Beanie Babies, R.I.P.

With Beanie Babies facing possible retirement, the Associated Press looked back at some other novelty toys that once captured the public’s imagination. Where are they now?

  • Cabbage Patch Kids: Sales of the pudgy dolls reached as high as $4 billion for Coleco in the 1980s. The dolls (now made by Mattel) have retained a limited popularity, but some original handmade versions command thousands of dollars from collectors.
  • Teddy Ruxpin: Worlds of Wonder sold more than 7 million of the talking bears starting in 1985, but many were returned because of malfunctions and Worlds of Wonder went belly up. Teddy was brought back in 1998 by Yes! Entertainment, which this year filed for bankruptcy protection.
  • Hula Hoop: When Wham-O introduced the Hula Hoop in 1958, 25 million were sold in just a few months. Two years later the number surpassed 100 million. Sales slowed by the early ’60s, but the plastic circular rings can still be found in most large toy stores — suggesting that once a classic, always a classic.
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