Books About Monopoly and Beanie Babies. What They Say About Capitalism



“…in 1959 Fidel Castro ordered the ­destruction of every Monopoly set in Cuba…”

“’The Monopolists,’ by Mary Pilon,” James McManus, The New York Times

“Early on, Beanie Babies represented 10 percent of eBay’s sales.”

Adam Davidson, ‘The Great Beanie Baby Bubble,’ by Zac Bissonnette, The New York Times

One of my pleasures is reading The New York Times Book Review.  The fun is that it’s so eclectic in the types of books it chooses to review.  One of my peeves, therefore, is when they decide to pursue a specific theme.  This week’s was Money (for the full review, click here).

What, you may ask, does that fact have to do with the toy and play industry?  Good question; except that out of 13 book reviews of non-fiction books about money, two were about toys and games.  The Monopolists, by Mary Pilon, tells the story of the original inventor, Elizabeth Magie, and Monopoly’s origins as a game that was about fighting monopolies not becoming one.  The Great Beanie Baby Bubble, by Zac Bizzonnette, describes greed as reflected in the desire for outsized returns from buying and selling Beanie Babies as well as what it did to their creator, Ty Warner.

And not just that; listen to just a few of the other books reviewed:  “God’s Bankers,” “The Age of Cryptocurrency” and “The Looting Machine.”  This is serious stuff.  In fact, there was no other book listed about any other specific companies, toy or otherwise.

Why toys and what can they tell us about the economy and ourselves?  That in my next posting.

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