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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The University of Utah Beanie Baby Bonanza

The @uofubeaniebabies Instagram page offers students a chance to find new plushy friends on campus a couple of times a week.
Day 71 that the @uofubeaniebabies Instagram account placed a beanie babie somewhere on the University of Utah campus for students to find. (Courtesy of @uofubeaniebabies)


For University of Utah students looking to engage in a little bit of on-campus fun, there’s an Instagram page that has amassed over 500 followers offering just that. Whether you’re an avid collector or just someone looking for a cuddly buddy, @uofubeaniebabies has something for every kind of Beanie Baby fan.

About twice a week, the admin of the page leaves a Beanie Baby somewhere on campus and posts a picture of it. Followers play along, and if they recognize the spot on campus, rush to greet their new little friend.

“People have really loved it and really caught on to it,” said the founder of the page, who wishes to remain anonymous. “That’s why I started it, just to spread a little bit of happiness and positivity in people’s lives.”

The founder of the page got the idea for it when they attempted to sell their childhood Beanie Baby collection on eBay — but were banned before they could make any sales.

“It was a little sad, but I’m actually kind of happy that it happened because this is a lot better anyway,” they said.

The page has been up and running since last fall and has given out 71 Beanie Babies so far. While the admin said they don’t expect the finders of these little guys to reach out, they do appreciate it, so they can make sure the Beanie Babies are safe.

“I like to see where the Beanie Babies got a home,” they said. “And make sure they’re not, like, homeless still on campus.”

Mel Umble, a junior studying computer science at the U, found the Beanie Baby put out on day 69, after only following the page for a few weeks.

“When the post notification went off, I was at the library, and I was like, ‘No way. I’m gonna go get that,’” Umble said. “And I sprinted to the education building and I got the Beanie Baby and it was the highlight of my day.”

The beanie baby that U student Mel Umble found on the University of Utah campus. (Courtesy of the @uofubeaniebabies Instagram account)

She added she stole her “strategy” for hunting the Beanie Babies from her roommate, who was the one who first told her about the page.

“The strategy is to turn your post notifications on and just be ready for anything,” she said.

Umble said she thinks people like her and her roommate have been so captivated with UofUBeanieBabies because it offers students a distraction from how stressful college life can be.

“I think people are always looking for ways to like, de-stress and have something more spontaneous than just doing your homework in the library all the time,” she said.

Also, she thinks it’s funny to see where the Beanie Babies end up.

The Beanie Baby that Umble found was a koala that just so happens to also be named Mel, something she said she felt was “meant to be.”

“That’s extra crazy,” she said. “I was not expecting that.”

Umble added that she hopes there will be an admin reveal once all the Beanie Babies are gone, but according to the founder of the page, she may be waiting a while.

“My family also has a big collection,” they said. “So a lot of my family members have also kind of donated to the cause. So I don’t think it will be running out anytime soon.”

They added they think the Beanie Babies will last until they graduate — if not longer.

(Courtesy of the @uofubeaniebabies Instagram account)


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About the Contributor
Caelan Roberts, News Editor
Cael is double majoring in English and journalism which gives him a chance to fully explore his passion of writing. He loves working at the Chronicle and is excited for the opportunity to edit on the news desk and work with leadership and writers.

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