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Top 10 Most Expensive Beanie Babies Ever Created

Top 10 Most Expensive Beanie Babies Ever Created

Like any other decade, the 1990s was full of fads. But none were quite like the Beanie Baby craze, which saw millions of people snapping up TY Beanie Babies in hopes of reselling them for big bucks. Still, which of these stuffed toys became the most expensive Beanie Babies ever created?

The most expensive Beanie Baby ever created is Princess the Bear, a rich purple Beanie Baby released in 1997 to honor the life and legacy of the late Princess Diana of Wales. This toy bear can sell for up to $10,000, though many are listed online for less than $100.

Even though Beanie Babies aren’t worth nearly as much nowadays as they were in the 1990s, some of these toys continue to sell for top-dollar prices. This ranking will reveal which Beanie Babies enjoy the highest resale value.

Here Are the Top 10 Most Expensive Beanie Babies Ever Created:

  1. Princess the Bear (1997) – Up to $10,000
  2. Valentino the Bear (1994) – $Up to $9,000
  3. #1 Bear (1998) – Up to $7,500
  4. Millennium the Bear (1999) – Up to $7,000
  5. Peanut the Elephant Royal Blue Edition (1995) – Up to $7,000
  6. Chef Robuchon the Bear (2006) – Up to $2,500
  7. Peace the Bear (1996) – Up to $2,000
  8. Billionaire 2 the Bear (1999) – Up to $1,300
  9. Punchers the Lobster (1993) – Up to $1,000
  10. Employee Teddy the Bear (1997) – Up to $500

10. Employee Teddy the Bear (1997) – Up to $500


A Beanie Baby’s hang tag is a heart-shaped red tag attached to the toy’s ear, upper body, or hand. Every Beanie Baby toy has one of these. Well, all except one; the Employee Teddy the Bear.

This blue-purple bear was an employee-exclusive Beanie Baby released around the height of the Beanie Babies craze (1997). Only 300 of these bears were produced, making them far rarer than the commercially-available Beanie Babies of the time. That’s probably why these toys sell for up to $500 nowadays.

Half of these bears were outfitted with a green ribbon, while the others were given a red ribbon to wear around their necks. How festive!

Why Is It So Expensive?

Scarcity helped make Beanie Babies popular and valuable collectibles during the 1990s, and this bear’s rarity is the reason behind its higher-than-average resale price. The only way to buy one of these is to find employees willing to part with their exclusive TY Employee Teddy (or to find secondhand or thirdhand sellers with one).

9. Punchers the Lobster (1993) – Up to $1,000


First-generation Beanie Babies are typically worth far more than their later-generation counterparts. But one first-generation Beanie Baby is worth way more than the other; Punchers the Lobster.

This plush lobster also goes by Pinchers, which is the intended name. But in 1993, a small handful of these red lobsters had a misprinted tag identifying them as “Punchers.” Though this mistake might have annoyed early buyers, it’s become a beloved trait for collectors looking for unique and rare Beanie Babies.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Pinchers the Lobster Beanie Babies sell for much higher prices than later generation releases, and it’s one of the original set of nine Beanie Babies released in 1993. But “Punchers” the Lobster can score even higher sales, as this misprint only appears on the very earliest versions of this plush red lobster.

8. Billionaire 2 the Bear (1999) – Up to $1,300


The last few Beanie Babies ever created made their debut in 1999. But some of these toys never reached store shelves.

The Billionaire 2 the Bear Beanie Baby is a fantastic example.

This dark purple Beanie Baby has a slightly mottled exterior, as though it couldn’t decide what shade of magenta it wanted to be. It proudly wears two green dollar sign symbols on its chest, representing the financial success of the Beanie Babies brand.

This bear was only released to TY Inc. employees, and fewer than 500 were made and handed out. You can find them today selling for up to $1,300 apiece.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Employee-exclusive Beanie Babies can sell for top-dollar prices when they reach the resale market. That’s because they’re typically unavailable to the general public, making them rare must-have items for diehard Beanie Baby collectors.

7. Peace the Bear (1996) – Up to $2,000


The cotton-candy, slightly neon tie-dye colors of Peace the Bear make it one of the most eye-catching Beanie Babies ever released. But this plush bear is far from the most affordable Beanie Baby, occasionally selling for up to $2,000.

Still, most Peace the Bear Beanie Babies sell for much lower prices, which typically range between $5 and $200. Generally, the buyer’s preferences (what color combinations they like) determine how much the bear is worth.

Why Is It So Expensive?

The fact that each Peace the Bear is slightly different contributes to these Beanie Babies’ comparatively high price ceiling.

Additionally, some collectors are willing to pay more for Peace the Bear Beanie Babies with numbered bottom tags (also called “tush” tags) or those missing the stitched-on chest peace sign. But at the end of the day, buyers’ whims are the true things controlling this bear’s value.

6. Chef Robuchon the Bear (2006) – Up to $2,500


Here’s the thing; in December 1999, TY Inc. announced that it would stop making Beanie Babies on December 31, 1999. The start of the new millennium would bring a lot of the late 1990s with it, but not these plush toys.

And yet, that isn’t exactly true. After all, the Chef Robuchon the Bear Beanie Baby debuted in 2006!

This specially-made Beanie Baby was combined with an invitation and sent to an exclusive set of guests. Its sole purpose was to commemorate the opening of the NYC Four Seasons Hotel restaurant, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

As you might imagine, this bear’s exclusivity has made it one of the rarest Beanie Babies in the world. In fact, it’s estimated that only about 200 of these bears exist.

If you’d like to make one of these chef-hat-wearing Beanie Babies yours, expect to spend up to $2,500 on one.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Scarcity is to blame for this culinarily-inclined Beanie Baby bear. Because so few were produced, and all of them were sent to VIP guests, getting your hands on one of these bears is essentially a matter of luck.

The fact that these bears were produced several years after TY Inc. stopped manufacturing Beanie Babies also contributes to their higher-than-average price tags.

5. Peanut the Elephant Royal Blue Edition (1995) – Up to $7,000


In 1995, the Beanie Babies brand was still finding its foothold in the world of children’s toys and collectibles. And in these early days, mistakes were bound to happen.

Peanut the Elephant (Royal Blue) was one of these accidents, though it’s a happy accident for anyone who happens to own one. After all, this rich blue plush elephant sells for up to $7,000, about 1,400 times its original price of $5!

Only about 5,000 of these royal blue elephants were shipped out to retailers in 1995. But the toy’s deep blue hue was a manufacturing mistake. As such, TY Inc. quickly replaced the elephant with the far less rare light blue version only a few months after this Beanie Baby’s initial release.

Why Is It So Expensive?

TY Beanie Babies occasionally feature printing or manufacturing mistakes. Still, when it comes to Peanut the Elephant, these mistakes went far beyond a typographical error or a missing bit of stitching. The first batch of these toys was the wrong color!

While the company realized its mistake early on, preventing an excessive amount of royal blue versions from hitting store shelves, quite a few of these plush elephants ended up in consumers’ hands. Because of their newfound rarity, these Beanie Babies almost instantly become valuable collectibles.

4. Millennium the Bear (1999) – Up to $7,000


The last year of the 1990s was a busy one. The Euro was created, the “Y2K bug” briefly became a major concern, and about 150 million people were actively using the internet.

This year also brought us Millennium the Bear, a purplish-pink Beanie Baby available throughout most of 1999. This bear featured a tiny planet Earth on its chest, with a rising sun behind it denoting the bright start of a new millennium.

Millennium the Bear is listed on online auction sites for between $0.99 and $50,000. That said, the latter price is extortionate, as this bear should really only sell for $7,000 or less.

The priciest of these bears are the darker purple ones with the word “millennium” misspelled as “millenium” on the hang and bottom tags.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Nostalgia is the main reason this bear is highly valuable. Cultural significance also plays a role, as the final year of the 1990s heralded a ton of changes for society, including the end of the Beanie Baby craze.

This purple-pink Beanie Baby bear is worth a lot of money, especially compared to other Beanie Babies, but it can’t hold a candle to the most expensive Barbies dolls! So, if you’re a collector looking to make a sound investment in collectible toys, you might be better off collecting the eponymous blonde-haired doll.

3. #1 Bear (1998) – Up to $7,500


Unlike some Beanie Babies, which sell for big bucks despite a lack of scarcity, the #1 Bear released in 1998 is exceptionally rare. Only 253 of these Beanie Baby bears were produced, and all of them were gifted to TY Inc. employees.

This bear was created to celebrate the height of the Beanie Babies craze, as these toys reached the number one spot in both collectible and gift sale markets. Each red bear had a stitched white “#1” on its chest and featured the signature of Ty Warner, the founder and owner of TY Inc.

These rare autographed Beanie Babies have sold for up to $7,500. However, a handful have sold for about $1,000.

Why Is It So Expensive?

The primary reason the #1 Bear is so valuable is its rarity. After all, fewer than 300 of these bears were produced, making them far less common than standard store-bought Beanie Babies.

That said, the bear’s autograph and cultural significance (being released at the height of the Beanie Babies craze) also contribute to its unusually high value.

2. Valentino the Bear (1994) – Up to $9,000


If you can think of a special occasion, be it the start of the new millennium or a company reaching record-breaking profits, there’s a Beanie Baby to celebrate that event.

Introducing Valentino the Bear, a Valentine’s Day-themed bear that can sell for up to $9,000.

Originally released in 1994, this Beanie Baby is one of the few that TY Inc. decided to continue manufacturing and selling, year after year. As such, there are multiple “generations” of Valentino the Bear, ranging from Generation One to Generation Six.

The most valuable of these red-hearted bears is the First Generation version, which is considered quite rare. That said, later-generation versions (especially those that aren’t in mint condition) can sell for as little as $2.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Sadly, misinformation is the most common reason why Valentino the Bear continues to sell for high prices.

Online rumors professing that bears with tag errors are worth a small fortune have continually misled buyers and sellers, resulting in an artificially inflated price.

1. Princess the Bear (1997) – Up to $10,000


The most expensive Beanie Baby is Princess the Bear. This plush purple bear was released in 1997 to honor the memory of the late Princess Diana of Wales, who tragically passed away in August of that year. This toy can sell for up to $10,000.

This Beanie Baby’s higher-than-average sales price has little to do with its rarity. After all, hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) of these bears were produced and sold between 1997 and 1999.

For that reason, you can find Princess the Bear selling for as little as $0.99 on online auction sites like eBay. But you can also find this Beanie Baby listed for staggering sums, sometimes upwards of $800,000!

The rarest type of Princess the Bear is the one produced in Indonesia in 1997. This bear is stuffed with PVC beads (instead of the more environmentally-friendly PE beads).

However, this Beanie Baby isn’t worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, regardless of what some unscrupulous sellers would have you believe.

Why Is It So Expensive?

Princess Diana’s sudden death was widely reported worldwide, becoming a cultural touchstone for almost everyone alive during the 1990s.

Her life and untimely passing are still discussed today thanks to continued media published and broadcast about her. For example, in 2020, the hit Netflix show The Crown rekindled popular interest in the late Princess, drawing a new generation into the mystery and tragedy of her life and death.

It’s hard to overstate just how much of a cultural impact Princess Diana made, both during and after her life. As such, it’s no surprise the 1997 commemorative Beanie Baby released to honor her legacy is the most valuable of the bunch.

Still, this Beanie Baby isn’t nearly as pricey as some of the most expensive Hot Wheels toy cars.

Beanie Baby Bubble: How Prices Plummetted

The first Beanie Babies debuted in 1993, making their mark on the NYC World Toy Fair.

By 1995, enforced scarcity on the part of TY Inc. began to make these stuffed toys more desirable to collectors. Thus started the Beanie Baby craze, and by 1997, almost everyone in the U.S. (and the world) had heard of TY Beanie Babies.

But these toys had no inherent value. Sure, they were collectible and cute, but they weren’t tied to famous athletes (like the most expensive football cards) or made of precious materials.

Consequently, Beanie Babies’ skyrocketing resale prices were doomed to plummet. In 2000, only a few months after TY Inc. announced that there would be no further Beanie Baby release, the prices did just that.

Referred to as the “Beanie Baby Bubble,” this phenomenon left many collectors and investors in significant debt. After all, a Beanie Baby sold for $5,000 in 1999 suddenly wasn’t worth more than $500 in 2000. And these diminishing resale prices only continued as the 2000s wore on.

Although these toys hold a lot of nostalgia for children who grew up during the 1990s, most aren’t worth even a fraction of their mid-90s values. For this reason, buyers should take caution when investing in Beanie Babies.

It’s also crucial to note that many scammers sell these toys for ridiculously inflated prices online. These fraudulent sellers list and “sell” Beanie Babies in an attempt to skew the market, making it more and more challenging to determine accurate values for Beanie Babies.

Artificial Beanie Baby Price Rises

Tracking Beanie Baby values is exceptionally difficult, as some Beanie Babies are listed at ridiculous prices, especially on online auction sites like eBay.

Some disreputable sellers will even “sell” the toys at these outrageous prices, only for the buyer to cancel the payment. This sketchy practice results in “sold” Beanie Babies appearing to have changed hands for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When private sellers look up the current highest value for specific Beanie Babies, they often come across these fake sales. Unfortunately, this can dupe unsuspecting sellers into believing that their Beanie Baby collectibles are worth far more than they actually are.

Complicating matters further is the existence of counterfeit Beanie Babies. These toys often look almost identical to authentic versions, and it often takes a keen eye and plenty of investigation to tell them apart from the real ones.

These factors have made it challenging for sellers to set accurate prices for their for-sale Beanie Babies. Buyers are also at risk of getting scammed, making the Beanie Baby market that much more volatile.

To ensure you’re selling and buying at the best prices, consider purchasing price guide eBooks.

If you’d rather not spend money on one of these guides and have plenty of time on your hands, you can also browse eBay listings. Just remember to sort the results by lowest price first!

What Are the Most Expensive Beanie Babies in the World?

The most expensive Beanie Babies of all time are all bears: Princess the Bear, Valentino the Bear, and the #1 Bear. These toys can sell for thousands of dollars. That said, they can also sell for just a few bucks.

It can be challenging to understand why some Beanie Babies sell for such incredible prices, but at least one thing is certain; these TY Inc. products aren’t nearly as valuable as people in the 1990s thought they would be!

Check out these related articles for more mind-blowing information about the world’s most expensive entertainment items!