Excessive greed infected the parent company Ty, who tried to manipulate the market. The company’s efforts eventually contributed to the implosion of the 1990s’ fad. At the peak, more than 60% of American households owned at least one of these babies.
Ty created a sense of exclusivity around Beanie Babies by regularly retiring popular versions and releasing limited editions. Then Ty upped production of newer Beanies in 1999 and in turn tarnished their rarity and value. Demand from collectors fell and Beanie Baby sales plummeted.