Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Beanie Babies and Valentine's Day

Perhaps if you are a law student now, you don't have strong memories of Beanie Babies, which were popular in the 1990s. That's a shame because the novelty plush toys made Americans pretty frenzied in a way that I still can't fathom. Maybe it's because I was in my late teens when they hit the market. In other words, I was "too cool" to be impressed by much. But still, people paying $5,000 for a small stuffed animal simply because of economic conditions driving demand leaves me without words. It's inexplicable

Slate.com has a great article on the subject, Plush Life: Why did people lose their minds over Beanie Babies? The article posits that in a nutshell, people wanted them because they were hard to get.

But what's the legal angle? The article includes a photo of a divorcing couple divvying up Beanie Babies in a courtroom with a judge overseeing the process. Seriously. The collection was valued at between $2,500-$5,000. Conceivably legal fees to compel the in-court division cost more than the value of the collection. And the Las Vegas Sun ran a great story that led with the line "Divorce is often hardest on the babies." Later the writer penned this gem: "The collection was still in Frances' possession Thursday when Hardcastle heard Harold's motion to get his share of the litter." (I'd have said "pick of the litter," but that's just me.)

This story is not intended to convey how out of control this couple was. It's more about the difficulty of divorce. Family law is tough---perhaps not for the legal issues but for the emotional complications involved. For thoughts on how to approach divorce, especially as we enter into the most romantic season of the year, check out these books in our collection (some of which are available online):