Beanie Babies were a huge hit in the 1990s, but they quickly faded into relative obscurity. The once-popular children's toys now draw a different crowd - collectors.
The same tiny stuffed animals that once sold for only a few bucks now sell for thousands of dollars on the secondary market. As a rule, the more unique the Beanie Baby, the more valuable it is, which means that certain versions with slight variations in styling or even errors in production often command the highest prices.
Top 10 Most Expensive Beanie Babies
Compiling a list like this can be a bit difficult because there's no real consensus regarding the valuation of Beanie Babies. Browse around online and you'll likely notice that the most expensive Beanie Babies have a wide variety of prices, depending on where you look.
In this article, we list the top 10 Beanie Babies that fetched the highest prices on eBay in 2021.
1. Curly the Bear - $9,500
Curly is a brown bear with a dark red ribbon adorning his neck. He's not a particularly uncommon bear - he's known to have been given away at pro sporting events by the thousands in the late '90s.
Still, he's the third top-selling bear in all retired Beanie Babies on eBay, with one buyer considering Curly worth a cool $9,500.
2. Mystic the Unicorn - $9,861
Mystic the Unicorn was born on May 21, 1994, with "magic in her blue eyes."
This one features an iridescent horn, a coarse yarn mane and - according to the seller - several tag errors.
3. Pinchers the Lobster - $10,000
Originally released as "Punchers" - perhaps in error - Pinchers is one of the original nine Beanie Babies. The version with the "Punchers" tag is naturally highly coveted by collectors, but sadly, this is not one of them.
Instead, "Pinchers" supposedly features a different tag error that's difficult to identify. Whatever it is, it wasn't lost on the buyer who placed the lone bid of $10,000.
4. Valentina the Bear - $11,111
As you might guess, Valentina was born on Valentine's Day 1998. The seller claimed that there were errors on the tag, but it's hard to tell given that the image shown was the only one included in the listing.
Undeterred, an eager buyer snatched this Valentina up for just over $11,000.
5. Halo the Bear - $12,000
Halo, a bear in the likeness of an angel, was born on August 31, 1998, and was released 30 days later. Her poem depicts her as a guardian angel watching over you from above.
It may be that Halo was one of the most expensive bears to produce because of her iridescent fabric, which explains in part why some examples have sold for thousands of dollars.
6. The End the Bear - $14,000
When Ty announced that they were shutting down the Beanie Babies line, they released The End the Bear - a black bear with the words "The End" stitched onto his chest along with embroidered fireworks. He was retired in December 1999 and was supposed to be the last one produced.
Luckily for fans of Beanie Babies, worldwide protest prompted the toy company to resume production the following year. Ty produced a New Year's bear named The Beginning in 2000 - The End is frequently sold with it as a set. This one was not, but that didn't stop the buyer from offering $14,000 for this one.
7. Hippity the Rabbit - $19,999.99
Hippity is an adorable mint green rabbit with pink whiskers and an emerald-colored ribbon tied around his neck. Most of these go for double-digits, but this one with a missing period after the 'C' in P.V.C. sold for a penny shy of $20,000 in April of 2021.
Perhaps it's the high value and the rarity of this Beanie with such an error or perhaps the buyer was motivated by charity - 10% of the proceeds went to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
8. Derby the Horse - $20,000
There were four versions of Derby the Horse - the original, which used fine yarn for the mane and tail, a version with a fluffy mane, and two with a coarse yarn for the mane and tail, differentiated by the absence or presence of a white patch, or star, on his forehead.
Despite being the most common of the lot - the coarse mane with a star - this one is supposed to have errors, making it much more unique than it would normally be. There wasn't much description provided by the seller, but the buyer evidently saw something in this listing that made them willing to part with $20,000.
9. Princess the Bear + Digital Art - $25,000
Princess the Bear is one of the most beloved Beanie Babies around, and that's because of the story behind it. The purple plushie saw a limited release in October 1997 to commemorate the death of the late princess. Proceeds from the sale were to go to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
In reality, Princess the Bear was so popular that Ty decided to release thousands more of the bear. While some versions of this bear sometimes sell for a few thousand, this one was special because, per the listing, it came bundled with digital art in the form of an NFT - a relatively new phenomenon that's likely to change the world of collectibles forever.
10. Steg, the Stegosaurus - $40,000
Steg, the adorable dinosaur, tops the list at $50,000. Born on November 1, 1994, he was released on June 3, 1995, along with two other dinosaurs, Bronty and Rex.
This one is frequently counterfeited, but collectors know that Steg only came in shades of brown with green and yellow hues. It also always has the copyright year 1995 on the tush tag.
This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Top 10 Most Expensive Beanie Babies