In the annals of consumer crazes, nothing compares to Beanie Babies. With no advertising or big-box distribution, creator Ty Warner - an eccentric college dropout - become a billionaire in just three years. And it was all thanks to collectors. The end of the craze was just as swift and extremely devastating, with "rare" Beanie Babies deemed worthless as quickly as they'd once been deemed priceless. Bissonnette draws on hundreds of interviews (including a visit to a man who lives with his 40,000 Ty products and an in-prison interview with a guy who killed a coworker over a Beanie Baby debt) for the first book on the most extraordinary craze of the 1990s.
Bissonnette (Debt-Free U) does a masterful job of tracing the rise and fall of the Beanie Baby phenomenon of the 1990s, reminding readers that in 1998, a whopping 64% of Americans owned at least one of the small stuffed animals. Although Beanie Babies creator Ty Warner designed the toys for young children, the likes of Brownie the Bear and Chocolate the Moose soon became frantically sought-after possessions among adults, who viewed them as investments that could only increase in value. Warner, a marketing master, drove up sales by periodically retiring characters, a strategy that kept fanatic collectors buying Beanie Babies in bulk out of fear that supply would dry up. At the height of the craze, the $5 plushies were selling for hundreds of dollars. This cautionary tale of elevated consumerism, with collectors fretting over what they didn't have rather than taking pleasure in what they did, serves as a useful history lesson for today, told with wit and subtlety.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great look at consumer behavior and the behavior of an eccentric, product-focused salesman. Fascinating rags-to-riches story of a flash-in-the-pan product.
This book is totally inaccurate and tells a slanted story about beanie baby.
The funniest book on human nature....EVER!
This book will have you laughing each page...the great silliness of people gone bananas! Interjected with the dark paradox of a tortured inventor who produces happiness for millions of children while finding little joy himself. A fascinating read!