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History of the ’90s podcast: Beanie Babies, boom to bust

Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies toys, shakes hands in a rare appearance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Beanie Babies toy line at the American International Toy Fair Feb. 16, 2003.
Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies toys, shakes hands in a rare appearance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Beanie Babies toy line at the American International Toy Fair Feb. 16, 2003. Chris Hondros/Getty Images

How did Beanie Babies go from boom to bust?

On this episode of History of the ’90s, host Kathy Kenzora looks back at the cute, colourful beanbag animals that started off as a toy but soon became an obsession for collectors, who were buying and selling the furry creatures on this new thing called eBay. Beanie Babies were traded like stocks and even became long-term investments for some optimistic buyers.

READ MORE: Beanie Babies creator charged with offshore tax evasion, to pay $53M penalty

Of course, where there’s money to be made, there’s also crime and deception, and Beanie Babies were no different. We’ll look back at how greed and hysteria over the $5 plush toys also led to a wave of theft, fraud and fakery.

We’ll trace the Beanie Baby Bubble from start to finish and try to figure out if the man who invented the toy was a genius or an accidental billionaire.

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Contact:

Twitter: @1990shistory

Facebook: @1990shistory

Instagram: @that90spodcast

Email: 90s@curiouscast.ca

Guests:

Zac Bissonnette, author, The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: The Amazing Story of How America Lost Its Mind Over a Plush Toy — and the Eccentric Genius Behind It

Twitter: @ZacBissonnette

Peggy Gallagher, Beanie Baby authenticator

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