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10 Biggest IPO Flops in History

3 CEO Toby Lenk shows off his wares. CEO Toby Lenk shows off his wares.
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Like and Wired Ventures, was a late-90s juggernaut that suffered from a wicked case of Internet-age hubris. eToys, an online purveyor of -- you guessed it -- toys, dismissed brick-and-mortar competitors like Toys 'R Us as stodgy and slow to adapt to the online marketplace.

The eToys website was loaded with features like in-depth toy reviews, recommendations sorted by age, parenting and baby advice columns and e-mail newsletters. And their TV commercials, featuring Israel "Brother Iz" Kamakawiwo'ole's now-famous rendition of "Somewhere over the Rainbow," helped solidify the brand.

Unfortunately, fell victim to some of the same logistics problems that plagued Webvan and Kozmo. eToys had to build a massive and hugely expensive infrastructure from the ground up to be able to stock and deliver such a wide variety of toys to so many people.

Riding the wave of dot-com IPOs, eToys went public in May 1999 at $20 a share and skyrocketed to $76 a share on its opening day [source: Cotriss]. But it took a huge public relations hit that same Christmas, when a bunch of orders failed to arrive by Christmas morning. In response, it built two more huge warehouses to deal with an expected increase in demand in 2000, which never materialized [source: Cotriss].

Toys 'R Us -- who partnered with in 2000 -- had the last laugh when eToys filed for bankruptcy in 2001.

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