Beanie Baby Dolls
Beanie Babies started producing in 1993 and went into full production in 1994. They had no real popularity until the second half of 1995. In 1996 “Miniature Beanies were released with McDonald’s Happy Meals. Everyone even mommy and daddy had them. Their popularity got to the point that even immigrants inside the U.S. were peddling Beanie Babies at swap meets. At the beginning of the craze they were being sold for 10 times what they were purchased for at retail stores.
Beanie Babies from 1996 to 1999 were being purchased by collectors for resale and it got to the point where they were no longer a valuable commodity to make a good return on an investment in them. By December 31st 1999 Ty had to shut down their production because of the over-saturation of them on the second hand market. Nobody wanted them anymore. At the height of the their popularity 10% of eBay sales were, “Beanie Babies”.
Jan. 2nd 2000 Ty started up production of Beanie Babies again two days after they stopped production. Some say the restart was due to demand and others say the restart was due to an economic strategy by Ty. I can say safely that the second hand market was flooded with Beanie Babies to the point they couldn’t be given away, “not even if you begged someone to take them”. Ty restarting production Jan. 2nd of 2000, two days after they ceased production was in limited quantities so people could not put them up for sale the same day they purchased them and saturate the second hand market to the point of value collapse.
Beanie Baby Common Cards
* 1st Edition, Series 1 November 1998
* 1st Edition, Series 2 March 1999
* 2nd Edition, Series 3 July 1999
* 2nd Edition, Series 4 November 1999
Beanie Baby Cards did not appear until November 1998 and were dead on arrival until early 1999 when it was announced that the cards were being retired. After the cards were retired the remaining inventory of them sold out quickly. After the announcement of them being retired which brought on a quick sellout Ty released the series 2 cards in March of 1999.
Beanie Babies Cards edition 1 Series 1 had 504,000 boxes produced at their beginning Nov. 1998 and the cards were not that great looking. They were just pictures layered on pictures which was old technology. In 1994 the sports card industry were producing trading cards that went beyond the simply design being produced by Ty. My guess is this is why Ty trading cards died on the shelve until of course they were retired.
594,000 boxes of the 1st edition series 2 were produced and released in March of 1999 and sold out before they hit retailer store shelves. The cards that did hit the retailer shelves had purchase limitations on them and higher prices. The 1st edition series 1 cards were poorly designed on the cheap and have no appeal and you can see in the 1st edition series 2 cards the same poor design quality was kept because of the popularity of the physical dolls.
In July of 1999 the 2nd edition series 3 cards were released. 751,332 boxes were released. The graphics were updated and more pleasing to the eye. This series of cards is very pleasing to the eye and most likely will be a more desirable card to the average collector. If you’re looking at design quality the 2nd edition series 3 cards are where you want to be. The backgrounds are not so blurred out and the text is 3D outlined. Series 1 and 2 are a great disappointment as to the design technology being produced in sports and comic book cards in the second half of the 1990’s.
November of 1999 saw the last release of Beanie Baby trading cards. The 2nd edition series 4 released 620,000 boxes of cards into the public. These cards continued with the same design quality as the 2nd edition series 3 cards. As stated above in December 1999 Ty announced the end of the Beanie Baby dolls and with that came the end of the cards too. Even though Ty did produce limited quantities of Beanie Babies in Jan. of 2000 the cards to this day have never came back.
Beanie Baby cards still can be gotten for $1.00 to $5.00 apiece on eBay, Ecrater and other card marketplaces depending on the seller. These cards are very undervalued due to the lack of desirability that was caused by the over production of Beanie Baby dolls. At the time of this article going on eBay to find these cards will produce very few results for each individual card wanted. You would expect to encounter hundreds upon hundreds of these cards on eBay from a variety of sellers but that’s just not the case. Either people gave up on trying to sell the cards they have or they just don’t have any to sell?
These cards, all series were only produced for 1 year. November 1998 though November 1999 is it for all past and present Beanie Babies animals. Sports cards, Comic book cards can have each player or character produced each year for many years. Not that way for Beanie Babies. These cards are a one year only production collectible of an extremely popular Ty product. There are many small trading card sets on the second hand market that were only produced one time and because of lack of popularity they get no play.
Will these Beanie Baby cards ever reach the popularity of the dolls that made the cards possible? If I had to speculate on this I would say these cards will one day come close to the popularity the dolls have. Will it happen in my life time? As for anything collectible this question cannot be answered. Popularity is something that happens through the thought of each individual person multiplied into many. The only realistic thought that can be formulated is based on past collectible items of popularity that have gained today’s popularity and that a day in the future will recognize these trading cards as a picture of a past popular item which will bring value to the cards when they are recognized.