Clinging To These Old Toys Could Land You A Huge Paycheck
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who de-clutter like professionals and those who can't bear to part with anything. While stockpiling your garbage, old newspapers, and animal droppings will land you in the "hoarder" category, if it's your childhood toys and collectibles you've been clinging to all of these years then you may be in for some really good news. Humans are incredibly nostalgic creatures and some will stop at nothing, even paying exorbitant amounts of money to relive their glory days via their favorite childhood toys. When the years pass and toys are destroyed their value goes up because they become harder to find.
Or perhaps you're looking here today because you're the child or grandchild of a hoarder and you're wondering if you have any hidden goldmines lurking in the piles of stuff. You never know, you may be surprised how much that percieved pile of junk is worth!
1. The Original Nintendo Game Boy
A true staple of the 90's was the original Nintendo Game Boy. Did you know? Time Magazine reported: "Upon the Game Boy's release in the United States, its entire shipment of one million units was sold within a few weeks." If you have one of the original Gameboys you could easily sell it on eBay for anywhere from $750-1500 and if you just so happen to be one of the super spoiled kids who landed the gold-plated, diamond-encrusted special edition Game Boy then you're looking at $25,000! If you ask me, the original Gameboy is priceless and you should keep it.
2. Vintage 1959 Barbie
Barbie made her grand debut in 1959 and while it has been reported by BBC News that, "it is estimated that over a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide in over 150 countries, with Mattel claiming that three Barbie dolls are sold every second," there is only one original. The original Barbie is sporting a zebra-striped bathing suit, high heels, a retro-fashion hairdo, and the world's most iconic hourglass figure in existence. If you just so happen to have one sitting around in good condition you're looking at a possible cash-in of $23,000! She originally sold for $3.
3. The Original Easy-Bake Oven
If your childhood was anywhere between the 60's and well, now, then you've probably played with or heard of an easy-bake oven. However, if you happen to have one of the originals from 1963 then you could sell that puppy for up to $4,000! Then you could use that money to buy a real oven because you're an adult now with responsibilities.
4. The original Tamagotchi
In the 90's digital pets known as Tamagotchis were ALL the rage. Everyone had them, and usually, they all had more than one. Back in the day, you would have picked up a Tamagotchi for $17.99 but today, if you happen to still have an original in its box... you could cash it in for $3,000. I wonder if we could thank the celebrities that wore them to the Met Gala in 2016 for the inflated value?
5. Where the Wild Things Are
One of the most iconic children's books of all time, Where the Wild Things Are has sold millions of copies and even been adapted into a major motion picture. The real cash cow though is in an original edition. In 2012, a 1963 signed first edition of the book sold for an incredible $25,000 on Abebooks.com.
6. The Original Furby
When the original Furby launched in 1998 it quickly became the most popular, must-have toy of the holiday season. I guarantee if you ask anyone who was sentient in the late 90's if they remember Furby, they'll tell you they do and probably share a story of a creepy experience. They were an odd toy. While new generations have continued to launch, it's only the original Furby that will end up being a worthy investment. If you or your parents dropped $35 for an original Furby and you still have it then you could easily sell that creepy thing for a cool $900.
7. Peanut The Royal Blue Elephant Beanie Baby
Beanie Babies were a cultural phenomenon. Everyone collected them. They were the best gift to give and you couldn't go anywhere in public without seeing the latest editions and must-haves. Today there are quite a few Beanie Babies worth a pretty penny but the one worth the absolute most is Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant. Rumor has it there are only 2,000 in existence and a single one can sell for up to $5,000! Mystic the Unicorn can sell for up to $3,000. Other Beanies can sell for tens of thousands of dollars due to defects and unique quirks that made them one of a kind.
8. PEZ dispensers
PEZ candy and dispensers have been in existence since the late 1920's but today they are so much more than candy in a unique dispenser. PEZ dispensers have become a pop culture phenomenon where even conventions take place! While hundreds of thousands of characters have been planted on top of the little candy dispenser over the decades you definitely have to know your PEZ to figure out which ones are worth the big bucks. While you'd be surprised how many will fetch even $100 there are some that have sold for thousands! According to Wikipedia: "The highest verifiable sale of a Pez dispenser was a private sale of a Mickey Mouse soft head at $7,000 between an Austrian dealer and a US collector. This dispenser was never available for sale to the public, and was a factory prototype."
9. Garbage Pail Kids
In the 1980's Cabbage Patch Dolls were the talk of the town so when a series of sticker trading cards mocking the dolls released in 1985, it's no surprise that their more macabre (albeit comedic) theme was just as popular. The cards were so popular that they were frequently banned in schools because kids just couldn't let up the good times. Today, the real money is in the original Adam Bomb cards which can easily fetch a cool $4,000. At one point, four single Japanese GPK cards, with their wrapper, sold for $1,592.89 on eBay!
10. 1978 Luke Skywalker
The 1978 Luke Skywalker action figure is exceptionally rare since there were only ever 20 in existence. We all know that the popularity of Star Wars only grew exponentially over the decades so it comes as no surprise that in 2015 one of these puppies raked in $25,000! While no other vintage Star Wars action figure comes close to that big of a payday a few Boba Fett figures that were special editions from other countries pulled in a pretty penny themselves, including a Hungarian one that sold for $15,000!
11. Nintendo 64 Games
When the Nintendo 64 was released in the late 1990's we are certain that they didn't anticipate the popularity and influence to last decades but that's precisely what has happened. While literally millions of N64's were sold today quite a few of these vintage games are worth some good cash. If you happen to have yourself a mint-condition, still in the box Mario Kart 64 you can easily sell it for $750. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time can rack in as much as $200 or if you happen to be sitting on one of the lesser produced copies of Harvest Moon 64 you could be looking at a cool $900.
In the 1930's when the Parker Brothers bought the copy write to Monopoly they began mass-producing the board game, churning out 2,000 copies per week. So while having a vintage board is special it will only bring you in around $75-125. The real money comes from one of the original, hand-crafted boards that Charles Darrow made himself, for which there were only a few thousand in existence. A complete set sold at one point for $146,500! Occasionally a vintage set has sold for $4-6,000 and today out-of-print special edition copies that aren't even considered vintage can still rack in a few hundred bucks on eBay. Monopoly is the gift that keeps on giving!
13. Wonder Bread He-Man
In the 1990's Wonder Bread did a giveaway in which the prize was a rare collectible He-Man action figure. The action figure was never sold in stores and could only be acquired by winning it for free. If you or someone you know happens to be one of the lucky few who scored this at no cost you can really earn a profit when you sell it for $1,000. For a free toy, you can't really beat that. Unless you have an Action Comics No. 1...
14. 1938 Action Comics No. 1
With fewer than 50 issues printed, ever, this is literally the most expensive comic book on planet earth. Featuring the first appearance of Superman this comic sold for an impressive 10 cents back in 1938! For one lucky eBay seller that 10 cent investment turned into $3.2 million. They started the bidding at 99 cents.
15. Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels have been a toy staple since their release in 1968 and an awful lot of people today probably have some vintage die-cast mold toy cars lingering around. Whether or not they are worth big bucks is dependent on a lot of random variables from when they were created, what defects they made out of the factory with, or what movies they were based off of. Take the Beach Bomb for example, the 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb sold for and is considered to be worth $100k today but there is only one in existence. However, of the other 200 Beach Bombs that were later made with a different design, those can still rack in around $80,000 to $125,000! Let's not forget the Diamond Encrusted Car, featuring an 18-karat white gold frame, along with 2,700 various blue, black, and white diamonds. The diamonds alone are worth $140k. There's also the 1974 Blue Rodger Dodger which is valued at $8k and the 1968 Cheetah Base Python valued at $10k. Take a gander at your collection, you never know what hidden gems you are dealing with.
16. Pokémon Cards
Gotta catch 'em all! Pokemon is the ultimate gift that keeps on giving but what is really special are the vintage 90's cards, some of which are worth some serious cash today. A Japanese-version Pikachu Illustrator card once sold for $100,000! The Pre-Release holographic Raichu card is worth over $10,000 and the Holographic Shadowless First Edition Charizard is worth just under $12,000.
17. Atari 2600 Games
Compared to the early Nintendo systems, Atari just doesn't get enough credit. That is, unless, you happen to be sitting on a few of the original, vintage games. In that case then you can laugh your way to the bank! The most valuable Atari game is Air Raid. Whether it's used or new in the box, you can pull in serious cash for it: $13,900-$33,400! Red Sea Crossing, a Christian game only sold via phone order once sold used for $13,800 while Gamma-Attack and Birthday Mania will pull in $6-6,500 each.
18. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
On June 26, 1997 the first Harry Potter novel hit the world and none of us were ever the same. Today, if you have your paws on a first edition you could easily be looking at several thousand dollars. At one point, one sold at auction for $6,500! The real money though is in a signed first edition. They can sell for up to $15,000! I suppose you could always buy an unsigned one, get it signed, and double your money. Easy, right?
While Transformers have made huge waves in today's day and age thanks to several major motion picture blockbusters, it's the vintage toys where you can really earn your early retirement. At least, if you're one of the smart kids that never took them out of the box. An Optimus Prime action figure, still in the box unopened sold on eBay for $2,000! Also worth $2k? Motormaster, Galvatron, Blaster, and Trypticon. There's plenty of options to rake it in.
20. American Girl Molly
Molly McIntire is one of the first three Historical Characters of the American Girl Dolls, she was released in 1986 and retired in 2013. American Girl dolls were (and still are) widely popular and today Molly is worth a solid $5,000. Even better, she's not the only retired doll worth some serious cash. A first edition Felicity Merriman can pull in $1,300. A mint condition Kirsten Larson or Samantha Parkington? $2,000.
21. Cabbage Patch Kids
The doll of all dolls is surely the 1980's must have: Cabbage Patch Kids. Every kid had to have one and parents stood in lines for hours just to make sure their precious little monsters' Christmas dreams would all come true in the form of one of these dolls. If your parents paid the "adoption fee" to "adopt" one of these back in the day then there's a chance the toy you're holding on to for nostalgia purposes is worth a few thousand dollars today. A 1985 James Dudley is worth $3k An intact, including adoption paperwork set from the Mark Twain Collection sells for $850 will other dolls like Maureen Miriam might "only" pull in $350.
22. G.I. Joe
The Hasbro created action figure that made dolls a boy-toy launched in 1964 and if you have the right ones you could be looking at thousands of dollars. In 2003, a prototype G.I. Joe action figure sold at auction for $200,000, but that's not the only one bringing in the big bucks. . The Missile Command Center once sold for $17,500 and individual figures from that collection were pulling in $8-10k! A whole lot of other GI Joe Action figures from the 80's will pull in a few hundred bucks, like the 1982 Scarlet, she's worth $700 if she's still in her package. Or if you have a 1982 Snake Eyes in the package still that's an easy $1,300.
23. Sky Dancers
Okay, Sky Dancers may not be your ticket to retirement but they're still worth a whole lot more than they were originally sold for. Today if you have one of these re-called toys (recalled thanks to over 100 reported injuries) you can sell it easy as pie for $80.
24. Baseball Cards
Okay, it's no secret that there are vintage baseball cards on the market worth millions but do you have any of the valuable pieces of paper? Okay, you probably don't have one of the 200 Honus Wagner Sweet Caporal cards but what about ones worth a few hundred thousand? A 1952 Mickey Mantle has sold for $100,000-525,000! You'll just have to pluck through your deck and find out.
The phenomenon known as POGS is fascinating. How something as simple as a cardboard milk cap with a picture on it could take the world by storm is almost unfathomable but realistically... a variation of POGS have existed for centuries. But the real money is in the 1990's POGS. Today, some collections are easily worth $1,000! But that's small fries compared to the value of the Jurassic Park set, complete with six holographic POGS and a slammer: one of these sets sold for $1 million! Even a single Heavy Brass POG Slammer sells for $80!
26. Polly Pockets
Oh to be a little girl in the 80's and 90's, right? Polly Pockets were teeny-tiny dolls in teeny-tiny homes with teeny-tiny accessories and if you didn't lose all your pieces after all these years you might be able to cash in big because complete sets sell for hundreds of dollars! A Fairy Light Wonderland set in mint condition sold on eBay for $455 while a Sparkle Surprise set sold on eBay for $449.99. Even then, larger sets have sold for over $1,900 before.
27. Toy Story Toys
In 1995 When Toy Story hit theaters it was almost expected to be a flop. Instead, it pretty much changed everything. 20 years later there's been 2 sequels and an entire franchise will probably live on in hearts for years to come. Today, if you have any toys sitting around from the 90's you can sell them for a few hundred bucks a pop! An original mint-condition Buzz Lightyear figurine will fetch you $550 and a Woody figurine? $580! You would think those would be the top dogs as far as their worth goes today but the truth is it's the side characters that are really worth serious cash. The Toy Story alien USB web cam is worth $690 and Stinky Pete is worth $700!
28. McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys
For a toys that have come free in Happy Meals for a long time it's a bit amazing that you can collect big bucks on some of them if you still have them laying around. Classic sets can sell quickly for $100 if they are complete but the real money is in the McFurby toys. The right ones can fetch hundreds of dollars, if not an easy $1k. $1k for a free toy? Yes, please!
29. Air Jordans
Shoes are not toys but these shoes are not normal shoes. Air Jordans have always been a statement, or some might even say a lifestyle. Originally, a pair of Air Jordans sold for a whopping $65 while the most expensive pair ever sold went for $104,000 but they were worn by Michael Jordan himself in the 1997 NBA Finals. Other classic pairs sell today for anywhere from $500-2500 depending on a variety of factors. That's a nice mark up if you still have a classic pair sitting around!
The stuffed animals that have a playable online counterpart are far from considered vintage toys but that hasn't stopped them from being worth serious cash already. One eBay user sold a lot of 85 rare signature collection Webkinz for an impressive $5,000 while others are selling individual stuffed animals for a few hundred bucks a pop! For a toy that launched in 2005 that's not a bad turn around.
31. Fisher-Price’s Push Cart Pete
Released somewhere between 1936 and 1937, Push Cart Pete sold for a whopping 50 cents. This simple pull string toy featuring a disgruntled Pete is worth big bucks today. One in mint condition today is worth $3,000!
32. Lionel’s Pennsylvania ‘Trail Blazer” Train Set
Lionel train sets were the end all of train sets. Customization ready and realistic, every kid wanted a set. If you the 1934 Lionel Pennsylvania Trail Blazer set lingering around in an attic or basement somewhere check to see if it's in good condition. That right there is worth $250,000.
33. Bandai Stadium Events
This simple Nintendo NES game cartridge may not look like much but the truth is in the eye of the beholder. Introduced in 1986, Bandai Stadium Events was discontinued shortly afterwards because it simply didn't sell well. Time has definitely turned the tables though, in 2010, one mint-condition cartridge in the box sold for $41,300 and the cartridge alone starts at $13k. Heck, if all you have is the box you can sell that for $10k! If only Nintendo knew how worthy this exercise game would be a few decades into the future.
34. Boba Fett Action Figure
Boba Fett, the Star Wars bounty hunter, is one of the most sought-after figurines in the entire Star Wars franchise. Like the previously mentioned Luke Skywalker figurine, Boba Fett is worth some serious cash today. If you have one today in the box and in mint condition that's an easy $5k for you.
35. Lego Trains
Legos hit the toy world in 1949 and have been a classic, must-have staple ever since. Did you know that Legos have held their worth over the decades better than gold? Even then, there are some sets that are worth even more money today than your parents would have paid when you were a child. Specifically, the High-Speed City Express Trains from 1985, Steam Cargo Trains from 1985, and Diesel Freight Trains... all of which can go for anywhere from $1,500-3,000! As long as you didn't play with them, ever, and they're still in their unopened, mint-condition box.
36. 1982 Skeletor Action Figure
In the 1980's the Masters of the Universe franchise was the ultimate in good versus evil for kids. Featuring the superhero He-Man against evil villain Skeletor, the movies, cartoons, and action figures were all the rage. If you still have a Skeletor sitting around then I've got great news for you! An original 1982 Skeletor still in his unopened box will fetch you $1,650. I guess being evil really does pay off because the counterpart He-man is only worth a sad $1k. Okay, that's not really sad and you could still cash in but look at the villain go now!
37. GI-Joe Manimals Vortex Figure
Manimals Vortex figurines combined man and animals into one ultra-cool combo. Well, not that cool in the 80's since it was kind of quickly discontinued. However, if you happened to purchase one, and keep it, you could cash that sucker in for $20,000!!
38. Lite Brite
Originally released in 1967, Lite Brite is still around and popular today. Time Magazine ranked Lite Brite as one of the top 100 toys of all time. If you still have a vintage set with the original box sells for roughly $130-150. Considering it was originally purchased for much, much less money, I'd say that's not a bad turn around.
39. Teddy Ruxpin
The most popular toy of 1985 and 1986 was animatronic teddy bear... Teddy Ruxpin. Using a cassette tape, Teddy Ruxpin read your child bedtime stories for you. Today, an original Teddy Ruxpin with the original box it came in is currently going for $600, while some of the accessories are going for almost $400 a piece.
40. Masters of the Universe Eternia Playset
As we mentioned earlier, Master of the Universe was all the craze in the 80's and this toy was THE ultimate toy. While it was only in production for a mere year in the late 80's, it's popularity still rages on today. Even if you only have a single tower and some random pieces from the set you can easily sell it for $5-550 but if you have the whole shebang? That's an easy $1,500-2,000. Even random pieces from the set will sell for $50 a pop!
41. Vintage Colorforms
Colorforms were a nifty little vinyl toy that launched in 1951 and originally just consisted of colored geometric shapes that kids could peel and stick for fun. Later they went on to make Colorforms in the shapes and likeness of pop culture icons. Today a vintage set in good condition is worth a few hundred bucks and if you happen to have a rare set you could be looking at close to $400.
42. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in 1984 in a comedic comic book and went on to cross multiple media platforms spanning 3 decades now. Countless action figures and toys have been made over the years but if you have some older, rarer ones then you may be able to sell them for big money! Especially if by some chance you landed on an international version of a toy with an error! Think I'm joking around? Nope, there's a Krang action figure from 1994 with TWO mistakes on it that's on the market right now for a killer $25,000!
43. Jem and the Holograms Dolls
Jem and the Holograms was an animated TV series in the 80's that was ALL the rage. Produced by a toy company, the show brought children of the 80's (and 90's) some killer toys, many of which are worth a pretty penny today. A single doll, if still in her package, can easily sell for just a pinch under $100. Heck, even an open, used, naked Jem doll could sell for $10! If you have a complete set, you're looking at over $1,200!
44. Vintage Playmobil
Playmobil launched in the early 70's and were a beloved children's toy. Today, thanks to bringing in a bit of a cult following, vintage sets and pieces are selling for a ridiculous amount of money. In fact, some individual, rare Playmobil figurines, still in their boxes, sell for as much as $2,322 on eBay! Other sets in entirety may pull in more like $1,999. Either way, those vintage children's toys are definitely earning their keep.
45. She-Ra, Princess of Power and Her Horse Swift Wind
She-ra is He-man's twin sister and known as The Most Powerful Woman In the Universe. She was created because He-man did such a great job at inspiring boys that the toy industry needed a female counterpart to inspire little girls. It worked and today if you have a 1986 Mattel Bubble Power She-Ra Princes of Power you can sell her on eBay for $2,500! Collectible She-Ra statues can be sold for over $650 and other She-ra statues and her horse figurines easily sell in the $100 range. She's definitely a hidden gold mine. Or, if you hold onto it a little longer, Netflix has recently released a first look at their She-ra re-boot. Her value is sure to skyrocket again soon!
46. Vintage Rainbow Brite Dolls and Accessories
The Rainbow Brite TV series only ran for 2 years but with the movie included they managed to pull in quite the mini franchise. The dolls were definitely a must-have toy in the 80's for kids and today? Well, they're worth some big bucks! If you have a doll still in its box that's an easy $5-700! If you're lucky enough to have the hardbody Starlite horse, you can sell that toy for $1,000!
47. Cupcake Dolls
In the 80's and 90's Transformers were not the only toys that could be more than one thing that were a huge hit for kids. Cupcake Dolls were like Transformers for girls. They were dolls but with a quick move of their skirts they became cupcakes! They even smelled good, because girls like things that smell good. There's a wide variety of prices the vintage toys sell for on eBay these days but if you have one in its package still that's an easy $1-150. Some rare versions will pull in an extra $20-40, too!
48. Vintage Super Soaker Water Guns
Thank goodness water guns are still as fun today as they were growing up! But if you still have one of the super soakers from your childhood you may want to part with it in the event that it's worth some decent money! Larger models sell for $200, easily, while even smaller models still pull in their own at $100!
49. Magic: The Gathering Card Collections
Released in 1993,Magic: The Gathering is a card game all about magic that still rages on today with over 20 million active players worldwide! It's a card game and it's popular so of course there are rare cards and rare sets that are worth thousands! For example, the Zendikar Expeditions Full set of cards is currently selling for $5,800!
50. Jurassic Park Action Figures
Based off of a Michael Chrichton novel, Jurassic Park was definitely adult themed but when it became the highest grossing film of all time in 1993, it quickly branched off into a "this is for everyone" sort of thing. Toys and merchandise galore! Today, a collection of original figurines, still sealed in their original boxes and signed, can sell for over $2,000! If you happen to have a rare, mint-condition figurine by itself that can still sell for $1k!