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Your old Beanie Babies could be worth thousands

Your old Beanie Babies could be worth thousands
Posted at 11:45 AM, Apr 24, 2024

If you were a child (or had a child) in the 1990s, you probably owned a bunch of Beanie Babies.

At about 8 inches tall, the collectible plush animals were small enough that you could fit lots of them on a shelf. And they were soft and squishy, thanks to being filled with beans instead of cotton or cloth stuffing. They sold for only about $5, and for a time, they were so popular you could even get them as part of a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.

If you’ve held onto some of your Beanie Babies from 30 years ago, you may wonder if they have any value today. That depends on a variety of factors.

It’s possible there are Beanie Babies in your home that could fetch thousands of dollars. Read on to discover which Beanie Babies are the most coveted and could thereby sell for the most money, and which attributes drive up the price of original, first-edition Beanie Babies.

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How Much Are Beanie Babies Worth?

For several years, Beanie Babies were considered a toy collector’s dream. Ty, the company that made them, used various tactics to convince the public that one day these plush animals would be worth a fortune. For example, Ty limited quantities of each Beanie Baby release — causing much fanfare each time one was retired and a new one was introduced. And the various styles came with a name, a birthday and a poem on the tag to make each one feel unique.

But Beanie Babies weren’t as scarce as the public presumed, and around 2000, the “Beanie Baby bubble” burst. There were too many of each Beanie Baby to be worth the projected high prices people expected to get for them. For this reason and others, Beanie Babies dramatically dropped in value.

Nowadays, most common Beanie Babies have minimal financial worth, but there are certain Beanie Babies that have soared in value in today’s collectible toy market.

MORE: Your Precious Moments figurines could be worth thousands

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The Most Valuable Beanie Babies

How can you tell if you have a Beanie Baby that’s worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars? You might consult an appraiser — such as the well-known valuator Dr. Lori Verderame, who appraises antiques on the History Channel’s “The Curse of Oak Island” and “Pawn Stars Do America,” Discovery Channel’s “Auction Kings” and Netflix’s “King of Collectibles.” Or you can check the Beanie Babies Price Guide to determine how much yours might be worth.

The toy must have its original tag and be in pristine condition. That means no dirt, bean deterioration or uneven eyes or limbs. If it’s brand new and has been kept in a bag for three decades, even better.

“I have spotted many valuable stuffed toys that had been overlooked for decades and were appraised into the thousands of dollars,” says Dr. Lori, who regularly appraises Beanie Babies collections during video calls booked through her website.

Where to Sell Beanie Babies

Once you know the value of your specific Beanie Babies, you can sell them to private collectors at conventions or online at sites like eBay, Craigslist, Etsy or a novelty forum like Sell2BBNovelties.

Which Beanie Babies Are Worth Money?

According to Dr. Lori, the most valuable Beanie Babies are the rare and original nine stuffed toys that were first introduced by Ty, Inc. in 1993:

  • Patti the platypus
  • Spot the dog
  • Squealer the pig
  • Brownie (later called Cubbie) the bear
  • Chocolate the moose
  • Pinchers the lobster
  • Splash the killer whale
  • Legs the frog
  • Flash the dolphin 

But she is quick to point out that these are not the only valuable Beanie Babies. “Not by a long shot,” she says, “as it depends if your Beanie Babies are in good condition, relate to a historic event or were manufactured using special materials.” A connection to a celebrity or a holiday might also boost its value.

And of course, it must have been a first-edition version from the toy’s original release. That’s important to note, because collectors aren’t paying high prices for the later versions of Beanie Babies that can still be purchased today.

Here are a few Beanie Babies that could fetch a pretty penny (even thousands of dollars) if they are first editions, and you’ve maintained their mint condition.

Princess Diana Beanie Baby Bear

Walmart

This Princess Diana Beanie Baby was first released in 1997,  just a few months after her tragic passing. This special-edition commemorative plush toy originally sold for about $5 to $7, with proceeds going to benefit the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.

And today? The Princess Diana Beanie Baby has fetched as much as $10,000. But before you go searching through your collection for the signature purple bear with a white flower, take a breath. The truth is, only certain, specific Princess Diana Beanie Babies have seen their value rise. These come from the initial batch, which was filled with PVC pellets. Most of the later bears were made from polyethylene pellets, and collectors aren’t paying big bucks for them.

That hasn’t stopped sellers from trying cash in on their Princess Diana Beanie Babies. One of these popular bears is selling for an outrageously unrealistic price ($900,000!) on eBay, while another one is currently selling for a comparatively more reasonable $3,000. But chances are, they are both overpriced for their true value. If you’re considering paying thousands of dollars, it’s worth asking a pro appraiser to take a look first.

Peace Bear

Walmart

Sometimes controversy can drive up the price of a collectible. If you have a Beanie Baby that was involved in a lawsuit or brand infringement, it could be worth thousands of dollars.

In the case of Peace Bear, a conflict arose when the company named their tie-dyed bear Garcia after the late Grateful Dead singer, Jerry Garcia. When Garcia’s estate sued the company, they changed the name to Peace Bear.

According to Dr. Lori, the original version of Peace Bear remains one of the most valuable Beanie Babies. Peace Bear is selling on eBay for as much as $5,000.

Patti the Platypus

Walmart

Patti the Platypus is one of the original nine Beanie Babies released in 1993. If you have an original  Patti, it may be worth thousands — or not. Its value varies based on a lot of factors.

Patti was available for five years before she was retired. But during those years, she came in a succession of different purple shades — deep fuchsia, raspberry, fuchsia and magenta. For reasons that have to do with the number created in each color, the raspberry Patti has been known to fetch the highest price.

Patti the Platypus is being offered on eBay for $5,000. But again, buyer beware. Make sure she’s an original before you shell out thousands.

Lefty and Righty

Walmart

Collectors tend to put a higher value on Beanie Babies that are associated with politics. This patriotic pair — Lefty the donkey and Righty the elephant — were introduced during the 1996 Presidential campaigns. Four years later, they were introduced yet again to commemorate the 2000 election.

Like many Beanie Babies, newer versions of this pair can still be purchased today. But the original versions are quite pricy on the collector’s market. Lefty and Righty from 2000 are selling on eBay for as much as $5,000.

Valentino and Valentina

Walmart

Certain Beanie Babies have a higher value if you pair them together. While Valentino is a sought-after bear that’s often collected on its own (a rare original one sold for $10,000 in 2013, according to Dr. Lori), he and his mate Valentina can also fetch a good price if sold together. They are both related to Valentine’s Day, with coordinated, red-and-white colors.

Valentino and Valentina are currently selling as a pair for $4,500 on eBay.

Limited-Edition Beanie Babies to Buy Right Now

It’s not easy to predict which current Beanie Babies will have high price tags in the decades to come. As a general rule, try to buy the first edition version of a new Beanie Baby that’s connected to a person, event, holiday or controversy. Here are a few examples:

Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Beanie Baby

Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Beanie Baby UK Exclusive

$25.00 at Amazon

Just weeks after Queen Elizabeth II’s death in 2022, this commemorative bear (in the queen’s favorite color) was released in her honor. Collectors scrambled to secure one, and many worried they wouldn’t get their hands on this rare exclusive. It’s selling right now on Amazon for $24.

Will it grow in value like the one that honored Princess Diana? It’s entirely possible.

PEACE II Bear 30th Anniversary Limited Edition 2023

TY Beanie Baby Peace II

$34.95 at Walmart

Will this newer version of Peace Bear sell for a higher price in years to come? It might have a better chance than your average bear, since it’s a special anniversary edition that’s connected to a once-controversial first version.

Cherub & Scarlett Limited Edition Valentine’s Day 2024

TY Beanie Babies Cherub and Scarlett

$36.87 at Walmart

They’re no Valentino and Valentina, but they are a limited edition Valentine’s Day couple. Three decades from now, who knows what collectors might pay to get these two as a pristine set?

America the Blue Bear

Blue Beanie Baby

$19.95 at Walmart

America the Blue Bear was introduced in the wake of September 11 to honor those who lost their lives in the national tragedy. Based on its historical ties, this bear might possibly go up in price in the decades to come.

This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.