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Pausing to remember...Beanie Babies

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Ah, Beanie Babies. Back in their heyday, my little sister took to collecting them with disturbing zeal. Suddenly, there was commercial interest not just from her Nerds Rope-addled matrix of grade school associates, but from adult neighbors with disposable cash and a house flipping gene. There were times I'd enter her room just to observe their impeccably organized assemblage...I stared at them and they stared back. Of course, those were the times my sister would rush in with three new strains of the Beans w/accompanying poems, always glaring at me lest I dared to condescend. How could I? I used to collect the remnants of paper hole punches--I preferred to call it confetti--in an old lunch bag. I used to collect dried lily pads of Elmer's glue that could double as press-on nails. My kind of OCD might not have transposed so seamlessly into the acquisition and hoarding of attractive merchandise, but I swear I wasn't judging. It just always fascinated me to hear stories of how far possessed consumers would go to obtain a "Ty" tag or twenty.

For instance:

  • At an Illinois guns-for-Beanie Babies exchange, police gave away every last Beanie and collected 40 guns.
  • People were smuggling foreign Beanies into the country at such an alarming rate that Ty had to issue an embargo:
  • "A consumer is allowed to have one Beanie Baby for personal use every 30 days," said Customs officer Ralph Hackney. To enforce the rule, the Customs people are forced regularly to go through the packing of children, parents and grandparents in search of the furry creatures. One inspection yielded a haul of 15,000 Beanies.
  • A U.S. trade rep was found in violation of the decree
  • A man getting a divorce files a motion to get his fair share of Beanies:
  • "It's ridiculous and embarrassing," said Frances Mountain, moments before squatting on the courtroom floor alongside her ex-husband to choose first from a pile of dozens of stuffed toys. Maple the Bear was the first to go, as a few people in the gallery snickered.

Of course, this is just a sample...Please do share any venal Beanie stories.

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eBay
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Adult-Sized Little Tikes-Inspired Car Spotted in UK
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eBay

Remember scooting around town in your red and yellow Little Tikes toy car? The fun plastic vehicle offered accessible mobility like a tricycle, but with the sophistication of a real car. It was never meant to be driven outside of the cul-de-sac, but what if there was a grown-up version that could be taken out on the road?

Mechanic John Bitmead and his brother Geoff of Attitude Autos created just that back in 2015, with an oversized spin on the classic kid wheels. It's road-legal and fully functional, looking somewhat similar to a Smart Car (but way cooler). The car was adapted from a Daewoo Matiz and took 16 weeks to make. Despite its small size, it can go up to 70 miles per hour.

This nostalgic creation eventually wound up on eBay for bids of at least £21,500 (roughly $33,000). It only had 5000 miles on it. Sadly, it seems the vehicle went unsold. But Bitmead doesn't appear to be finished with his unique customs. His Instagram page features a post-apocalyptic roadster with a bright pink Hello Kitty paint job. If you live in the UK, perhaps one day you'll see the two racing during your morning commute.

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BrickBrosProductions, YouTube
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Stop-Motion Artists Make LEGOs for Breakfast
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BrickBrosProductions, YouTube

LEGO bricks are made from plastic, but a clever stop-motion video makes the toys look tasty enough to eat. The filmmakers behind BrickBrosProductions—a LEGO-focused YouTube channel featuring stop-motion animations, tutorials, reviews, and more—created the film below, which follows a chef as he whips up a home-cooked breakfast using unorthodox ingredients: LEGO pieces crafted to look like butter, eggs, milk, bread, and jam.

The video took three days to film and was shot at a rate of 15 frames per second, Matthew—one half of the filmmaking team—told Ireland's The Independent. “The total amount of pictures taken for the brick film was 1500," he added.

Video edits took around two days to complete, and the filmmakers also added sound effects, including the real sounds of breaking eggs and pouring eggs. Hungry LEGO fans can watch the final product below:

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