Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Book Review - The Great Beanie Baby Bubble


The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute

By: Zac Bissonnette
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
Publication Date: March 2015
ISBN: 978-1591846024
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: January 7, 2015

Like many, I do have remnants of a craze gone by around my house. Beanie Babies were purchased and much loved in this house, but not collected. A collection, so far as a child might consider it one, was amassed during each shopping trip when money was doled out to buy a favorite. I loved reading little vignettes about Ty Warner's theory that no one would buy if those babes were in a bin. The fact that they were only $2.50 retail, raised one eyebrow, then two considering how that child's little wallet was gouged by an unnamed retailer.

A little lobster beanie sits near my desk as a memento, but he wears no tag and certainly isn't in a plastic box. Princess Diana sits behind the glass in my secretary, cozily peering out. I never really had to have any Beanies, but I certainly had to have this book to learn about the seedier side of plush. The compilation of collectors, their stealth methods to snag the so-called rarities, and those who spent their children's college funds waiting for a return on their investments.

I see the old collectors' value book for sale a stone's throw away from Bissonnette's on Amazon. You may not remember or even know about "The End" bear, but you 'll read about it in the these pages along with the story of many other 'special' Beanies. "The thrill of the hunt" got them all at the end of the craze, but there were many who rode the wave right to the bank. You'll read about them in this book and of course you'll find out all about Ty Warner, the guy who would have been voted least likely to succeed by anyone who knew him when he was young. No doubt he was a master salesman and he could spin a bit of a line as well.

Mesmerized by this tale and it almost read in part like a fairy tale, it kept me at attention. A tale of greed, irrational behavior, foolhardiness, and more. The secrets you'll find out are better than the big "find" you may have made when you snagged a Beanie you wanted. I do see those collections being sold for a song now on eBay and elsewhere. Did you know that in the early days of eBay Beanies comprised 10% of their sales? Meg Whitman called those collectors "obsessive types." They were. Whether you like Beanies, loved `em, collected them, or spent your last dime on them, you'll really need to look inside the pages of this book. Personally, I just couldn't resist.

Quill says: Want to know why you loved `em, like `em, were obsessed with them (or lost your shirt)? Read this book ...