Your old Beanie Babies could be worth big bucks

Condition of popular '90s toys to play a role in how much money you could get

By Colette DuChanois - Web producer

If Disney VHS tapes could be worth a lot of money, there could possibly be other old treasures lying around your home or hidden in a closet -- perhaps TY Beanie Babies? 

Many people collected the pellet-stuffed toys over the years, especially in the 1990s when they were popular among children and collectors alike. If you opted against playing with them and kept them in pristine condition, you could make some big bucks. In fact, several notable Beanie Babies recently sold for thousands of dollars on eBay

There are some other notable traits you should look for to determine whether a Beanie Baby could be valuable.

Beanie Baby and antique expert Dr. Lori Verderame told Business Insider that you should look to see if the Beanie Baby has what TY refers to as a swing tag, which is the heart-shaped tag hanging from the ear, and a tush tag. If it doesn’t have tags, the Beanie Baby won’t be worth as much. Another thing to keep in mind is whether the Beanie Baby is filled with PE or PVC pellets, which you can find out by looking at the tush tag. According to Verderame, some Beanie Babies with PE pellets are worth less than the ones with PVC pellets. If you have a Beanie Baby bear, Verderame advises the nose color -- brown or black -- of a bear, such as Valentino, could play a role.  

I decided to take a look at the possible worth of some my Beanie Babies, which I found hidden in a closet, to give you an idea of how much one of yours could rake in on eBay.  You can also find them for sale on sites such as Etsy.

It’s worth noting that many of mine are missing the tags, or have bent tags, and appear worn. If you are looking to get a good price for your Beanie Baby, it will likely need to be in mint condition.

Below are the highest recent prices that some of my Beanie Babies sold for on eBay. But others are listed for sale at prices much higher. For example, there’s a Princess Diana bear, which is described as an authenticated, brand-new, "Indonesia ghost version," listed for $600,000. But it was still for sale at last check. There's also a Halo bear listed for an astonishing $1 million. The seller wrote on the listing, "Very Good to Excellent. To the 100s of inquiries,...this is NOT Money Laundering, Trolling, a Joke" and "20% of the sale of this item will benefit World Central Kitchen, Inc." Though again, it still had not sold at last check. 

For all the Beanie Babies below that I looked into for pricing, I also want to point out that there was at least one of each of them that sold for a mere $0.99 and some for only $0.01.
 

Princess 

Beanie Baby Princess

The purple Princess bear is listed as retired on TY.com. It’s also known as the Princess Diana bear.

“Like an angel, she came from heaven above 
She shared her compassion, her pain, her love 
She only stayed with us long enough to teach 
The world to share, to give, to reach,” her ear tag says.

In April, a “1st Charity Retired Rare TY Princess Diana Beanie Baby - (MWMT) - Mint with Mint Tags! Handmade in China with PVC Pellets” sold for a whopping $92,500 on eBay. If you're wondering how or why it got so much, it could be because the seller said the listing was to help pay for medical expenses and further surgeries for a mother.

In March, a 1997 Princess had a winning bid of $15,000 on eBay. 

In April, a Princess Diana bear sold for the price of $10,000 on the site.

Valentino

Beanie Baby Valentino

Valentino, the white bear white a red heart on his chest and a red ribbon, is also listed as retired on TY.com.

“His heart is red and full of love 
He cares for you so give him a hug 
Keep him close when feeling blue
Feel the love he has for you!” his tag says.

In May, the winning bid on eBay for a Valentino with “mismatched tags” was $17,500.

Also that month, a Valentino with a brown nose, tag protector and “valuable errors” had a winning bid of $1,500.

In April, a 1994 Valentino in “good condition” had a winning bid of $1,000

Freckles

Beanie Baby Freckles

Freckles is a leopard that is also listed as retired on TY's website.

“From the trees he hunts prey
In the night and in the day
He's the king of camouflage
Look real close, he's no mirage,” the description on his tag says.

In April, an original 1996 Freckles sold for $10,000 on eBay.

That sold price appears to be a rarity on eBay. In March, an original 1996 Freckles had a winning bid of only $9.99 -- 1% of the price of the one that sold for $10,000 in April.

Another 1996 Freckles that was new with tags and contained PVC pellets got $8 in April on eBay.

Jake

Beanie Baby Jake

Jake the drake, which is what a male duck is called, is retired, according to TY.

“Jake the drake likes to splash in a puddle 
Take him home and give him a cuddle 
Quack, Quack, Quack, he will say 
He's so glad you're here to play!” his tag says.

In May, a Jake with a 1997 swing tag and a 1998 tush tag had a winning bid of $3,600 on eBay.

In April, a Jake with 1998 tags and “inside stamp” had a winning bid of $1,000

Also in April, a Jake with an ear tag that says 1997 and a tush tag that says 1998 had the same winning bid amount.

Erin

Beanie Baby Erin

Erin the bear, which is green with a white three-leafed clover on its chest, is listed as retired on TY's website, as well.

“Named after the beautiful Emerald Isle 
This Beanie Baby will make you smile, 
A bit of luck, a pot of gold,
Light up the faces, both young and old!” reads Erin’s tag.

In April, a 1997 retired Erin, which was listed by the seller without photos, had a winning bid of  $3,400 on eBay.

In May, a 1997 Erin with “errors” sold for much less -- $325

Another 1997 Erin with “errors” sold that same month, but for the price of $275.

Mystic

Beanie Baby Mystic

Now, there are several versions of Mystic the unicorn listed as retired on TY’s website. There is a Mystic with a brown horn and coarse mane, a Mystic with an iridescent horn with coarse mane and a Mystic with an iridescent horn with a fluffy mane. According to TY.com, all of the versions have the same tag description:

“Once upon a time so far away 
A unicorn was born one day in May 
Keep Mystic with you, she's a prize 
You'll see the magic in her blue eyes!”

On eBay, a 1993 Mystic with an iridescent horn in new condition had a winning bid of $2,750 in May. The seller pointed out that years on the tags do not match -- the tush tug says 1993, while the ear tag says 1994.

Also that month, a retired Mystic with an iridescent horn, “rare white star,” tag protector and stored in a plastic case sold for $2,000.

In March, a 1993 Mystic with an iridescent horn had a winning bid of $1,000

Hope

Beanie Baby Hope

Hope the bear, which is listed as retired on TY.com, has its eyes closed and its front paws together in prayer, so it looks different than other Beanie Baby bears.

“Every night when it's time for bed 
Fold your hands and bow your head 
An angelic face, a heart that's true 
You have a friend to pray with you!” reads the description on the tag of Hope.

In April, a used Hope with “tag errors” sold for $2,500 on eBay. 

That same month, a Hope bear in new condition with “errors” had a winning bid of $500

Also in April, a Hope with PE pellets had a winning bid of $400.

Gobbles

Beanie Baby Gobbles

TY also retired Beanie Baby Gobbles the turkey.

“Loves to eat
Once a year she has a feast
I have a secret I'd like to divulge
If she eats too much her tummy will bulge!” Gobble’s ear tag reads.

In April, a 1996 Gobbles had a winning bid of $2,000 on eBay. 

In March, a retired Gobbles had a winning bid of $500 on the site.

That same month, a Gobbles stored in a plastic case got a penny less, with a winning bid of $499.99.


If you want to look up how much your Beanie Baby could be worth, I suggest following a similar process. Take a look at the condition and tags and then search similar “sold listings” on eBay. That will give you a much better idea of how much you could actually get for one of your Beanie Babies than the prices of similar Beanie Babies that are still for sale. I also only included prices for items in which the listing or bidding had ended and did not show “The seller has relisted this item or one like this.”

Click here to get an idea of what Beanie Babies have sold for in recent months. 

If you do have some Beanie Babies lying around your house, but can’t sell yours for a high amount of money, you can still hold onto them. Think of the collectibles as your own personal treasures.

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