Meanies move to mocking celebrities -- The Beanie Baby imitators introducing Moodonna, Mallard Stern, and Quack Nicholson

By Suna Chang
Updated December 04, 1998 at 05:00 AM EST
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It was only a matter of time before the Meanies, the toy world’s twisted antidote to treacly Beanie Babies, went Hollywood. This month The Idea Factory, which launched the Meanies last fall, will release celeb Meanies. Among the stars putting on a bean bag: Moodonna, a ”material cow way past her prime”; ducks Mallard Stern, the ”quack of all media,” and Quack Nicholson; busy bee Jerry Stinger; and Dennis Rodmantis. ”We wondered where else we could take this,” says IF VP Lance Kushner, ”and no one had taken bean bags into the celebrity thing.”

Unlike the Beanies, these plush luminaries, at about $7 each, are aimed at teens and adults — they’re even labeled Meanie-17. Like the Beanies, the Meanies will each be taken off the market eventually (instead of being retired, they’re ”terminated”). But will they end up as valuable collectibles? Don’t start counting your bean bags just yet. ”People like to collect things they can identify with,” says Mark White, editor of White’s Guide to Collecting Figures, ”but if they don’t sell out right away, they could stay at $7 the rest of their lives.” Then again, maybe IF will strike gold with its next series of star Meanies. The leader of that pack: a life-jacketed feline dubbed Lionardo Decapitated.

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