The manufacturer of Beanie Babies, the plush toy collectibles that will no longer be manufactured after Dec. 31, posted a Web announcement Thursday that promises a "global newsflash" Dec. 24.
Mary Beth Sobolewski, editor in chief of Mary Beth's Bean Bag World Monthly magazine, said Thursday that she believes Ty Inc. is going to replace its retired Beanie Baby bonanza with new plush toys that may be smaller than Beanies for easier store display and made of the same patented fabric used on Ty's larger Beanie Buddies to deter counterfeiting.
Sobolewski noted that Ty recently registered the trademark name "EBeanies," a tip that Ty may begin using the Internet as an official sales channel.
"Families will be together over the Christmas holiday, and that kind of news would create a buzz that will give everyone a lot to talk about while they're opening presents," Sobolewski said.
The Web site message said: "A very important global newsflash will be made on Dec. 24, 1999. Expect the unexpected!!!" In the past, the company has made important announcements on Mother's Day and New Year's Day.
In August, Ty announced that it would retire all Beanie Babies, but many observers believed the announcement was just a publicity stunt, speculation that ended last week when Ty said it would stop manufacturing the toys.