Santa Barbara billionaire’s plush empire

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Coral Casino Beanie Baby

Montecito mogul H. Ty Warner made billions selling Beanie Babies but, up til now, there wasn’t a lot known about his personal life. KCRW’s Lisa Osborn talks with Zac Bissonnette, author of “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.”  Bissonnette chronicles the rise and fall of the popular plush toys which, at one time,  were selling for hundreds and thousands of dollars apiece.

You’ll also get a peek at the enigmatic billionaire’s personal life, from his childhood to the girlfriends who were at his side while he built his billion dollar Beanie empire. Warner went on to parlay his Beanie billions into real estate. He owns several prime properties in the Santa Barbara area including the Four Season’s Biltmore Resort, The Coral Casino, the San Ysidro Ranch and the Sandpiper Golf Course.

Beanie Babies made Santa Barbara real estate mogul Ty Warner a billionaire (Photo: Paul Wellman, Santa Barbara Independent)
Beanie Babies made Santa Barbara real estate mogul Ty Warner a billionaire (Photo: Paul Wellman, Santa Barbara Independent)

For more background into Ty Warner and the Beanie Baby story, check out Tyler Hayden’s cover story in the Santa Barbara Independent, “Spilling the Beans on Ty Warner’s Toys & Troubles.”