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If you do a Google search for the value of Beanie Babies, you’ll find several articles claiming that the most valuable Beanie Babies are worth a small fortune. Some of these articles cite ridiculous prices of $500,000 or more for certain “rare” Beanie Babies like the Princess Diana Beanie Baby (even though this was mass-produced and isn’t worth anywhere near that much). These poorly researched articles mainly get these prices from fake eBay listings where sellers have conspired to inflate the value of their Beanie Babies. We’re here to set the record straight with an authentic guide to what the rarest and most valuable Beanie Babies are really worth in 2023!
It’s been 30 years since Ty Warner released the first Beanie Baby in 1993. If you were a kid in the ‘90s, you probably had loads of these tiny plush toys. Besides, they were “totally” going to make you rich one day, right? Whether you just had a few or you’re a diehard collector, we’re diving into the most expensive Beanie Babies, how to determine their value, and why folks are so obsessed with these cuddly critters.
First, let’s discover just how Ty Warner, a former aspiring actor, created one of the century’s biggest toy fads. After playing around with a few prototypes in the ‘80s, in 1993, Ty Warner introduced his stuffed animals filled with pellets rather than traditional stuffing to small toy shops. The little stuffed animals quickly became wildly popular collectibles, mostly because Ty Inc. sold them in limited quantities to small businesses. People flocked to the shelves in fear they would soon be off the market.
Any avid Beanie Baby fan or collector will be familiar with the “original nine.” These were the first Beanie Babies that rolled out in Chicago in 1993. They are: Spot the Dog, Squealer the Pig, Patti the Platypus, Cubbie the Bear, Chocolate the Moose, Pinchers the Lobster, Splash the Killer Whale, Legs the Frog, and Splash the Dolphin. If you have one of the original Beanies, they have a higher value, especially if there’s a mistake on the TY tush tag.
How do you check the value of your collection? A couple of factors can determine a Beanie’s value. Certain production quirks can spike the price tag on the rarest Beanies, but these are less impactful if the Beanie is mass-produced. Remember that Beanies from the first generation (with a first-gen heart-shaped swing tag) are generally the most valuable.
With that said, here’s what to look out for when you’re trying to value your plush collectibles:
According to many sites online: hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is pure nonsense and the key issue with the current second-hand market. Collectors and investors are left with millions of products in a dwindling market, and they’re using every trick in the book to jack up prices and find exit liquidity. Don’t let that liquidity be you!
While the Beanie Baby craze of the ‘90s may be long gone, collectors are still willing to fork out for rare and special edition Beanie Babies. The Beanie Babies with color defects, spelling mistakes, and tush tag errors are sometimes valued more highly due to their unique and collectible nature. Still, most of the time, these errors are so commonplace they don’t impact value. The reality of the second-hand market is that Beanie Babies aren’t really as collectible as people believe, and those that are trying to build collections are most concerned with how well-preserved the Beanie they’re buying is.
Read on for the 20 most valuable Beanie Babies in 2023. Sale prices are based on the highest eBay sold listings towards the end of 2022 and are not average prices. Please note it’s possible for bad actors to make fake sales on eBay to jack up perceptions of market value. We’ve done our best to ensure the collectables listed were sold to real people for real amounts. Where we couldn’t find recent sales history from eBay, we’ve gone with what Sell2BBNovelties.com is willing to pay for a mint-condition Beanie Baby.
As you might have guessed, Millennium the Bear was introduced in 1999 to celebrate the turn of the century. Some of the first batches had tags featuring the misspelled name ‘Millenium.’ It seems spell-checking was less of a thing in the late ‘90s.
Much ado has been made about this spelling error in the fake eBay listings, with one claiming to have sold for $20,000 (yeah, right!) In truth, this bear was mass-produced, and the error is so common it has no impact on its value.
Pinchers the Lobster was one of the Original 9 Beanie Babies, and now that he’s long retired, you would think he’s hard to come by. He’s not, but that doesn’t stop fake eBay listings from trying to cheat you out of $10,000. However, a batch of Pinchers had a tush tag error that accidentally named him “Punchers the Lobster” – these are considered to be more valuable. Still, the highest-selling one we could find as of 2023 only went for $5.50, with no mention of a spelling error in the item description. However, the listing does mention that the Beanie was filled with PVC pellets, indicating it was from an earlier production run before TY switched to PE pellets.
Released in 1994, Inky the Octopus almost has as many versions as it has tentacles. Two versions were made in gray, with the initial one missing the black stitching for the mouth. A pink version was released later and attracts the best price on eBay (probably because it looks nicer than the drab gray version).
There are actually four different variations of Iggy the Iguana. The pastel and neon versions have a tongue, while the blue and tie-dyed versions have no tongue. Because of the similar colors (and the fact they’re both reptile Beanies), the tie-dyed Iggy was often mistaken for Rainbow the Chameleon. This caused factory workers to sometimes mismatch the tags, so it’s not uncommon to find an Iggy with a Rainbow hang tag.
However, this error is not rare and therefore does not raise the value of either Beanie (despite the best efforts of desperate sellers to mislead you). As of 2023, the highest-selling legitimate Iggy we could find went for $6.50.
Another Beanie with a lot of misinformation surrounding its value. As of writing, some fake eBay listings are pretending this Valentine’s Day-themed Beanie is worth more than $2000. In reality, however, Valentine is only worth a few dollars, with tag errors having no impact.
Mystic the Unicorn was released in four different versions between 1994 and 1999. The original-edition Mystic from 1994 (with a tan horn and fine mane) is among the rarer Beanie Babies and will fetch a higher price than the other three incarnations.
Each member of the bunny trio has soft, pastel fur and a matching bow. Beanie Babies didn’t come in sets often, making this three-bunny grouping fairly unique. If you only have one bunny, don’t expect much; it’s the trio that sells.
Snort the Red Bull was initially named Tabasco, but to avoid copyright penalties from the famous hot sauce company, Ty changed the name to “Snort the Red Bull.” Both versions are pretty cheap and go for between $9-10.
The super cute sea creature, Bubbles the Fish, was released in 1996 and became super popular. Bubbles got a couple of makeovers throughout the years, and along with it, a few tush tag errors have been talked about by sellers. However, these tag errors aren’t a value factor for Bubbles.
Halo the Angel Bear is one of the first special edition bears. Complete with a halo and wings, Halo the Angel Bear symbolized a child’s guardian angel. Some of the listings on eBay are pictured with gold wings, but this does not seem to impact their value.
Patti is one of the original 9 Beanie Babies, and most versions of her aren’t scarce, except for the coveted maroon-colored Patti (like this authenticated sold Beanie). The magenta Patti the Platypus is considered to be quite rare. She’s the oldest-edition Patti, and her magenta hue hikes the price tag. The later versions of Patti were a darker purple and sold in much higher quantities, making them less valuable to collectors.
Gobbles graced our presence in 1997 and came in a few different variations. Some Gobbles had a single-layer felt waddle, and others featured a double-layer waddle. Gobbles’ tail feathers were connected at different lengths, depending on the version.
Released in 1997, Claude the Crab has gone by many names. Well, at least that’s what the various swing tag “errors” would have you believe. Versions of Claude have been found with the name “Inky”, “Snowball” and even “Weenie”. In Canada, versions of Claude have been found where the name is entirely capitalized.
Do these name variations add any value? Not really! Because Claude is tie-dyed, most of the value comes from the color mix and condition.
Arguably the most controversial on this list when it comes to “rare” Beanie Babies. The much-maligned Princess the Bear has been alluded to be worth over $500,000. She was introduced in 1997 after Princess Diana’s death and came with a much higher price tag than other bears. Some of the profits from her sales went to the late princess’ memorial fund. Fair warning: they made millions of these; standard ones are not even worth $50. Read more about the real value of Princess Diana Beanie Babies.
Peace the Bear debuted in 1997 and was retired in 1999, and is very popular with its gorgeous tie-dyed design. There’s a little confusion about an “emblem vs. no emblem” version of this Beanie, where one has the peace sign, and one doesn’t. However, the one without the peace sign embroidered is actually another Beanie named Garcia. Find out more in our Peace the Bear value guide.
If you have the ‘right’ shade of blue, as this sold item did, Peanut the Elephant has a slight premium. The royal blue Peanut the Elephant was introduced in 1995 but was retired as the dark blue shade was actually a production error. Because of this, these original royal blue Peanuts are much rarer than the light blue version that came after. So, if you have an original dark blue version, you’re in luck!
Humphrey is one of the original 9 Beanie Babies released in 1994. Humphrey was discontinued in 1998, with only 25,000 ever being made. If you got him for Christmas or your birthday before ‘98, you might be in luck!
Not all the rarest and most expensive Beanie Babies are from the 90s – later decades have some valuable ones too!
Released to promote the Hong Kong Toy Fair in 2010, this bear sticks out with its bright red fur and yellow ribbon that reads “Hong Kong 2010”. This Beanie also dosen’t have a tush tag, so be wary of fakes that miss this detail!
It’s unknown how many Hong Kong bears were produced, but as of writing Sell2BBNovelties is offering $150 for a mint-condition plush.
Nana the Monkey was only on the market for one year in 1995. Bongo the Monkey replaced Nana, but you may still have a high-value beanie baby if you can find an original Nana.
This first-generation Beanie Babie is one of the few that’s actually significantly more valuable due to an error. The name Brownie is actually a typo, and this Beanie was only around for a short time before it was reintroduced as Cubbie. Besides the name difference, the Beanies are identical, but that doesn’t top original first-gen Brownies from attracting a high price from collectors, like this one that recently sold for $255 after a bidding war on eBay.
Billionaire 2 the Bear was given out exclusively to TY employees at a company picnic in September 1999. Only 475 are known to have been produced, making this an extremely rare and valuable Beanie Baby.
While selling this bear won’t make you billions, it’s still worth quite a bit to the right buyer. As of writing, some eBay listings are asking for around $2000 for the Billionaire Bear, but Sell2BBNovelties places its value at $600.
Due to its rarity, there are a lot of counterfeiters trying to make a quick buck by creating fake versions of Billionaire 2 the Bear. This video from Beanie Babies Price Guide does an excellent job of explaining how to identify an authentic Billionaire 2 Beanie Baby.
Made in a gorgeous coral pink color, Coral Casino the Bear is one of the most unique and highly-sought after Beanie Babies out there. This bear was originally given out as a dinner party gift to members of the Coral Casino Beach Club in December 2001.
Only 588 Coral Casino bears are known to have been produced, and each one’s swing tag feature’s Ty Warner’s signature, making this Beanie extremely valuable.
So what’s it actually worth? This video from Earth Titan in 2017 claims that at least one Coral Casino the Bear has sold for $760, while BBToyStore’s video from 2020 values the Bear between $1800 and $2500.
Given what we know about Beanie Babies being overvalued, Sell2BBNoveltie’s price of $800 seems to be about right.
Another unique gift to TY employees, #1 Bear was given solely to TY sales reps in December 1999. Only 253 were made, and each was hand-numbered and signed by Ty Warner himself.
Created at the peak of the Beanie Babies craze, #1 Bear’s poem definitely gives the impression Ty and his team felt like they were on top of the world.
What’s this super rare Beanie Baby worth? Sell2BBNovelties is offering $1200 for a mint-condition #1 Bear. However, Beaniepedia’s #1 Bear article claims this Beanie has sold for $7500 in the past.
Created as part of a promotion with L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City, Chef Robuchon the Bear is incredibly hard to find nowadays. Only 200 are known to have been distributed, making him possibly the rarest Beanie Baby of all time.
However, it appears owners are holding onto their Robuchon Bears, as we couldn’t find any recent sales. With that said, this video from BBToyStore values the cuddly chef at a whopping $2000, but this video was made in 2020. The value seems to have increased over the last two years, as Sell2BBNovelties seems willing to pay $2500 for an authentic Chef Robuchon Bear!
Ty, Inc gifted Employee the Bear exclusively to employees and sales reps on the Odyssey cruise ship in 1997. Only 300 were ever produced, half with a red ribbon and half with a green ribbon.
Since so few were made, it’s safe to say that those who own them are keeping them locked away. As of writing, we have no recent sales data to go off, so it’s anyone’s guess what this Beanie Baby is really worth in 2023.
Do you have one of the Original 9 Beanie Babies? The coveted Employee the Bear or another rare find you want to cash in? Once you understand and have valued their worth, Facebook and eBay are the top two ways to sell your Beanie Babies in 2023. If you have an especially rare and valuable Beanie Baby, it’s a good idea to trust a professional authentication business to certify it.
Peggy Gallagher Enterprises is the first Beanie Baby Authentication service and has inspected over 150,000 Beanie Babies. This company will place your Beanie in a sealed acrylic display case and supply a certificate of authenticity. If you want to sell your Beanie for its best possible price, this extra step helps give buyers the peace of mind of knowing yours is legit – and you can hike up the price!
Don’t forget to give your Beanie a bit of a spring clean before taking product photos, with some help from our guide on cleaning Beanie Babies.
Like any secondary market, Beanie Babies are worth what someone is willing to pay. For some avid collectors and nostalgia chasers, that one museum-grade Royal Blue Peanut or Peace the Bear can be worth more than what most are prepared to pay. While the market may be extremely niche, the demand is there. It’s all about finding the right buyers. As with anything second-hand, the condition of the item matters. While you may have a Pinchers Lobster with a mint-condition heart-shaped hang tag, the value decreases significantly if it smells like your basement.
With the release of the Netflix documentary “Beanie Mania” in late 2021, we’ve seen demand for Beanies slowly pick up steam again with an overall price increase throughout 2022. Going into 2023, it’s anyone’s guess if Beanie values will rise, fall, or stay where they are.
Do they still make Ty Beanie Babies? Yes and no. Ty Inc. stopped manufacturing the classic toys in 1999 (but not before releasing a larger version called “Beanie Buddies” in 1998). However, in 2000 they issued a new Beanie Baby named “The Beginning” after customer demand pressure. In 2008, Ty released a new version of Beanie Babies called Beanie Babies 2.0. The toys came with a code to access an online interactive website – this didn’t last, and the site is now closed. Today, on the Ty site, they have plenty of ‘Beanie Boos,’ which feature large plastic eyes and bright colors. It looks like Beanie Boos is the 21st-century version of the original toys – and kids seem to enjoy the new version. However, the collector’s craze is far behind the kiddos today.
If you’re looking to get your hands on a collector’s item, it won’t be as easy as doing a quick Amazon search. Most collectors still turn to eBay to find the rarest Beanies, but it’s important to know what to look out for.
Just because something on eBay is listed at a specific price doesn’t necessarily mean it’s worth that much. The most recent ‘sold’ prices matter when trying to figure out a fair price for a rare Beanie Baby. The sold price is important because that’s what someone actually paid for the item, not what the seller hoped to get for it. Some unscrupulous sellers will create fake listings with exceedingly high prices and then use a fake account to buy the item, hoping to trick real buyers into thinking these are fair market prices.
Make sure your Beanies aren’t fakes. Counterfeit Beanie Babies started being manufactured in the mid-90s as the toy’s popularity surged. Fortunately, it’s easy to recognize a counterfeit Beanie. Take a look at the toy’s eyes. If the plastic eyes are a different shape or size, it’s a tell-tale sign that it’s not authentic. Also, an original tush tag will have its name in red. A lot of fakes print the name in orange.
Maybe it’s time to dig into your old toy chest. There were two types of Beanie Baby owners in the ‘90s. We all had that one friend who kept their Beanie Babies in a clear plastic case instead of playing with them and the kids who, well, played with them. Little did we know back then that we shouldn’t have cuddled up with Nana the Monkey and Humphrey the Camel! Although Beanie Baby mania and the insane speculation will likely forever remain an artifact of the ‘90s, some of the Beanie Babies in your collection could still net you a tidy sum in 2023.
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