Ty Warner,

59?, toy executive, shocked millions of children and parents when he announced on his Web site in August that he plans to retire all Beanie Babies on Dec. 31, 1999. No one was quite sure if the move was a marketing ploy to drive up prices or if the King of Plush was ready to move on to another craze.

Justin A. Volpe,1999 People in the NewsVenus Williams,