Monday, March 26, 2018

The Great Beanie Baby Bubble

Somehow, there was a giant bubble in Beanie Babies in the late 1990s. It doesn't really fit the usual pattern of bubbles that I have come to understand, which I guess goes to show that when a narrative gets going and people start to herd, you can get a bubble in anything! The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: The Amazing Story of How America Lost Its Mind Over a Plush Toy--and the Eccentric Genius Behind It is all about this bewildering phenomenon.

If you were part of this craze, maybe you have some emotional connection to these things and can understand how this happened. I just can't understand it. Adults paying thousands for kids' teddy bears because they were "rare" as a result of being discontinued products? The tulip bulb "investors" would have been proud to see their legacies live on.

The guy at the head of the corporation that made these things seemed to have no clue how this thing inflated. He was a perfectionist tinkerer who kept trying to make his products better. In so doing, he was creating all these collector's items. Instead of thriving and profiting, he sued everyone around him who made this thing the bubble it was. We lived in interesting times.

Not that there aren't bubbles today. I suspect a couple of decades from now people will look down on us for seeing value in some of the things we do. GLTA

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