The 10 Most Valuable Beanie Babies That Could Be Hiding in Your Attic

Emmanuel Morales, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Emmanuel Morales, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Kids who collected (and resisted ripping the tags off) Beanie Babies in the 1990s were promised a massive return on their investment when they grew up. Decades later, the majority of the Ty toys aren’t worth much more money today than when they first hit shelves at the height of Beanie mania. But that doesn’t mean you should throw away the toys in your attic without giving them a second look. While they're hard to come by, there are a few rare Beanie Babies out there, like Valentino the bear, that can still earn you a small fortune on eBay. Here are the most valuable stuffed collectibles to look for.

1. Princess the Bear // Value: $10,000


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The purple Princess Diana bear Beanie Baby quickly become iconic when Ty released it in 1997. A special edition created to raise money for The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund following Princess Diana’s death, it frequently ranks among the most expensive vintage Beanie Babies on eBay today. As of February 2019, there's one listed on the site for $600,000—but the true value of the item varies depending on what your bear is made of. Most Princess Beanie Babies that people bought in the 1990s were made with polyethylene (PE) pellets, and those ones are essentially worthless today. The much rarer bears stuffed with polyvinylchloride (PVC) pellets are more valuable: In January 2019, someone purchased a PVC Princess bear for $10,000.

2. McDonald’s International Bears // Value: $10,000

McDonald’s joined the Beanie Baby hype when it began including scaled-down versions of the toys in its Happy Meals in the 1990s. Collectors helped make Teenie Babies one of the chain’s most popular Happy Meal promotions in history up to that point, but like the full-sized Beanie Babies, most of the toys are worth nothing today. One exception is the International Bears collection. The McDonald’s-exclusive line of Teenie Beanie Babies included four bears representing four different countries—Britannia from Britain, Maple from Canada, Erin from Ireland, and Glory from the U.S. In January 2019, a Britannia bear in its original packaging sold for $10,000. (If you've been sitting on other McDonald's swag from your childhood, check out our list of the most valuable Happy Meal toys on eBay.)

3. Peace the Bear // Value: $5000

Peace the bear Beanie Baby
Lawrence G. Miller, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The Peace bear Beanie Baby is unique for several reasons: It was the first Beanie Baby with an embroidered emblem; it had many tag variations during its run; and its tie-dye pattern meant that no two bears were identical. Peace bears in mint condition can sell for up to $5000 on eBay.

4. Snort the Red Bull // Value: $6300

In 1997, Ty quietly replaced their red bull named Tabasco with a red bull named Snort to avoid copyright infringement. Today pristine versions of the bull Beanie Baby can sell for as much as $6300 at online auctions.

5. Claude the Crab // Value: $9000

Claude the Crab Beanie Baby
Lawrence G. Miller, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

First released in 1997, most versions of this tie-dye crab aren’t especially valuable, but a Claude with rare manufacturing errors may be worth something. A Claude Beanie Baby with numerous flaws, including a tag with a missing star, was recently auctioned off for $9000.

6. Valentino the Bear // Value: $42,300

Valentino the bear Beanie Baby
Lawrence G. Miller, Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Valentino is one of the most valuable of the Beanie Baby bears. If you own a rare version with an error, you may be sitting on tens of thousands of dollars. In January 2019, a Valentino with every error (brown nose instead of black, white star on the tag instead of yellow, PVC pellets, and multiple typos on the tag) sold on eBay for $42,300. Even more common forms of the bear can earn you a nice bundle of cash: A mint-condition Valentino without errors was purchased for $1000 on eBay in December 2018.

7. Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant // Value: $2500

Peanut the baby-blue elephant is the Beanie Baby that helped catapult the brand to prominence, but it wasn’t the first version of the toy that Ty made. Peanut was originally royal blue; after a few months of poor sales, the company changed the color to a lighter shade, and its popularity skyrocketed. Today the royal-blue Peanut is in a much different position—it's one of the most sought-after Beanie Babies around. One sold for $2500 in 2018.

8. Iggy the Iguana // Value: $5000

Iggy the Iguana went through many design iterations during its run, making the toy extra valuable to Beanie Baby obsessives today. Some Iggys have a tongue sticking out, while others do not; some are neon rainbow in color, while others are dark blue; some have a tag attached to the foot, and others have one attached to the spine. With so many potential combinations of characteristics, Iggy has become a favorite of collectors, with some selling for as much as $5000.

9. Gobbles the Turkey // Value: $6667

Gobbles the Turkey Beanie Baby
slgckgc, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Like Iggy, there are multiple versions of this 1997 Gobbles the Turkey Beanie Baby floating around. He came with either a double or single-layer felt waddle, and his tail feathers were attached at various heights on his back. A Gobbles the Turkey in new condition fetched a seller $6667 on eBay in 2018.

10. Patti the Platypus // Value: $9000

If you started buying Beanie Babies before they were cool, check your collection for Patti the Platypus, an early Beanie Baby that's worth a fortune now. The fuchsia toy sold for $9000 in January 2019, making it one of the more valuable items on this list. In addition to being one of the nine original Beanie Babies released in 1993, it’s notable for being named after Patricia Roche, then-girlfriend of company founder Ty Warner and the eventual head of Ty Europe.

This Smart Accessory Converts Your Instant Pot Into an Air Fryer

Amazon
Amazon

If you can make a recipe in a slow cooker, Dutch oven, or rice cooker, you can likely adapt it for an Instant Pot. Now, this all-in-one cooker can be converted into an air fryer with one handy accessory.

This Instant Pot air fryer lid—currently available on Amazon for $80—adds six new cooking functions to your 6-quart Instant Pot. You can select the air fry setting to get food hot and crispy fast, using as little as 2 tablespoons of oil. Other options include roast, bake, broil, dehydrate, and reheat.

Many dishes you would prepare in the oven or on the stovetop can be made in your Instant Pot when you switch out the lids. Chicken wings, French fries, and onion rings are just a few of the possibilities mentioned in the product description. And if you're used to frying being a hot, arduous process, this lid works without consuming a ton of energy or heating up your kitchen.

The lid comes with a multi-level air fry basket, a broiling and dehydrating tray, and a protective pad and storage cover. Check it out on Amazon.

For more clever ways to use your Instant Pot, take a look at these recipes.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

13 Memorable Facts About D-Day

American troops landing on Omaha beach at Normandy on D-Day.
American troops landing on Omaha beach at Normandy on D-Day.
Keystone/Getty Images

The Normandy landings—an event better known as “D-Day”—became a pivotal moment in the Second World War. Heavy losses were inflicted on both sides, but with planning, deception, and semiaquatic tanks, the Allied forces pulled off what is considered the biggest amphibious invasion in history. Here are a few things you should know about the historic crusade to liberate France from Nazi Germany.

1. D-Day occurred on June 6, 1944.

The D-Day invasion was several years in the making. In December 1941, the United States formally entered World War II. Shortly thereafter, British and American strategists began entertaining the possibility of a huge offensive across the English Channel and into Nazi-occupied France. But first, the Allies swept through northern Africa and southern Italy, weakening the Axis hold on the Mediterranean Sea. Their strategy resulted in Italy’s unconditional surrender in September 1943 (though that wasn’t the end of the war in Italy). Earlier that year, the Western allies started making preparations for a campaign that would finally open up a new front in northwestern France. It was going to be an amphibious assault, with tens of thousands of men leaving England and then landing on France’s Atlantic coastline.

2. Normandy was chosen as the D-Day landing site because the Allies were hoping to surprise German forces.

Since the Germans would presumably expect an attack on the Pas de Calais—the closest point to the UK—the Allies decided to hit the beaches of Normandy instead. Normandy was also within flying distance of war planes stationed in England, and it had a conveniently located port.

3. D-Day action centered around five beaches that were code-named "Utah," "Omaha," "Gold," "Juno," and "Sword."

American assault troops and equipment landing on Omaha beach on the Northern coast of France.
Fox Photos/Getty Images

Altogether, the D-Day landing beaches encompassed 50 miles of coastline real estate [PDF]. The Canadian 3rd Division landed on Juno; British forces touched down on Gold and Sword; and the Americans were sent to Utah and Omaha. Of the five beaches, Omaha had the most bloodshed: Roughly 2400 American casualties—plus 1200 German casualties—occurred there. How the beaches got their code-names is a mystery, although it’s been claimed that American general Omar Bradley named “Omaha” and “Utah” after two of his staff carpenters. (One of the men came from Omaha, Nebraska, while the other called Provo, Utah, home.)

4. Pulling off the D-Day landings involved some elaborate trickery to fool the Nazis.

If the Allies landed in France, Hitler was confident that his men could repel them. “They will get the thrashing of their lives,” the Führer boasted. But in order to do that, the German military would need to know exactly where the Allied troops planned to begin their invasion. So in 1943, the Allies kicked off an ingenious misinformation campaign. Using everything from phony radio transmissions to inflatable tanks, they successfully convinced the Germans that the British and American forces planned to make landfall at the Pas de Calais. Duped by the charade, the Germans kept a large percentage of their troops stationed there (and in Norway, which was the rumored target of another bogus attack). That left Normandy relatively under-defended when D-Day came along.

5. D-Day was planned with the help of meteorologists.

The landings at Normandy and subsequent invasion of France were code-named “Operation Overlord,” and General Dwight D. Eisenhower (the future U.S. president) led the operation. To choose the right date for his invasion, Eisenhower consulted with three different teams of meteorologists, who predicted that in early June, the weather would be best on June 5, 6, or 7; if not then, they'd have to wait for late June.

Originally, Eisenhower wanted to start the operation on June 5. But the weather didn’t cooperate. To quote geophysicist Walter Munk, “On [that date], there were very high winds, and Eisenhower made the decision to wait 24 hours. However, 24 hours later, the Americans predicted there would be a break in the storm and that conditions would be difficult, but not impossible.” Ultimately, Ike began the attack on June 6, even though the weather was less than ideal. It’s worth noting that if he’d waited for a clearer day, the Germans might have been better prepared for his advance. (As for the dates they'd suggested for late June? There was a massive storm.)

6. "D-Day" was a common military term, according to Eisenhower's personal aide.

A few years after Eisenhower retired from public life, he was asked if the “D” in “D-day” stood for anything. In response to this inquiry, his aide Robert Schultz (a brigadier general) said that “any amphibious operation has a ‘departed date’; therefore the shortened term ‘D-Day’ is used” [PDF].

7. D-Day was among the largest amphibious assaults in military history.

U.S. troops in landing craft, during the D-Day landings.
Keystone/Getty Images

On D-Day, approximately 156,115 Allied troops—representing the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, New Zealand, Norway, and Poland—landed on the beaches of Normandy. They were accompanied by almost 7000 nautical vessels. In terms of aerial support, the Allies showed up with more than 10,000 individual aircrafts, which outnumbered the German planes 30 to one.

8. On D-Day, floating tanks were deployed by the Allies.

The brainchild of British engineers, the Sherman Duplex Drive Tanks (a.k.a. “Donald Duck” tanks) came with foldable canvas screens that could be unfurled at will, turning the vehicle into a crude boat. Once afloat, the tanks were driven forward with a set of propellers. They had a top nautical speed of just under 5 mph. The Duplex Drives that were sent to Juno, Sword, and Gold fared a lot better than those assigned to Omaha or Utah. The one at Omaha mostly sank because they had to travel across larger stretches of water—and they encountered choppier waves.

9. When the D-Day attack started, Adolf Hitler was asleep.

On the eve of D-Day, Hitler was entertaining Joseph Goebbels and some other guests at his home in the Alps. The dictator didn’t go to bed until 3 a.m. Just three and a half hours later, at 6:30 a.m., the opening land invasions at Normandy began. (And by that point, Allied gliders and paratroopers had been touching down nearby since 12:16 in the morning.) Hitler was finally roused at noon, when his arms minister informed him about the massive assault underway in Normandy. Hitler didn’t take it seriously and was slow to authorize a top general’s request for reinforcements. That mistake proved critical.

10. DWIGHT Eisenhower was fully prepared to accept blame if things went badly on D-Day.

General Dwight D Eisenhower watches the Allied landing operations from the deck of a warship in the English Channel on D-Day.
Keystone/Getty Images

While Hitler was partying in the Alps, Eisenhower was drafting a bleak message. The success of Operation Overlord was by no means guaranteed, and if something went horribly awry, Ike might have had no choice but to order a full retreat. So he preemptively wrote a brief statement that he intended to release if the invasion fell apart. “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops,” it said. “My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

11. Knocking out German communications was one of the keys to victory on D-Day.

Hitler may not have had all of his troops in the right spot, but the Germans who’d been stationed at Normandy did enjoy some crucial advantages. At many localities—Omaha Beach included—the Nazi forces had high-powered machine guns and fortified positions. That combination enabled them to mow down huge numbers of Allied troops. But before the dawn broke on June 6, British and American paratroopers had landed behind enemy lines and taken out vital lines of communication while capturing some important bridges. Ultimately, that helped turn the tide against Germany.

12. Theodore Roosevelt's son earned a medal of honor for fighting on D-Day.

It was the 56-year-old brigadier general Theodore Roosevelt Jr. who led the first wave of troops on Utah Beach. The men, who had been pushed off-course by the turbulent waters, missed their original destination by over 2000 yards. Undaunted, Roosevelt announced, “We’re going to start the war from right here.” Though he was arthritic and walked with a cane, Roosevelt insisted on putting himself right in the heart of the action. Under his leadership, the beach was taken in short order. Roosevelt, who died of natural causes one month later, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

13. D-Day was the opening chapter in a long campaign.

The Normandy invasion was not a one-day affair; it raged on until Allied forces crossed the River Seine in August [PDF]. Altogether, the Allies took about 200,000 casualties over the course of the campaign—including 4413 deaths on D-Day alone. According to the D-Day Center, “No reliable figures exist for the German losses, but it is estimated that around 200,000 were killed or wounded with approximately 200,000 more taken prisoner.” On May 7, 1945—less than a year after D-Day—Germany surrendered, ending the war in its European Theater.