You might remember the mad Beanie Babies craze from the late 90s (or maybe you don't, if you're young enough). If you don't, this gallery might make you wish you did. Beanie Babies appeared on the toy scene in 1993. Something about the posable stuffed animals filled with plastic pellets caught on. The toys came as nine characters – Legs the Frog, Squealer the Pig, Spot the Dog, Flash the Dolphin, Splash the Whale, Chocolate the Moose, Patti the Platypus, Brownie the Bear, and Pinchers the Lobster. Fun, lightweight, and relatively simple in design, the plush toys provided a softer alternative to the number of plastic toys that were all the rage in the early 90s, like Furbie, GigaPets, or Sky Dancers/Dragon Flyz.
As their popularity grew, Ty Inc., the company behind Beanie Babies, released a line of Teenie Beanies. Teenie Beanies were miniature versions of regular Beanie Babies and became instant hits when Ty Inc. partnered with McDonalds. The Teenie Beanies became part of Happy Meals around the world. Beanie Babies, both large and small, were often shipped with the wrong tags or the wrong identifying information, and they had quietly begun to gain popularity on the collectors' market. Within two years, everyone wanted one. In 1999, Ty Inc.'s owner, Ty Warner, decided to stop producing Beanie Babies. The following year, recognizing that there was still demand, he began producing them again, and has since launched a new version complete with an interactive website. Ty, Inc. has also partnered with a number of popular movies and television shows to create licensed Beanie Babies. The toys have never really regained the popularity of their early years. However, the Beanie Babies from those first few years are still very valuable collector's items. The 5 Beanie Babies below are worth an incredible amount of money for what amounts to a small stuffed animal (full of beans, naturally). Here are the five most valuable Beanie Babies around.