We had no idea this was even in existence until we stumbled upon it on Crave Canada! We were one of those people who collected Beanie Babies in the ’90s and while we never made any money off them, we actually unloaded them below what we paid, nonetheless we very clearly remember this era – driving around town hunting at toy small toy stores.
Director Yemisi Brookes explores the phenomenon and how a group of suburban women helped propel the popularity behind these unassuming collectibles, which led eventually to a secondary market and an unforeseeable demand. We meet some of the former employees at Ty (a few Canadians even!) who were behind the product and the drama that brewed once the success of Beanie Babies took off. We also get a look at the scandal that landed illusive Creator Ty Warner in prison almost. Beanie Babies certainly were no joke. People risked their lives, robbed and went bankrupt at a chance for the riches that came with being the lucky one who had that rare coveted Beanie.
The Documentary is concise, balancing just the right tone in exploring how crime and corruption plagued the brand as the millennium approached, but also a bit of lightness because well, Beanie Babies are meant to be cute and fun. Brookes gets what’s at stake for the key players, exploring the legacy of these toys and how it changed their lives, some for the better, some for the worse.
It is no mystery what I’ve named by dog beanie after, but even I had no idea about the behind-the-scenes, and this HBO Max production was highly-educational and entertaining.