Best of all, everything is free. That freedom allows readers like you and me to explore books outside our comfort zone, like, say, a book about a 90s toy fad that baffled me at the time and breaks my heart today. Collecting Beanie Babies blew up at the end of the s, a decade which saw speculator bubbles burst for baseball cards, comic books, and other collectibles.
The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute (Hardcover)
Some collectors failed to remember that fact when they invested in plush animals stuffed with plastic beads. Even more fascinating is the story of Beanie Baby creator Ty Warner. Before founding the company which bears his name, Warner was a star salesman at Dakin, a toymaker famous for its stuffed animals. Jeremy Estes has worked for Nashville Public Library since Skip to main content.
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Seeing this, Warner began intentionally retiring specific Beanie Babies. Around this time, two pairs of women in the Chicago suburbs — school teacher Becky Phillips and her friend Becky Estenssoro, and Dr. As retirings made certain lines scarce, these women became experts at tracking them down. Between Gallagher and her sister and the two Beckys, who were buying every Beanie Baby they could find in the Chicago area, interest soared as the toys became scarce.
They began calling friends throughout the country to ask them to seek out specific pieces, and in doing so, help spread Beaniemania nationwide.
Gallagher put an ad in a collectors magazine offering a Beanie price list. She was creating the market, but, she told Bissonnette, was setting the prices based on nothing. Of course, those were in the minority.
The great Beanie Baby bubble : mass delusion and the dark side of cute
The book introduces us to Chris Robinson, who had played Dr. In the end, he lost every penny and still has over 20, Beanie Babies in his home. But for those profiting from the Beanies, life was golden. Some sellers even began changing prices throughout the day based on website updates. Warner was constantly approached by companies seeking to collaborate or co-brand and refused almost all, including five major television studios and Steven Spielberg.
Even this expectation was pummeled by reality. We have the moose and the lamb.
The first signs of decline came in January , when, after Ty announced a series of retirements, prices stayed relatively stable. It was the first time since the beginning of the craze that prices did not soar for a retired item.
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Ty also announced the release of 24 new Beanie Babies that same day, and this was the true beginning of the end, as the release overwhelmed collectors. Supply was finally eclipsing demand, and retired issues were suddenly easy to find on store shelves.
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The people who threw their money into adorable plush toys provided Warner with a lifetime of security, even as, in some cases, they were destroying their own. Read Next.
The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute
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