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.
"In spare, elegant prose, Zac Bissonnette tells the riveting story of Ty Warner and how he ruthlessly built Beanie Babies into a mania as misguided and regrettable as the ones involving tulips in Holland in 1637 and mortgage-backed securities in New York in 2008. "
          - William D. Cohan, author of Money & Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World
 
"The amazing story of the time the world lost its mind over little beanbag critters named Punchers, Humphrey, and Wingless Quackers. In The Great Beanie Baby Bubble, Zac Bissonnette takes us on a journey into the secretive world of the man behind the mania, Ty Warner."
          - Bill Dedman, co-author of the bestselling biography Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune.

"A fresh and darkly comic look at how the rise of internet commerce went hand-in-hand with soccer moms and "irrational exuberance" to transform a cheap children's toy into a national mania and one of the greatest speculative bubbles in American history.  The Great Beanie Baby Bubble will leave you shaking your head and wistfully remembering the wild, wild ride that was the late 1990s. "
           - Tilar Mazzeo, author of The Widow Cliquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It
 
"A carnival ride through the American psyche."
          - Edward Dolnick, author of The Forger's Spell: A True Story of Vermeer, Nazis, and the Greatest Art Hoax of the Twentieth Century
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