Pausing to remember...Beanie Babies

Becky
filed under: toys
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Ah, Beanie Babies. Back in their heyday, my little sister took to collecting them with disturbing zeal. Suddenly, there was commercial interest not just from her Nerds Rope-addled matrix of grade school associates, but from adult neighbors with disposable cash and a house flipping gene. There were times I'd enter her room just to observe their impeccably organized assemblage...I stared at them and they stared back. Of course, those were the times my sister would rush in with three new strains of the Beans w/accompanying poems, always glaring at me lest I dared to condescend. How could I? I used to collect the remnants of paper hole punches--I preferred to call it confetti--in an old lunch bag. I used to collect dried lily pads of Elmer's glue that could double as press-on nails. My kind of OCD might not have transposed so seamlessly into the acquisition and hoarding of attractive merchandise, but I swear I wasn't judging. It just always fascinated me to hear stories of how far possessed consumers would go to obtain a "Ty" tag or twenty.

For instance:

  • At an Illinois guns-for-Beanie Babies exchange, police gave away every last Beanie and collected 40 guns.
  • People were smuggling foreign Beanies into the country at such an alarming rate that Ty had to issue an embargo:
  • "A consumer is allowed to have one Beanie Baby for personal use every 30 days," said Customs officer Ralph Hackney. To enforce the rule, the Customs people are forced regularly to go through the packing of children, parents and grandparents in search of the furry creatures. One inspection yielded a haul of 15,000 Beanies.
  • A U.S. trade rep was found in violation of the decree
  • A man getting a divorce files a motion to get his fair share of Beanies:
  • "It's ridiculous and embarrassing," said Frances Mountain, moments before squatting on the courtroom floor alongside her ex-husband to choose first from a pile of dozens of stuffed toys. Maple the Bear was the first to go, as a few people in the gallery snickered.

Of course, this is just a sample...Please do share any venal Beanie stories.

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May 31, 2007 - 5:49pm
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