My First Addiction

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Back in the late 90s I got heavily addicted to Beanie Babies.

*dressed as Lucky the Ladybug. 

I know what you're thinking, who didn't right? But my addiction was intense. So intense that my mom would drive me to McDonalds every single day so I could get eight Happy Meals (that was the max per car back when Teenie Beanies were the Happy Meal prize.)

I had my list of Hallmarks and other various drug stores in surrounding small towns that I would call every single day asking if they'd gotten in their shipment of new Beanies.

"You get the goods yet?" I'd ask in my low raspy ten year old voice.

"No, little girl. Please stop calling."

"Don't be cute with me Evelyn, I heard you're getting Patty the Platypus in. You wouldn't happen to know anything about this, would you now?" I had my ways of getting info. "And don't call me, little girl. You know who this is."

"I don't know where you're getting this Taylor, we don't have any Beanies left. You bought us out last week. Please stop bothering us."

I made about twenty calls like this every single morning in the summer of '97. Some days were better than others.

My best dealer was in Hartington, Nebraska. It was a little mom and pop drug store that got a new shipment in every Wednesday morning. As soon as I got word they get fresh merch I would immediately demand my mom drive me up there so I could get my fix. And because you don't want to piss off an addict, my mom obeyed.

I used a lot of my own hard saved cash (which I naturally kept in my Fossil watch tin) to feed my Beanie addiction. But my mom also helped out as well, because she knew I had a plan and she would get every single cent back.

I'll never forget the time I walked into Marilyn's Hallmark downtown and saw Princess Diana, Erin the Shamrock Bear and PEACE Bear just sitting on the shelf. Peace was the white bear covered in peace signs and she was beautiful. I almost had a heart attack on site. I immediately purchased all three for $12 a piece. I would later re-sell all of them for about $200 a piece.

Here's something you should know about me. I've been hustling and dealing since the day I was born. The only time I got in trouble in elementary school was for underground candy dealing. I actually created a hand drawn menu that said "Sweet Stuff" on it that I would pass out to my customers so they could see what I had. My mom used to work for a candy company and our panty was full of free samples, so of course I took those free samples to school to make a profit. The "Sweet Stuff" menu is actually what solidified my guilt in the end, but that's neither here nor there at this point.

Back to my Beanie dealing.

Unlike a lot of people involved with the Beanie Baby ring in the 90s, I got out on top. During the height of the craze I took my entire collection to a craft fair in Denver while I was visiting my cousin with the sole intent to sell every one of them. I wasn't attached to any. Addicts never are.

But when my cousin Whitney and I got to the craft fair we were informed we couldn't set up a booth since our items weren't handmade. So what did the young sassy Wolfe girls do? We marched across the street to the first front yard closest to the fair, explained to the owners our situation, offered them $20 and set up shop. We were in business.

Two hours later I had sold every single Beanie Baby I owned (and McDonalds Teeny Beanie) and was walking away with more than $1300. Not a bad day for a ten year old.

When I walked into my first candy store after my huge day of sales, I made it rain on those Jelly Bellies and Peachie-Os. I bought pounds and pounds of sugar intent on keeping my high going. I pulled out my wad of singles (I LOVED singles when I was a kid) and I could hear Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangster as I walked around the mall with my fat bags of candy, tossing dollar bills into every mall vending machine I could find.


Just for fun press play so you can get the full effect of how great I felt. It really adds something I swear.


When I returned to Norfolk I immediately payed off all my debts and even gave my mom $20 extra and told her to go buy herself something nice. I felt like I owed it to her, you know?

I invested the rest of the money in bubblegum CDs and Polly Pockets. I've been told one of these two has increased quite a bit in value. I think I'm going to sit on mine for a few more years.


And that's the tale of my favorite childhood addiction. Many more were to come in the later years.

What was yours like? Link up below. Tomorrow's prompt: Favorite Quote and Why.



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30 comments:

  1. TIME OUT. You actually found ALL 3 of those Beanie Babies in 1 store and BOUGHT THEM FOR $12.00/PIECE!!!?? My mind is officially blown.

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  2. I am so jealous. I liked Beanie Babies, but my mom was obsessed with them and convinced my dad that we had to get all the Happy Meal toys and visit Michael's on the regular to get the Beanie Babies. She was certain they would make us rich, so she didn't sell them and turn a quick profit like you. My mom decided to be a long term investor and of course they are now worthless & sitting in a box in my closest.

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  3. I seriously was lacking your entrepreneurial spirit. I hoarded all my beanie babies in my room and screamed when my brother tried to trade me Pokemon cards for one of mine...they were like my children and I couldn't part with them which as it turns out was actually pretty stupid because it seems I could have been making bank!

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  4. Yes. I too shared your love for Beanie Babies, but mine are still sitting in my drawers, with protected tags, and are worth about $1 on ebay.

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  5. I was the same beanie addict. My mom and I would drive around to all the Hallmarks in town, wait in line for hours, call local dealers, just to get the goods. I did not however get out of the game in time like you. No, I held on to those 300 plush promises hoping they'd be sold for big bucks - only to have the whole craze end, have them end up in my attic and get sold for $.50 a piece at my parents garage sale. Epic Fail.

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  6. I loved Beanie Babies as well but had maybe 10 total which I was very attached to. Pretty sure I still have some somewhere... wish I would have gotten into selling them back in the day though! $1,300 is amazing!

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  7. OMG Beanie babies! HAHA I was obsessed with them. I still have a few (with the tags still on of course) my sister always took the tags off to play with hers but mine just sat on the shelf. this post is awesome!

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  8. you are, without a doubt, the smartest ty beanie baby addict i have EVER come across.

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  9. wow you were one smart child - $1300 is very impressive!

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  10. This was the worst post to read at work. Laughing. So. Loud. This is brilliant and I am thankful to know this bit of knowledge about you. Or really, anyone.

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  11. This is so awesome. That's all, just awesome.

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  12. This makes me really happy. I'm so glad I know at least one person who made money off of Beanie Babies, because my friends and I all collected them, and as far as I know, none of us profited at all. It was too much effort. Not very gangster of us. :P

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  13. This is so perfect. Everything about it. I am still laughing at it. "God it feels good to be gangster" nearly made me pee my pants.

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  14. bahahaha wow. i remember having friends that did this but they did NOT end up with $1300 in the end. i'm really impressed.

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  15. Oh my gosh, this is the FUNNIEST thing EVER!! I thought you were going to say you now have tons of beanie babies in your parent's basement, but you got out while the getting was good! I can't believe you made all that cold hard cash! Pretty sweet for a 10 year old:)

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  16. Hahaha this is hilarious!! I was also obsessed with Beanie Babies but did not do as well as you... there's still about 200 of them stuffed in a box at my parents' house.

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  17. I LOVE this post! You are hilarious! And yes, that track definitely adds something to this post!

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  18. This is pure comedy! My mom was a BB addict and we were always on a mission to get them. She used my sister and I for her addiction, she didn't want to be a weirdo and admit they were for her. Eventually we kept them for so long, we ended up donating them to Good Will or the Salvation Army. All that fried food and not a cool or lucrative story like yours ;) xoxo, ganeeban

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  19. omg, this was soo funny! that costume is awful, in such a good way! lmao!

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  20. OMG!!! 200 bucks each?!?! I'm literally going digging though my basement to find my old ones. Sparky the Dalmatian was my favorite :)

    Loved this post!

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  21. This was hilarious - I loved Beanie Babies as a child, but only had a couple. :( I was addicted to Barbie dolls, but those were a lot harder to convince my mom to buy!

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  22. hahahaha really?! what a little entrepreneur!

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  23. haha this is the greatest story! i totally loved Beanie Babies. my mom's friend owned a gift shop and I would help her stock shelves and inventory, and she would pay me in Beanies. there were definitely line ups in front of the store and callers daily looking for them too!

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  24. Wow...apparently you are the only person that didn't lose their ass on beanie babies. That is awesome, haha!

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  25. HILARIOUS!!!! Totally slinging goods. LOVE. IT.

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  26. hahahaha totally reminded me of my younger days too. I'm pretty sure my parents still have all of mine and my sister's beanie babies stored at their house. I remember one time, the little local drugstore had a drawing for the Princess Diana bear and my mom won it. My grandma one a drawing for another beanie bear, so my mom, my grandma, my sister, and I went to pick them up. The local paper was there and took our picture and wrote a story about it in the paper. So much excitement for out little town haha

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  28. So funny. My mom was having new carpet installed yesterday and I got a text that she found boxes of beanie babies in a closet. What the heck am I supposed to do with those?!

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