Beanie Kids are a line of Australian collectable stuffed toys. Similar to the popular American Beanie Babies, they are filled with small beans rather than conventional stuffing. The first Beanie Kids were released in September 1997 by Skansen Brands.
Each Beanie Kid has a name, birthday, and story. The majority of Beanie Kids are bears with various costumes or themes, however a number of Beanie Kids (and particularly earlier releases) are other animals. Information about each Beanie Kid is contained on its Swing tag.
New Beanie Kids are released each month. Skansen originally designed, manufactured and distributed Beanie Kids, however since August 2013 they have been distributed by Korimco.
Beanie Kid releases differ in both style/design and release type.
Standard Beanie Kids are 21 cm tall (for bear-style Beanie Kids). Other sizes are released of popular designs, including:
- 40 cm Cuddly Kids, originally released February 2001
- 76 cm Great Big Kids, released August 2006
- 105 cm Giant Great Big Kids, made for charity auctions in 2002, released for sale August 2006
- 11 cm Tiny Beanie Kids, released February 2008 (through Woolworths stores)
- Beanie Kids Bag Tags, released December 2008.
Some special releases have also been made in a 26 cm size.
Most Beanie Kids are general releases, however there are a number of other types of special release, including:
- Mutations, where a small number of slightly modified versions of a standard design are also released (first appeared May 1998)
- Show bears, distributed only at Royal Shows around Australia (first appeared 1999)
- Limited Edition releases (first appeared October 1999)
- Retailer exclusives, distributed through only one stockist (first appeared December 1999)
- Redemption bears, also known as 'Collect & Get' releases, available only after collecting other releases (first appeared 2002)
- Beanie Kids Classics, re-releases of classic designs (first appeared September 2011)
- Licensed Beanie Kids, displaying Australian sporting teams (first appeared March 2012)
Beanie Kid releases can be classified into 'generations' based on their swing tag design. Note that this classification is based on standard release Beanie Kid swing tags only.
Generation One (September 1997 - November 2001)
Generation One swing tags show the original Beanie Kid logo on a yellow background with slogan "Loveable Collectables".
Generation Two (December 2001 - July 2011)
Generation Two swing tags retain the original Beanie Kid logo and yellow background but show new slogan "Australia's Cutest Collectables".
Generation Three (August 2011 - September 2015)
Generation Three swing tags display a photo of the Beanie Kid and its name, on a light blue background. This format was maintained after the switch to Korimco branding in August 2013.
Generation Four (October 2015 - Current)
Generation Four swing tags show the new red and white Beanie Kid "BK" logo on a pastel grass and sky background.
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- List of Beanie Kids
- List of companies of Australia
- List of stuffed toy manufacturers
- Official website
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