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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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Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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iStock

Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]

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14 Things You Owned in the '70s That are Worth a Fortune Now
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DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images

From old toys and housewares to books and records, these pieces of '70s memorabilia have aged (and increased in value) like fine wine.

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