Beanie Babies Anonymous

By: Tim-Knox

A wise man once said, "If you ignore something long enough, eventually it will go away." Actually, he said it several times, but nobody listened so he left.

That old saw is one reason I've never done a column on Beanie Babies. I thought that if I could just resist the urge to poke fun and ignore their existence long enough, they would eventually go the way of Cabbage Patch Dolls and Tickle Me Elmos. Of course, ignoring them didn't work and I should have known better. I've been ignoring my kids for years and they're still around, standing right outside the bathroom door, pounding on it, asking me what I'm reading in there. My oldest caught me looking at the newspaper on the front porch the other day and asked if I shouldn't be doing that in private. I think it's time to talk boarding school. Russian boarding school. But first, comrade, back to the subject at hand.

I think Beanie Babies are cute, cuddly little creatures, and I will admit to having spent a few of my hard- earned dollars on Beanies for my baby girl to play with (I can hear many of you screaming, "They're not meant to be played with!"). But never have I sat outside a McDonald's at two in the morning waiting for it to open so I could get an Egg McMuffin and a Teenie Beanie to go. And I apologize in advance if I insult anyone, but I think people who go to such great lengths to buy a child's toy need help. And that's what this column is all about.

You see, my sister, a normally sane, rational human being, is awash in the Beanie Baby craze. She has tiny synthetic pellets racing through her veins and they are starting to affect every facet of her life. She is the reason I am willing to break my vow of ignorance and speak out against these demons in plush clothing. The thought of her sitting outside a Hallmark store at three in the morning staring blindly at a dog- eared copy of "The Beanie Baby Bible" just sends chills down my spine. The woman needs help, my friends, and I am willing to take on the task at hand.

So, to help my dear sister and the millions of others who have fallen under the spell of Beanie Baby mania, I am officially founding Beanie Babies Anonymous, an organization dedicated to helping you just say no to Beanie Babies. BBA will follow a simple 4-step program designed to help even the most severely- addicted junkie kick his/her Beanie Baby habit.

Here are the 4 steps of BBA. Follow them to the letter and soon your life will be yours to live again:

    Step 1)
    Admit you have a problem: The first step in any recovery program is admitting that you have a problem. Here are the three warning signs of Beanie Baby Addiction. If you can relate to at least one of them, you are a Beanie Baby Junkie.

      (1) You would willingly camp out all night outside a McDonald's in the highest crime district in town just to be the first in line on Teenie Beanie day.

      (2) You have no qualms about snatching Beanie Babies from the hands of little children and if it makes them cry, well tough patootie! And

      (3) If you can't swing a dead cat (is there a dead cat Beanie?) anywhere in your house without hitting a display of Beanie Babies, you have a problem. A big problem.

    Step 2)
    Admit that your addiction is harmful to others: You've probably been too busy feeding that Beanie Baby monkey on your back to notice that the rest of your life has gone to pot. Your addiction not only affects you, but those closest to you. Have your children moved in with relatives because you forgot to fix dinner eighteen nights in a row because you were busy dusting the tags in your Beanies' ears? Did you angrily take the family dog to the pound and order them to "Gas the SOB!" just because he growled at your Princess Di Beanie Bear? Have you been served with divorce papers that contain the phrase "refuses to consummate marriage because it would disturb Happy the Hippo's nap?" If so, you owe everyone you know a big apology, especially your dog, God rest his soul.

    Step 3)
    Cast the snake from the garden: This is perhaps the most difficult, yet most important mile marker on the road to recovery. This is where you rid your life of the furry, little monsters that have almost driven you to the point of no return. Follow my directions to the letter and do it quickly, without thinking, because if you stop to think about what you're doing, your addiction will take the upper hand and you will be lost again. With that in mind, here is the biggest step you must take: Box up every Beanie Baby you own, especially Peanut the Elephant and Brownie the Bear, and send them to me, Tim Knox, Director of Beanie Babies Anonymous, in care of this website. Send me your kids' Beanie Babies, too! I will take these vile creatures and dispose of them for you free of charge so that they will never infect the lives of normal people again. Don't forget, box them up and send them to me as soon as possible. I guarantee that both our lives will be enriched.

    Step 4) Spread the gospel to others: This is the final step in overcoming Beanie Baby Addiction. You must go out into the world and tell everyone you meet the story of your addiction. Give witness to the masses. Show them the light. Have them send their Beanie Babies to me. You are getting sleepy... Remember, if you can change the life of just one person and they in turn pass the message along to someone else, soon the world will be a sane place once again.

A "retired" Beanie Baby, one that has been taken out of circulation, can go for a thousand times its original cost. A complete collection of Beanie Babies (600 in all) is valued at $100,000. Here are the top ten most valuable.

As further proof of the need for an organization like Beanie Babies Anonymous,read the following transcripts and media accounts of how Beanie Baby Mania is affecting our world.

From the Disassociated Press:
OAK BROOK, IL (DP): Shares in McDonald's Corp. rose to a 52-week high Wednesday in response to the news that the fastfood giant will stop selling food effective immediately and will instead become the nations top retailer of Beanie Babies. McDonald's stock jumped over three dollars per share after the announcement. A company spokesman said, "Nobody wants our food anymore, but everybody wants Beanie Babies. The change just makes sense."

Tom Brokaw, NBC Nightly News:
"Addressing a large crowd in Lahore, Pakistan on Saturday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif defended his country's decision to detonate six nuclear devices last week and said that Pakistan will continue nuclear testing until India signs the "No Nuke" test treaty and the Ty Corporation gives every man, woman and child in Pakistan a Nana the Monkey Beanie Baby. More now from Christiana Amonpour in Lahore..."

Bernard Shaw, CNN Headline News:
"This just in: Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr has announced that he is issuing subpoenas to executives of the Ty Corporation, the company that markets Beanie Babies. Starr claims his investigations have revealed that President Clinton gave Monica Lewinsky a 'Grunt the Razorback Pig' Beanie Baby as a gift after a sexual encounter in the White House."

Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes:
"The Ty Corporation, the company that sells Beanie Babies, is so secretive that not even the US government knows who is in charge. The company continually refused our requests for interviews and, in an anonymously-signed statement, said that, quote, '...if you do not immediately cease with your investigation into our operation we will have no choice but to send out a very large blue bear to bite your head off.' Unquote."

Dan Rather, CBS Evening News:
"Good evening. The bottom fell out of the Beanie Baby market today when it was revealed that the man in charge of the Ty Corporation, the mysterious company behind the popular line of plush toys, is none other than Microsoft CEO Bill Gates himself. Competing manufacturers of teddy bears and other plush toys have come out accusing Gates of trying to monopolize the plush toy industry, prompting the Justice Department to order an immediate investigation."

Alright, I made those up. But the following accounts are real, as reported by the Associated Press:

    Forty guns were handed over to police in Kanakakee, Ill., in exchange for Teenie Beanie Babies, miniature versions of Beanie Babies given out by McDonald's as a Happy Meals premium. The no-questions-asked swap brought in 23 pistols and 17 shotguns in one day.

    In an attempt to thwart the smuggling in of Beanie Babies available only in Canada, the U.S. Customs Service strictly enforces a one-Beanie rule. "A consumer is allowed to have one Beanie Baby for personal use every 30 days,'' says Customs officer Ralph Hackney. Any more are subject to seizure.

    Customs agents seized an incoming shipment at O'Hare International Airport last December. Their catch: 456 imitations of Beanie Babies. Most were fake versions of "Grunt," the toy red razorback pig that is considered a collector's items and sells for as much as $130 each.

    The Minnesota Better Business Bureau runs a Beanie Baby hotline to warn consumers of suspected counterfeits.
    Basketball's Philadelphia 76ers handed out 5,000 Beanies to children 12 and under during a game this year against the Golden State Warriors. It was only the second sellout game of the 76ers season. The other was against the Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

    A crowd of thousands lined up outside a store in San Mateo, Calif., for the chance to buy new and retired Beanie Babies at below-market prices. The store gave out tickets, then called out random numbers. Those selected got to go in and buy the toys for $5.99 each.

    Burglars broke into a suburban Chicago home in mid-April. They left the TV, stereo and most other valuables, but made off with a gold ring and a number of Beanie Babies, all valued at $4,000.

    In Orange County, California, owners of a collectibles shop were treated and released for head injuries in early April after being clubbed with an iron barbell by thieves who made off with $6,000 worth of rare Beanie Babies.

    The final divorce decree for Randy and Jan Staffan of Minneapolis stated that he got the house, much of its furnishings, and a few vehicles. She got to keep her salon business and half the couple's Beanie Babies.

Shocking, isn't it? Friends, let's stop this madness before it's too late.

Send those Beanie Babies to me today!

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From "Small Business Q&A" With Tim Knox Tim Knox is a nationally-known entrepreneur, author, speaker, and radio show host. Tim has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their business dreams. To learn more please visit

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