I was a sucker for anything collectable in the 90’s. Well, not anything. Not the normal things that people collect like stamps, coins, or baseball cards. I was more into collecting toys. Certain toys that were meant to be hoarded. The creative geniuses behind the making of children’s toys would draw me in every time they put up a sign that said “Collect Them All!”

My earliest memory of going gaga over playthings bloomed from the introduction of Beanie Babies. Beanie Babies were….okay, how do you describe Beanie Babies without sounding like a total lunatic? I collected sacks full of beans that we shaped like different animals and had cute names. They were supposed to pay for my college tuition. It all started with the purchase of one for my baby cousin–it was Bessie the Cow, I still remember. My first Beanie Baby was Lizzie, the Lizard and my brother’s was Tabasco the red Bull. We had hundreds of them, yet I remember purchasing every one like it was yesterday.



Of course my brother and I couldn’t share so we each had our own collection. We had some of the same ones, but mostly our tastes strayed from each other’s. And, unlike most children, we would actually play with our collection. It wasn’t just for looks, you see.

There were books printed with all of the Babies you could collect. Some were “retired” which meant that they didn’t make them anymore. Even at a young age I thought that was ridiculous. What, were they working so hard being inanimate objects that they were finally allowed to receive their pension? So stupid.

We found most of our little buddies in Cracker Barrel. Yes, we frequented that establishment often in rural Indiana. There was also a store called Mr. McGregor’s Garden (ya know, from Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit?) that got a hold of some new Beanie Babies before anyone else and held a night time sneak peak. My mom, my brother and I went and I swear there were Beanie Babies flying over my head.

The best Beanie Baby I have would have to be the special addition Princess Diana Bear (She would die over again if she knew there was a Beanie Baby made in her memory). It’s purple (so regal) and has a white rose on it’s chest. I used to have it in a sweet display case. But now it’s somewhere in storage. Like a candle in the wind. (Hah that makes zero sense but I had to say it.)princess__20354

Of course Beanie Babies weren’t the only thing I collected, but looking back, they were the funniest to recount. I also collected McDonald’s toys, Pokemon Cards, N64 games, and many, many other trivial things.

What did you collect as a child?rememberthetime_zps58158eef


31 thoughts on “Collectables

  1. unfetteredbs says:

    I’m really glad that my kids were born just a few years after the beanie craze. But Pokemon cards made their way as well as Nintendo products. Still have love for Nintendo and Pokemon. my other half still sneaks those cards into the shopping cart at Target. I probably should not admit That.

    Oh and things aren’t trivial if they make you happy. Just sayin

    • Hah you missed out on some good Beanie times! LOL Pokemon cards were so awesome! I didn’t even know how to play the game that the cards were meant for, I just thought they looked cool. I also had pokemon stickers, and we watched the tv show a lot. Haha my parents thought we were so weird. I was bordering on being too old for that stuff but oh well. Did you have any Nintendo Pokemon games? The best of both worlds!

      You’re right! That makes me feel less embarrassed…kinda.

      • unfetteredbs says:

        My hubs and daughter(20 yrs old) still preorder the Pokemon games and collect the cards. Haa now I’m embarrassed. I have no money but tons of Pokemon cards. And guess what– they ain’t paying her college tuition. Haa.
        You can come hang out anytime. It’s like gamer heaven. Do you do animal crossing? That’s the fav in my house now.
        And now you really know how odd I am. ( smile)

      • Oh yeah we would go to special stores to get our cards. We would get Japanese ones that no one had. LOL everything about Pokemon is embarrassing.

        OMG YES I play Animal Crossing. We need to exchange codes because then I can come visit your town and you can visit mine. My neighbors hate me because I never talk to them and I always change their catchphrases to inappropriate things. Heheh

  2. Oh god. I did Beanie Babies briefly. My grandma would get me the special ones from McDonald’s that were a kids meal toy, since my parents didn’t let me get fast food.

    I also collected the American Girl dolls. Felicia was my favorite (being a fellow redhead).

    • Yes! I remember those McDonald’s ones. Man, kids will settle for just about anything. Your parents didn’t let you eat fast food?! Ahh. We ONLY ate fast food. The epitome of health.

      OH yeah. Well, I couldn’t really collect those because they were expensive! But I had two–Molly and Samantha. They creeped me out after buying them though! Their eyes would follow me around the room!

      • I had Molly and Samantha too! And Felicity (it’s Felicity. Not Felicia. Ahem).
        I didn’t collect the dolls so much as all their shit.
        I only had the three, but I had soooo much stuff for all of them. Outfits, crap, stuff pets, etc. All I asked for for my birthday and Xmas was accessories for the dolls. My poor family.

        Don’t worry- I make up for the fast food deficit in my childhood. Wendy’s ALL the time. Okay. Maybe sometimes. Occasionally. My doctors would freak if I ate it all the time. Why does it have to be so good but so bad???

      • I know what you mean about fast food. It’s unfair how good it is.

        Oh yes. Their stuff was insane. I would live for American Girl catalogs. So much to choose from! I think I might have had a matching outfit for one of my dolls and it was made of red pleather. YIKES.

      • Lmao. That is awesome. I think I got Felicity’s one year. Went as her for Halloween or something. No one had a clue who I was. American Girls was only cool for a select few…

  3. Emily says:

    I collected stickers! it was a serious business and I think i must still have an album somewhere!? I hope that was ok to share the song my niece wrote in your last post, Lily!!? You always share such wonderful songs, books and of course your kidzshows blog is a blast! I have told some friends and family to read along too… I love your writing and you inspire me! THANK YOU! My girl crush FOREVER : ))

    • Aww Emily, you’re so sweet! YES I forgot about stickers! I had a couple of sticker books. I would always go for the sparkly ones! Of course it was okay to share that song! I love hearing new things!
      Aww thank you so much. That is such a great compliment. You are too nice. THANK YOU for reading what I write. That makes me feel so good. You’re my girl crush! Right back atcha!

  4. OK so I looked at the Princess Di baby before I read the caption, and I thought that it had a lizard crawling up its front. And I didn’t even think that was weird.

    I didn’t really collect anything when I was a kid, except maybe Barbies whose hair I would cut off. I took such great care of my belongings.

    • I just checked, and it definitely looks like a lizard at first glance. Yikes. Great deign choice.

      Yeah, I feel like no one meant to collect barbies, every girl just ended up with 200 of them on accident.

  5. The bit about the retired toys made me laugh. But you’re right, it is bloody stupid!

    That Princess Diana one is… weird. It looks kind of deflated and depressed, almost as if it knows the fate of the person it was created for.

    And I collected N64 games like a BEAST. Man, I loved that console so much. So many amazing games and so much time to play them ‘cos I was still in college.

    • Hah thanks Michael. Yeah it was so dumb.

      There were a lot of Beanie Baby bears that all looked like that. I think it’s supposed to be sitting down in that picture, but still, it looks weird. Poor Princess Di.

      N64 was the greatest console of all time.! still have mine and it brings me joy on a daily basis!

  6. Better ask what I did not collect… Once I got to the point of having two similar things, like two pens, I considered it a collection I had to work on. We even had a strange collection habit over here. It was a sudden hype: paper. Like the paper you write letters on. But no one used those, they were just meant to be pretty and you had to exchange it and then you could have a collection. I never did much with it, but it surely was a strange thing!

    • Haha I could see myself doing that too. I collected a lot of stationary items but I never actually used them. There is something about being a kid where every trinket is necessary and exciting. Even pens and paper hah!

  7. Haha I love your description of baby babies. I had a bunch too. I never went overboard with them or Pokemon cards. My sister couldn’t say retired and instead would say they were retarded.

    The main thing I collected were baseball cards/autographs. I still have most of the stuff. I’m sure I could make a pretty penny off it once I do sell. A lot of the guys are dead from steroid use now.

    • Yeah it’s like if you really think about it, they’re the worst things ever. I can see mistaking retired for retarded. When I was in 6th grade, a classmate of mine was reading out loud and instead of saying organism, she said orgasm. It was the best.

      It doesn’t surprise me that you collected baseball cards. It actually wouldn’t surprise me if you told me that your house was shaped like a baseball and you only ate big league chew for every meal. You’re so baseball-y.

      • The Big League Chew isn’t very far off when I was 10. I had a whole room in my house dedicated to baseball. Then my parents fought and it became my dad’s bedroom. Then he moved out and it became a baseball room and junk room. That really said something about my hobby.

  8. Oh my gosh, I totally remember Beanie Babies! I would always harass my parents to take me to G.Whiz (I think that’s what it’s called? I don’t know if it’s still there though) in Barrington and buy one or two for me… I think they were $5 each? But this was back in the mid-late 90s, so that was actually a good amount of money πŸ˜›

    • LOL yes G. Whiz! Hahah omg totally. Man Beanie Babies were so fun and addicting. Even as a child I was addicted to buying things. Not a good sign….
      You look super skins in that picture by the way!

      • They really were! I don’t even remember how many I had… ^^; lol So yeah, I’m totally the same about buying things… OOPS.

        Awwwwwh~ Thanks, girl! I sure hope so because otherwise my own personal HELLLLLLLLLLL that is dieting has been all for naught.

  9. Anne collected Beanie Babies–some were in cases (Princess Di), some on shelves, some were played with. They were her future college tuition. Yeah, right. They now dwell in a trunk in her basement. She and Bud also collected Pokemon cards and I think they (including the SIL) collect Magic cards? Such nerds! I collected baseball cards, because they made cool motorcycle sounds when clipped to the spokes of my bike wheels.

    • Anne had Princess Di too? Aw I thought it was pretty rare. It was like $50 or something for us. So crazy and dumb to spend that one a mini stuffed animal. But we were addicted! Hah Magic is a whole other level of geekdom. But yeah it’s fun to be child-like and collect that stuff!

      Yeah! Baseball cards could easily make a bike sound like a motorcycle…kinda.haha

  10. I remember my co-workers before and they were crazy about beanie babies. I think the only thing I collected before was stationary. Right now I collect Mugs(in different city, majority are from Starbucks ) and stitch key chain πŸ˜€

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