Beanie Mania Trailer: HBO Max Explores The Craze That Swept The World

When I was 7-years-old, there was a traffic jam in town so severe that emergency vehicles had to be dispatched to side roads because the main drag was gridlocked bumper to bumper ... waiting in the drive-thru of McDonald's for Teenie Beanie Babies in Happy Meals. 

The biggest toy craze in history, Beanie Babies were popular due to their deliberate design of being under stuffed (and therefore poseable and playable) but became a collector's item as the toy's manufacturer, Ty Inc. intentionally produced each design in limited quantities, restricted individual store shipments to limited numbers of each design, and regularly retired designs. This strategy proved profitable as a secondary re-seller market developed, turning the toys into a bonafide sensation. Parents got into fistfights in toy stores, hundreds of Happy Meals were wasted as people purchased them just for the toy inside and threw the food away, and at the height of popularity, Beanies made up 10% of eBay's sales.

Now, HBO Max is debuting a new movie about "Beanie Mania," diving deep into the world of Beanie Babies obsession from the perspective of collectors, sellers, and creators. Check out the official synopsis from HBO Max below:

From Director Yemisi Brookes, comes a documentary about Beanie Babies, the stuffed toys on everyone's minds (and shelves) in the late 90's. "Beanie Mania" is an illuminating and entertaining exploration of how a children's toy spawned an unprecedented investment bubble and a frenzy of American greed.

Beanie Mania Trailer

It's genuinely surprising that a documentary about the Beanie Babies craze doesn't already exist, because the fallout of Beanie Mania is full of utterly bananas material. In one of the most famous Beanie-related instances of ridiculousness, a Las Vegas couple divorced in 1999 had to return to a family courtroom to divide up their Beanie Babies collection valued between $2,500-$5,000 because they were unable to do so on their own. These people had to pay legal and court fees to pay a judge to chaperone their division of Beanie Babies, and I am dying to find out if the documentarians tracked them down.

Admittedly, I still own a handful of Beanie Babies, with my prized possession being the velcro-winged "Batty" the bat I recently procured from my late grandmother's massive (I'm talking over 1,000 Beanies) collection. While it's true that most Beanie Babies aren't actually worth the thousands of dollars rabid collectors believed they would one day be worth, they're still a wonderful token of nostalgia for '90s kids everywhere and a reminder that adults will do absolutely absurd things if they think it'll result in a payday.

The "Beanie Mania" documentary debuts on HBO Max on Thursday, December 23, 2021.