How one family went bankrupt spending $100,000 on Beanie Babies

Beanie Babies sit on the shelf of a variety store waiting for a new owner 01 September 1999 in Washington DC.

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.

About the author

David Brancaccio is the host of Marketplace Morning Report. Follow David on Twitter @DavidBrancaccio
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I think that people must be really very cautious while they are spending money. It requires a lot of hard work to earn money. I feel it must not be spent this way.

Nope. Not Bankrupt - just checked on eBay and the 50 eagles that he has are worth about $3 to $5 each. At the very least this gentleman could realize several hundred thousand dollars if he sold it all off, so this is a really misleading video.

Sigh. This is why so many people financially self destruct.

you have to sell investments to make money. sitting on them is called hording.

wow when something cost $5 and is selling on E-Bay for $300 you don't sit on them you sell as quickly as you can. I put the down payment on my house from selling these things.

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