I understand where you're coming from, but that Beanie Babies analogy is part of a larger discussion about the collector base, rather than the artists. Although the artists do certainly feed this mentality.
What I'm getting at is this- Beanie Babies are sock puppets stuffed with beads. They're for children to play with and enjoy. Some people got it in their head that these things should be collectible, and so a secondary market started that greatly inflated the price of some of the older toys that were no longer made. Which then drove up the demand for the new ones. Which meant that the manufacturer made more, and then a bunch of other manufacturers saw the collector fever that was happening, and started making product to cater directly to that market. People started making very unwise financial decisions based on the idea that this would never end. (I used to work at a Baseball Card store in the Dallas area where I sold a 'Humphrey the Camel' to some dude for 2K back around 1995 or so). But what happened is that all the VERY. INTENSE. COLLECTORS. soon realized that they were just trading cheap toys back and forth faster and faster, and that they were in fact the only ones still doing this, (casual buyers only wanted the new and easily available ones) and then the whole market collapsed. The marginal start ups who were trying to ride the tide, and cash in on the collector base went out of business. The collectors would say it's the mfr's fault for making and selling TOO MANY beanie babies, and they ruined the market. From that perspective, it would seem that Ty (the Beanie Baby mfr) became a huge failure. Not so- Ty is still a healthy company, and sells tons of stuffed animals to a wide audience still today. They didn't lose sight of their mission- to sell as many toys to a wide an audience as possible. And they're still doing this. They are still standing. The very fact that there was a collector's base interested in investment at all was an aberration of the market.
That's how I feel about the poster industry today. You have a bunch of people in the middle of an investment bubble, buying just about everything they can get their hands on, and promising themselves that they will pay for their retirement, or their child's education with this stuff. And you have manufacturers and galleries catering to JUST this base, lining up to take their money. And this will work. For a time. Until it doesn't.
And then you have what I would consider more reasonable artists who diversify across as wide a band as possible, get the art into new places where regular, everyday customers are- who just want cool art at a reasonable price, and really don't care about re-sale value. That's who I try to cater to with most of my personal releases. I think it's a more sane, long-term goal. But that's me. We'll see.
The end lesson? Just buy what you like, the rest is just noise. If you want investment- speak to a financial advisor.
I'll agree on the end lesson.
I will say though that the analogy for the market, even for the collector's point of view, is still a little faulty. The middle-of-the-pack market with collectors nabbing anything that has Boba Fett on it, yeah, that's ridiculous. But the folks who do that still know how valuable a Horkey is (primarily because the quantities of his work stay reasonably limited), like a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card or a Princess Di limited edition beanie baby. There will always be a section of this hobby that, thanks to being limited edition, won't be affected by people grabbing whatever enters the market.
Basically, I don't think you can look at the poster industry itself as a whole, but each artist as an industry unto him/herself. People who are just buying everything, thinking it's all equal, are no different from people who saw beanie babies and decided to buy every stuffed animal toy out there, not just beanie babies.