- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio (March 3, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591846021
- ISBN-13: 978-1591846024
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 102 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,934 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute Hardcover – March 3, 2015
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"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
About the Author
Zac Bissonnette wrote two acclaimed bestsellers before his twenty-fourth birthday: Debt-Free U and How to Be Richer, Smarter, and Better-Looking Than Your Parents. He has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe Magazine, the Daily Beast, and Bloomberg, among others. He lives in New York City.
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Top customer reviews
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The author describes the creator, Ty Warner, and his obsession with making and marketing the ultimate stuffed animal. Everybody has idiosyncrasies but Warner makes most of us look like rookie eccentrics. A self-absorbed skinflint who was an exceptional good salesman and workaholic kept rewriting his rise to success. Mr. Bissonnette separates fact from fiction. Warner's story is not as he portrayed due solely to his actions. There was a lot of serendipity involved. The book explains how the craze first began in a Chicago suburb, the key players in the fad's rise, and the Beanie Babies inevitable fall.The author also inserts many colorful stories about the Beanie Baby acolytes. Some of the topics covered are such things as the gimmick of retiring certain Beanie Babies, the birth of e-commerce, eBay, copyright infringement, knock-offs, the farce of price guides, the partnership with McDonald's, a rundown of where many of the players are now in their lives, and most importantly, the nature of economic bubbles. The book also includes 8 pages of photos.
Beyond the compelling story, Mr. Bissonnette gives the readers a cautionary tale about the attraction of get-rich schemes. In my lifetime there have been two housing bubbles, the baseball-card bubble, the dot-com bubble, the Beanie Baby bubble, and numerous fads that people have lost their ever-lovin' gourd over such as Cabbage Patch Kids, Furbies, and Yu-Gi-Oh trading cards. As long as humans exists, these greed-induced follies will occasionally appear. 'The Great Beanie Baby Bubble' may help you be better prepared for whatever insanity is down the marketing road.
This book is entertaining, and a very easy read. While the mechanics of the inflation and subsequent deflation of the Beanie bubble are covered in detail, in this book the bubble serves as a more of a backdrop to the story of the man behind the Beanies - Ty Warner.
It's the story of a neurotic and thoroughly broken human being, a man that achieved great financial success but is still, well, a mess.
For me, the book is better when it looks past the creator to the objects themselves -- putting this craze in context was really interesting, and the combination of both happenstance and design that created the fad fleshes out the phenomena.
The biographical stuff didn't move me apart from the original soccer mom collectors that catapulted the popularity of the Beanie Babies, and the ending dragged, personally. But overall, I enjoyed the book and the opportunity to think about something I'd lived through but not fully experienced.
If you've ever wondered how fads are born, this is a nice concrete story to experience.
Most recent customer reviews
I remember a bit of the hysteria while I was growing up, and then suddenly...Read more