How one family went bankrupt spending $100,000 on Beanie Babies
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It’s been 20 years since Beanie Babies captivated America. In the mid-nineties, it was commonplace to walk into a mall in and see endless lines of parents and children waiting to get their hands on the latest pellet-stuffed critter.
They became so ubiquitous and sought after, many considered them to be collectables. Some families began to stockpile Beanie Babies with the idea that the stuffed animals would increase in value and one day make them rich — sort of like the mortgage market, or Dutch tulip bulbs.
Chris Robinson’s father was one Beanie Baby fanatic. What started as a fun family collection for Robinson and his siblings turned into his father’s all-consuming obsession. Robinson and his brothers were at times taken out of school to buy the latest Beanie Babies, and weekends were spent inside with the family cataloging his father’s massive collection.
His father’s Beanie Baby buying addiction spiraled so far out of control that he spent $100,000 on the Ty, Inc. creations — an investment that has yet to yield any return. Robinson recently directed a YouTube documentary about his father’s collection called “Bankrupt by Beanies” (watch below). He talks with Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio about growing up with a father who squandered their family’s money on a collectible that no one wants to collect anymore.
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