Musings, Pop Culture

Adventures in Beanie Baby Collecting

 

A friend recently posted this article on a book called “The Beanie Baby Handbook” – a book published in 1998 on the ins and outs of Beanie Baby collecting – and what a great investment Beanie Baby collecting is (was).

The book shows the estimated value of Beanie Babies in 1998 and what the value will be in the future – way out in 2008. For instance, the book estimates that Stripes the Tiger will be valued at $1,000 by 2008. (If anyone is selling these anywhere close to that, please let me know!)

Estimated Value:

Stripes the Tiger Beanie Baby Estimated Value

Actual Current ebay Listings:

Beanie Baby current listings

In my tweens, my friends and I spent most of our free time collecting Beanie Babies – which meant begging my friend Laura’s older sister to drive us to stores like Cracker Barrel and Hallmark at the crack of dawn to be first in line for new shipments,  combing Internet forums looking for leaks and retirement announcements, going to toy shows and mall kiosks and ogling over the rarest ones, and even joining the official Ty fan club to get the members only bear Clubby (which I still have).

My Clubby Beanie Baby still in the plastic packaging (recent photo from my last visit to my Dad’s house):

Clubby Beanie Baby

It didn’t exactly make me rich, but I do have collecting Beanie Babies to thank for a lot in my formative years. A few big things specifically:

It got me into collecting.

My dad has always collected all kinds of scifi toys and figures, but Beanie Babies were the first thing that I collected myself. I got my first taste of conventions to check out the Beanie Babies.

Vintage pic from my very first toy convention with Laura and Peter Mayhew (aka Chewbacca), approx. 1997:

Caitlin and Laura at our first toy convention

Me and my sister buying way too much stuff at this year’s Comicpalooza 2013:

comicpalooza purchases

I now have a decent collection of figures – particularly of my favorite characters like Catwoman and Wonder Woman.

It is the reason I got into HTML.

In the old days an eBay listing had two options: plain text or an HTML editor. No WYSIWYG back in those days. I taught myself the basics of HTML by pulling down the code from other people’s listings as a baseline and making changes for my listings.

Honestly, I thank my Beanie Baby buying and selling days for sparking my interest in the idea that the internet could be used to connect people around their hobbies and interests.  I definitely track my interest in HTML, blogging, social media, etc. back to those days spent online talking about, buying, and selling Beanie Babies. It was only the beginning!

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Anyone else? Were you a Beanie Baby hoarder back in the day? Where is your collection now? Share in the comments!

 

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