for the long lines to purchase and the phone calls in the early morning with the locations of what stores had what Beanie Baby. More than one collector had dreams of sending their children to college with the proceeds, especially as they dreamed of the increasing values and saw prices skyrocket.

In the mid-to-late nineties, there were hundreds of new toys produced and Ty was a marketing genius with having "new generations" of already produced pieces, each generation was worth a little less than "first" generation tag, making people a little more frantic in their searching. It was also a real lesson in trying to figure out what the value of Beanie Babies would be in the future. An industry surfaced with collector magazines devoted to the toys, plastic tag holders (don't want to crease those cardboard tags) and websites devoted to online newsletters and marketplaces.

A good way to see if a particular Beanie has value now is to check completed listings on eBay. Look for the sold prices, not just starting price to see if you do have one of those rare beauties. If you do, you probably already know it, but it doesn't hurt to check and make sure.

Aside from a few dozen exceptions, most of the Beanie Babies produced after the first surge of popularity can be purchased for little money today. They are often found at flea markets for $1.00 to $3.00 new. So what can one do with all those not-so-valuable Beanies? Here are a few ideas.

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Child holding Ty beanie babies at a store
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If you're not into crafting or really don't want to mess with them, just give them away. Please be sure to only give the new, unused Beanies to these programs unless they agree to accept others. 

  • State Highway Patrol Most state highway patrols have a Teddy Bear program, and the Bear Beanie Babies would be welcome.
  • Foster Care programs The kids taken into the program often show up with nothing. Although there are more essentials needed than toys, a new soft toy that they can call their own is usually welcome.
  • Charities and Christmas toy drives Keep in mind that most of the children benefitting don't care if it's a Ty Beanie Baby, to them it's a cute soft toy, one that they would love to have. 
  • Neonatal Units One friend mentioned that when her son was in the hospital, each crib had a Beanie Baby in it (that was donated), and it made the hospital seem just a little warmer and fuzzier.

The bonus is that your donation just might be tax deductible.

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Holiday Favors

Children dressed in costumes walking on the sidewalk

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If you would like to keep your giving a little closer to home, here are a few more ways to get rid of excess Beanies.

  • Trick or Treaters In addition to the usual candy handouts at Halloween, consider giving Beanies, especially the smaller McDonalds Teenie Beanies. When a family comes with smaller kids (but over 3), give them a Beanie Baby. 
  • Holiday Parties A basket of Beanie Babies under the tree can be extra favors for the kids that show up at your house during the holidays. Today most of them don't realize or even care how hot the toys once were. They just like getting a little cuddly toy to take home.
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Torn up stuffed animal

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Imagine the fun of taking apart a Beanie and redoing into your own cryptozoological creature. Put wings on a puppy or giraffe legs on an elephant, for example. And these could be perfect Halloween decorations the next time the holiday rolls around.

Those darn little pellets (beans) can drive you crazy, so empty directly into a bag, preferably outside. If there is much static cling, use a dryer sheet on your hands.

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A Tree or Wreath

Hands crafting with pine branches

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This would be great on a toy-themed or just all Beanie Baby themed Christmas tree. Use large safety pins in the back of the neck of each bear, and put an ornament hook through the pin for some of the bears. Some might be able to lay on or be tucked into the branches. A wreath could be constructed in the same manner, using large pins and then wiring it to the basic wreath shape.

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Play Around With Stop Motion

Stop Motion setup

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Creating stop motion videos can be fun. Why not do some with Beanie Babies? You could also create a Youtube video, such as The Beanie Babies Hunger Games.

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Noah's Ark

Children doing crafts with a box

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Did you go overboard and buy duplicate Beanies? Kids love the story of Noah's Ark, and if you have two of each, why not create an ark out of a cardboard box and have a new way to play with them? Dioramas can also be constructed using Beanie Babies for use in ​a classroom and school projects.

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The Treasure Chest at Grandma's House

Hand opening a chest with light shining from within

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Beanie Babies are perfect for the treasure chest for grandma's house. How the kids are able to pick the treasure out is up to you. Good behavior? When they come over to visit? For a special event? Children will have lots of fun with it and love picking out a special goody.

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Beanie Baby Chair

Person using a glue gun

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Do you enjoy using a glue gun? Martha Stewart offers a video and tutorial on how to create a stuffed animal chair. At first glance, it looks like a chair with lots of toys thrown on it, but it's not. It's a round fabric chair, with dozens of Beanie Babies glued to it.