April 7, 2022
December 20, 2021
Many sites and fake ebay listings out there will claim the most valuable Beanie Babies in 2022 can be worth the price of a brand new home, and if you have any of the originals, you may be sitting on a small fortune. Unfortunately, this is not really the case and prices have continued to slide since the ‘90s bubble/mania. Welcome to a much more authentic guide to current Beanie Baby prices, you’ll also learn a thing or two about avoiding the many Beanie Baby price scams out there.
It’s been 29 years since Ty Warner released the first Beanie Baby in 1993. If you were a kid in the ‘90s, you probably had loads of the tiny plush toys. Besides, they were “totally” going to make you rich one day. We’re diving into which Beanie Babies are the most expensive, how to tell the value, and what makes a Beanie Baby worth more than its cuteness.
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 tush tag.
Not sure how to check the value of your collection? A couple of factors can determine a specific Beanie’s value. Production quirks significantly spike the price tag on the rarest Beanies. Here’s what to look out for when you’re trying to value your plush collectibles.
Keep in mind if you’re unsure how to tell if a Beanie Baby is rare, the first generation was introduced in 1993 and is generally the most valuable.
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!
With all that said – 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 worth the most!
Read on for the 20 most valuable Beanie Babies. Sale prices are based on the highest ebay sold listings towards the end of 2021 and are not average prices. Top prices usually include authenticated, first generation Beanie Babies with rare attributes e.g. tag errors. 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 make sure the collectables listed were sold to real people for real amounts.
If your pretty little Iggy has a specific error, you may be able to rake in the bigger bucks. If your Iggy the Iguana has a tag without any print – you may have some more luck. Otherwise, run of the mill Iggy is one of the least valuable Beanie Babies around.
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 though.
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, and rumor has it, the first few batches had an error in the dye. If you have an original dark blue version, you’re in luck!
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.
Charming little Brownie the Bear was one of the original 9 Beanie Babies. Brownie was replaced with ‘Cubbie’ shortly after his release, making an original Brownie Bear more sought-after. However without errors or novelties like this sold item, expect low returns.
There was a specific batch of Valentino the Bear models that had their names misspelled inside the heart-shaped tag, making them much more valuable than the others. This highest selling Valentino wasn’t one of them, but it was in pristine 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.
Peace the Bear debuted in 1997 and was retired in 1999. Some Peace Bears have an embroidered ‘peace sign’ on the chest. However, the Peace Bears without the symbol are rarer, making them worth more. This sold Peace the Bear was 1st edition with mistakes on the tags.
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 which sells. This particular set had a rare missing “r” on all swing tags.
Mystic the Unicorn was released in four different versions between 1994 and 1999. The original-edition Mystic is among the rarer Beanie Babies. If your Mystic the Unicorn has tag errors or a brown horn, you can expect a bit more cash.
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 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 much more valuable.
The Millennium Bear may look like every other Beanie, but collectors will go through hell and high water to get their hands on one with a spelling error. Naturally, the Millennium Bears were introduced in 1999, but 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.
The super cute sea creature, Bubbles was released in 1996 and went on to be super popular. Bubbles got a couple of makeovers throughout the years, and along with it, a few tush tag errors have gone on to make Bubbles more valuable. The 4th generation Bubbles has incorrect tush tags – that’s the one you want to be on the lookout for!
Sale date: Dec 24, 2021
Seller Reviews: 9162
Tag Errors: Swing tag name in capital letters
As well as being the first item on the list worth $100 (due to the name on the swing tag being in capital letters), Claude is the only Beanie Baby with a poem dedicated to his name: “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!”
Sale date: Oct 28, 2021
Seller Reviews: 765
Tag Errors: None
Notes: In original case, brown nose
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. The most valuable bears are from 1998 with a white star, brown nose and tush tag errors.
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 seriously hikes the price tag. The later versions of Patti were a darker purple and sold at much higher quantities.
Cute octopus Inky has a similar color fiasco to Peanut the Elephant. The first Inky batches were tan before Ty decided to change the color to pink for good. The tan Inky was only in stores for 3 months, so if you have one of the few thousand tan Inkys out there, a collector may pay over a grand for it. Oh, and make sure it doesn’t have a mouth – they go for much more.
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 Beanie Baby is near the top of the list as it was in its original packaging, authenticated (museum quality) and had an error with its Bongo sticker.
This is it, the most valuable Beanie Baby we could find with a recent, real purchase on ebay. Not what you might have expected huh? Humphrey is one of the original 9 Beanie Babies. Humphrey was discontinued in 1998. If you got him for Christmas or your birthday before ‘98 you may be in luck!
Ty, Inc gifted Employee the Bear exclusively to sales reps and the company made damn sure they didn’t instantly appear on resale sites in spite of their soaring value. Each Beanie was serial numbered up to #253 and signed by TY Warner himself. Employee the Bear is a true collectors item, the pinnacle of any collection and the most valuable Beanie Baby of 2022. These are so rare, there are no recent sale listings on ebay. If you’re after one expect to pay up big, but make sure it’s fully authenticated and from a reputable seller!
Do you have one of the Original 9 Beanie Babies? The coveted Employee the Bear or another rare find that 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 2022. 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 top dollar, this extra step helps give buyers the peace of mind knowing yours is legit – and you can hike up the price!
Well, 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 its weight in gold. While the market may be extremely niche, the demand is there. It’s all about finding the right buyers. Like 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 he smells like your basement.
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 are 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, all in hope of alluring 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 was surging. 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, it’s not authentic. Also, an original tush tag will have its name on it in red. A lot of fakes printed 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, the most expensive Beanie Babies in your collection could still net you a tidy sum in 2022.
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