In 5 different auctions, 5 authenticated old-faced bears have been sold without hang tags. These Beanies, which have the 1st generation tush tags, are some of the most sought after creatures made by Ty. Like the Steiff Teddy bears, they may be the most collectible Beanies in existence. We often see these same bears with 1st generation hang tags sell for just under $600 and a 2nd generation hang tag Teddy often sells for just under $500. Losing the hang tag could reduce the value of these pieces by 78% to 82% depending on what hang tag they started with.
Month: March 2019
Unauthenticated, Counterfeit Bronty Beanie Baby Sells for $29.40
There are a lot of questions about what kind of value a Beanie Baby gains or loses by being authenticated by a reputable company. There aren’t a lot of recent examples of authenticated Bronty’s being sold. But there are bundles of the dinosaur trio: Rex, Steg, and Bronty that have been sold together. An authenticated Bronty is likely worth between $80 and $100. This would mean that not authenticating, at least in this case, reduced the price by as much as 70%.
As I look at this Bronty, there are a number of things I’m struck by. 1) the back of the hang tag comes out the shoulder of the animal. This isn’t usually how Ty’s hang tags are stuck on. 2) The hang tag is in the wrong spot. Ty puts Bronty’s hang tag in its left foot about halfway up. 3) The animal itself, looks a bit overstuffed to me. 4) While I can’t tell exactly from a photo, the material used seems incorrect. The colors are good, but the fabric looks like it might be a bit more like felt. This as compared to one we know to be real (which can be seen below). 5) The face on the sold Beanie Baby does not have a pronounced nose like the original Beanie Baby. More worrying still, this Beanie baby is used as the picture for multiple listings on Ebay. Stay away.
Authenticated, Museum Quality Old-Face Cranberry Teddy Beanie Baby w/ 2nd Generation Hang Tag Sells for $520
For some reason the cranberry Teddy is often considered one of the most desirable of the Teddy Beanie Babies. This old faced bear is reminiscent of the old bear designs and evokes a classic look that made Ty’s Teddy’s famous. A crossover collectible that appeals to both bear collectors and Beanie Baby collectors, these are some of the most valuable pieces a person can have in their collection. This Beanie Baby, authenticated by Becky’s True Blue Beans, sold for $520.
2nd Generation Wingless Quacker Sold on Ebay for Less Than $488.88.
A 2nd generation wingless Quacker was sold on Ebay for less than $488.88. The condition of the Beanie Baby is labeled as “Museum Quality,” verified by Becky’s True Blue Beans. The last wingless Quacker to be sold for $182.80 on February 26, 2019, but it had a crease in the tag. Before that, in December, a similar unit was sold for $513.89 on December 27, 2018.
This one was sold for the best offer, which we presume, was somewhere south of its list price of $488.88.
This represents more than a 5.12% decrease in the price.
Authenticated Flutter Beanie Baby w/o Hang Tag, 2nd Generation Tush Tag Sells for Less Than $75
The older Beanie Baby is highly sought after. But the value is incredibly damaged by the lack of a hang tag. This piece sold for under $75.
Bronty the Brontosaurus Beanie Baby
|Introduction date:||June 3, 1995|
|Retirement date:||June 15, 1996|
|Hang Tag Generation(s)||3|
|Tush Tag Generation(s)||1, 2|
Bronty the Brontosaurus is shares a fabric with the later introduced Sting the Stingray. This beanie baby rounds out the dinosaur set. Not to mention it looks a little bit like a Lochness monster caricature.
The under-stuffed brontosaurus is an extremely floppy large animal. And (in my opinion) the cutest of the dinosaurs. Along with Rex and Steg, Bronty is a beautiful addition to the highly collectible series.
Introduced and retired before the Beanie Baby craze took off, this is a member of the set of Beanie Babies that are hard to find, but not so hard that they are uncollectible. A mint or near mint Bronty Beanie Baby that is authenticated will likely set you back about $100.
2 Britannia Beanie Baby’s Sold for $114.98, Buyer Overpaid
Two Authenticated Britannia Beanie Baby’s were sold in a bundle today on Ebay for $114.98. One of the Beanie Babies has the patch variation of the flag, one has the embroidered version, and both were made in Indonesia. Indonesian-made Beanie Babies are sometimes more desirable because of the fabric used in the product. For whatever reason, Ty’s Indonesian-made plush is rumored to be softer.
In the case of Britannia, the location where it was made has additional significance. Indonesian versions of Britannia had a flag that was sewn on as a patch. This is different than the plush toys made in China. Chinese-made Britannia’s had flags that were embroidered to the chest. At least that’s the conventional wisdom. It’s generally thought that the Indonesian production run was quickly ended. In the case of this auction, both Britannia’s were made in Indonesia. The one that has an embroidered flag, however, is a surprising find. That said, there are others on Ebay, so the distinction between how these Beanies were made in Indonesia and China is likely nothing more than rumors.
The most recent sale for Britannia is an authenticated Britannia marked of the same quality sold for $42.49. And, it appears, there are many listings of similar quality for Britannia’s that would have allowed the buyer to obtain almost identical versions of these two Beanies for $27 cheaper. It seems the buyer overpaid. Sometimes, I suppose, it pays to sell in twos.
We believe the buyer overpaid for these Beanies by 31%. Congratulations to the seller.
Steg the Stegosaurus Beanie Baby
|Introduction date:||June 3, 1995|
|Retirement date:||June 15, 1996|
|Hang Tag Generation(s)||3|
|Tush Tag Generation(s)||1, 2|
Steg the Stegosaurus is one of the oldest Beanie baby designs. Introduced in 1995 and retired about 1 year later, the bean stuffed animal was only available for a short while after the beginning of the Beanie Baby craze. The dinosaur set, which consists of Steg, Bronty, and Rex are some of the most sought after of the rare, old Beanie Babies. And given their later introduction, they are a bit more affordable than some of the rarest very old products.
As of the date this page was put together, recent sales of authenticated, so-called “Museum Quality” versions of Steg were selling for between $99 and $109. The difference in price being. If you’re looking for a good place to begin your Beanie collection, the dinosaur set is a perfect place to start. You can collect them all for between $200 and $300 give or take. And they are generally very available.
Steg’s fabric has shades of yellow, green, and brown. It’s eyes are inset and the spine of the dinosaur is tight against its back. The high quality stitching is evident from this and all remaining shots. The simple dinosaur is cute, and highly desired by collectors. The Ty tag, which can be seen on the right side of the image is a 3rd generation tag. There is no poem inside and no birthday, which are mainstays of these little bean bags. Most collectors entered the market around the introduction of the 4th generation tag. These tags lack many of the features of the 4th generation tags that people came to know. They have a simple “To:” and “From:” line on the inside.
The tush tag is one of the most important ways in which a counterfeit can be discovered. The dinosaurs, all of them, have the same 1995 copyright on their tags. They can have either this 2nd generation tag or the all black-text 1st generation tag. The front has a red “ty” just like the hang tag. It is a distinct, vibrant red. Occasionally, the fakes will have be printed in a slight, orange tint.
Bullshit and Beanie Babies
I started this blog because I have a strange, unfortunate, esoteric knowledge that I feel is going wasted. I know way too much about Beanie Babies. And now, 20-some years after the popularity of those adorable bundles of beans went parabolic, I am seeing reporting by outlets that would otherwise be considered reputable.
Another confession: I still collect these things. It’s a nostalgic outlet for me. There are a lot of Beanie Babies that I could only ever dream of having as a child. Now that I’m an adult, and in the wake of the devastation of prices, those dream lots are now affordable to me. Rex the tyrannosaurus? Steg the Stegosaurus? Bronty the Brontosaurus? Spot without a spot? All of these are Beanie Babies that once made casual collectors froth at the mouth. They were retired, removed from the supply, before the average person entered the market.
So I needed a place to do two thing. 1) As I research prices for Beanie Babies, I am creating a bit of a repository wherein I track what people have paid. It affects what I, myself am willing to pay as well. And the analysis here will be reasoned and simple. Perhaps it will help fight back against these stupid stories about Princess Diana Beanies being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s an important exercise for me in some sense because I think that the sort of casual reporting that occurs in the world of esoteric products like this is indicative of the rest of news. If the news can’t get their reporting right on news about Beanie Babies or they can’t get their facts right about Ebay listings, how can you possibly trust them to report politics? How can you trust them to report science? How can you trust them at all? This is my small contribution to correcting the record about something stupid so that you can know what kind of fact checking is needed to stave off a case of the conspiracies for something more important.
Looking at Beanie Baby Search Volume
Since 2004, search volume has remained fairly consistent. Just take a look:
Suddenly in January 2014, we see an enormous spike. And every few months thereafter, spikes in search show up. So what happened in January 2014? Returning to search volume charts, we can see that something happened between January 13 and 17 of that year.
In going back, I have tried to trace what exactly happened. It appears that the event that sparked the renewed interest during this time period may have been what was happening to Ty Warner himself. He was convicted of tax evasion for hiding a tiny portion of his fortune overseas.
But it happens again in October 2014.
Well, get ready to laugh. This renewed interest came from a hoax article about how the spider eggs that your beanies are filled with are finally hatching. The story is funny, and evidently believable enough to have forced Snopes and others to write articles informing people that it’s a hoax.
Then again in April 2015.
As best I can tell, this is the beginning of the idiocy. The article that sparked the interest here is a Daily Mail article that claims a couple bought a Princess Diana Beanie Baby only to realize that the item was worth £62,500. Bullshit! It was never worth that, and this news story is a great example of some of the crappiest reporting you’ll find. But the reporter, Steph Cockroft, will have absolutely no consequences because the subject matter is non-consequential. You want to understand how we got here with media, this is it. Reporters cut their teeth on inconsequential crap, and they get promoted to higher level positions.
In this case, the report basically explains that a couple bought a Princess Diana Beanie Baby at a store. When they got home they saw that there were some listed at over £60k. So the Daily Mail reports that that is what it’s worth. It’s literally a news story about an arbitrary number that some person put on an ebay listing. It might seem innocuous, but there is a less than small chance that people may even move to buy these products on this news story. Alas… I digress.
The next spike occurs in August 2016.
Best I can tell, this spike was caused by an article in ZMOnline entitled If You Have Any of These Beanie Babies, You’re Rich. This is another insane piece alleging all sorts of crazy prices for Beanie Babies that aren’t worth what they are claiming.
It happens again in 2018. This time, it’s Cosmo. The stupidity of this column, written by Jen Ortiz undergirds the point that media literally does nothing to fact check.
The Cosmo article was disseminated everywhere. It was republished on lots of major news outlets, and was picked up all over by local news and radio stations.