8 Failed Investments From Your Spoiled Childhood Raising a kid is expensive, no doubt about it. Then factor in the cost of indulging them with toys, video games, sports lessons and a decent education and you’re hitting your head on the debt ceiling. But it’s all worth it to make Junior happy, right? Here’s just a fraction of childhood investments that your parents will never get their money back on. I’m no financial expert, but if you factor the grand total of all those things you just had to have as a kid, you could have had a beach house by now. Maybe two. 1. Beanie Babies adlpated Some countries have the gold standard. The ’90s had Beanie Babies. What could be a better opportunity than investing your money in a hundred or so plush animals at $10 to $15 a piece? Better hope that those tags don’t get damaged, or risk losing everything. I planned on buying my first home on my Princess Di bear. Now it’s just something for my dog to hump when he’s lonely. SEE MORE: • 25 Hilarious ‘Then and Now’ Family Pictures • 10 Toys From the ’90s That Are Making a Comeback • 10 Celebrities From the ’90s Who Aught-smarted Us All 2. Tree Houses shortfatkid Usually real estate and property are some of the most stable investments you can make, but not in this economy. After your dad dropped at least a grand on lumber and supplies for that swank new tree house, you used it maybe once or twice before you realized playing video games in air conditioning was much more entertaining. Now it’s home to a few nice wasps’ nests, and if you ever want to smoke a spliff when you’re home from college and revel in nostalgia, you’ll have a place to. 3. Karate Lessons nmcbean They up-sell your parents on the fact that the time-honored practice of karate (or whatever particular brand of childhood marital arts you practiced) would teach you discipline and self-defense. But mainly the hundreds if not thousands of dollars your parents spent on countless hours of karate lessons were either because you wanted a new colorful belt or you saw The Karate Kid one too many times. And naturally, it was all a Ponzi scheme: If you ever actually made it to your black belt, they told you there were even more degrees to earn. 4. Pokémon Cards minhimalism Our parents really must have loved us to take us to make weekly visits to comic book stores and Toys-R-Us to purchase packs on packs on packs of Pokémon cards for a game no one really knew how to play. All in some futile search for the urban playground legend that was a precious holographic Charizard. What you ended up with instead was hundreds of those shitty element cards and bunch of colorful stones that your mom probably used to fill flower vases. I’m still looking to make some trade for a Pikachu if anyone has one. 5. The State Quarter Program ikkoskinen What do children love? Coin collecting! No wait, they just love money. Quarters are essential for vending machines and arcade games, not sitting in plastic. The U.S. Mint’s eight-year State Quarterhood Program probably sounded like a clever initiative to get kids interested in our nation’s currency, but it went the way of the Sacagawea dollar coins. Only your weird aunt would give you books to collect the things in, and you’d get one from both the Denver and Philadelphia mint. Do I look like the Smithsonian? 6. Lemonade Stands nmcbean Small business and entrepreneurship is the foundation of not only this great country, but also the American dream. What is a cuter incarnation of that ideal than a children’s lemonade stand with one of the words misspelled? After my mom floated me the supplies and provided me some real estate free of charge, I thought the dollars would come rolling in as I undersold the competition at 75 cents a glass, but apparently it’s not the 1950s anymore and living on a cul de sac isn’t good for traffic. 7. Power Rangers Megazords fanpop There was truly nothing more exhilarating than unboxing the latest power rangers Megazord — that is, until you had to apply all the stickers and supply the batteries to make it fully operational. Each annual incarnation of the Power Rangers franchise came with one or two epic Megazords that carried pretty hefty price tags befitting birthdays, Christmas, or a report card of all A’s. You sold your parents on the pretense that they would be collector’s items one day, but a week into crashing them into one another, you had already lost a few parts and cracked or chipped some of the pieces. 8. College fergieinfife The final, most expensive and, some may argue, worst investment of your adolesence. Your parents gave up 98 percent of their dreams for you to argue about how brilliant Arrested Development is versus Community in your film-theory class as you pack on the freshman 15 with daily trips to Chipotle. Enjoy the lack of responsibilities and hangover breakfasts while they last, because once you cross that stage at graduation and receive your degree in creative writing, you’ll realize it’ll be a few years before you can even afford to buy beer again, let alone land a job with benefits. SEE MORE: • 35 Best Tumblr Pics From 1996 • What the Hell Happened to These ’90s Mega-Celebs? Greg Seals Greg Seals is a writer, and sometimes funny person. Indulge his sense of self-importance and follow @GregSeals.