While some toys may lose value over time, some older collectibles will only gain more popularity as time goes by. Collecting old toys can be a hobby for many people, who see them as part of their childhood and take pride in remembering specific toys or movies from childhood. Some collectors even market old toys on eBay in hopes to expand their collection or make extra money, while others just want to pass down this love to the next generation.
Garbage Pail Kids Cards
Garbage Pail Kids cards may not have been so popular with parents, but kids loved them. Hopefully, you went against your parents’ wishes and kept buying the cards anyway, because they’re worth a lot today.
Some cards can sell for hundreds and some can sell for thousands — it all depends on which card it is when it was made, and its condition. One card sold for $300, and an entire 1985 Garbage Pail Kids Series One is going for $3,600 on eBay.
Who said collecting Pokémon cards would never pay off? They were wrong. Since its release in 1996, Pokémon cards have gained a huge following. Some Pokémon cards are even worth thousands if they’re rare and kept in good condition.
1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure
Collectors are willing to spend a certain amount of money to get what they want, sometimes even passing that limit. Star Wars has had a devoted fan base since its release in 1977, and its collectible products are known to sell for a lot.
These fans are so diehard that, in 2015, a Luke Skywalker action figure released in 1978 was sold for $25,000. That is some serious devotion.
PEZ dispensers have been a collector’s dream since their release, with many people having an entire collection. Some PEZ dispensers are so rare that they can sell for thousands. The popularity of PEZ dispensers never really went away — a 1982 PEZ dispenser, known as the Astronaut B, sold for $32,000 on eBay.
The Original Monopoly Board Game
The original hand-drawn version, made by Charles Darrow in 1933, sold for $146,500 in 2011. If you have any vintage versions from the 1930s or limited-edition versions of Monopoly, you can be looking at some serious cash.
With all the amazing graphics and stellar consoles these days, who needs a Game Boy? For that reason alone, you should get your hands on your old Game Boy and check what its value of it is. Mint-condition Game Boys sell for hundreds, and if you have a special-edition Game Boy, such as the Game Boy Light, it can go for over $1,500.
Since 1968, 4 billion Hot Wheels cars have been made, and only a handful of them are valuable. Some Hot Wheels cars were only made as prototypes, like the 1969 “Volkswagen Beach Bomb” prototype. It wasn’t widely produced, making it one of a kind. It sells for $125,000.
First-Edition Pound Puppies Plush
When Pound Puppies first made their appearance during the 1980s, kids went crazy for them. Today, a first-edition Pound Puppy can make you a pretty penny, going for $5,000. Most go for significantly less, but if you kept yours in its box, it could be worth something.
Cabbage Patch Dolls
Cabbage Patch Dolls were huge for a long time, and depending on which doll you have, you can earn some serious cash for it.
As of now, the most expensive Cabbage Patch Dolls belong to Pat and Joe Posey. The Process has over 5,000 dolls in its custom-built Maryland museum and ariselling its whole collection for $360,000.
Sega Genesis Console
If you happen to come across your old Sega Genesis one day, don’t throw it away. Instead, check to see if it still works, and if it does, check the internet immediately. You can potentially get up to $2,000 for it.
1982 Skeletor Action Figure
He-Man and Skeletor are the most popular action figures in the Masters of the Universe world. A 1982 in-box, mint-condition Skeletor action figure could go for at least $1,500 today.
These were particularly popular during the 1960s and 1970s, with different versions of the game being made. Today, an original Lite Brite can go for well over $300 — not bad for a game you paid $20 for.
Happy Meal Toys
Happy Meal toys have been around since 1979, and have remained popular ever since. The value varies depending on which Happy Meal toy you have. Certain themes have become collectibles, like Beanie Baby Happy Meal toys and Disney characters from 2002, which recently sold on eBay for $300.
A mixture between a hamster and an owl, these Furby toys became incredibly popular in the 90s. For an original Furby in an unopened box, you can expect to see a $900 value.
After the release of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the Talkboy became popular. It was a stylish version of a tape recorder, and if you’re still holding on to one of these today, you can look to make over $200.
Beanie Babies were a huge deal for a long time, from the early 90s into the late 2000s. The fad has long died down, but there are still collectors willing to pay thousands of dollars for rare or limited-edition Beanie Babies.
The price varies depending on which Beanie Baby you have. Some are worth hundreds and some are well into the thousands. A 1997 first-edition Princess Diana Beanie Baby can go for up to $600,000.
‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ 1980s Actions Figures
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took over the late 80s with action figures, comic books, a television series, and a movie. Mint-condition turtle action figures can go for at least $600 apiece, and rare pieces can hit $5,000.
This version, specifically, will get you at least $15,000. When this version of the caped Jawa was released in 1978, its cape was made of vinyl. Kenner Products, however, felt that the cape looked too cheap and changed the vinyl to cloth. The vinyl-caped Jawa is incredibly rare and very valuable.
First released in 1959, Barbie seems like she’s been around since the beginning of time. Although she’s small, she remains a huge figure in young girls’ lives.
It’s been well-documented that Barbie dolls can go for absolutely insane prices. Collectors of these dolls will pay insane sums for the ones they’re looking for. Want proof? An original Barbie can garner more than $23,000.
Transformers were a toy phenomenon back in the 1980s. They were first released by toy company Hasbro in 1984, and millions of kids all over the world owned them. Today, these action figures can go for upwards of $2,000 if they are still in their original packaging.
‘Jurassic Park’ Figures
Jurassic Park was one of the biggest films of the 90s and was perfect for the toy market. These original dinosaur action figures could be worth $1,500 today, so you should probably check your attic.
Vintage Super Soaker Gun
Lonnie Johnson’s famed recreational water gun was a huge innovation in kids’ toys back in 1982. Today, you can find imitations in any and every dollar store, but the vintage original can go for up to $500.
Another Hasbro favorite, Stretch Armstrong is the man whose arms can be stretched to the farthest breaking point, without breaking! Vintage Stretch Armstrong dolls have gone to auction for an insane $4,000, and $10,000 purchases have also been reported.
Mario Kart 64
Super Mario Bros. has always been popular with kids and adults alike. If you own a mint-condition vintage cartridge of this childhood favorite, it could be worth $750.
G.I. Joe Action Figure
G.I. Joe, the original action man, was owned by pretty much every young boy in the 60s. Like his female counterpart, Barbie, he is still with us today.
He has had many different incarnations and appearances over the years, but it’s his original 1964 version that is worth the most money. If you (or your grandparents) have one of these in the attic, you could be looking at a cool $10,000. That is if it’s in mint condition and unopened. Even later models, like this one from 1966, are worth over $2,000.
These toys were originally from Germany, and they worked pretty much like movie sets. You built the location based on the parts that came in the box. Then your other toys could have adventures in them.
A set of these today could go for more than $800.
First Edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
It’s hard to believe that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone had trouble finding a publisher. But the phenomenon that it became, and still is, took the world by storm and captured the imaginations of kids and adults everywhere.
If you were one of the people lucky enough to buy a first edition of the book, you could be in line for well over $15,000. Now that’s magic!
Fisher-Price Push Cart Pete
This 1936 toy was on the market for 50 cents. Today, if you happen to come across Pete and he’s not looking too bad, you can make an easy $3,000.
Lionel’s Pennsylvania “Trail Blazer” Train Set
You’re in luck if you ever come across a 1934 Standard Gauge version of this train set while cleaning out your attic or basement. You can make up to $250,000.
Even folks unfamiliar with comic book collecting are likely to know that some incredibly old comics like Action Comics #1 (first appearance of Superman) and Detective Comics #27 (first appearance of Batman) sell for millions of dollars these days. You’re unlikely to have either of those comics just sitting around, but if you or your kids bought comics in the 1980s or 90s, you might have some valuable books in the closet.
The two key factors are the condition of the book and if it happened to be the first appearance of a character. Another factor that may substantially increase the value of the book will be whether the character appears in one of the many film or TV adaptations that are appearing these days.
For instance, take the first appearance of Venom in Amazing Spider-Man #300, now valued at $400; then there’s Spawn #1, now valued at $20; or the first issue of Watchmen (adapted into a film and later HBO TV series), now valued at $55 (values as of December 2019 from ComicBookRealm.com).
‘Retired’ American Girl Dolls
Buying a new American Girl might set you back over $100, but it turns out that if you hold on to some of them, you might easily make that money back down the road. Certain American Girl Dolls, like the Molly McIntire pictured, can resell at auction for $1,000, or even more. The key to reselling American Girl Doll toys for that much is if the doll has been “retired.” If so, the out-of-stock dolls just become harder and harder to get, thus collectors will want to pay much more to add them to their collection.
Atari Video Game Cartridges
If you have a box of old Atari video game cartridges sitting in a closet in your home, don’t just throw them on the table during your next lawn sale. You should take the time to research them on eBay and see how much people are paying for them. Certain games are incredibly rare to find these days (if inventory didn’t sell, stores would often destroy them or send them back to the manufacturer, who would destroy them).
Take the above pictured River Patrol, which sold on eBay for $675 in September 2019. Also, if you’re like us and just learning today that Atari made adults-only video games, and you have them in your collection, they can sell for hundreds. The above-pictured set of five that were still in their wrapping sold for $950.
‘Masters of the Universe’ Eternia Playset
Anybody who remembers the 1980s almost certainly remembers the Masters of the Universe, where He-Man and his allies battled Skeletor and all his villains. If you have any of the toys sitting around, most collectors will be willing to take them off your hands if they’re in good condition (they’ll pay more if they’re in the original packaging). However, the “holy grail” of Masters of the Universe merchandise is the Eternia playset. Full sets in the box go for thousands, like the pictured listing in December 2019 that sold for over $4,900.
‘She-Ra’ 1980s Toys
From He-Man we go to She-Ra, where just like the boy-targeted toys of the 1980s, original 1980s She-Ra toys carry similar resale value for collectors these days. If you have any of the toys in their original packaging, you can likely get close to $100. The big-ticket items are the horses in their original boxes. In the left image, Swift Wind the horse is included in the box by itself and carries about a $400 price. Some versions include She-Ra and Swift Wind, which can sell for over $1,000. The “Starburst She-Ra and Crystal Swift Wind” box set pictured on the right has a listed value of $800.
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls
We’re pretty sure most people from the 1980s will be at least vaguely familiar with Strawberry Shortcake. However, many likely don’t know that the character was originally used on greeting cards and became popular enough that toy company Kenner Products decided to license the character. The first Strawberry Shortcake doll came out in 1979 and throughout the 1980s, many more appeared.
One of the most popular for collectors these days is the Banana Twirl Berrykin, which can fetch over $1,000 on eBay auctions. Then there’s the above pictured Happy Home House playset, which has a staggering $5,000 listing price. But this is a mint, unopened version, so most other versions likely would sell for less.
Digimon Digital Monsters and Trading Cards
Of the many “rip-offs” of Pokemon, Digimon was perhaps the most popular. Created in 1997, the Digimon (“digital monsters”) were virtual pets akin to the other popular Tamagotchi toys but marketed more toward boys in that the creatures were meant to battle like the Pokemon creatures. These days, the original digital devices from 1997 garner over $100 for just the device outside the box. Some listings inside the box and even ones without the original box are listed at or around $500 resale value on eBay.
Lego Train Sets
What happens when you mix Lego fans with avid train collectors? You get a secondary market for Lego train sets that’s unmatched. Collectors of both niches clamor to get their hands on vintage Lego train sets. There are freight train sets, steam cargo train sets, and city train sets that all fetch over $1,000 on eBay auctions. There are also plenty of boxed sets that will likely get you around $500, like the above Lego Express Deluxe, which sold for $610 in October 2019.
1980s G.I. Joe Snake Eyes
Now that kids from the 1980s are all grown up (and have some money to spare), they’re chasing after tons of classic toys from the decade. One of the most important toys of the ’80s was the relaunched Hasbro G.I. Joe 3′ 3/4″ action figures (a drastic change from the 1960s versions we discussed earlier). For the period, the toys were a revelation in action figure articulation.
The small figures turned, bent, and swiveled in so many ways, allowing for almost full movement on the entire body. As the decades have passed, one character, in particular, has stood out among the rest: Snake Eyes.
Thanks to the popular Marvel Comics series and animated show released in conjunction with the toy line, Snake Eyes became a breakout character and he is the most prized of the early Hasbro runs. “But It Now” listings on eBay range from $2,000-to $3,000, but completed bid auctions usually end up going for about $700-$800.
1980s G.I. Joe – Other 3′ 3/4″ Figures
While the Snake Eyes action figure from the original 1980s G.I. Joe toy line is easily the most valuable of the lot, if you have other figures sitting around in boxes, they can fetch you several hundred depending on the character and the condition. Unopened figures in their original package will garner the most.
From the first 1982 series the Cobra Commander, Scarlett, and Laser Rifle Trooper, a.k.a. “Flash,” all go for hundreds ($300-$500). If the figures are out of their packaging, things get less easy to estimate value. If the figure has all of its accessories, that will boost the value. Additionally, if the figures have their “File Card” (the cutouts included on the back of the cardboard packaging), that too will increase their value for buyers. Depending on the figure, you can probably expect to get anywhere from $20 up to $200 for the more rare figures.
No matter what age you are, you’ve most likely seen Funko Pop! figures around. Ya know, the little figures with the big, cute faces. Every popular movie and TV show ever created has gotten the Funko treatment. Despite the collectibles’ seeming ubiquity, there are several rare gems out there that sell for thousands of dollars.
Among the most sought-after toys are the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con Star Wars exclusives, Chewbacca, and Shadow Trooper ($800-$1,000). Then there’s the 2012 Darth Maul “holographic” limited edition figure that can sell for upwards of $2,000 or more. Another popular one among collectors is the Disney Dumbo Funkos.
Several versions exist, with the rarest being an SDCC exclusive with clown makeup selling for over $2,000, while “metallic” versions of blue and gold each sell for about $500. Finally, there’s the “headless” Ned Stark from Game of Thrones, which can have a price tag of around $1,500. And then there are hundreds of other “exclusives” you can keep an eye on that go for hundreds, if not more.