The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute

Editorial Reviews

A bestselling journalist delivers the never-before-told story of the plush animal craze that became the tulip mania of the 1990s

In the annals of consumer crazes, nothing compares to Beanie Babies. In just three years, collectors who saw the toys as a means of speculation made creator Ty Warner, an eccentric college dropout, a billionaire–without advertising or big-box distribution. Beanie Babies were ten percent of eBay’s sales in its early days, with an average selling price of $30–six times the retail price. At the peak of the bubble in 1999, Warner reported a personal income of $662 million–more than Hasbro and Mattel combined.

The end of the craze was swift and devastating, with “rare” Beanie Babies deemed worthless as quickly as they’d once been deemed priceless.

Bissonnette draws on hundreds of interviews (including a visit to a man who lives with his 40,000 Ty products and an in-prison interview with a guy who killed a coworker over a Beanie Baby debt) for the first book on the strangest speculative mania of all time.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Greatest Toy Show on Earth: No Kids Allowed
Chapter 2 The Lower Level
Chapter 3 Selling the Dream Pets
Chapter 4 Plush Dreams
Chapter 5 “You Can Make a Lot of Money with a Good Cat.”—Ty Warner
Chapter 6 Business and Pleasure
Chapter 7 Patti’s Last Stand
Chapter 8 New Beginnings
Chapter 9 Ty’s Big Idea
Chapter 10 A Lamb Named Lovie
Chapter 11 The First Collectors
Chapter 12 The Return
Chapter 13 Force Multipliers
Chapter 14 Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant
Chapter 15 The $12-per-Hour Sociology Major Who Made Ty Warner a Billionaire
Chapter 16 The Efficient Market
Chapter 17 The Beanie Chase
Chapter 18 Shovel Dealers in the Gold Rush
Chapter 19 The Point of No Return
Chapter 20 Peak
Chapter 21 The Feedback Loop Spins Out of Control
Chapter 22 Money Changes People
Chapter 23 The P. T. Barnum of Plush
Chapter 24 Lights Out
Chapter 25 Limping into the New Millennium
Chapter 26 Faith’s Problem
Chapter 27 Ty’s Problem
Chapter 28 Departures
Chapter 29 Endurance
Chapter 30 Exit Strategy

Book Details

  • Author:
  • Pages: 272 pages
  • Edition: 1
  • Publication Date: 2015-03-03
  • Publisher:
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591846021
  • ISBN-13: 9781591846024

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