A wall hanging made by Kellogg's to display the Sesame Street mini beans.

In 1997, Tyco produced a set of 24 beanie-style Sesame Street plush, under the name Sesame Street Beans. The set was the Sesame version of the Beanie Babies fad, which was at its height at the time. The "collectible" aspect of the Beanie Baby fad depended on having a large number of items in the set, with some more common than others. To fill out the set to include 24 different Beans, a number of minor characters were produced as plush toys for the first time, including Barkley, Benny Rabbit, Guy Smiley, the Amazing Mumford and Telly Monster.

The toys varied between 6 and 10 inches in size; most were about 9 inches. Each Bean came with a tag which included facts about the character.

A TV commercial for the toys featured Elmo, a Honker, and Herry Monster.

Mini beans

Smaller versions of the toys (called "mini beans") were sold in Singapore in 1999 as a McDonald's Happy Meal promotion.

In 2000, Kellogg's cereals packaged the mini beans in cereal boxes. The promotion spanned six different cereals -- Kellogg's Smacks, Rice Krispies, Corn Pops, Apple Jacks, Frosted Flakes, and Marshmallow Blasted Froot Loops -- and each of the six cereals was assigned four toys from the set. Because the customer didn't know which toy was in the cereal box, collecting the full set of 24 required buying (and presumably eating) dozens of boxes of sugar cereal. (Customers could also send 24 UPC codes from the boxes and mail them to Kellogg's for a full set of Beans.)

Kellogg's Sesame promotion marked the company's return to "in-pack premiums", which it had dropped in 1995. At the time, the Sesame Beans were the highest-value premium in the company's history. [1]

The Kellogg's promotion also included a "collector's edition" Corn Flakes box, with a picture of Big Bird and a logo commemorating Sesame Street's 30th anniversary.


  1. "Boxing Days", Promo Magazine. January 1, 2000.
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