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Beanie Babies are known and beloved for their often simple designs. Beady little eyes, typically a single solid color for their body, and the signature stuffing that props them up. This simplicity has grown into a personality of its own over time, but there are a handful of Beanie Babies that venture out of the status quo to present themselves as something different, something fun. One of those Beanie Babies is none other than the lovable Claude the Crab. With his multi-colored shell body, he perfectly encapsulates what he’s all about – art. He kind of looks like an artist’s palette by default! And while Claude the Crab is a work of art for some, does he fetch Banksy levels of value in 2023? That’s what we’re going to find out today, and make sure you stick around till the end for some extra tips and fun facts about Claude!
Picasso. Van Goh. Dali. Claude.
NO! Not Monet, the other Claude. The other great artist who is almost completely flat, and does his best to make fine art despite, you know, not having any fingers.
I’m talking of course about Claude the Crab, who very well might be named after the famous impressionist painter. This colorful crustacean entered the world towards the end of 1997, perhaps to save us from the graffiti and grunge art that was so prevalent throughout the decade. The world needed fine art, and
Claude was going to give it to us!
At least, he wanted to. Do you know how hard it is to hold a paintbrush with claws?!?
It’s been more than two and a half decades since Claude came on the scene, and he wasn’t even around for very long. He was only in production for a year and a half. So, how is Claude doing now? If you believe the hundreds or thousands of articles across the internet and a handful of eye-watering eBay auctions, you might think he’s doing pretty well! However, there is more to Claude’s story, and not everything is as it seems…
So vague and mysterious. Typical artist.
Not counting his Teenie Beanie Baby counterpart that debuted at McDonald’s in May 1999 or the Beanie Buddy “Digger”, which is curiously also a crab with a multi-colored shell, there is only one version of the Claude the Crab Beanie Baby that ever hit store shelves. (Source: Beaniepedia.com)
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at this crusty fellow:
Claude the Crab was given out as a sports promotion shortly after he was discontinued. He was the guest of honor at the March 14th, 1999 basketball game between the Sacramento Kings and the LA Lakers.
Claude was introduced to the Beanie Babies lineup on 5/11/97 and was retired just over a year and a half later on 12/31/98. He is very clearly a crab, complete with front claws and thin, spidery legs that sprout from the sides of his body. Although, some might say he is of the “softshell” variety!
Other distinguishing features of Claude are his tiny black antennae with knotted ends and his soft, white underbelly. He debuted as a 4th gen Beanie, and you know that that means…
Claude the Crab paints by the sea
A famous artist he hopes to be
But the tide came in and his paints fell
Now his art is on his shell!
Claude’s poem gives some insight and explanation for his colorful appearance, but we like to think of his multi-colored shell as an intentional expression of his artistic ability rather than a clumsy accident.
Claude can be found with a 4th or 5th gen hang tag as well as a 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th gen tush tag. Claude has minimal filling which makes him something of a floppy boy, but he can be found with both PVC and PE pellets. His tush tag could reveal that he was manufactured in either China or Indonesia.
Everything about Claude is on the level and he is, in fact, one of our favorite Beanies. However, we do have one gripe…
September 3rd? Really? You made the crab a Virgo when he could have just as easily been a Cancer? Shame on you, Ty Inc.
There are always a handful of factors that you can judge a Beanie Baby by to determine its value, and now Claude will get the patented Rediscover 90s Toys Beanie Baby Evaluation.
Rarity – How many of a particular Beanie are in circulation? This can be kind of difficult to judge since exact production numbers aren’t always available, but thanks to our friends at Beaniepedia.com and BeanieBabiesPriceGuide.com, we have some good information on Claude. He’s uhhhh… not very rare at all. In fact, he is one of the most mass-produced Beanies of all time, and therefore extremely common and not sought after by collectors.
Age – How long has it been since a particular Beanie was introduced? In Claude’s case, he is exactly 26 years, 2 months, and 12 days old at the time of this writing. That’s a good amount of time to consider which would typically make a Beanie more valuable, but only when other value-adding factors line up. Claude’s large numbers make his age moot.
Materials – Beanie Baby collectors look out for classic or original materials when they are hunting as much as possible. That means that the original PVC stuffing is more valuable than the newer PE stuffing, so points for your Claude the Crab if he has the former and not the latter.
Condition – Condition is always the most important factor. Nobody wants a dusty, crusty, musty Claude the Crab that smells like the ocean. Smart Beanie collectors always take care of their plushies by keeping them out of the sun and in cool, dry places, and those are the Beanies that sell.
Let’s see if Claude is at least worth more than that Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper you still have in your closet.
Mint Condition – $0.50
Sell2BBNovelties doesn’t want your Claude unless he’s in mint condition, and even then he’s probably not even worth sending in. This is what we expected, and is in line with what we’ve seen the site offer for other common Beanies such as Gobbles the Turkey and others.
But Sell2BBNovelties is a straight-laced business. Let’s head on over to the wild, wild west that is eBay to see what silliness they have for us.
Recent Sold Listing – $30 ($42.55 after shipping; September 8th, 2023)
That’s it?! eBay always has something good for us to laugh about, but not today. The auction with the biggest price tag associated with Claude was only $75, and it wasn’t even for the right Claude! It was for the McDonald’s Teenie Beanie Baby version!
Man, what a letdown. Maybe the Beanie Baby value lies spreading across the internet are finally coming to an end. Or eBay just got better at weeding out nonsense. Either way, this is a win for the community, but a loss for the fun we used to have in this section.
Now just for fun, let’s see what Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers are going for these days.
Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper
Most Recent Sold Listing: $199 (August 26th, 2023)
Yikes! Sorry, Claude.
Again, because Claude the Crab is so common, you’re going to have a difficult time getting more than $10 or so for your Beanie. According to BBPG, the only way Claude is even worth that much is if he has the “all caps tag” name error, in which his name is printed entirely with capital letters. (Source: BBPG)
Beaniepedia also tells us that Claude has been seen with different, incorrect names on his tush tag, including:
Unfortunately, none of that makes Claude worth the thousands of dollars he has been accused of being worth in the past. But hey, the best value is sentimental value, and he has that in spades for us!
Thanks for reading this Beanie Baby journey with Claude the Crab. If you enjoyed this, you should also check out our other Beanie Baby-focused articles on Princess the Bear, Millennium the Bear, and Peace the Bear!
Mike is a video game enthusiast, a chronicler of the 90s, and a collector of many things. Born in the mid-90s, he was able to catch the wave of some of the best things the decade had to offer, like Power Rangers, Pokémon, Bagel Bites, the list goes on. Despite the amount of time that has passed, he still enjoys many of those things today! If he’s not writing or gaming, he’s probably wondering why Warriors of Virtue didn’t take off the same way Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did.
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