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260 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
"A bestselling journalist delivers the never-before-told story of the plush animal craze that became the tulip mania of the 1990s . In the annals of consumer crazes, nothing compares to Beanie Babies. In just three years, collectors who saw the toys as a means of speculation made creator Ty Warner, an eccentric college dropout, a billionaire-without advertising or big-box distribution. Beanie Babies were ten percent of eBay's sales in its early days, with an average selling price of $30-six times the retail price. At the peak of the bubble in 1999, Warner reported a personal income of $$662 million-more than Hasbro and Mattel combined. The end of the craze was swift and devastating, with "rare" Beanie Babies deemed worthless as quickly as they'd once been deemed priceless. Bissonnette draws on hundreds of interviews (including a visit to a man who lives with his 40,000 Ty products and an in-prison interview with a guy who killed a coworker over a Beanie Baby debt) for the first book on the strangest speculative mania of all time. "-- Provided by publisher.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 247-250) and index.
The greatest toy show on Earth : no kids allowed -- The lower level -- Selling the dream pets -- Plush dreams -- "You can make a lot of money with a good cat." : Ty Warner -- Business and pleasure -- Patti's last stand -- New beginnings -- Ty's big idea -- A lamb named Lovie -- The first collectors -- The return -- Force multipliers -- Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant -- The $12-per-hour sociology major who made Ty Warner a billionaire -- The efficient market -- The Beanie chase -- Shovel dealers in the Gold Rush -- The point of no return -- Peak -- The feedback loop spins out of control -- Money changes people -- The P.T. Barnum of plush -- Lights out -- Limping into the new millennium -- Faith's problem -- Ty's problem -- Departures -- Endurance -- Exit strategy.