The first Ty Beanie Baby Days Giveaway promotion took place at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois (outside of Chicago).
Snocap, the arctic fox, was given to the first 4,000 children (11 years or younger) who entered the zoo on either
July 26 or 27, 2003. Four thousand Beanie Babies were given away on each of the two days. Children also received a special
commemorative card with Snocap. The Giveaway weekend became an annual Brookfield tradition until 2009, when
Ty announced the program had been discontinued.
Beanie Baby Day “Giveaways” at Brookfield Zoo:
July 26-27, 2003 - Snocap the arctic fox (with a commemorative card)
July 31-Aug 1, 2004 - Fridge the polar bear (with a commemorative card)
July 30-31, 2005 - Jumpshot the giraffe (with an extra swing tag)
Aug 12-13, 2006 - Weaver the monkey (with an extra swing tag)
June 30-July 1, 2007 - Independence the bear (no special card or swing tag)
July 12-13, 2008 - Ponder the frog (with an extra swing tag)
Only the 2003 and 2004 promotions included a blue commemorative card. Beanie Babies given out during the 2005, 2006, and 2008
zoo event came with an extra commemorative swing tag attached to the Beanie. At the 2007 promotion, Independence
(the bear) was given to children but without any distinguishing cards or tags.
During each year's event, the Brookfield Zoo sold additional beanies at the Ty Super Store along with other unique merchandise to raise funds for the
zoo. In addition to the annual giveaways and Beanie sales, the zoo also sold t-shirts, pendants, patches, candy, and pencils to commemorate the Beanie Baby
weekends. The annual events even conducted Beanie-themed activities, such as Beanie Baby Bingo.
Snocap - July 26-27, 2003 - Brookfield Zoo
Fridge - July 31-August 31, 2004 - Brookfield Zoo
Jumpshot - July 30-31, 2005 - Brookfield Zoo
Weaver - August 12-13, 2006 - Brookfield Zoo
Independence - June 30-July 1, 2007 - Brookfield Zoo
Ponder - July 12-13, 2008 - Brookfield Zoo
The six Brookfield Zoo events were the only beanie “giveaways” at any zoo where the Beanie was actually "free"
and included with the purchase of a general admission ticket. There were a few subsequent promotions at other zoos, but at
those events the exclusive Beanies had to be purchased.
July 2006, Santa Barbara Zoo - Admiral the penguin
May 2007, San Francisco Zoo - Monarch the grizzly bear
May 2007, St. Louis Zoo - Maliha & Jade the elephants
(swing tag name is Shocks)
Admiral - July 2006 - Santa Barbara, California
Admiral, the penguin, was sold
exclusively at the Santa Barbara Zoo Store (for $6.95) in honor of the opening of the Crawford Family Penguin House. The
Crawford House contained nine rare Humboldt penguins and opened a month prior to the July 2006 release of the limited edition
penguin. Admiral came with a special yellow heart-shaped swing tag.
Monarch - May 2007 - San Francisco, California
brown grizzly bear sold exclusively at the San Francisco Zoo. Monarch was announced by Ty in a Press Release on April 4,
2007 and was officially added to the current list on Ty’s website on May 9, 2007. Monarch was available at the Zoo’s Wildlife
Connection gift shop and online for $7.99.
The monarch grizzly bear is depicted on the California state flag, and has a historical relationship with the San
Francisco Zoo. The swing tag poem says:
“Through the kindness of Mr. Hearst
The Monarch Grizzly was the first
And on our flag, so proud and true
First at the San Francisco Zoo!”
The reference to Mr. Randolph Hearst in the poem refers to the publisher of the SF Examiner in the late 1880s. In 1889,
in an attempt to expand readership, he challenged a reporter to locate and return with the supposedly extinct grizzly
bear. The reporter returned with a 1600 pound grizzly. Hearst named it Monarch after the header of his newspaper
that read: “Monarch of the Dailies.” The bear dazzled crowds until its death in 1911.
Maliha & Jade - May 2007 - Saint Louis, Missouri
The St. Louis Zoo sold an exclusive gray
elephant Beanie Baby named Maliha & Jade. Maliha & Jade is actually another Beanie Baby named
Shocks, but with a different swing tag. The tush tag on Maliha & Jade has the name Shocks. This
St. Louis exclusive was created to honor the birth of two new elephant calves: Jade & Maliha. This zoo exclusive Beanie
Baby elephant was available on-line or by phone for $6.00.
Special thanks to Chris P. from Michigan for permission to use his research and photographs for this article. His original
article appeared at beaniesource.com (now inactive).