The idea first occurred to me when I was looking at Poopsie.
From his goldenrod color and distinct facial features, it is obvious that Poopsie, a Beanie Baby bear from 2001, was designed to resemble A.A. Milne's famous Winnie-the-Pooh. I imagine the resemblance stops just short of any provable trademark or copyright infringement, but those of us who know Beanies and regularly read Milne's stories can assure you it is no accident that Poopsie and Pooh Bear could pass for twins.
Anyway, I am looking at Poopsie perched on my upstairs closet shelf with some 800 other Beanies and, just like in the comics, I envision the lightbulb over my head going on (the old incandescent kind, not the new energy-saving corkscrew type). Wouldn't it be fun, I ask myself, if I could find Beanies in the collection to represent all of A.A. Milne's loveable characters? Surely, the kids would have a ball acting out the various stories (and maybe making up some of their own?) equipped with a hands-on cast of Beanies.
Eeyore, the fatalistic donkey with the low, slow voice, will be played by Lefty from 1996, probably the most valuable Beanie in the ensemble. Many people don't know this, but every election year Beanie manufacturer Ty Incorporated issues a new "Lefty," appropriately representing the Democratic party, and a new "Righty," an elephant representing the GOP. Being plain gray rather than sporting the stars and/or stripes of some subsequent Leftys, the 1996 Lefty is far and away the best match for Eeyore.
The part of the ever-bouncing Tigger goes to Stripey the Tiger, a fairly new issue from 2005. As for little pink Piglet, I choose from among several capable auditioners a pig named Luau from 2003. Luckily, one of the Beanie kangaroos, named Ricochet, is a mama bearing a baby in her pouch. The choice of Ricochet (2007) to portray Kanga and little Roo is a no-brainer.
Rounding out the cast as Owl and Rabbit are Hoot, a veteran Beanie from 1995, and Hopper from 2000. Since there is no Christopher Robin Beanie, that part will have to be assumed by whichever child happens to feel dramatic at the time.
As I write this, my unique Beanie Baby cast is gathered around an open Milne board book atop an end table in the kids' room. They and I patiently await the next visit of Sooby and/or Pooh (the boy, not the bear), which I predict will magically transform an otherwise normal bedroom into the Hundred Acre Wood. There Winnie-the-Pooh will pursue his beloved honey pot, Eeyore will again lament his lost tail, and Christopher Robin will revel anew in the delightful land of childhood imagination.