There are a lot of things people are willing to pay big dollars for in the world.
This is a simple truth. Money is one of the biggest driving forces of our world. While nowadays people focus more on the here and now with technology and video games, at one point in time, simple children’s toys were the most sought after thing on the market. They’ve become so much more in later years, with action figures, board games, and comic books of the past becoming high selling collector’s items. Yet there is one brand of toy that stands out from the rest as one of the most sought-after and biggest-selling toys in the collector industry. That, of course, has to be the beanie baby.
Beanie babies were a popular stuffed animal toy filled with tiny beads. Modeled after specific animals, these beanie babies were often made to represent certain cultures, events, or even iconic people in our world. Nowadays, these beanie babies are collected and sold for big dollars and have become one of the highest selling collector's items in the world. Yet, despite all of the money and success this toy has, the company’s history is not without its mistakes.
Today we are going to look at some of the worst beanie babies we’ve ever seen. Their names, designs, and history, are both disturbing and uncomfortable to see, but that’s why we’re also pairing these with some of the best, high selling beanie babies on the market. So get ready to dive back into the 90’s and 2000’s as we explore the twenty worst (and ten best) beanie babies in the world!
30 Worst: The Name's A Squeal-Breaker
Let’s start this list off with one of the more disturbing Beanie Babies the brand had, and that’s Luau the Pig. Now to just look at this adorable little pig Beanie Baby, one wouldn’t think too much about it. It’s a simple design of a pig after all.
However, things get more and more complex when you take the time to look at the name of this pig.
The beanie baby was named after the classic Hawaiian feast that has a pig roasted over a fire pit. The pig in this feast was cooked as is, with no real preparation and the final product keeping the animal’s face and everything. It’s a disturbing image to have when you're a kid trying to bond with your new stuffed animal. The last thing a child should be thinking about is the eventual demise of this pet in a fire pit.
29 Worst: They've Made A Dog's Breakfast Of It
It’s not unheard of for a popular restaurant to want to entice their younger customers with an exclusive toy. They will take a popular toy with kids and stamp their name or logo onto the toys to continue to market their brand. This happened a lot at the height of the beanie baby kids craze. An exclusive item for customers at the Bob Evans restaurant chain, these Beanie Babies were a pair of dogs named Biscuit and Gravy. The two toys were an adorable pair of dog friends named after the signature biscuits and gravy dish at the popular breakfast restaurant. Not only were these two dogs named after food at the restaurant, which is a huge and disturbing mistake, but dogs by their nature should not be associated with restaurants as it could give off the wrong idea. Not the best idea for a popular food franchise, am I right?
28 Fortune: The One That Started It All
That’s right, the beanie baby that started a movement. For years, the Beanie Baby has amassed a large following. The years have seen specialty items celebrating certain teams, events, films, and icons around the world, made and sold at outrageous prices. When I was growing up in Southern California, there were even Los Angeles Lakers Beanie Babies made to represent some of the players on the team.
These toys have become one of the biggest collector's items in the world.
However before all of these specialty items and toys were made or thought of, there was the very first beanie baby that started an entire movement within the collector industry. The original curly brown bear beanie baby is one of the most coveted beanie babies in the world. If you are lucky enough to have one of these laying around, you can sell it online for $24, 500.
27 Worst: You'd Have To Be A Fool To Want This
That’s right, there was a Beanie Baby dedicated strictly to the holiday about pulling pranks or jokes on people. For some, this is a fun way to take a dig at someone you don’t care so much about, while others find the holiday to be cruel and unnecessary in the long run. While not always a favorite holiday all around, the bear was actually notorious for having a huge production error. On its chest was written the words "April Fool," and yet on several of the bear,s the words were printed upside down. You’d think they’d play it off as a special edition of the Beanie Baby, but not in this case. The company actually came forward and admitted that it was a production error, ruining what was supposed to be a special, one of a kind collectors item for serious Beanie Baby collectors around the world.
26 Worst: The Price Tag Is Dinky Too
This next beanie baby is truly something terrifying. You see, while bears are the most notorious animal used in the Beanie Baby line, there are other animals as well that have become popular. This includes birds. From beautiful parrots to red robins and more, there have been a multitude of adorable Beanie Baby birds that fans have been collecting for years. However, this next item comes in the form of a poorly designed, terribly named dodo bird.
Its name is Dinky the Dodo Bird, and it’s not a pretty sight.
Not only is Dinky a terrible name for a Beanie Baby, but the product itself looks terrible. It’s resemblance to the big yellow bird of Sesame Street (Big Bird), along with its disastrous color scheme that makes it look like it’s been washed with a blue towel in the washer, makes this Beanie Baby a truly horrendous dodo bird.
25 Fortune: A Peace Of History
A Beanie Baby tie-dyed and dedicated to the notion of peace on Earth is not cheap. Peace the Bear was a brightly colored bear that was made in the 90’s. The beautiful color scheme of the bear brings an almost spring like quality to the collectors item. Looking at the toy, you’d never expect that the simple design of the bear would make it one of the most expensive sales items in the collector industry. That’s right, this is a very rare item and can be sold for up to $5,000 total on the internet. Can you imagine that? Five grand for a small toy you got as a child at Toys R’ Us. It always amazes me to see how much people are willing to shell out for items from our past. Who knew the notion of peace on earth would be so profitable?
24 Worst: Bearly Worth It
The company who makes this collectors item is Ty, and in the year 1998 alone, they made over a billion dollars. That’s a lot of money to be making off of toys, but these toys had engulfed the toy world so completely that every child begged their parents to have one.
They, of course, went on to become high ticket collectors items, and it’s in the continued success of this collector industry that the Beanie Baby has remained one of the hottest selling toys on the market.
Since that year, until the year 2004, the company gave out collectible beanie babies known as billionaire the bear, serving as a constant reminder to the hard working people making these toys that they were making minimum wage while making the CEO a billionaire. I mean imagine that, having your life dedicated to making these small toys and getting hardly any money for it, only to have the rich shove their wealth in your face? That’s messed up.
23 Worst: These Owls Aren't A Hoot
This next one is an entire collection of toys that have somehow offended an entire group of people. Graduation is a special time of year and a huge milestone for students. Whether you're simply graduating middle school, finishing your high school career, or getting your college degree, those who graduate from school are celebrating the years and years of dedicated service to furthering their education. It’s something to be proud of, but Ty instead trivialized it for a number of years. You see, in 2001, Ty released Smart the Owl, to celebrate the graduating class of that year. However, a year later, Smarter the Owl was released, claiming to show the 2002 class was somehow smarter than the previous graduating class. In 2003 Smartest the Owl was there to repeat the process, until 2005, when Smart the Owl was given as a participation award. What kind of message does that send to the future of our nation and world?
22 Fortune: This One's Beary Valuable
This simple white bear with a red heart on it’s chest may not be the most complex bear in the woods, but it’s got one heck of a price tag these days. This bear was meant to be a symbol of romance. For decades, getting your special someone a stuffed animal has been considered a simple yet sweet way of letting the other person know you care about them. Ty thought to build on that kind of special bond and relationship by creating the perfect romance-driven stuffed animal, and they named him Valentino.
Yet, now it’s not his romantic nature that has fans buzzing, but the large price tag the small bear fetches for online.
This one of a kind beanie baby can be found sold online for $19,000 total. That’s a lot of love to give one beanie baby. What says “I love you” more than nearly 20K dollars?
21 Worst: They Should Have Reined This One In
Ty decided to make a special Beanie Baby dedicated to the horse that won the Kentucky Derby in 2006. The Kentucky Derby is one of the most highlighted horse racing events in the world, and is an annual tradition that celebrates the horse racing industry. While many are wary of this industry to begin with over questions of it’s unethical treatment of the horses themselves, the beauty and majesty of these creatures cannot be argued with, and celebrating the winners of this race is a great way to highlight the importance these innocent animals have in the world. This would have been fine on its own, except the poor horse that won that year was in for a horrific end. It broke it’s leg two weeks later, and then was forced to be put to sleep soon after. Why would the company want to have a constant reminder of the poor horse’s loss?
20 Worst: An Embearassing Knock-Off
This next one is a real doozy. It begs the question, did Ty intentionally copy the likeness of a famous Disney character, or was it just a coincidence? After you see this picture, I think you'll be hard-pressed not to see any coincidence here.
You see, Poopsie the Bear is a very familiar looking toy.
The toy has a certain look or quality about it that strikes a familiar chord with a lot of fans. That’s because the bear’s design and name were inspired by Winnie the Pooh, a Disney film and television franchise all its own. The two bears look almost identical, with Poopsie wearing a red scarf instead of a red shirt. Why would Ty want to focus on the Pooh part of the Disney name instead of Winnie? For that matter, why focus on a bodily function at all in your product's name?
19 Fortune: Y2K? More Like Y2-Pay
No, I’m not talking about a special Beanie Baby dedicated to Han Solo’s ship from Star Wars, The Millennium Falcon. Although that would have been very cool. This unique bear was created to help ring in the new millennium when the clock rung in the year 2000. That was an interesting time period, as growing fear over the world-ending computer virus Y2K was at an all time high, and the turn of the century was just around the corner. The world needed to find some bright spots in their future, and so having this limited-edition Beanie Baby must have been one way to accomplish that. However, it’s much more valuable today than at the height of the Y2K scare. It can be sold now online for up to $5,000 total! What a turnaround story for this little bear. It went from a fear dampening toy to a hot collector's item.
18 Worst: Pawsibly A Mistake
The year of the horrendous and painful Hurricane Katrina and the impact on the local communities there from the storm were a major source of news back in the day. So many people lost their homes, their possessions, and worse, people they loved and cared for. It was a painful and tumultuous time period in United States history, leading to the need for disaster relief for those affected. After the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, the Ty company released special edition beanie babies for the states of Alabama and Louisiana, in order to help raise money for hurricane relief funds.
Now, this is a great cause, until you read the inscription on the bears themselves, and see a line regarding being a stronger nation together.
Now I’m not sure about you, but I’m not positive bringing up being a stronger nation is appropriate after a natural disaster like this.
17 Worst: Barbearic In Design
Another quite offensive bear here. Piñata the Bear is a Beanie Baby named after a traditional birthday celebration. Often linked with the Mexican tradition, piñatas are filled with treats of some kind, mostly candy, and are raised up into the air on a rope for children and grown-ups alike. People are blindfolded, given a stick or bat, and must try to connect with the piñata, swinging three times to try and break open the cardboard piñata and get at the treats inside. Not only is it disturbing to see a bear named after a birthday party tradition involving breaking down a stuffed cardboard animal, watching its insides spill out on the ground (the insides are candy), but the bear itself is decorated with the Flag of Mexico, which feels like the company is saying that a piñata is the best representation of the Mexican culture that they could think of.
16 Fortune: Hop On Over To The Bank
The holidays are always great times to come out with special merchandise to celebrate those same holidays. It not only allows people to celebrate these holidays, but it keeps money flowing into the market.
It also creates new collector's items, allowing those who collect Beanie Babies to possess these special items that harken back to specific holidays.
It’s a cycle that goes around and around. One year during Easter, Ty decided to produce the Hippity Hoppity Rabbits, which can now be sold online for $5,000 a piece. That's a lot of money for the collector's items. Traditionally, Beanie Babies are usually reserved for bears, but the company decided to play on the whole Spring/Easter Bunny theme and create these one-of-a-kind items. Interesting how commercialized holidays like Easter have become in the current economy, given their roots in traditionally religious holidays. Oh well.
15 Worst: An Unbearable Loss
The tragic loss of Princess Diana was something the entire world mourned over. She was beloved by all, and the horrific circumstances surrounding her passing have been the thing people talk about most when referencing her. It was a sad day for the world, but Ty wasted no time coming up with this collectors edition Beanie Baby called Princess the Bear. It was meant to commemorate the late princess, and yet it feels more like an attempt to create a collectors edition item profiting off the loss of a global icon. Now the hard part about this item is that it’s also one of the rarest and expensive collector's items in the world, with a price tag of $75,000. It very nearly ended up in the best column because of its price tag, and yet due to the tragic circumstances of the toy’s creation, it ended up on the worst list.
14 Worst: That's Embearassing
As we discussed before, many of Ty’s Beanie Baby line had traditionally been focused on American themes, with the occasional bear created for various nations and cultures around the world. This next beanie baby is an example of the latter. In an attempt to create a product that represented the nation of Mexico, Ty created Osito the Bear.
Osito is Spanish for bear, and the beanie baby has the Mexican flag on its chest.
It’s a very rare and detailed Beanie Baby dedicated to the people of Mexico and their culture. However, this toy was only sold in the United States, which begs the question why they made the toy dedicated to Mexico when they weren’t even going to sell it in the nation it represents, to begin with? It’s almost a slap in the face. It completely fails to target its market audience for this specific collector's item.
13 Fortune: This Beanie Will Magically Fill Your Wallet
On rare occasions, the beanie baby line of toys would create something straight out of our world’s mythology. Straying away from the traditional bear beanie baby look, these mythological creature beanie babies were so rare that it was nearly impossible to find one. One of the rarer Beanie Babies you can find, the Mystic Beanie Baby is modeled after the rare mythical creature the unicorn. Looking like a horse, these traditionally all-white stallions with a large horn sticking out of their forehead are the stuff of legends, and creating one in the Beanie Baby line was an instant smash hit for children around the world. If you ever find one of these lying around in your old boxes, you can sell it online for about $1,000. It’s hard to imagine putting a price tag on such a special and rare toy, but 1K dollars isn’t a bad start.
12 Worst: They Should Have Promised Not To Make This
When you hear the name Promise the Bear, what do you think of? I bet most of you would think of a cuddly toy meant to represent a promise between friends, between romantic partners, or even a promise between family. It’s a name that conjures up an emotional and heartfelt response and speaks of trust between those you care about and yourself. Yet, I bet the absolute last thing in the world you’d ever think of when you hear the name Promise the Bear is a business within the financial sector.
The average looking brown bear was an exclusive for employees of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.
Tell me, why would employees working for a financial company want a Beanie Baby dedicated to them? I’m not saying these toys were only for children and couldn’t be enjoyed by grown-ups. However, don’t you think these employees would have preferred an actual raise or better working conditions over a Beanie Baby?
11 Worst: The End Result Is Grizzly
In the 90’s and early 2000s, one of sports most iconic figures was none other than Shaq. Otherwise known as Shaquille O’Neil, the star center for the Los Angeles Lakers at the time had amassed a huge following in the sports industry, so much so that the athlete had his name turned into a brand all its own, having his own films, music, clothing, and more. He starred in the films Kazam and Steel. Now, after his retirement, he works as a sports commentator and acts occasionally in commercials. He even has his own music career. Yet, despite his retirement, he cannot escape this unnecessary and poorly designed Beanie Baby made to represent him and his brand. This extended to Beanie Babies, although I’m not sure why the Shaq brand necessarily needed to be in the Beanie Baby business.
10 Fortune: No Bull About It
This next one may come as a bit of a shock. You see, this Beanie Baby is called Snort, and is modeled to look like a red cow. It’s a fun design, and yet doesn’t necessarily have any of the mythical glam that other Beanie Babies on this list have. I guess the one thing it does have going for it is that it wasn’t named after some horrific act that ends a cow’s life, like Luau the Pig. If it had been named hamburger that would have been a problem.
This brightly colored cow is a fun toy for kids and a rare item for collectors today to find.
They are eager to buy these up, so if you find one be sure to hang on to it tightly and don’t let go until you find a buyer. If you find one, you can sell it online for $1,500.
9 Worst: Now They're Bruining Birthdays Too
Ty had a business model that would have the company release a birthday month Beanie Baby to commemorate those celebrating each month. It’s a great way to allow customers to feel a deeper connection with one of these toys, as it gives them the same birthday and creates a more emotional bond with the collector's item. Well, one day the October Birthday Bear was released, and its tagline mentioned celebrating Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. Wait, something seems off about that, doesn’t it? One would think celebrating such an iconic speaker and civil rights leader would be a no-brainer and wonderful tribute to an amazing man overall. However, this proved to be problematic as his birthday is in January and we celebrate it each year. It’s one of the first national holidays we celebrate in the year. The company actually referenced the iconic leader’s son’s birthday, Martin Luther King Jr III.
8 Worst: We Don't
This next beanie baby is a pairing that is quite disturbing. Meant to celebrate the joining of two people in a romantic celebration, the reality is this toy has some serious problems in its design. These are the “We Do” Bears. The name itself is a little disturbing as its name is a double meaning of sorts, but the wedding-themed bears feature a dressed groom and an undressed bride, which is unsettling.
I mean why wouldn’t the bride bear be given a wedding dress to wear?
In fact, they should either have both been dressed or not at all, but as it’s a specifically themed collector's item, a wedding dress would have been appropriate. Then you have the couple themselves, who, for some reason, have a foot fused together with the words “I Do” printed on them. What kind of horror movie is this?
7 Fortune: Carve Out Some Time To Hunt For These
This Halloween-themed Beanie Baby is nothing new. As we talked about before, holidays are a great way to integrate special toys into the market. Halloween is one of the biggest holidays in the world, celebrating a night of scares and creepy things that go bump in the night. Children aren’t normally into the scarier aspect of the holiday, preferring to dress up and go trick or treating. However, they themselves recognize certain images that are associated with the holiday. This includes things like ghosts, vampires, and even pumpkins. That’s the design Ty went with for their Halloween-themed toy. It’s a cool way to celebrate the holiday without creating something too scary for children. However, there are rare cases that printed the beanie babies upside down in their design. If you can find one like this, then you can sell it online for $38,000. That’s a lot of clams.
6 Worst: Pawsitively Unremarkable
One of the most specific yet strange Beanie Babies the company ever created has to be the Holy Father Bear. This toy was meant to represent the pope of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. More specifically, one certain and popular pope in particular. Created in honor of the late Catholic Pope John Paul II, the bear is meant to represent the Catholic faith.
Yet, it’s not a true likeness to the Pope and doesn’t feature anything specific to the man.
There’s no white robe, special wardrobe choices that only the Pope would wear, and definitely doesn’t come with the Pope’s signature vehicle he’s driven in while touring the world. It’s just not very distinguishable from other white colored bears in the beanie baby line. Considering all of the other beanie babies that don’t necessarily mesh well with the religion, it’s odd to see a toy bear dedicated to a specific religious leader.
5 Worst: The G.I. Joe Of Beanie Babies
One of the most disturbing beanie babies we’ve come across is Runner the Mongoose. Now it’s definitely unique as it breaks away from the traditional bear Beanie Baby. Yet, the history of the mongoose is filled with a violent past against another creature, the cobra. The creature has one of the most disturbing taglines or poems in the companies history. It goes:
“I’m not so mean, I’m really shy
But every cobra has to [perish],
I grab them by their little head
And whack them till they’re stone cold [deceased]!”
What kind of creepy imagery is that? Now I know cobra’s themselves are not necessarily cuddly or cute in their own right, but having a mongoose Beanie Baby that’s teaching children this creepy poem and about the loss of life for the cobra species just doesn’t seem right, does it? No wonder there are no cobra beanie babies in the catalog.
4 Fortune: You'll Be Squawking Over The Price Tag
This next beanie baby is truly rare. Rare because not a whole lot of them were made to begin with. Mac The Pink Bird is a beautifully designed bird toy. Once more breaking away from the traditional bear Beanie Baby line, this one of a kind toy is considered one of the rarest toys in the Beanie Baby line. The name is also inviting, and when combined with its design made for a very enticing toy for children, as well as a one of a kind find for collectors.
Therefore, collectors are willing to shell out $2,500 a piece for these one-of-a-kind toys.
The odds of finding one of these toys are rare, but if you do, make sure you hold on tight to it. You never know what collectors are willing to shell out for these rare items, even more than the asking price.
3 Worst: Following A Bearial
OK, this next one is truly unnerving. You see, it’s an angel bear. Angels are normally associated with one’s religious views and are meant to bring about a sense of peace and hope to help ease the pain of losing someone in your life. However, one thing to note that might make this toy not so innocent is that angels in religious texts are not just peaceful beings, but warriors meant to fight in wars against demonic threats. That’s a little intense for children. Now whatever you choose to believe, the message here that this bear has passed on and is now an angel is a disturbing message to be sending to kids. How else would this bear have become an angel, if it hadn’t met some grisly fate at one point or another? It’s a chilling thought for children to have to think about. It’s no wonder it never really caught on.
2 Worst: We Can't Bear To See The End
Possibly the worst Beanie Baby the company ever made has to be the Beanie Baby simply named The End. The final Beanie Baby released in 2000, the toy was named The End, and was described as the end of all Beanie Babies.
It was a play on Armageddon, the end of the world.
Armageddon, whether looked upon in a horror-themed way or even in a religious way, is the end of life as we know it, and usually results in either the end of all life on a planet or a group of survivors are meant to rebuild the world that’s been stripped away from them. That’s an incredibly disturbing story to integrate into a simple child’s toy like the beanie baby. It’s a pretty dark story to be telling through a child’s toy, and the Beanie Babies, much like the world, did not end that year, so it’s also a false advertisement.
1 Fortune: You Won't Be Crabby After Selling This
It might be hard to believe, but the rarest and best Beanie Baby in the Beanie Baby line has to be Claude the Crab. One of the rarest of the rare, this one-of-a-kind Beanie Baby is a unique brown and blue crab. Now, crabs aren’t normally the kind of creature you imagine cuddling with as a child, which makes its current price tag of $2,500 a real mystery. Now imagine that, $2500 for a simple crab-like child’s toy. One thing to note here is that this is not the most expensive or highest priced Beanie Babies we’ve come across. That honor belongs to one found on our worst list, the Princess Bear, which can be found sold at $75,000. Yet, this Claude the Crab beanie baby is one of the rarest to find and doesn’t come with the emotional or painful baggage that the Princess Bear Beanie Baby has.