Here's How Much Your Old Beanie Babies Could Be Worth Now

Fads come and go, as they've done for as long as popular culture has been a thing. For example, as Smithsonian reported, for a time in the 1930s and 1940s, people swallowed live goldfish, for reasons that perhaps made sense at the time. Similarly, for a while in the early 21st century, reports The Wall Street Journal, people were "planking" — which is to say, lying perfectly still while only their heads and feet were supported, similar to a plank resting on two supports.

Sometimes, fads focus on collectible merchandise. Cabbage Patch Kids were huge in the 1980s, for example, while decades earlier, kids eagerly sought out spinning tops, marbles, jacks, celebrity-branded lunchboxes, or other trinkets.

For a while in the 1990s, Beanie Babies — plush and colorful toys produced by manufacturer Ty — were all the rage, according to Yahoo! Finance. Consumers gobbled up the popular toys, and soon a secondary market emerged, as collectors tried to get their hands on rare specimens. Sometimes, different creatures could bring in thousands of dollars on the secondary market.

That was 30 years ago, however, and most Beanie Babies that didn't wind up in the dump are locked away, in closets, forgotten. And regretfully for collectors, only a few specimens are still worth much of anything.

Some beanie babies are quite valuable, most are monetarily worthless

If you have a collection of Beanie Babies locked away somewhere gathering dust, we have good news and bad news for you. First, the bad news: According to Mental Floss, very few of those toys are worth any more than what you paid for them at retail. The good news: If you have any of a handful of certain rare ones, or better still, a complete collection of rare ones, you may be sitting on a gold mine.

The Holy Grail of Beanie Babies was and still is the purple Princess Diana bear, released in 1997. Most of them are worthless, but a handful, manufactured slightly differently from their cousins, are extremely rare and can bring in as much as $10,000. Similarly, certain McDonald's branded bears can also bring in ten large, and others, such as Peace the Bear and Snort the Red Bull, are also worth thousands. The big Beanie Baby money, however, is in miniature collections of certain key bears, noted Parade in 2021. If you have a Large Wallace, two regular-sized Wallaces, along with his friends Cashew and Huggy, you could be looking at a $600,000 payout.

Do note, however, that the value of any collectible, Beanie Baby or otherwise, depends on multiple factors, some of which are arcane and intricate. If you're thinking of selling your Beanies, definitely consult with an appraiser before getting too excited about a potential fat wallet.