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Mighty Beanz are collectible toys manufactured by Moose Enterprises, a corporation headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Moose launched Mighty Beanz in the Australian market in 2002; the toy launched in the United States that summer. They are recommended for children 5 years and older.
An individual Mighty Bean is a three-dimensional ovaloid with small flat circular ends on either side, rather like a large plastic capsule, approximately one inch long. The beans are characterized by a small metal ball inside which is free to move about the capsule. Each Bean is decorated with a character's likeness—usually an animal, a monster or a caricatured human. Besides the five main series of Mighty Beanz, Moose also produced licensed Beanz based on Marvel superheroes, The Simpsons, Pokémon, Star Wars and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Mighty Beanz have become a large collector's commodity and prices vary on sites such as Ebay based on rarity of the Beanz.
Some Mighty Beanz caricature famous people, such as Elvis Presley (#1, "Rock N' Roll Bean"); Hulk Hogan (#18, "Tuff Bean"); Steve Irwin (#86, "Bush Ranger Bean"); Leonard Nimoy (#105, "Space Trek Bean"); Pamela Anderson (#165, "Life Saver Bean"); and Jimi Hendrix (#177, "Rock Legend Bean").
The original first five "series" of Mighty Beanz were designed by Melbourne Illustrator Mark Sheard. As a little nod to the illustrator his image was immortalised on #59 "Data Bean".
Series 1 had 60 Beanz numbered 1-60, arranged into teams of five, and could be stored in a red carry case the same shape as a bean profile, with a label for each bean space and the name of the bean displayed.
Series 2 had 70 Beanz numbered 61-130, in teams of five, the last ten Beanz being glow-in-the-dark Beanz.
Series 3 reverted to a 60 Beanz lineup numbered 131-190, the last ten being color-change Beanz. The carry case was green, and the Beanz were arranged in pairs, e.g. Cobra Bean and Snake Charmer Bean.
Series 4 again had 60 Beanz, numbered 191-250. This time the teams had 3 Beanz each, every third Bean being a "Mega" Bean of larger dimensions. The dimensions are so different that these Beanz will not run on the regular Bean tracks. These Mega Beanz have two holes in each end, to allow the passage of air if a Bean was swallowed.
Series 5, actually named Bean Bodz Series 1, again numbered 60 Beanz in total, 251-310. Each Bean had a matching rubbery body in which it could be displayed. These were available in 4 Bean/4 Bodz packs.
Three Mighty Beanz Racetracks were produced on which to run the Beanz in pairs; Ultimate Jump Park, Collision Chaos, and Super S-Bend. Each racetrack came with two special edition Beanz, which did not have numbers printed on them. In addition to these three regular racetracks, two limited edition Special Collector's Tins were released, each having a limited run of 15,000 units. The ten Beanz included in each Tin are gold colored, reusing characters Series 1 with the same reference numbers.
A Trick Track or Flip Track was introduced, to do tricks on. The track was one solid piece, 13.5" long with widened ends, and a target marked in the center.
A keychain Trick Track Keychain was also released, with a mini-Bean version of a character from Series 1. The mini-Beanz were not numbered. Twelve different characters were released in this form.
In 2010, Moose Enterprise relaunched Mighty Beanz with a completely new range of collectibles.
The brand new "Series 1" contains 100 Beanz, every fifth Bean being an ultra-rare "Mega Bean" which is shorter and wider than regular Beanz, but not as large as the Mega Beanz in the earlier series 4. They are said by Moose to have more unpredictable movement, and roll faster due to their shorter length. "Mega Beanz" are only found in 6-packs. The relaunch also sees the return of a Mighty Beanz Collector Case capable of holding 50 Beanz (including the new mega Beanz), but rectangular to sit comfortably on a shelf.
A new Flip Track product was released in three different colors, blue red and orange. The 2010 Flip Track folds in the middle to form sealed case to carry a few beans, and has two sets of notches to clip obstacles into. Both the collector case and Flip Track come with special edition beanz. The Flip Track comes with either one special Bean and three Beanz from the regular series, or one special Bean and an obstacle that can be clipped into the track as an additional challenge. The initial three obstacles were a Teeter-Totter, a Beanz Bridge, and a Rebel Ramp. The 2010 Flip Track can be folded in half to store several Beanz to play with, and can be clipped to a belt for carrying.
The super-rare Mighty Moose Bean also returns with only 1000 of them found in each country randomly mixed into other Mighty Beanz packs.
The 2010 Series 1 contained 100 Beanz numbered 1-100, and the collector case is blue. Two cases are required to house the full series. The next 15 numbered Beanz, 101-115, are supernumerary to the series. Some appear in the collector cases, others in Flip Tracks or elsewhere. The words "Special Edition" appear in red lettering on the back of a special edition bean.
A new "Slam'n'Smash Race Track" was released for running the Beanz down, containing two special edition Beanz #109 and #110. The new smaller Mega Beanz can run on these tracks, but will beat any normal bean, so should be run against another Mega Bean.
Series 2 numbered 117-216, and the collector case is red. Beanz numbered 217-235 are supernumerary to the series.
Series 3 (numbered 236-335) was released in December 2010 in Australia & April 2011 in North America, and the collector case is green. With the relaunch some "Special Edition" beanz have been released. One of ten Square Mighty Beanz can be obtained instead of a "Mega Bean", the square Beanz numbered 367-376. For series 3 new colors of Flip tracks were released (including silver and dark blue), with three new obstacles, Wacky Wave that the beans slide under (perfect for water-themed Beanz), Roller Rail and Half Pipe, with special edition beanz #.
The Mighty Moose Bean has also been re-released with a thousand made, as a "Space Moose Bean".
Series 4 (numbered 410-509) was released in 2011. Instead of a "Mega Bean" you may get one of ten triangular beanz (numbered 510-519). The coming of series 4 included 25-packs called "can of beanz" and two new tracks making three in total. The new tracks are "Raging Rapids" and "Gravity Buster". The three racetracks can be connected together to create one long track.
In 2011 Moose released the Mighty Beanz Machinez accessory, which are vehicles in which individual beanz can ride. Each vehicle comes with a special edition Bean, e.g. Bean #349 Shuttle Bean comes only with the silver shuttle vehicle. The Bean rides on a white rubbery wheel inside the vehicle so it rolls backwards as the vehicle rolls forwards.
Series 5 (numbered 550-659) was released in late 2011 in Australia and will hit America in early 2012. In Series 5 there are ten Limited Edition "Disc Beanz" (numbered 660-669)consisting of five eye Beanz and 5 ball Beanz.
The 2010 Mighty Beanz range is sold in 3-packs, 6-packs, and 10-packs. A 3-pack contains 1 rare bean and 2 common beans; a 6-pack contains a "Mega Bean", 1 rare bean, and 4 common beanz; and a 10-pack contains 8 commons, 1 rare and an Ultra Rare Mega Bean.
Star Wars Beanz and (the remake of) Marvel Beanz were released in August 2010. Star Wars can be stored in the Darth Vader tin, the Death Star tin, or the Millennium Falcon plastic case. A set of Star Wars Light Saber Flip Tracks was introduced, with a special Star Wars Bean in each pack. Marvel can be stored in the Spider-Man tin or the Iron Man tin. As of January 2011, DC Universe Mighty Beanz have also been released, as well as Cars 2 Mighty Beanz in May, with a Cars 2 tin for storage.
All Beanz since the 2010 relaunch have air holes at each end for safety. All Mighty Beanz suffer from wear if played with. The printing rubs off, particularly on the ends and around the join line, and scratches in the printing and plastic inevitable occur, so for collecting value it is desirable not to play with the Beanz.
The Rare Mighty Beanz
After the release of the 2010 collection, Mighty Beanz inc. releases a limited edition of rare Beanz with a high market value. This limited edition collection contains Beanz of a completely solid color ranging from green to gold. The Beanz themselves are made rare by their complete lack of both faces and labels and by the color exhibited. The rarest of colors is gold with black second, and green and blue tied for third. In recent collector auctions, the solid gold Mighty Bean was sold for an astounding three thousand dollars. In the same auction, a black one of only fifty made, sold for twelve hundred dollars. Scattered throughout the globe, these rare Beanz are prized by collectors throughout the United States.