While I agree that parents should be able to raise their children so that they’re not having hissy fits and demanding the latest fad toy, in reality, that’s not always the way things go, despite parents’ best efforts. Regardless, if there’s a market for overpriced toys, it doesn’t hurt to cater to that market by selling the ridiculous things for a profit.
Those who do so are not manufacturing nor marketing the toys, adding to demand, so I don’t have the same problem I would have with companies that market these things to children.
As an undergraduate, my girlfriend had an inside connection to Beanie Babies. These things were a huge fad at the time and they were sold on every block. The manufacturer was smart and manipulated supply and made some more rare than others. This created an inflated demand for certain styles. Each store was only allowed a certain quota of these rare toys. My girlfriend was able to get her hands on the Beanie Babies before they were allowed to be released to the public and sell them on eBay.
From what I understand, this activity produced enough money to pay for a semester at college. Let me explain. The retail price of a Beanie Baby was $5.95. The “Princess Bear” on the street, with a tag in mint condition, was going for several thousand dollars at one point.
I hope it was worth it to someone… I know it made my girlfriend happy. She knew the opportunity wouldn’t last as folks would eventually get tired of those silly little stuffed bears.
Published or updated September 25, 2006.