On the top shelf of my guest room closet is a box of Beanie Babies.
Do you remember Beanie Babies? Small soft stuffed animals with bean-bag type innards. They were introduced in the Nineties and even without the help of social media, these little toys went viral.
Every child wanted — not just one, but as many as possible. As TY Inc. (the company making Beanie Babies) expanded the variety, boys and girls alike became interested in owning Spot the Dog, Chocolate the Moose, or Patti the Platypus.
McDonald’s got into the act by making a deal with TY to sell Teeny Beanies along with their Happy Meals. Local restaurants began announcing the day the latest toy would be released, encouraging a mad rush to the drive-through window.
Soon the news circulated that if the Beanie Babies were kept pristine, never taken out of the bag or wrapping, their TY logo tag intact, they would be worth thousands of dollars — someday.
This created a frenzy of folks buying the toys as an investment — such as fine jewelry or art. No longer purchased to bring a child happiness, the playthings were stashed away until that day — in the future — when they would be worth their weight in dollar bills.
Someone wisely said that an item is worth big bucks only if you can find someone to pay a large amount of money for it. Today, online, there are sites that will buy Beanie Babies for 40¢ each. This is the going price for the common varieties. On the other hand, the rare Princess Diana Beanie, that TY deliberately kept scarce, is for sale on eBay for $149,000 — or make an offer.
This story reminds me of the admonition about hiding a lamp under a basket. Jesus said what a ridiculous idea that would be, to light a lamp and turn a bushel over it, preventing the lamp from doing its job. It was made to give off light. The sensible thing to do would be to put it on a high stand. The higher the stand, the farther the light will spread.
Illuminating the world is God’s purpose for that lamp, if you will. But instead the light goes nowhere. In fact it eventually dies from the lack of oxygen.
Beanie Babies were made to bring joy to a child. A three-year-old can’t appreciate a toy being valuable ‘someday.’ A toy is precious to a child NOW. Not wrapped it a plastic bag, but loved and hugged and slept with.
I’m happy to report that the Beanie Babies in the top of my closet fulfilled their purpose in life.