Beanie Babies were a national sensation that swept the world in the mid-1990s. While the trend has died down, there are many avid collectors who still will pay big bucks to get their hands on classic Beanies. One of the reasons that these plush animals have become so valuable is that TY often “retired” Beanie Babies, driving their demand sky-high. Humphrey was one of the earlier Beanies to be made, so he had a special place in the hearts of collectors. The plush itself is a lovable camel who was widely sought after. In fact, Humphrey was the first Beanie Baby that was officially retired. This sparked an insatiable craze that would take over the collector’s world. It was just a sign of things to come when people were finding it increasingly harder to buy their favorite TY plush toys.
However, there are other factors that can drive up the price. The condition of the plush is one of the most important features, as well as what kind of condition that the tag is in. Many collectors started to put protective coverings on the TY tags, in order to help them hold their value. A pristine Humphrey can go for more than $1000 dollars. This is not to mention all the of possible defects that can drive up the price. Though it is counterintuitive, defects actually increase the prices substantially. There are also other features that can drive up the price. This includes things like a “first edition tag” or something that proves it was part of an initial release. For Beanie Baby collectors, these features can greatly improve the rareness of the item. This makes them more sought after.
Humphrey has a strange feature that is unique in itself. At one point there was a mix-up at the factory and one of his legs was sewn on backwards for a certain number of the plush animals. This known oddity can drive up the price significantly. To get a pristine Humphrey with new tags and other features, expect to pay in the $1200 range. Some people seek this Beanie because they love the nostalgia, while others do it as an investment. It is important to know why you are collecting because it can make a big difference on what you purchase and when you purchase it. Some people do it for love of the product, while others are looking to make a profit. Regardless of why a person might collect Beanie Babies, it can be a fun and exciting hobby.
If you are buying Humphrey as an investment, it is a speculative wager on where the Beanie market is headed. Though the major Beanie craze has largely died out, there are still plenty of diehard collectors that make up the Beanie Baby community. Believe it or not there are still plenty of niches to carve out in this community. People still love their plush animals for the memories they bring and the ability to take them back to simpler times. Many young people who were just children for the Beanie Baby craze are now adults with full-time jobs. This means that they have the dispensable income to spend on relics of their childhood. This also means that the market is still active and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
Though it is possible that people want to buy the Beanie just because they like him. Humphrey is a cute camel with a single hump and will take anyone back to their childhood. The oddities that are associated with him are rare and make this camel even more special. If you find a Humphrey with a reverse leg sewn on, know that it will be worth significantly more than a regular Humphrey. This is assuming, of course, that it is authentic and not a counterfeit. Unfortunately, this has been a big problem in the Beanie community recently. The main reason is that the cost of some Beanies are exploding, leaving a big margin for counterfeiters who can replicate authentic TY products.
There are some simple steps that you can take to protect yourself from counterfeiters. First get a good feeling for Humphrey’s authentic color scheme. Counterfeits tend to be lighter and missing key details. It is also important to check the tag to make sure that it has the authentic look and feel of a real TY tag. The condition is important, but there are times when it doesn’t make sense. A Humphrey that hasn’t been kept in protective covering and looks brand new has a higher chance of being a counterfeit. It is important to familiarize yourself with the hallmarks of an authentic Beanie before you buy or invest. This is an amazing little camel that can yield big profit, but you have to understand the intricacies of each unique and individual Beanie. This can take time.
Overall, collecting Humphrey and other Beanies can be a fun hobby (or career for some people). There is still money to be made in the space, but you have to know what you are looking for and what’s going to sell. Though many people have long forgotten the days when Beanie Babies where the hottest merchandise on the globe, some people are still willing to pay big bucks to relive their childhood. It is also possible that Beanies could make a comeback in the years or decades to follow, in which case a big collection could really pay off. Regardless of why you collect, Beanie Babies offer a fun opportunity that everyone can enjoy. It’s a great hobby for children or enthusiasts. So, go through your closet and see if you have any Beanies lying around. You might be surprised to find your plush animals are worth a small mint, even in today’s market.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
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