The beanie baby craze swept the nation in the late 1990s. The pliable, cushy, pellet-filled animals were everywhere. Ty released their first nine beanie babies in 1993. The toys became an overnight success and it was not long before new beanie babies were creating a lot of buzz. The Princess bear was extremely popular, not only among collectors, but upon admirers of Princess Diana as well. The Princess beanie baby was only one of six products allowed by the Princess Diana Memorial Fund. In turn, Ty presented the memorial fund with a check for $2,004,850.00 from its 1997 and 1998 proceeds.
Princess the Bear
Ty created princess the bear as a memorial to Princess Diana in 1997. The bear was royal purple; a color fitting for a princess. The bear had a purple bow around its neck and a white rose on the left side of its chest. The bear had no birthday, which was unusual. The memorial toy was released on October 29, 1997 and retired April 13, 1999. All proceeds from the sale of Princess were donated to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
Like all beanie babies, a poem was transcribed inside the Princess ty beanie baby tag. The poem read,
Like an angel, she came from heaven above She shared her compassion, her pain, her love She only stayed with us long enough to teach The world to share, to give, to reach.
Swing tags are the heart shaped Ty tags placed through the animal's ear that helps identify legitimate Ty beanie babies from counterfeit versions. The Princess bear has a fourth generation swing tag. Some modifications were made from the third swing tag version including removing the gold trim around the Ty lettering, shrinking the world Ty and adding the words "BEANIE ORIGINAL BABY."
The tush tag is the tag located on the rear of the animal. Tush tags were used to indicate the factory the toy was produced in and to provide another label for identification of legitimate Ty products. Most importantly, the type of pellet used in the beanie baby is labeled on the tush tag. The princess bear has a sixth generation tush tag that can be used by collectors today to gauge the worth of their bear.
Two versions of the Princess bear were created; bears made with PE pellets or PVC pellets. These pellets, or beans, are what give the toys their pliability. Beanies can be molded to take on many forms like lying flat, sitting or posing. PE pellets are made from polyethylene pellets. PVC pellets are considered a higher quality pellet because of the polyvinylchloride from which they are produced. Princess bears stuffed with PVC pellets typically sell for two to three times the value of PE Princess bears on the secondary market.