Don't leave the Beanie Babies you've accumulated piled up in your closet. While they may no longer regularly bring in thousands of pounds as they did at the height of their popularity, before you sell the toys at your garage sale, you should learn a little more about the potential value of your Beanie Baby collection.
Beanie Babies first hit the toy market in 1993 when the toy maker Ty Warner introduced the original nine Beanies at the World Toy Fair. These stuffed animals were stuffed with PVC pellets, or beans, rather than traditional stuffing. This and the animal’s small size made them popular with children. The toys did not become valuable collectibles until 1997 when the original nine Beanies were retired. Collectors were instantly struck by the desire to own a rare or hard-to-find Beanie, and the value of retired Beanie Babies that were in excellent condition began to skyrocket.
The value of a Beanie Baby varies significantly depending on many factors, one of which is the features the Beanie has. Original “hang tags,” the heart-shaped tags that carry the Ty logo and animal’s name, add value to a Beanie, as does the presence of the “tush tags,” or the tags on the animal’s bottom that also carry the animal’s name and Ty logo. Many Beanie Babies were originally issued with ribbons, and the presence of the ribbon increases the value of the toy.
The condition of the Beanie is another factor that determines its value. Mint-condition Beanies are the most valuable. These toys appear to be brand new, including undamaged tags and ribbons. It is rare to find older Beanies in this condition. However, Beanies in near-mint condition are also highly valuable. These may have some slight damage to the tags, but otherwise look new. The rarity of the toy is also a factor that determines its value. For instance, a Beanie that is from the original nine and is in mint condition is going to have a high value.
The most valuable Beanie Baby is a mint-condition No. 1 bear. This bear was only given to Ty sales representatives. There were only 253 released, and Ty Warner signed each one. These are almost impossible to find for sale, so determining a value is difficult. The other most valuable beanies are those that were mistakes. For instance, an original monkey that has the name “Nana” instead of “Bongo” could be worth £2,600, because this monkey was quickly renamed after it was originally launched. A royal blue Peanut the Elephant is also worth thousands, because this was a factory mistake. The actual colour of Peanut is light blue. In general, defects increase the value of a Beanie.
Determining the value of a Beanie Baby is not an exact science. Much depends on the demand in the market for a particular animal. Some are worth just a few cents because they are readily available in mint condition. Others, such as the original nine, sell for up to £2,600 because they are hard to find in mint condition and are highly desirable to collectors. To determine how much your current Beanie Baby is worth, look around to see what other similar Beanies are selling for. This will give you a good idea as to your doll’s value.