With a quick search, you can find a Princess Diana Beanie Baby listed for upwards of 50,000 dollars on eBay.
Back when the craze was at its height in the late 90s, collectors would comb toy stores and empty shelves looking to meet demand. At the time, it seemed like there couldn’t possibly be enough Beanie Babies in the world to please customers.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve probably noticed a resurgence of butterfly clips, wide-leg jeans, and mini purses on the scene. With nostalgia for the 90s on the rise, you might be wondering if it’s finally time to pull that plastic tub of Beanie Babies out of the attic and make some fast cash.
Keep reading to find out how much the iconic purple bear is worth in 2022.
The Frenzied History of Beanie Babies
Former aspiring actor Ty Warner invested every cent he owned into starting his own toy company at the age of 39 in 1983. Based on Himalayan cats, his first line of plushies with Ty, Inc. flew off the shelves in a hurry. His creation had one key difference from every other stuffed animal on the market: pellets.
The pellets set the plushies apart, giving them a fluid, lifelike feel. The typical stuffed animals on the market at the time were stiff and impossible to pose. Thanks to the pellets, kids were able to make their toys come alive.
His ultimate dream was to create a line of toys that cost $5. He quickly got to work making his dream a reality, and soon Beanie Babies were born.
On the Rise
With Warner’s knowledge of how to leverage supply and demand, it wasn’t long until Beanie Babies became a cult favorite. His refusal to sell toys in mainstream stores bolstered the desire for the plushies.
The internet only increased the hype. Soon, people began feverishly buying and reselling on platforms like eBay.
The End of an Era
Towards the end of 1999, Warner announced he would no longer produce Beanie Babies. Demand slowed as other collectible toys like Pokémon caught the attention of the market. Resellers were suddenly stuck with mountains of stock and nowhere for it to go.
With the façade of scarcity officially unmasked, online stores flooded with Beanie Baby merchandise.
All About the Princess Diana Beanie Baby
Believed to be one of the most expensive Beanie Babies, the Princess Diana bear still captures the public’s interest.
The bear’s creation came not long after Princess Diana’s tragic death on August 31, 1997. Each purple bear, named Princess, comes with a small white rose stitched on the left side of its chest and a heartfelt poem about the Princess of Wales typed in its heart-shaped tag.
Retailers could only buy 12 bears each initially. With many believing the bear limited edition, Warner upped production to meet demand. In turn, this decreased the toy’s worth.
The bear’s creation came not long after Princess Diana’s tragic death on August 31, 1997. The proceeds of the five dollar bears went straight to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. By the end of the bear’s production in 1999, $21,880,000 had been donated to Diana’s foundation.
How Much Is the Princess Bear Worth in 2022?
In 2022, the asking price of the Princess Beanie Baby is anywhere from $2-$42, according to beanie baby appraisal services. This depends on several factors, such as condition and even the type of pellets inside the bear.
This hasn’t stopped some from hopping on eBay and listing their purple bears with six-figure price tags. Unfortunately, just because sellers list at high prices doesn’t mean the bears are actually sold for that amount. With that said, some versions of the Princess bear are worth more than others.
How to Tell Which Version You Have
These will be the most important elements for determining which version you own:
- The tush tag (the tag found on the bottom of the bear)
- The swing tag (the heart-shaped ear tag)
To find out which version you have, you’ll need to know where the bear was made and which type of pellets it’s stuffed with. On the tags listed above, you will learn whether your bear was manufactured in China or Indonesia and if the pellets are PVC or PE.
The original Beanie Babies were made using PVC pellets. However, Warner made the switch to PE pellets for environmental reasons in 1998. Beanie Babies containing PVC pellets are rare and thus worth more. You can check which pellets your bear has by checking its tush tag.
Whether your Beanie Baby originated in Indonesia or China, it has to contain PVC pellets to be labeled a first edition. If your Beanie Baby’s tag says PE, then you have a less-valuable second edition.
Missing Tags and Other Defects
If your bear’s tush tag or swing tag is missing, the toy’s value drops significantly. Also, the tush tag and swing tags should match. But, if the tush tag contains spelling errors, it’s actually worth more!
Beanie Babies with defects like spelling mistakes, off-coloring, and tag errors are worth the most.
Ultimately, your Princess Diana Beanie Baby is worth whatever a customer is willing to pay. The market’s there if you have a plush in mint condition or with rare errors.
Ty, Inc. Today
Ty, Inc. continues to sell its iconic plush toys to this day. Kids can also enjoy Beanie Boos, an updated version of the Beanie Baby with bigger eyes.
The toys still retail at an affordable $5.99, in accordance with Warner’s original vision. Warner further expanded his offerings to include socks, footwear, movie paraphernalia, masks, and backpacks.
Leave the Heavy Lifting to a Professional
Now that you’ve dusted off that tub from the attic and found your famous purple bear, it’s time to figure out just how much money you can expect to make.
Why not take out some of the legwork and have a beanie baby appraisal done? Using a three-step process, you can have your Princess Diana Beanie Baby evaluated and sold for exactly what it’s worth.
There’s no better time than the present to make some extra cash and clean out your attic in one fell swoop. Keep browsing this section for our latest reads.