An Inconsistent Grading of Way Too Many Poems From Beanie Baby Tags

Tracy Shapley Towley

Staff Writer

Tracy is a freelance copywriter, all-around ne’er do well, very-adult graduate of the University of Iowa, and occasional waterer of plants. Her hobbies include writing fiction, reading fiction, mixing together various flavors of soup, and typing letters to her friends on an old red typewriter that doesn't have a working period so all sentences must end in questions marks or exclamation points? She has read every Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and has a lot of thoughts on them. Her old Iowa farmhouse is shared by her husband Sean, a pair of cats, a pair of dogs, and the ghost of Kurt Vonnegut.

My introduction to Beanie Babies came in the mid-1990s, when these suckers were released. Before you knew it, my high-school-aged brother was waiting in line for hours at the McDonald’s drive-thru to get his hands on the Beanie Babies that came in Happy Meals. And yes, he did also have many Lion King stickers on his Toyota Corolla bumper and wore T-shirts with Winnie the Pooh on them, why do you ask? Freaking legend.

A photo of a monkey Beanie Baby

Not only were these non-plushies cuter than heck, but they also came with tiny poems on their tags. The first 136 were written by Lina Trivedi. The rest were written by unknown wizards.

A photo of the Poet Beanie Baby Tag Poem

I’ve got to spoil this post for you and tell you that many of these poems are not good. They appear to have come out of a random rhyme maker. Many of them do not make sense. There are quite a few oddly political poems? Wouldn’t have guessed that! Most of them are boring. A few are quite dark. One ends with a dog’s teeth all falling out for no reason? It’s a ride, let me tell you.

Some of them are impressive in their glory. Here are very many of them, hundreds, in fact, with my thoughts, which are very inconsistent.

Ally the Alligator

When Ally gets out of classes,
He wears a hat and dark glasses,
He plays bass in a street band,
He’s the coolest gator in the land!

This one is pretty strong, but switching the last two lines would have made it even stronger — it’s generally best to state what you’re going to prove before providing your evidence.

Grade: B

Baldy the Eagle

Hair on his head is quite scant,
We suggest Baldy get a transplant,
Watching over the land of the free,
Hair in his eyes would make it hard to see!

None of this makes sense. Of course he has no hair; he’s a bird. They suggest he get a transplant (I assume hair transplant), but then note that hair in his eyes would make it hard to see? Pick a side!

Grade: D

Ants the Anteater

Most anteaters love to eat bugs,
But this little fellow gives big hugs.
He’d rather dine on apple pie,
Than eat an ant or harm a fly!

I thought this was horseshit, but after doing a bit of poking around the ole internet, I discovered that anteaters do indeed eat “soft fruits,” and the fruit in apple pie should be soft. I don’t believe that they are eating the crust, though perhaps the author issuing the term “pie” loosely?

Grade: B-

Batty the Bat

Bats may make some people jitter,
Please don’t be afraid of this critter,
If you’re lonely or have nothing to do,
This Beanie Baby would love to hug you!

I’m on board with this one. I get that bats can seem creepy, but they are essential to the ecosystems in which they live. Not only do they provide billions of dollars in free pesticides, but they also pollinate. Then the poem ends with the information that the Batty would love to hug you. No pressure. Just letting you know, if you consent, that he’d love to hug you.

Grade: A

Bernie the St. Bernard

This little dog can’t wait to grow,
To rescue people lost in the snow,
Don’t let him out — keep him on your shelf,
He doesn’t know how to protect himself!

Why? Why can’t Bernie protect himself? Because he’s little? Because he’s a beanie? They’re all beanies. But it specifies that he “can’t wait to grow,” so apparently he’s on the way to not being little and/or a beanie? A 2-month-old St. Bernard can already weigh as much as 40 pounds, so I’m unclear why this guy is so little. Too confusing. Too many questions. Too few answers.

Grade: D

Bessie the Cow

Bessie the Cow likes to dance and sing,
Because music is her favorite thing,
Every night when you’re counting sheep,
She’ll sing you a song to put you to sleep.

Well, that’s nice of Bessie! I like this simple ditty in which I am promised a lullaby.

Grade: B+

Blackie the Bear

Living in a national park,
He only played after dark,
Then he met his friend Cubbie,
Now they play when it’s sunny!

Wait, what? What does living in a national park have to do with only playing after dark? And why does his friend Cubbie make it possible to play when it’s sunny? This one raises more questions than it answers.

Grade: D

Blizzard the Tiger

In the mountains where it’s snowy and cold,
Lives a beautiful tiger, I’ve been told,
Black and White, she’s hard to compare,
Of all the tigers, she is most rare.

The rhyme on this is even more of a stretch than most of them. I do like that the author helps me understand what is so special about this particular tiger, but otherwise it’s uninspired.

Grade: C

Bones the Dog

Bones is a dog that loves to chew,
Chairs and a table and a smelly old shoe,
“You’re so destructive” all would shout,
But that all stopped when his teeth fell out.

Oh my goodness! Surprise ending! Bones lost all his teeth? Are we talking baby teeth? Or is he aging? Either way, a dog’s teeth should not be falling out all at once, as this implies. Still, as poems go, this is a winner. A strong narrative, everybody shouting, and a dark ending.

Grade: A

Bongo the Monkey

Bongo the monkey lives in a tree,
He’s the happiest monkey you’ll ever see,
In his spare time he plays the guitar,
One of these days he will be a big star!

This is fine. Bongo sounds committed to the guitar, but clearly has other things going on in his life, which I dig. He’s dreaming big. Good job, Bongo.

Grade: B

Britannia the English Bear

Britannia the bear will sail the sea,
So she can be with you and me,
She’s always sure to catch the tide,
And wear the Union Flag with pride.

Why isn’t Britannia flying? Or at least taking a cruise ship — sailing and waiting for the tide seems like a very inefficient way to come visit me.

Grade: D

Bruno the Dog

Bruno the Dog thinks he’s a brute,
But all the other Beanies think he’s cute,
He growls at his tail and runs in a ring,
And everyone says, “Oh, how Darling!”

Oof, I hate to hit a dog while he’s down, but Bruno sounds like a bit clueless. I can’t tell if “everyone” earnestly thinks he’s darling and they are celebrating him or if they are making fun of the poor guy? Either way, this does not seem worthy of writing an entire poem about. There have to be better and more interesting things to say about Bruno the Dog.

Grade: C-

Bubbles the Fish

All day long Bubbles like to swim,
She never gets tired of flapping her fins,
Bubbles lived in a sea of blue,
Now she is ready to come home with you!

I’d like to talk to Bubbles alone and see if she really, truly “never gets tired of flapping her fins.” Sounds exhausting! And I’m glad she’s ready to come home with me, but isn’t it more important that the person she goes home with is ready for her? Fish aren’t the lowest maintenance of all creatures.

Grade: C

Bucky the Beaver

His teeth are as shiny as can be,
Often used for cutting trees,
He hides in the dam night and day,
Maybe for you he will come out and play.

Oh, Bucky, playing hard to get! I don’t like it. If Bucky wants to play with me, that’s cool, I’ll watch him use his shiny teeth to fell some trees, but this poem is putting a lot of pressure on the both of us. Just let it happen.

Grade: C-

Bumble the Bee

Bumble the bee will not sting you,
It is only love that this bee will bring you,
So don’t be afraid to give this bee a hug,
Because Bumble the bee is a love-bug.

I do not care for anything that’s going on here. Bumblebees are important, and I love them, but I do not want to hug them, and further, I don’t think it’s even possible — they are very small! If it’s true that this bee won’t sting me, then I think we need to get this bee some help. Stinging is an important evolutionary, self-preservational instinct. Don’t let go of it, Bumble!

Grade: D

Chip the Calico Cat

Black and gold, brown and white,
The shades of her coat are quite a sight,
At mixing her colors she was a master,
On anyone else it would be a disaster!

Why would it be a disaster? Black, gold, brown, and white seem like they’d go together fine on a couch or an outfit or a what have you. There are ways to compliment Chip without degrading everyone else who enjoys this particular color scheme.

Grade: D

Chocolate the Moose

Licorice, gum and peppermint candy,
This moose always has these handy,
But there is one more thing he likes to eat,
Can you guess his favorite treat?

Oh, oh, let me guess — ice cream! Did I get it? Just kidding guys, it’s clearly CHOCOLATE. Who can argue with this moose? Other than those who are concerned about the effects of a high-sugar diet like, you know, doctors. But us non-doctors love this guy and his eating habits!

Grade: B

Chops the Lamb

Chops is a little lamb,
This lamb you’re sure to know,
Because every path that you may take,
This lamb is sure to go!

Is it just me or is it a little impolite to name a lamb after the cut of their meat you’d like to eat? As to the constant following, I don’t care for it, I’ll tell you. Let Chops live their own damn life: don’t force them to follow me around and watch me say weird things to my dogs all day. Even if Chops is a follower by choice, I don’t like the idea that EVERY path I take they will follow. I think there are laws against that, Chop. Settle down.

Grade: D

Claude the Crab

Claude the Crab paints by the sea,
A famous artist he hopes to be,
But the tide came in and his paints fell,
Now his art is on his shell.

I’m starting to think these poems are just too deep for me, because I don’t get it. The tide came in, his paints fell, presumably in the ocean, and then he, what, rolled around, or crabbed around or whatever, in the paints? I would think a crab would have a better understanding of the tides than this. Why were his paints out at high tide? And isn’t his outer shell basically just a suitcase? Pop them paints up in there, Claude. You’re not thinking!

Grade: C-

Congo the Gorilla

Black as night and fierce is he,
On the ground or in a tree,
Strong and mighty as the Congo,
He’s related to our friend Bongo!

Ouch. It starts out complimentary, but it turns out that the best thing about Congo is that he’s related to Bongo? At least Bongo got his guitar. Congo gets nothing except being strong — and related to a wanna-be rockstar.

Grade: C-

Coral the Fish

Coral is beautiful, as you know,
Made of colors in the rainbow,
Whether it’s pink, yellow or blue,
These colors were chosen just for you!

Horseshit. Those colors were not chosen “just for” me. Coral is indeed beautiful, as we know, and it can come in many colors, as we know, but they do not change based on my whims. They are not a mood ring.

Grade: D

Crunch the Shark

What’s for breakfast? What’s for lunch?
Yum? Delicious! Munch, munch, munch!
He’s eating everything by the bunch,
That’s the reason we named him Crunch!

Well now, I like Crunch! He’s a hungry boy, eating it all: yum, delicious! I like a dedicated animal, and I like eating, so a poem about an animal that’s dedicated to eating is going to get a good grade from me.

Grade: A-

Cubbie the Bear

Cubbie used to eat crackers and honey,
And what happened to him was funny,
He was stung by fourteen bees,
Now Cubbie eats broccoli and cheese.

I, uh, is that funny?? Getting stung by 14 bees? And what does that have to do with broccoli and cheese? I get that he’d hold off on harvesting honey, what with the bee attack, but he was eating crackers with his honey so presumably he’s shopping at some kind of store — the store he’s getting his broccoli and cheese from! But guess what? Surprise judge bias: broccoli and cheese is one of my favorite food combinations, so this gets an auto-A.

Grade: A

Curly the Bear

A bear so cute with hair that’s curly,
You will love and want him surely,
To this bear always be true,
He will be a friend to you!

I feel like Curly probably has something else going on for him other than this curly hair. Still, this is a sweet poem about what is surely a sweet bear.

Grade: B

Daisy the Cow

Daisy drinks milk each night,
So her coat is shiny and bright,
Milk is good for your hair and your skin,
What a way for your day to begin!

Why did the author switch from talking about Daisy to talking about me? If Daisy is a baby cow then yes, milk is great for her, good job! But now I have to drink Daisy’s mom’s milk? This feels a little preachy. No thanks.

Grade: C-

Derby the Horse

All the other horses used to tattle,
Because Derby never wore his saddle,
He left the stables, and the horses too,
Just so Derby can be with you!

Oh, fuck those snitches. I’m glad Derby got away. Why do the other horses care?? Get lives, horses! Eyes on your own barn!

Grade: B

Digger the Crab

Digging in the sand and walking sideways,
That’s how Digger spends her days,
Hard on the outside but sweet deep inside,
Basking in the sun, riding the tide!

Digger sounds like a lot of fun! Digging, walking sidewalks, hanging ten, sun bathing, living the life! Then it turns out that she’s got layers! She’s vulnerable, yet so steely! Very well-rounded character for a four-line rhyming poem.

Grade: A

Doby the Doberman

This dog is little but he has might,
Keep him close when you sleep at night,
He lays around with nothing to do,
Until he sees it’s time to protect you!

I’d like to see Doby get some hobbies other than looking out for my well-being, but thanks, I guess?

Grade: C

Doodle the Rooster

Listen closely to “Cock-a-doodle-doo”,
What’s the rooster saying to you?
Hurry, wake up sleepy head,
We have lots to do, get out of bed!

Mind your business, Doodle. I don’t care for alarm clocks, living or not.

Grade: D

Dotty the Dalmatian

The Beanies all thought it was a big joke,
While writing her tag, the ink pen broke,
She got in the way and got all spotty,
So now the Beanies call her Dotty!

The Beanies had never heard of a Dalmatian? Really? This story is suspect. I think they named her Dotty because of her dots, duh, and then somebody was like, “Nice name, so clever!” but, you know, sarcastic, and then the Beanies got defensive and were like, “No! No, it’s uh, because this pen, see it broke…”

Grade: D

Early the Robin

Early is a red breasted robin,
For worms he’ll soon be bobbin’,
Known as a sign of spring,
This happy robin loves to sing!

See, Doodle could learn a thing or two from Early. This robin likes to get up early but it doesn’t make it my problem. He just hops around, loving spring, singing, bobbin’ for them worms. Way to be, Robin.

Grade: B+

Ears the Bunny Beanie Baby

Ears the Rabbit

He’s been eating carrots so long,
Didn’t understand what was wrong,
Couldn’t see the board during classes,
Until the doctor gave him glasses.

The final two lines are fine. I get it: couldn’t see, got glasses, makes sense. But what does that have to do with “eating carrots so long”? And then the actual Beanie Baby doesn’t even have glasses! That’s the climax of your poem, guys!

Grade: F

Echo the Dolphin

Echo the dolphin lives in the sea,
Playing with her friends, like you and me,
Through the waves she echoes the sound,
“I’m so glad to have you around!”

Okay, I see what they’re doing here. We’ve got some info on the common ground between me and Echo, good job. We know Echo is popular and she also seems to be able to appreciate my company without *needing* it. I’d hang with Echo.

Grade: B

Erin the Bear

Named after the beautiful Emerald Isle,
This Beanie Baby will make you smile,
A bit of luck, a pot of gold,
Light up the faces, young and old!

Well, this is a little cliche, is it not? There are more exciting things to say about an Irish bear, but I know they’re working to appeal to a broad audience and they only have four lines, so I’ll give them a break.

Grade: C+

Fetch the Golden Retriever

Fetch is alert at the crack of dawn,
Walking through dewdrops on the lawn,
Always golden, loyal and true,
This little puppy is the one for you!

What is with this writer’s obsession with getting up early? Though in this instance, it does sound kind of nice, what with the dewdrops, assuming it’s not super cold out. Fetch sounds fine, though a little dull.

Grade: C

Flash the Dolphin

You know dolphins are a smart breed,
Our friend Flash knows how to read,
Splash the whale is the one who taught her,
Although reading is difficult under the water!

Another dolphin! Is this one of the friends Echo the dolphin’s poem was talking about? Heck no, flash is hanging with the whales, natch. Learning to read from whales, even! What a gal.

Grade: A

Fleece the Lamb

Fleece would like to sing a lullaby,
Please be patient, she’s really shy,
When you sleep, keep her by your ear,
Her song will leave you nothing to fear.

Aw, this worked on me, big time. Fleece, I will be patient as can be. You sing when you want to sing, girl. I appreciate the vulnerability.

Grade: A

Flip the White Cat

Flip the cat is an acrobat,
She loves playing on her mat,
This cat flips with such grace and flair,
She can somersault in midair.

Flip seems a bit one-note, but also seems to excel in her field, so I can’t hate. I certainly can’t somersault in midair!

Grade: B

Floppity the Lavender Bunny

Floppity hops from here to there,
Search for eggs without a care,
Lavender coat from head to toe,
All dressed up and nowhere to go!

I thought the Easter bunny HID eggs. Does Floppity work for the Easter bunny, searching for eggs? I would think if that was their job, they’d do it with a care, though maybe they’re just bad at their job? I like the idea of a lavender coat, unless it’s literally made out of lavender, which seems like it could be difficult for people with allergies to put up with.

Grade: B-

Fortune the Panda

Nibbling on a bamboo tree,
This little panda is hard to see.
You’re so lucky with this one you found,
Only a few are still around!

Another surprise depressing one! First, they’re like, no, Fortune is just hard to see, and then they spring it on you: actually, pandas are hard to see because they’re nearly extinct due to habitat loss and poaching — neat!

Grade: A

Freckles the Leopard

From the tree he hunts his prey,
In the night and in the day,
He’s the king of the camouflage,
Look real close, he’s no mirage!

Oh ho ho, nice try, no thank you, I am not going to “look real close” at this leopard that you’ve just told me spends night and day hunting his damn prey. No thank you, bad advice!

Grade: F

Garcia the Tie-Dyed Bear

The Beanies used to follow him around,
Because Garcia traveled from town to town,
He’s pretty popular as you can see,
Some even say he’s legendary.

I’m not the hugest Grateful Dead fan, but I do like people who are extremely into things, and Deadheads are extremely into the Grateful Dead, so I like that about them. This bear seems peaceful, popular, and fun enough.

Grade: B

Gigi the Poodle

Prancing and dancing all down the street,
Thinking her hairdo is oh so neat,
Always so careful in the wind and rain,
She’s a dog that is anything but plain!

There’s two ways to read this. One, Gigi has a terrible haircut and is just “thinking” her hairdo is oh so neat. The other is that she’s just a confident pooch. I’ll assume the latter and I love that she’s nothing but plain. Get it, Gigi!

Grade: B

Glory the USA Bear

Oh say can you see,
Glory’s proud of her country,
Born on Independence Day,
This bear lives in the USA!

Hard pass.

Grade: I

Gobbles the Turkey

Gobbles the turkey loves to eat,
Once a year she has a feast,
I have a secret I’d like to divulge,
If she eats too much her tummy will bulge!

Who gives a shit if her tummy bulges? Why are we having a conversation about this? And then framing it like a dirty “secret.” Gobbles, you can have a feast every day: fuck these tummy-bulge shamers.

Grade: F

Goldie the Fish

She’s got the rhythm, she’s got the soul,
What more could you want in a fishbowl,
Through the sound waves Goldie swam,
Because this goldfish likes to jam.

What more could I want in a fishbowl other than rhythm and soul? Water maybe? A couple of rocks? A castle?

Grade: D

Gracie the Swan

As a duckling, she was confused,
Birds on the lake were quite amused,
Poking fun until she would cry,
Now the most beautiful swan at Ty!

Okay, so the takeaway here is that she used to be ugly and everyone would laugh at her, but lucky her she got pretty? Shouldn’t the lesson be that we throw rocks at the birds on the lake who poked fun until poor Gracie cried?

Grade: F

Grunt the Razorback Beanie Baby

Grunt the Razorback

Some Beanies think that Grunt is tough,
No surprise, he’s scary enough,
But if you take him home you’ll see,
Grunt is the sweetest Beanie Baby!

I’m not clear on why he’s scary. Is he supposed to looks scary? He’s a little red dude. But regardless, I’m not taking home any dude if all you can tell me about him is that people think he’s tough and rough but once you’re home, we’ll be real sweet. No thank you.

Grade: D

Happy the Hippopotamus

Happy the hippo loves to wade,
In the river and in the shade,
When Happy shoots water out of his snout,
You’ll know he’s happy without a doubt!

This doesn’t track. I mean, I guess he’s happy to have that water out of his snout because I’m sure it gets annoying, but I don’t think water-blowing is a sign of happiness in hippos.

Grade: D

Hippity the Mint Bunny

Hippity is a cute little bunny,
Dressed in green, he looks quite funny,
Twitching his nose in the air,
Sniffing a flower here and there!

I don’t mind a straightforward poem. Cute, dressed in green, looks funny, twitchy nose, got it. If that sums up Hippity the Mint Bunny, then they’ve done a great job.

Grade: B

Hissy the Snake

Curled and coiled and ready to play,
He waits for you patiently everyday.
He’ll keep his best friend, but not his skin,
Then stay with you through thick and thin!

Are snakes playful? Are animals named “hissy” playful? Does this poem sound sort of like hissy wants to kill me? And then stick with my dead body? Not into it.

Grade: F

Hoot the Owl

Late to bed, late to rise,
Nevertheless, Hoot’s quite wise,
Studies by candlelight, nothing new,
Like a president, do you know who?

Finally! A Beanie Baby that burns the midnight oil! I’m not that into the “Hey, he stays up late and gets up late…yet’s still wise, can you believe it?!” aspect and I don’t know why we’re bringing presidents into it (another hard pass).

Grade: C+

Hoppity the Pink Bunny

Hopscotch is what she likes to play,
If you don’t join in, she’ll hop away,
So play a game if you have the time,
She likes to play, rain or shine.

Screw you, Hoppity. If I won’t immediately play the game you want, you’re going to hop away? This seems unjust.

Grade: F

Iggy the Iguana

Sitting on a rock, basking in the sun,
Is this iguana’s idea of fun.
Towel and glasses, book and beach chair,
His life is so perfect, without care.

Oh fuck yeah! Iggy, you’re the best. Reading, napping, getting a little sun, this fellow is living his best life.

Grade: A+

Inch the Inchworm

Inch the worm is a friend of mine,
He goes so slow all the time,
Inching around from here to there,
Traveling the world without a care.

As he should! If he’s such a friend of yours, as you claim, narrator, then why are you running around town complaining about how slow he is? Give him a minute; he’ll catch up.

Grade: D

Inky the Octopus

Inky’s head is big and round,
As he swims he makes no sound,
If you need a hand, don’t hesitate,
Inky can help because he has eight!

I would feel better about the offer of Inky’s extra hands if it was coming from Inky. Is he on board? Or are people just always assuming that because he has so many hands he should be available to help all the time? Because I’ll bet he’s got other things to do with that big, round head of his.

Grade: C

Jabber the Parrot

Teaching Jabber to move his beak,
A large vocabulary he now can speak,
Jabber will repeat what you say,
Teach him a new word everyday.

Is teaching a bird to speak really about showing them how to move their beak? No, of course it isn’t! They speak by modifying the airflow over their syrinx. So these people are over there thrusting Jabber’s beak here and there, no idea what they’re doing.

Grade: F

Jake the Mallard Duck

Jake the drake likes to splash in a puddle,
Take him home and give him a cuddle.
Quack, Quack, Quack, he will say,
He’s so glad you’re here to play!

So the only things I know about this mallard are that he’s likely wet from splashing in puddles and he quacks incessantly. I’m going to go ahead and pass on the offered cuddling.

Grade: C

Jolly the Walrus

Jolly the walrus is not very serious,
He laughs and laughs until he’s delirious,
He often reminds me of my dad,
Always happy, never sad!

Delirious: “in an acutely disturbed state of mind resulting from illness or intoxication.” Does that seem like too much laughing?

Grade: C for concerned

Kiwi the Toucan

Kiwi waits for the April showers,
Watching a garden bloom with flowers,
There trees grow with fruit that’s sweet,
I’m sure you’ll guess his favorite treat!

I’m tired of these people making me guess about these Babies’ favorite treats. I’d like more specificity than “sweet fruit” because that’s basically all fruits except avocado and tomatoes? Don’t @ me if there are others.

Grade: C

Kuku the Cockatoo

This fancy bird loves to converse,
He talks in poems, rhythms and verse,
So take him home and give him some time,
You’ll be surprised how he can rhyme.

I’m actually not surprised by how he can rhyme, because you gave away that secret in the second sentence. But he sounds pretty delightful anyway, I’ll take him home and give him some time, sure.

Grade: B

Lefty the Donkey

Donkeys to the left, elephants to the right,
Often seems like a crazy sight,
This whole game seems very funny,
Until you realize they’re spending your money!

Grade: F

Legs the Frog

Legs lives in a hollow log,
Legs likes to play leap frog,
If you like to hang out at the lake,
Legs will be the new friend you make!

Again, lazy rhyming. Boring name. But I admit, I’ll be looking for this hopping fellow the next time I hang out at the lake.

Grade: C

Libearty the American Bear

I am called Libearty,
I wear the flag for all to see,
Hope and freedom is my way,
That’s why I wear my flag USA.

Boo, hiss.

Grade: F

Lizzy the Lizard

Lizzy loves Legs the Frog,
She hides with him under logs,
Both of them search for flies,
Underneath the clear blue skies.

Oh, Legs has a lady friend! And they share flies! I like this pairing.

Grade: B

Lucky the Ladybug

Lucky the ladybug loves the lotto,
“Someone must win” that’s her motto,
But save your dimes and even a penny,
Don’t spend on the lotto and you’ll have many!

Well, Lucky’s motto is inaccurate, there are plenty of no-winner Wednesdays. But the idea that if I save the dimes and pennies I don’t spend on lotto, I will have many is inaccurate as I currently spend zero. I get their point, but do we need to preach to children about the lottery?

Grade: D

Magic the Dragon

Magic the dragon lives in a dream,
The most beautiful that you have ever seen,
Through magic lands she likes to fly,
Look up and watch her, way up high!

Lives in a dream! Now that’s some poetic language. I love beautiful dragons (and also ugly dragons and dragons in between) and this is just a lovely little pointless poem.

Grade: A-

Manny the Manatee

Manny is sometimes called a sea cow,
She likes to twirl and likes to bow,
Manny sure is glad you bought her,
Because it’s so lonely underwater!

Can manatees bow? I guess so. Well, my lady Manny the manatee, you sound delightful, and I’m so sorry you’re so lonely underwater.

Grade: B

Maple the Canadian Bear

Maple the bear likes to ski,
With his friends, he plays hockey,
He loves his pancakes and eats every crumb,
Can you guess which country he’s from?

His country is right in this name so yes, I can guess that he’s from Canada. I get that this is all very stereotypical Canadian stuff, but I love everything maple flavored, and I assume that includes this Beanie Baby.

Grade: B+

Mel the Koala

How do you name koala bear?,
It’s rather tough, I do declare!,
It confuses me, I get in a funk,
I’ll name him Mel, (after my favorite hunk!)

Oh, now this one is just terrifying. I assume they mean ’90s hunk Mel Gibson? I’d love it if they meant Mel Brooks!

Grade: D

Mystic the Unicorn

Once upon a time in a land far away,
A baby unicorn was born one day in May,
Keep Mystic with you, she’s a prize,
You’ll see the magic in her blue eyes.

I can’t even complain about this one: it’s too boring.

Grade: C

Nanook the Husky Dog

Nanook is a dog that loves weather,
To him a sled is as light as a feather,
Over the snow and through the slush,
He runs at hearing the cry of “mush!”

Actual laugh out loud at the idea that this dog is somehow unusual for loving weather. There is always weather! All the time! It’s in constant existence!

Grade: D

Nip the Gold Cat

His name is Nipper, but we call him Nip,
His best friend is a black cat named Zip,
Nip likes to run in races for fun,
He runs so fast he’s always number one!

Nip needs some additional hobbies and maybe at least one additional friend who perhaps does not have a name that rhymes with him.

Grade: D

Nuts the Squirrel

With his bushy tail, he’ll scamper up a tree,
The most cheerful critter you’ll ever see,
He’s nuts about nuts, and he loves to chat,
Have you ever seen a squirrel like that?

What does his tail have to do with him scampering up the tree? And yes, I have seen squirrels who like nuts and who make a lot of noise.

Grade: C-

Patti the Platypus

Ran into Patti one day while walking,
Believe me she wouldn’t stop talking!,
Listened and listened to her speak,
That would explain her extra large beak!

It seems like whenever a poem is about how much an animal talks it’s cool if it’s a dude but VERY ANNOYING if it’s a lady animal. And once again, your beak doesn’t have anything to do with talking/how much you talk.

Grade: D

Peace the Tie-Dyed Bear

All races, all colors, under the sun,
Join hands together and have some fun,
Dance to the music, rock and roll is the sound,
Symbols of peace and love abound!

Okay. Well. Oof. So I’m sure they meant well, right? But I haven’t heard many racial equality activists begging for people to just hold hands and dance more so I’m not sure how helpful this is. Probably more helpful than handing a Pepsi to a cop, though, so there’s that.

Grade: D-

Peanut the Elephant

Peanut the elephant walks on tip-toes,
Quietly sneaking wherever she goes,
She’ll sneak up on you and a hug you will get,
Peanut is a friend you won’t soon forget.

Oh, a sneaky elephant friend, yes please! I’m not that into sneaky hugs though, so Peanuts and I will need to have a chat about consent.

Grade: B

Pinchers the Lobster

This lobster loves to pinch,
Eating his food inch by inch,
Balancing carefully with his tail,
Moving forward slow as a snail.

Ouch, I would not like Pinchers to pinch me, please. This poem also led me to google “Do lobsters use their tails to balance?” The answer is no, no they do not. In fact, they use their tails to propel themselves when in danger. So basically the opposite of what this poem describes.

Grade: F

Pinky the Flamingo

Pinky loves the Everglades,
From the hottest pink she’s made,
With floppy legs and a
big orange beak,
She’s the Beanie that you seek!

Very surface, shallow poem here. What I’ve learned is the colors that Pinky is made up of and that she loves Florida, gross. (I am allowed to say this, having lived for several years in Florida.)

Grade: D-

A photo of Pouch Beanie Baby

Pouch the Kangaroo

My little pouch is handy I’ve found,
It helps me carry my baby around,
I hop up and down without any fear,
Knowing my baby is safe and near.

That does sound quite handy! Especially as an animal that lives out in the wild with a bunch of other animals that want to eat it.

Grade: B

Pounce the Cat

Sneaking and slinking down the hall,
to pounce upon a fluffy yarn ball.
Under the table, around the chairs,
Though the rooms and down the stairs!

Very nice poem, bravo! Action-packed. Not a lot of emotion here, but I believe that’s a deliberate move.

Grade: A

Prance the Cat

She darts around and swats the air,
Then looks confused when nothing’s there.
Pick her up and pet her soft fur,
Listen closely and you’ll hear her purr!

Another clueless animal to go with that dog that whips and chases his tail around. But watching a cat be silly and then petting it is I think what people like about cats.

Grade: B

Princess the Purple Bear

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.

I remember this one coming out — it was to commemorate Princess Diana after her death. I was a bit of a Diana fangirl in my early teens, and I don’t think this cheesy, lazy poem does a very good job of conveying what she meant to the world.

Grade: D

Puffer the Puffin

What in the world does a puffin do?,
We’re sure that you would like to know too.
We asked Puffer how she spends her days,
Before she answered, she flew away!

Good for her! Puffer don’t owe you shit, nosy poem-writing lady. Puffer doesn’t speak for all puffins! She was probably busy doing puffin stuff and didn’t have time to answer your boring questions.

Grade: A for Puffer; F for the poem lady

Pugsly the Pug Dog

Pugsly is picky about what he will wear,
Never a spot, a stain or a tear,
Image is something of which he’ll gloat,
Until he noticed his wrinkled coat!

I don’t care for the name of this animal/poem. Pugsly the Pug Dog seems like overkill, no? Like just Pugsly the Dog or Pugsly the Pug would have worked. Pugsly the Pug Dog: too much. And this particular pug dog sounds like a bit of an asshole, though I was glad to see him taken down a peg in the end.

Grade: C

Quackers the Duck

There is a duck by the name of Quackers,
Every night he eats animal crackers,
He swims in a lake that’s clear and blue,

But he’ll come to shore to be with you!

Quackers is a great name. Theoretically I like the idea that this duck is eating animal crackers every night, but in real life, I imagine animal crackers cause this same kind of issues that you get when you feed ducks bread. His lake sounds lovely, so I’m not sure why he’s coming to shore to be with me, unless he’s in need of those sweet, sweet crackers.

Grade: B

Radar the Bat

Radar the bat flies late at night,
He can soar to an amazing height,
If you see something as high as a star,
Take a good look, it might be Radar!

This is better than the other bat poem in that it doesn’t immediately shame bats or allude to them being scary. That said, it does set up unrealistic expectations re: how high bats can fly.

Grade: C

Rainbow the Chameleon

Red, green, blue and yellow,
This chameleon is a colorful fellow.
A blend of colors, his own unique hue,
Rainbow was made especially for you!

Chameleons are famous for changing color to match their surrounding. This is in direct conflict with the idea this poem puts forth, which is that the chameleon has “his own unique hue.”

Grade: D

Righty the Elephant

Donkeys to the left, elephants to the right,
Often seems like a crazy sight,
This whole game seems very funny,
Until you realize they’re spending your money!

Hard pass, boo, hiss, etc.

Grade: F

Ringo the Raccoon

Ringo hides behind his mask,
He will come out if you should ask,
He loves to chitter, he loves to chatter,
Just about anything, it doesn’t matter!

Once again, when have a chattering MALE animal and it’s presented as so cute that he loves to chitter chatter! While women who chatter are nags! I hate it.

Grade: F

Roary the Lion

Deep in the jungle they crowned him king,
But being brave is not his thing,
A cowardly lion some may say,
He hears his roar and runs away!

It seems reasonable to me that every animal should be afraid when it hears a lion roar. I get that it’s his own roar, but it still seems to me like his powers of self-preservation are high, and that’s not “cowardly.” It’s just smart!

Grade: D

Rocket the Bluejay

Rocket is the fastest blue jay ever,
He flies in all sorts of weather,
Aerial tricks are his specialty,
He’s so entertaining for you and me!

Are blue jays known for being fast? Is this is an exciting thing about him? Also, don’t all birds fly in all sorts of weather? They have those water-wicking wings, right? And then “aerial tricks are his specialty.” He’s a bird? All birds who have tricks likely have aerial tricks? I’m not sure he’d be so entertaining for you and me as this writer thinks he would be.

Grade: D

Rover the Red Dog

This dog is red and his name is Rover,
If you call him, he is sure to come over,
He barks and plays with all of his might,
But worry not, he won’t bite!

I like the way this poem sounds if you ignore the annoying words. I have several big dogs and I can tell you that if they are barking and playing with all of their might, you should worry. They will not bite, but at full might, they’re at least knocking the kitchen table over.

Grade: C

Scoop the Pelican

All day long he scoops up fish,
To fill his bill, is his wish,
Diving fast and diving low,
Hoping these fish are very slow!

Heck yeah, Scoop! Get those fish, fill that bill! Great technique — fast and low seems smart and hoping for slow fish is a good use of hope.

Grade: A

Scottie the Terrier

Scottie is a friendly sort,
Even though his legs are short,
He is always happy as can be,
His best friends are you and me!

I’ve never even met this dog, so if I am one of his best friends, I’m a little sad for him. Though he’s apparently happy as can be, so that’s good. There’s some subtle short-leg shaming in here that I could do without.

Grade: C

Seamore the Seal

Seamore is a little white seal,
Fish and clams are her favorite meal,
Playing and laughing in the sand,
She’s the happiest seal in the land!

I’m learning about myself that I really enjoy an animal that is food motivated. Which is only, what, like 99% of animals? Seamore in particular seems great. She’s just playing, laughing, not giving a shit about anything but munching on those fish and claims.

Grade: A

Seaweed Beanie Baby

Seaweed the Otter

Seaweed is what she likes to eat,
It’s supposed to be a delectable treat,
Have you tried the treat from the water?,
If you haven’t maybe you “otter!”

Immediate F for the bad otter pun and another one for scare-quoting the pun.

Grade: Double F

Sly the Fox

Sly is a fox and tricky is he,
Please don’t chase him, let him be,
If you want him, just say when,
He’ll peek out from his den.

I appreciate the request to not chase the guy and just let him live his life, and I’ve got nothing against a tricky animal.

Grade: B

Smoochy the Frog

Is he a frog or maybe a prince?,
This confusion makes him wince,
Find the answer, help him with this,
Be the one to give him a kiss!

Based on the very little I know about Smoochy, I feel terrible for him. Did he ask for these kisses? I don’t know if it’s the confusion the makes him wince so much as the idea that he’s a prince at all. What evidence do we have that he’s not just a frog everybody is harassing all the time?

Grade: F

Snip the Cat

Snip the cat is Siamese,
She’ll be your friend if you please,
So toss her a toy and a piece of string,
Playing with you is her favorite thing.

Okay, fair enough: Snip likes playing with toys and string. That seems appropriately cat-like. The suggestion to befriend her involves playing her favorite games with her. I’m on board.

Grade: B

Snort the Bull

Although Snort is not so tall,
He loves to play basketball,
He is a star player in his dreams,
Can you guess his favorite team?

Again with the guessing, just knock it off. Also, once again, short-shaming. This one is actually relevant, because most b-ball players are generally tall, though not all of them. I love that Snort loves basketball, and I love that he’s dreaming big, even though at least one shitty poet doesn’t believe in him.

Grade: A for Snort, C for the poem

Snowball the Snowman

There is a snowman, I’ve been told,
That plays with Beanies out in the cold,
What is better out in a winter wonderland,
Than a Beanie Snowman in your hand!

Hmm, gloves maybe? Hot cocoa? Coffee? A person’s warm hand? I could think of maybe one million things that are better in the winter wonderland that a Beanie Snowman in my hand.

Grade: D

Sparky the Dalmatian

Sparky rides proud on the firetruck,
Ringing the bell and pushing his luck,
He gets underfoot when trying to help,
He often gets stepped on and lets out a yelp!

This guy is bad news for everyone, including himself. You’ve got firefighters just stepping all over him, presumably falling down themselves as this dog just runs loose in the firehouse. It’s not that hard to train a dog!

Grade: D

Speedy the Turtle

Speedy ran marathons in the past,
Such a shame, always last,
Now Speedy is a big star,
After he bought a racing car.

What’s shameful about coming in last in a marathon? He ran a marathon! This is a huge accomplishment! But ya’ll shamed him so much that he went out and got a stupid racing car. What happens when he gets spooked and his head, legs, and feet all suck back into the shell? A racing car collision is what happens!

Grade: F

Spike the Rhino

Spike the rhino loves to stampede,
He’s the bruiser that you need,
Gentle to birds on his back and spike,
You can be his friend if you like!

I’m not sure if I like at all. It’s nice that he’s gentle with birds, but what about me? Is he a bruiser with humans? I wouldn’t blame him, but I also wouldn’t be his friend.

Grade: C

Spinner the Spider

Does this spider make you scared?,
Among many people that feeling is shared,
Remember that spiders have feelings too,
In fact, this spider really likes you!

Spiders, like bats, are very important for the ecosystem, but I do understand why people are sometimes scared of them. I don’t think they have feelings, and even if they did, I don’t think that means I can’t be afraid of them? There are much more compelling pro-spider arguments to be made. Nice try, but poor execution.

Grade: D

Splash the Orca Whale

Splash loves to jump and dive,
He’s the fastest whale alive,
He always wins the 100-yard dash,
With a victory jump he’ll make a splash.

Jumping and diving have nothing to do with dashing. Dashing has nothing to do with swimming. I don’t believe that this whale always wins the 100-yard dash — I don’t even believe he’s ever taken part in one. Nice try.

Grade: D

Spooky the Ghost

Ghosts can be a scary sight,
But don’t let Spooky bring you any fright,
Because when you’re alone, you will see,
The best friend that Spooky can be!

Trying to scare me again? Well, it worked! Telling me not to let him bring me any fright is not helpful. He’s a ghost. He needs to leave me alone. I do not need a ghost best friend. Do you know how many animal best friends I have after reading all these poems?

Grade: D

Spot the Dog

See Spot sprint, see Spot run,
You and Spot can have lots of fun,
Watch out now, because he’s not slow,
Just stand back and watch him go!

But can Spot beat a whale in a 100-yard dash?? This is what we need to know.

Grade: C

Spunky the Cocker Spaniel

Bouncing around without much grace,
To jump on your lap and lick your face,
But watch him closely, he has no fears,
He’ll run so fast, he’ll trip over his ears!

Oh man, three-way 100-yard dash between cocker spaniel, Spot the unidentified type of dog, and a whale. I don’t think Spunky has much of a chance unless he ties his ears back.

Grade: C

Squealer the Pig

Squealer likes to joke around,
He is known as the class clown,
Listen to his stories for a while,
There is no doubt he will make you smile!

I don’t mind a friendly class clown, and I’ve been known to like to listen to a story or two, so Squealer is A-OK in my book.

Grade: B

Sting the Stingray

I’m a manta ray and my name is Sting,
I’m quite unusual and this is the thing,
Under the water I glide like a bird,
Have you ever seen something so absurd?

I have, yes. I like that this poem is from Sting’s point of view, even if he does seem to have an inflated sense of self.

Grade: B

Stinger the Scorpion

Stinger the scorpion will run and dart,
But this little fellow is really all heart,
So if you see him don’t run away,
Say hello and ask him to play!

No. No, I will not be asking Stinger to play. He can go run and dart in the whale/dog 100-yard dash.

Grade: D

Stinky the Skunk

Deep in the woods he lived in a cave,
Perfume and mints were the gifts he gave,
He showered every night in the kitchen sink,
Hoping one day he wouldn’t sink!

I feel like the author has a deep misunderstanding of the issue with skunks and stinking.

Grade: D

Stretch the Ostrich

She thinks when her head is underground,
The rest of her body can’t be found.,
The Beanie Babies think it’s absurd,
To play hide and seek with this bird!

After having read about most of these Beanie Babies, I think it’s pretty rich of them to call this ostrich absurd. Maybe this gal doesn’t think no one can see her — she just knows when to give up and doesn’t need to see it coming.

Grade: D

Stripes the Tiger

Stripes was never fierce nor strong,
So with tigers, he didn’t get along,
Jungle life was hard to get by,
So he came to his friends at Ty.

That last line is rough. I’m not sure I buy this story. It seems like there are plenty of posturing, tough tigers — surely there has to be a role for a pacifist tiger to play?

Grade: D

Strut the Rooster

Listen closely to a “Cock-a-doodle-doo”,
What’s the rooster saying to you?,
Hurry, wake up sleepy head,
We have lots to do, get out of bed!

Wait just a minute! This is the same poem Doodle got.

Grade: P for plagiarism

Tabasco the Bull

Although Tabasco is not so tall,
He loves to play basketball,
He is a star player in his dreams,
Can you guess his favorite team?

Okay, this is another knockoff, this time from Snort.

Grade: P for plagiarism

Tank the Armadillo

This armadillo lives in the South,
Shoving Tex-Mex in his mouth,
He sure loves it south of the border,
Keeping his friends in good order!

The whole thing about Tex-Mex is that it’s north of the border though. If he’s chilling south of the border, wouldn’t he just like Mexican food?

Grade: D

1997 Teddy the Holiday Bear

Beanie Babies are special no doubt,
All filled with love — inside and out,
Wishes for fun times filled with joy,
Ty’s holiday teddy is a magical toy!

Simple little ditty for a holiday bear. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it.

Grade: C+

Teddy the Bear

Teddy wanted to go out today,
All his friends went out to play,
But he’d rather help whatever you do,
After all, his best friend is you!

Again with the co-dependency. Teddy, you can be best friends with someone and still hang out with your other friends.

Grade: D

Tracker the Basset Hound

Sniffing and tracking and following trails,
Tracker the basset always wags his tail,
It doesn’t matter what you do,
He’s always happy when he’s with you!

It doesn’t matter what I do? So if I throw Tracker off the roof, he still loves me? That doesn’t seem healthy. Yeah, yeah, unconditional love, but there are limits, Tracker. Don’t sell yourself short!

Grade: C

Tuffy the Terrier

Taking off with a thunderous blast,
Tuffy rides his motorcycle fast,
The Beanies roll with laughs & squeals,
He never took off his training wheels!

Oh, Tuffy! This is maybe the thousandth time the Beanies have laughed at someone’s bad luck, but I think this is the first time that they’ve laughed in a potentially dangerous situation. Tuffy was so damn excited about his motorcycle that he takes off with his trainers on. It’s sweet, but also perhaps a sign that Tuffy isn’t quite mature enough to ride a motorbike.

Grade: D

Tusk the Walrus

Tusk brushes his teeth everyday,
To keep them shiny, it’s the only way,
Teeth are special, so you must try,
And they will sparkle when you say “Hi!”

Curious to know why Tusk only seems to brush once daily when at least twice daily is recommended for humans. I get that there’s a difference between tusks and teeth, but he specifies that he’s brushing his teeth. Also, it’s good to encourage kids to brush their chompers, but setting them up with the idea that their teeth will sparkle if they do seems like a bad choice.

Grade: D

Twigs the Giraffe

Twigs has his head in the clouds,
He stands tall, he stands proud,
With legs so skinny they wobble and shake,
What an unusual friend he will make!

Is Twigs okay? I know that giraffes have long legs, but I don’t think they’re supposed to be so skinny that they wobble and shake.

Grade: F

Valentino the Valentine Bear

His heart is red and full of love,
He cares for you so give him a hug,
Keep him close when feeling blue,
Feel the love he has for you!

Well this seems healthier, I think? Or have I just read so many of these damn poems that I’ve lost hold on what’s healthy and what’s not? They’re indicating that he is open to hugging because he likes me, which seems like a good reason to hug a person. And when I’m feeling sad I can just feel his love. There’s no, “He’ll fix you right up!” but rather he’ll just be there to feel your feels with you.

Grade: A

Velvet the Panther

Velvet loves to sleep in the trees,
Lulled to dreams by the buzz by the bees,
She snoozes all day and plays all night,
Running and jumping in the moonlight!

Finally! A nocturnal animal that’s not shamed for it! In fact, they make it sound quite fun to be a panther jumping around in the night. Bravo!

Grade: A

Waddle the Penguin

Waddle the penguin likes to dress up,
Every night he wears his tux,
When Waddle walks it never fails,
He always trips over his tails!

More tripping animals. I think these Beanies need a tailor.

Grade: C

Waves the Whale

Join him today on the internet,
Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet,
He taught all the Beanies how to surf,
Our web page is his home turf.

For its time, this was pretty clever, I think. I was alive and high-schooling in the late ’90s when this was written, and surfing the web was far from normalized quite yet. I mean, we had internet in our house, but it was still hilarious to see what we considered an “old person” using a computer or cell phone.

Grade: B+

Weenie the Dachshund

Weenie the dog is quite a sight,
Long of body and short of height,
He perches himself high on a log,
And considers himself to be a top dog!

Okay, this guy has a disadvantage because of his height. While I’d prefer to see him just embrace it and tell the naysayers to bug off, I can respect that he’s finding a “solution” to his shortness by getting up high. Still, someone tell him that he can still be top dog if he’s short! He could stand to get a new name, though.

Grade: B

Whisper the Deer

She’s very shy as you can see,
When she hides behind a tree,
With big brown eyes and soft to touch,
This little fawn will love you so much!

Why will she love me so much? She’s standing behind a tree, scared of me (I don’t blame her), and then out of nowhere she loves me so much? This is unhealthy!

Grade: D

Wise the Owl

With A’s and B’s he’ll always pass,
Wise is the head of the class,
He’s got his diploma and feels really great,
Meet the newest graduate: Class of 98.

First of all, I am also the class of ’98. Great job Wise, we’re pals! But also, I don’t buy that he’s both the head of the class and getting A’s and B’s.

Grade: Not an A or B

Wrinkles the Dog

This little dog is named Wrinkles,
His nose is soft and often crinkles,
Likes to climb up on your lap,
He’s a cheery sort of chap!

My puppy Maud also likes to climb up on my lap and it can be quite annoying as she’s large and not very dainty about getting her cuddles, but I think Wrinkles and his crinkly nose is perhaps a little gentler about it? Let’s hope so.

Grade: C

Ziggy the Zebra

Ziggy likes soccer, he’s a referee,
That way he watches the games for free,
The other Beanies don’t think it’s fair,
But Ziggy the Zebra doesn’t care.

I’m hoping Ziggy is getting more than a free game to referee. He’s providing labor and should be compensated accordingly. That’s what’s not fair! These Beanies are really not very supportive of each other.

Grade: D

Zip the Black Cat

Keep Zip by your side all day through,
Zip is good luck, you’ll see it’s true,
When you have something you need to do,
Zip will always believe in you!

I just wish the Beanies were as supportive of each other as they are of me, damn.

Grade: C

So there you go. Lots and lots of thoughts on lots and lots of Beanie Baby tag poems. What did I learn from this experience? I learned that I do not like clingy Babies. I learned that I do not like political and/or patriotic Babies. And I learned that the bar for writing Beanie Babies tag poems is extremely low.