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KICKS™ & Wynton – the ultimate soccer duo

25 June 2002

Soccer fans and Beanie Babies® collectors around the world now have the opportunity to own one of the world’s hottest collector’s items – KICKS™ - a Beanie Baby® autographed by Oceania Player of the Century, Wynton Rufer.

KICKS™ the signed Beanie is now available for auction on With the FIFA World Cup now well underway – soccer fans the world over will be keen to own one of these rare Beanie Babies®, at the same time supporting the work of one of Australasia’s most illustrious football players.

The proceeds from the auction will go to Wynton’s own organization – WYNRS (the Wynton Rufer School of Excellence). Established as a way of providing local children with expert advice, WYNRS runs a series of programmes that aim to inspire and challenge young soccer players, help them improve their football skills and encourage them to enjoy playing the game that is followed by more fans around the world than any other sport.

KICKS™ is a great looking Beanie Baby®. Released in time for the 1998 soccer world cup, the now ‘retired’ bear is now sought after by collectors around the world. He sports a soccer ball on his chest and has the softest green fur. He’s cute, cuddly and a fitting gift for any football fan (of any age).

Wynton Rufer is by far New Zealand’s most successful footballer. In a nation renowned for it’s All Blacks and rugby fans, Wynton has inspired a generation of budding soccer stars. Since beginning his international career in the early 1980s, at the age of 18, he has played alongside some of the games elite - playing for clubs in England, Switzerland and Germany. He then spent six years with Werder Bremen in Germany, and two years with the Japanese Pro-League. During his career in Europe he was part of the team that won the German Championship Cup in 1992 and 1993, and the European Cup in 1992 and 1994. He was also a member of the legendary 1982 All Whites, New Zealand’s most successful national soccer team who made it to the World Cup that year. He currently serves on the 18-member FIFA Players Committee, alongside Pelé, Beckenbauer, Charlton, and Platini.

Beanie Babies® have been auctioned for charity around the world. The record for a signed bear is US$50,000 – amazing when you think that these cute and cuddly collectibles retail for just NZ$17.95.

An American concept since 1993, Beanie Babies® have become collector’s items worldwide and are popular with kids and adults alike. Extremely soft and original in design each Beanie has a name, birth-date and poem which are printed on the Ty tag attached to one ear. The unique collections of plush toys have taken the Ty brand into the arms and hearts of children and adults everywhere.

Beanie Babies® are available from selected gift, toy and specialty stores throughout New Zealand and cost only NZ$17.95.

Information on Ty and Beanie Babies® can also be found on and


Fact Sheet

Beanie Babies® – more than just another soft toy.

 Beanie Babies®, a collection of plush toys, are manufactured by Ty Inc and have been available worldwide since 1993.

 Beanie Babies® were introduced to New Zealand and Australia in November 2001.

 In early 2002, Ty launched the Pacific Flower Collection – a series of country exclusive Beanie Babies®. Following the launch, ‘Ferny’ (NZ) and ‘Wattlie’ (Australia) were being sold on the internet for in excess of $100 each. Ferny is currently number four on Ty’s ‘most wanted’ list.

 Each Beanie has it’s own name, birth date and poem on the heart-shaped identification tag. The Ty tags are one of the most important things for a Beanie Babies® collector.

 Beanie Babies® feature special ‘weighted’ fillings enabling owners to pose the toys in unique positions. All characters are intentionally designed to portray an innocence.

 Each Beanie Baby has limited availability, with selected Beanies ‘retired’ each year. This creates maximum demand for each new Beanie, and also creates a secondary market on the internet, or between friends.

 Beanie Babies® are collected the world over, with some Beanies selling for thousands of dollars (in 1998 ‘Peanut the Elephant’ sold for US$5,000 on the secondary market).

 All new Beanie Babies® have holograms and disappearing hearts for quality assurance and to discourage counterfeits.

 Beanie Babies® are made with high quality anti-allergy fabric and feature hand painted eyes and noses. All items have passed appropriate labelling and safety standards in New Zealand (NZS5820 and NZS5822).

 Toy creator and marketing genius, Ty Warner, founded Ty Inc. in the United States in 1986.

 Beanie Babies® retail in New Zealand for $17.95, and are available at selected toy and gift stores nationwide.

 More information on Ty Inc and Beanie Babies® can be found on

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