Part of the rite of passage involved in growing up in the late 90s was owning a Beanie Baby. And if you hoarded quite a few, we can’t fault you—because we all did.
All through 1995 till the early 2000s, Ty Beanie Babies were some of the hottest things in the world of everyday collectible toys.
Plus, since we were all convinced they would be worth a fortune in the near future, a significant number of young people—us included—had at least a few immaculately preserved, with the tag intact, stashed away somewhere in storage.
The future collectability of these toys was one of the key marketing strategies behind Ty Beanie Babies. The company even sold protective materials to help keep the toys and their tag in tip-top condition.
Today, while your stash of Ty Beanie Babies may not be enough to retire on, some of these toys are becoming increasingly more valuable, commanding higher prices on the collectors market each year.
A perusal of Beanie baby auctions on eBay will immediately alert you to the robust state of the market if you have been previously unaware.
However, while Ty Beanie Babies have stayed in production since they were introduced in 1993 (with the exception of a production break in 1999,) only the older, original (now retired variants) manage to attract significant prices on the open market. This fact is in line with other collectibles where collectors place a premium on older, rarer items.
All of the most expensive Beanie Babies are unique specimens that contain errors—such as a misspelled tag or an oddly shaped element—that further sets it apart from other original Ty Beanie Babies, making it even rarer.
Rare Beanie Babies
Whether you are checking to see if the Ty Beanie Babies in your cache are now worth something or looking to add some rares to your collection, join us as we take a closer look at some of the most valuable and rare beanie babies.
Putting an exact price on a Beanie Baby is almost impossible, as the final price of each sale is heavily dependent on the offers the seller gets and how much they are willing to take for it. As a result, the average price of each toy type can shift quite often and massively as each sale is an isolated event that barely hinges on the others.
Hence, all estimated prices we quote in this article are only a ballpark highest possible price based on the sales we could find and should not be misconstrued as the absolute market price for that item.
Most items, even specimens with errors, will typically sell for much lower than our quoted price, often retailing for a few thousand bucks or even less than $1000.
Where the prices quoted in this article will be more obtainable is at the pinnacle of those item offerings, the creme de la creme, and the rarest variants of that specific Ty Beanie Baby that is available for purchase.
1. Bubbles (With Errors)
Fish plush toys will never go out of style, and the Bubbles Ty Beanie Baby is all the proof you will ever need.
This yellow and black color-banded fish was first released in 1996 and has stayed in production ever since, undergoing a series of modifications to the original design.
With the significant amount of changes that have been added to the initial design, several prominent errors have occurred during the transitions. Unsurprisingly, these rare Bubbles with mistakes in their design or on their tag typically sell for much higher than the standard offerings.
However, the most immense value lies in Bubbles from the original ‘96 set that features some form of error on the tag. These ultra-rare specimens can retail for enormous sums, reaching as high as $130,000.
2. Batty (With an Extra Foot)
If you built your Ty Beanie Babies collection as a child, the chances are that Batty the bat was not your favorite. This bat’s menacing look and dull colors were enough to turn off the most squeamish and panicky amongst us.
However, years later, it is this eerie-looking character that could have you laughing your way to the bank.
A rare error in the original 1996 production of Batty the Bat meant that some of the units shipped with a third leg attached to the torso of the bird. The unique specimens with this error are highly sought after by collectors and can often reach prices up to $125,000 on the open market.
3. Piccadilly Attic (With Errors)
Yes, Piccadilly Attic is not known for its good looks but is arguably one of the plushiest and most huggable Beanie Babies out there. And if you still have yours sitting in the Attic, it could be worth some money.
The most valuable Piccadilly Attic Beanie Babies are those that are part of the original 1993 release.
Some of these offerings with errors in the tag or dressing can reach prices up to $120,000.
4. Scoop (With Blank Tag)
Scoop the Pelican is another fan favorite that many Beanie Baby fans would love to get a hold of, mainly because it is available in such limited supply. This pelican, which was first released in 1996, only shipped until 1998, when it was retired.
Hence, this short production span means that Scoop the Pelican Tys are relatively more scarce than most and, as such, attract a premium on the collectors market.
However, the actual value lies in specimens from this batch with a rare error; a completely blank tag. Scoop the Pelican units that match this profile and can easily retail in the $50,000 to $100,000 range.
5. Libearty (Original Edition)
No better way to raise a child than by instilling the American ethos of championing liberty and freedom early on. Hence, it won’t be a surprise that your dad tossed this one into the cart at the mall.
A few decades later, you could be getting paid for that decision.
Libearty, a homely white bear, was themed initially after Olympics for the 1996 edition but was switched due to (copyright issues) for a more American outlook, complete with a red and blue neck ribbon and the stars and stripes embroidered over his heart.
This extremely relatable look and the fact that this Ty Beanie Baby was only shipped in limited amounts for one makes this piece quite rare and a collectors’ favorite.
Prices on the original Libearty doll can range from anywhere between $5000 to $75,000.
6. Sparky (With Star Tag or Wrong Tag)
Dalmatians will never not look adorable, and Sparky is no exception to this rule. This cute doggy has been a fan favorite for years despite being produced only in 1996 and 1997, and even today, collectors are still on the lookout for mint specimens of this toy.
However, the best value you will find on Sparky Beanie Babies is for those with slight variations from the regular release.
One of the most sought-after variants of Sparky is a small selection of units that feature a white star on its tag. Another characteristic to look out for is wrong tags.
The most expensive Sparky units can retail for as much as $100,000.
7. Valentina (With Tush Tag Errors)
Valentina is every girl’s favorite, and for good reason. With its combination of bright magenta colors and a love-theme design, it’s hard to say no to this super cute bear. However, finding one of these pieces isn’t easy.
Valentina ranks as one of the rarer Beanie Babies thanks to being in production for only a few months in 1998.
Some of the most expensive Valentina pieces are those that feature some discrepancies on the tag, including some with missing elements (like incorrect text or the red stamp on the tush tag) and others wrongly dated “1999.”
These atypical pieces can fetch as much as $40,000 on the open market.
8. Valentino the Bear (With Color Variation and Tag Errors)
Not to be outdone, Valentino, a brother bear to Valentina, can also attract significant ransoms on the collector’s market.
This eye-catching Beanie Baby is notorious for shipping with a wide range of varieties and errors. Some pieces have a star on their tag that isn’t yellow like the others, while other units have a different colored nose instead of the standard black one.
Some of these variants and others with tag errors can be extremely rare, sought after by collectors, and priced quite high in the $30,000 – $40,000 range.
Nevertheless, irrespective of price, this all-white huggy bear with a bright velvet heart on its chest is an embodiment of the season of love, just like its sister, Valentina, and remains a fan favorite to this day.
Few Beanie Babies can ever match the cuteness level of Hope, the bear. This serene yellow bear with eyes closed and hands clasped in prayer is arguably one of the most elegant units from the series you can buy. However, finding one isn’t so easy.
These rare pieces, initially released in 1998, can sell for north of $10,000 if found in their mint production state.
10. The End
In 1999, all wasn’t well in the Beanie Babies world when the company announced the brand’s end, leaving collectors everywhere aghast at this impromptu ceasure of production.
Thankfully, Ty resumed producing the toys a year later.
However, this announcement brought another rare beanie baby into existence. The company released a special edition black bear called the End to signify the brand’s end and commemorate its many successful years of existence.
Today, this all-black bear can sell for as much as $5000 and several multiples higher if it has a missing tag or an incomplete one.
11. Brownie the Bear (Original Version)
The bear is one of the original Beanie Babies released in 1993, so that standing already gives it some status amongst collectors.
However, what immortalizes its rarity level is the fact that its name was changed shortly after from Brownie to Cubby, making the initial bears released under the “Brownie” relatively much rarer.
If you have a mint condition specimen of the initial version of this brown bear, you could get between $5000 and $20,000 for it on the open market.
12. Princess the Bear (Original Edition)
Princess the arguably the most famous Beanie Baby out there. This eye-catching purple bear was a special edition released by Ty to commemorate Princess Diana of Wales a few months after her tragic death in 1997.
All the income from selling these toys went directly to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, an independent grant-giving foundation that continues her humanitarian work in the United Kingdom and overseas.
The sale of the Princess the Bear toy managed to raise over $20m for the foundation.
Today, while Princess the Bear units are pretty standard and low-priced, a few pieces that belong to the original release are heavily coveted and can retail for up to $10,000 on the collectors market.
13. Pouch (With Tag Errors)
Pouch is a rare sight as it is the only Beanie Baby that features two characters in one. The combination of a mother and child kangaroo, which was first introduced in 1997, is a unit that children everywhere will always love.
However, while you can quickly get Pouch for cheap today, some variants with unique tag errors can retail for much more.
A Pouch piece with an incorrect tag, a misspelled tag, or a double tag could attract a considerable premium, selling for between $5000 and $10,000 on the open market.
14. Peanut the Elephant (Royal Blue Version)
Peanut the Elephant was first produced in 1995 and quickly became one of the more popular Beanie Babies.
However, while most brand fans will only know Peanut as a chic, all-light-blue bear with big black puppy eyes, the original edition was something different. The initial design for Peanut the bear features a deep royal blue tone. However, only 500 units of bears bearing this original design were released before that aesthetic was retired in favor of brighter colors.
While the design of this bear has changed periodically over the years, the original 500 bears have remained the most in-demand variants, thanks in part to its increasing rarity.
Currently, the royal blue Peanut the Elephant pieces can easily retail for between $1000 and $3000.
15. Employee the Bear
Employee the Bear is one of the rarest Beanie Babies out there, as it is estimated that only around 300 of these were produced. However, this unique piece was never directly released by the brand but rather was gifted to the company’s staff and sales agent.
If you find one of these rare bears, you are sure to get at least $3000 for it.
Similar to Employee the bear, Lips is a limited edition Beanie Baby that was never made available to the general public. The rainbow-colored fish was only offered to attendees of the Beanie Babies gift show hosted by Ty in 1999.
Consequently, this toy is highly demanded by Beanie baby collectors everywhere. Furthermore, specific errors, such as missing tags or erroneous error tags can make specific units even rarer.
Lips toys are currently available on the open market for between $5000 and $50,000.
17. Iggy the Iguana (With Tag Errors)
A rare Iggy the Iguana with a blank tag or other tag error can easily retail for between $5000 and $15,000.
While this bright-colored Iguana is not the prettiest of the bunch, it is one of the few options from your collection that can get you paid. Whether you have a blue, neon, or pastel Iggy, what you want to look out for is one with a blank tag, a wrong tag, a Quakers tush tag, or other tag errors.
18. Gobbles the Turkey (Original Edition)
Get the right Gobbles the Turkey Ty Beanie Baby, and you might just get enough cash to cover Thanksgiving Day turkey costs for the rest of your life.
Unlike your regular turkey, this Beanie Baby is quite rare and can often sell for a few thousand bucks. A mint condition 1996 edition Gobbles can easily reach prices up to $7000 on the open market.
Furthermore, specimens with unique errors such as a missing leg or a tag error can attract similarly hefty price tags.
19. Halo the Bear (With Date Stamp, White Star, or Errors)
One look at Halo the bear is enough to convince you that it is something important. Unlike other Ty Beanie Babies that settle for a regular plush feel, this stunner sports a unique iridescent fabric that is akin to what a world-famous rockstar would wear.
However, while this piece is a favorite amongst collectors for its natural good looks, you hit the jackpot if you find one with a 1998 date stamp, a tush tag error, or a white star stamped anywhere on its fur. These specimens can easily retail for up to $8000.
Furthermore, Halo the bear pieces with other unique errors like blank tags, spelling errors, or an oddity in its profile can also attract substantial prices on the collectors market.
Rare Beanie Baby Collections
Like with most other collectibles, with Ty Beanie Babies, finding a complete set of items with a specific trait often creates a collection that is more valuable than the sum of its parts.
Some collections you should be looking to assemble include:
Large Wallace and Two Regular-Sized Wallaces
One of the most valuable collections you can gather in the Beanie babies universe is one that contains a Larger bear Wallace and its two regular-sized compadres, Huggy and Cashew.
Large Wallace, with its green tone and red scarf is rare in its own right, but when paired with its also rare two more petite bear pals, the collection could reach prices in the $100,000 to $600,000 range.
15-inch Peace Bear and Friends
Another extremely valuable collection to watch out for is one containing four friends; the 15-inch Peace Bear, its smaller 9-inch counterpart, Bones the dog, and Ringo the raccoon.
Each piece in this collection is quite rare standalone and can reach prices of up to $5000. However, when assembled in one complete unit, with mint condition specimens, this extremely sought-after collection can reach prices north of $100,000.
The Three Pandas
Apparently, pandas are as rare in the Ty Beanie Babies universe as they are in real life. The three most popular pandas in the series, Large Peking, China, and Fortune, are pretty hard to find together and in their original production condition.
Assembling this trio will mean a great deal to your bank account as this in-demand set can often sell for between $50,000 and $100,000.
Hippity, Hoppity, and Floppity
For the right set of rabbits, you could be in for some serious cash. Another collection to look out for is the bunny trio Hippity, Hoppity, and Floppity.
While there are multiple variations of these rabbits from the various years of production, what you want is the original edition light green Hippity, pink Hoppity, and the first edition lavender Floppity, complete with a double-sided ribbon wrapped around its neck.
A complete set of this trio in mint condition could reach up to a $30,000 price.
What are the nine original Beanie Babies?
The original beanie babies were a set of 9 released initially in 1993 when the Ty company launched. These nine toys are:
- Legs the Frog
- Pinchers the Lobster
- Squealer the Pig
- Flash the Dolphin
- Patti the Platypus
- Chocolate the Moose
- Brownie the Bear (later renamed Cubbie the Bear)
- Spot the Dog
- Splash the Whale
However, while these first beanie babies do receive some regard from collectors, they are not automatically super rare and expensive. Many editions of this toy were released over the years, and only the initial version released in this first year can be considered antique.