The film aims to shed light on how these seemingly simple characters, with little to no backstory, captured the hearts of millions.
H. Ty Warner introduced Beanie Babies to the world in 1993, through his company Ty Inc., seeing the line of collectibles grow into a global fad through the mid-to-late ’90s, due to the air of exclusivity around them. The toys, cited by some as the world’s first internet sensation, were perceived by certain collectors as financial investments because they were deliberately made scarce, each new design produced in only a limited quantity.
Ty Inc. converted its wave of success with Beanie Babies into new technological advancements, including the first business-to-consumer website. The company remains in business to this day, continuing to produce Beanie Babies alongside new plush creations including Beanie Boos, Ty Puffies and Squish-A-Boos.
Ben Kitnick is directing the doc in his feature debut, and will produce it alongside Nacelle Company Founder and CEO Brian Volk-Weiss, Anna Roberts, Ben J. Murphy and Saxon Richardson. Whiskey Bear Inc. is co-producing.
“Nearly all of us participated in the Beanie Baby craze,” said Kitnick. “We are thrilled to not only explore how the phenomenon defined the zeitgeist, but how lives were forever changed in its wake.”
“Beanie Babies are something that most people collected or knew about for well over a decade,” added Volk-Weiss, “and with 90s nostalgia at its peak, this is the perfect time for this documentary.”
Founded in 2017, The Nacelle Company is a media company known for producing acclaimed series based on pop culture staples, such as Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us and The Movies That Made Us, History’s Center Seat: 55 Years of Star Trek, and Disney+’s theme park-centric Behind The Attraction, along with Kevin Hart’s Guide To Black History, Netflix’s Daytime Emmy winner Down to Earth with Zac Efron and others. The studio is also active in podcasting, publishing and other creative spaces, and has inked partnerships, with Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, HBO and others.
News of the Beanie Babies doc comes on the heels of another announcement from The Nacelle Company about a TV series it is developing and producing, centered on characters associated with beloved SoCal brand Paul Frank.
Anna Roberts negotiated the company’s latest deal with Mark Muir of Greenberg Glusker LLP.