On June 15, 1995, Ty announced the official retirement of Humphrey. This
publicly announced "retired" date for a Beanie Baby triggered a buying and
collecting frenzy that lasted more than five years. Official Ty "retired dates"
became an essential element of information in the description of any Beanie
Baby. Retirement announcements were expanded to include all of the other Ty
It had always been generally perceived that "retired" products would increase in
value on the secondary market as collector demand outstripped supply of the
discontinued (retired) items. It was not unusual for an official retirement
announcement to send thousands of Ty collectors nationwide into stores to
purchase the last of the "retired" items.
On December 27, 2007, Ty officially retired more than two hundred Beanie Babies
and abruptly discontinued the official retirement announcements. Even though a
large number of Beanie Babies had been officially retired at the end of 2007, Ty
continued to sell many of them for years following that announcement.
"Retirement date" no longer meant "discontinued."
Collectors often speculate about reasons for the demise of official retirement
dates but logic suggests Ty needed the flexibility to reintroduce successful
older products. He did not want the reintroduction of a "retired" item to be
perceived as a betrayal by collectors who had paid higher-than-retail prices to
purchase the same "retired" item on the secondary market.
The demise of official retirement dates creates a problem for collectors and
resellers alike who have a vested interest in knowing which Ty collectibles are
discontinued. The only approximate way to determine the production status of a
Ty collectible now is the "off order" or "sold out" date Ty Inc. provides to Ty
In an effort to assist collectors in determining whether or not a Ty product is
still being manufactured, tycollector.com adds known "off order" or "sold out"
dates to the individual product pages at the site. "Off order" means authorized
Ty retailers can no longer order an item. We make a presumption that an
"off-order" item is no longer made, but that is not always the case. [April
2013, New information]
"Off order" can also mean a product is late being shipped from China; that Ty
has decided to stop accepting orders for seasonal items like this year's
Halloween Boos because those will be made available again next year; or Ty takes
items "Off order" for authorized Ty retailers to make them available to other
select retailers like supermarket chains or overseas retailers.
"Off order" does not necessarily mean a product will become scarce. When Ty
produces an exclusive item for a large retailer, the item changes to "off order"
at Ty when it ships but that doesn't mean the retailer is out of them. The
retailer may have ordered a very large number of the item that will be selling
for years to come.
"Off order" dates are not the perfect way to know which products are
discontinued but in most cases, they are currently the only dates we can get. We
try to keep the dates current by removing a "sold out" date if that item is
reintroduced by Ty, but we have to depend on the generosity of authorized Ty retailers
for the information, so some of the "off irder" dates for the more recent items may
have changed without our knowledge. This is why you see "Retirement date" on
some of our pages and "Off order" or "Sold out" dates on others.
In a surprise development on April 29, 2013, Ty made an official retirement
announcement for six of the Ty Beanie Boos. This announcement appeared at the
official Ty Internet site and also at the Ty Facebook page. Ty has followed the
original announcement with more official announcements of Boo retirements.
Unfortunately, the Boo retirement notices have not stipulated whether the
retirements are for all sizes of each retired Boo, or just the regular size.
Retirements that have been officially announced Ty Inc., will be indicated as
"Retirement date" on individual product pages at tycollector.com. When a previously known
"off-order" or "sold out" date was also known, that date will also be posted for