Correction: This article has been corrected to clarify that the listing price on Princess Diana bears has little connection with actual value. It also has been edited to reflect a warning issued by the website tycollector.com.
We all remember Beanie Babies. The cute toy animals stuffed with “beans” and labeled with a heart-shaped “TY” tag.
They were fun to collect in the 90s, and the collecting became all the more serious when people realized Beanie Babies could be worth a lot of money one day.
But that decade came to an end and people came to the conclusion that Beanie Babies probably aren’t worth more than any old dog chew toy around the house… Until now.
For one couple in Great Britain, a Beanie Baby could possibly pay for a down payment on a house, but a leading collector group is dismissing the possibility, and has in fact issued a fraud alert.
Leah Rogers and Ryan Flanagan were selling a range of toys in Bude, Cornwall when they noticed a particular purple bear at a nearby seller’s stall, the Daily Mail reported.
Flanagan, 22, used to collect the bears and recognized that it was the limited edition Princess Diana Di Beanie Baby. But he didn’t realize just how limited it was.
Only 100 first edition bears were made around the world in 1997 to raise money for the Princess of Wales Memorial Trust after the former future queen died in a tragic paparazzi-fueled car accident in Paris.
Certain markers indicate that a Princess Di bear is not a first edition, like an extra space in the poem or a stamp inside the tag. But this one was the real deal.
The couple paid just £10 ($15) for the toy, but when they checked eBay, they found a listing for £62,500 ($93,406).
They now have their own listing on eBay with a starting bid of £20,000 ($29,890), and they are hoping to turn their special find into a down payment for a house.
But listing price and value are hardly connected, especially on auction sites such as eBay. While they have the limited edition bear, Tycollector.com has issued a fraud alert warning consumers that their Diana bear isn’t worth much at all, regardless of production run.