Saturday, December 25, 2021

Our Beanie Babies Phase

Guess who overslept today? 

It’s pretty sad when you roll over, see that it’s 11:08 a.m., and realize that no matter what mold or colors they were, the Christmas Day Special was probably already sold out. By the time I sauntered over to the computer, I was not wrong. 

Fortunately it was the Croi, after all, and in some… interesting color selections. I suppose after everything is delivered and the people who bought them for the possibility of a Coal decide to unload their “losing tickets” I might pick up a Spice Drop or two. I rather like the Red and Green ones: they look like the delightfully tacky kind of things Liberace would decorate his piano with for Christmas.  

But I am in no hurry.

Regardless of what the rest of the collectibles world is experiencing, it really does feel we’ve entered our Beanie Babies period. HBO Max just released a pretty illuminating documentary about the Beanie Babies fad a couple of days ago, in fact:

(The more observant among us will probably notice the Breyers in the background of the gift shop/toy store around the 15 second mark of the trailer.)

I’m a bit of a documentary geek, so of course I was going to watch it, but boy howdy was that uncomfortable: there were several points where I felt extremely seen. 

I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by antiques and collectibles, and became all too aware of the fickle nature of the market very early on. It’s also why I established pretty low spending limits for myself from the get-go, and I haven’t altered them much in the intervening years. It’s very easy to lose yourself – and a lot of money – in the process, if you don’t.

As it is, this frees me up to finally buy the Jols and Christmas Candy Zebras I’ve been putting off because I’ve been too busy chasing all the other stuff that’s been thrown at us, mostly without success. If it had been the Fell Pony as I feared, I’d be a lot less sanguine about the whole thing, but I suppose if there had to be a year where I accidentally slept in, this would be it.

(For the record, I was up most of the night working on my inventory paperwork. Crossing my fingers that I’ll actually be able to file my taxes early next year.) 


EllOnWheels said...

I've been thinking about the collectible zeitgeist a lot lately... I think that market in general is heading for a crash. Especially as the world forces itself into "back to normal" mode. When we were all home, and were comfortable enough to have disposable income, then the collectible market exploded. That was to be expected. We were all seeking a bit of comfort and a dopamine release. It's hardly surprising... Now, do I think the prices will fall to pre-world-going-pear-shaped levels? No. They rarely do... But there are certain plentiful vintages I would like to obtain without selling a kidney (Someone please sell a decent shelf quality Beautiful Jim Key to me, would you?). I don't think I will have as much time to dedicate to the hobby as I have in the past year, and that will be fine with me (and my budget). And I am thinking others might be the same. It remains to be seen how it will go. Micro runs and the ultra desirable and rare will probably remain fairly steady in prices. But I am hoping some of the more attainable things will come back down to Earth.

Holly Ann Harris said...

I'm not a CC member, and I was curious to find out what the Santa Surprise was this year. I knew that by Christmas afternoon there would be examples up for sale on MHSP, so I just went there and sure enough, little clearware multi-color Crois in abundance.

Recently I had been informed that the live events are the primary source of provenance for model scalpers, and the real problem with unreasonably high prices. However, there sure seem to be a lot of people reselling models only available online and through club membership; making that claim seem desperately invalid. Sorry, but I just had to put that little dig in there for all the people who are angry about Breyerfest special run access and accusing live attendees of being the source of the problem. I just wanted to point out that they were wrong: model scalpers can and do purchase models from online events for resale purposes.

But hey, I'm just a cheapskate who collects regular run models and attends Breyerfest for the pure fun of it. so what do I know?

Nihil Melius said...

If it's any comfort, I set my alarm and was there right on time when they went live, but as often happens the site just froze on me, and by the time I was able to get it into my cart they were sold out. Luckily I'm not a big fan of clearware, but I do like Croi and thought it might be fun to have.

I'm very relieved that I was able to catch up on most of the models I've missed over the years before the market went into this wild feeding frenzy, but I do worry that I won't be able to continue this hobby I've been in for over fifty years if the prices continue to climb. I have always been really offended when non-collectors see us in a negative light, but right now I'm not surprised if they get that impression.

Unknown said...

I used to be a collector of friends and I had so much fun running around and looking for them..but when the resellers and flippers came into just ruined it for us..the defining moment for me was waiting in line in the freezing cold to buy a Christmas bear..the store owner sold the entire bag to the first person in line ..that person quickly took them out on the street and sold them for an insane amount was no longer fun ..too hard to get and the cost was way too much over original price...
For the past year or so I have been saying the exact same thing of model horses..I have collected my entire mind just cannot believe the resale on some of these models..I too feel the sting of not getting drawn for a cc run only to see someone get drawn for 3 and put them up for sale..hey its free market I understand..but I'm wondering if or how long this can go on before people get tired and give up..

Vajarra said...

I was up in time -- and I like croi! But I don't love the colors. Much rather have something I really like for that price. Or get picked for a raffle... One day!

TxMiniatureHorse said...

I made sure to be up and logged in, and managed to get one, and a friend got me one. Another friend had her in her cart and it poofed. I conga Croi and would love to have all five, but unless I get a Coal firsthand, that won't happen.

And year, flippers just irk me to no end. I am still pining over Zug, and want one so bad, but I just...can't.

Anonymous said...

they have moved from being flippers to scalpers.

Corky said...

The thing that bothers me most about resellers is, as I've said before, those who have 4 and 5 accounts getting multiples of everything. It would be nice if Breyer could find a way to limit accounts to one per person, or one per shipping address, or one per IP address, or however it could be made to work. When someone has an account for themselves, their spouse, each of their three kids and their parakeet, and they sell everything they get at a 300% markup and not keep ANY of them, that's just plain greedy. Limiting the number of accounts one person can have would free up a lot of stock for collectors who love these items and actually want to own them, enjoy them, and look at them every day, rather than selling so many of them to someone who just sees them as money in the bank.

Of course, we don't live in an ideal world, and even if Breyer *could* find a way to limit the number of account someone has, people would find a way around it. Those who view this hobby as simply a source of Money Money Money always will.