Insanely Valuable Older Toys
Garbage Pail Kids Cards
Garbage Pail Kids cards were all the rage in the 80s, much the displeasure of parents all over the country. Designed to be a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, each doll features a child with some kind of deformity or suffering a terrible fate. It is to be hoped that children of the generation continued to rebel because these cards are now worth around $300.
Since Pokémon, or ‘Pocket Monsters’ in Japan, made its debut in 1996, its popularity has never been higher. And no, this isn’t just a tribute to Pokémon Go; the cards that were once traded in the schoolyard are now extremely valuable, particularly the rare ones that are in mint condition. Incidentally, Pokémon has been the subject of much controversy, particularly with PETA, who are of the opinion that the animal to animal combat is a sign of animal cruelty.
1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure
Since 1970, the world of Star Wars captured the public by storm, which gave the franchise a golden opportunity to design and distribute toys and the like to the most diehard fans. Various games and models went on the market, but none were more popular than the Luke Skywalker action figure, closely followed by the Darth Vader equivalent. In 2015, a 1978 Luke Skywalker doll sold for upwards of $25,000, while Vader can be worth around $620.
PEZ dispensers, originally from Austria, are a collector’s dream, with thousands of models to choose from and yearn for. While the most common could be purchased at the cash register of any good-sized supermarket, the rarer models could only be acquired from fellow collectors and specialists. Their popularity has never really gone away, with a 1982 model known as the Astronaut B went on sale for $32,000. It makes it seem like we should have listened when our kids begged for more each time we were at Target together.
The Original Monopoly
Monopoly is one of the best known and loved games that spans many generations. Both educational and entertaining, the game has been used to bond families together for years. Fun fact: the Royals are officially not allowed to play the game as it triggers unruly behavior among the family members. However, it is the original hand-drawn versions that are worth the most amount of money. In particular, the versions created by Charles Darrow in 1933 were sold for $146,500 in 2011, so having a single game from the 1930s is a sure hand way of making some cash.
Prior to the lifelike video gaming systems of today, there was Game Boy. This meant a tiny screen, poor graphics, and a world of grayscale. But no need to turn your nose up at this old-fashioned gaming device. They are now worth quite a lot of money, the originals going for several hundred on eBay, provided that they are in good condition. A Game Boy Light was even sold for over $1,000. That these devices are still valid these days shows that they are truly a foundation of today’s technology.
Some 4 billion Hot Wheels Cars have been sold since their initial creation in 1948, but only a handful are actually of value. Some of these toy cars were only made as prototypes, like the 1969 “Volkswagen Beach Bomb.” This tiny toy was never released and, as a result, is worth $125,000. This makes it worth keeping these precious little cars as souvenirs of the youth and giving them to your children to laugh at.
First Edition Pound Puppies Plush
When Pound Puppies came to be in 1980, kids went crazy for them. While a commonplace toy at the time, original editions are worth around $5,000. These loveable toys inspired a television series and an animated movie. A line of plush cats was also created called Loveable Purries, but they weren’t nearly as popular. There was just something about the dogs that inspired children’s love and appreciation.
Cabbage Patch Dolls
Cabbage Patch dolls are one of the longest-running varieties in toy history. Though commonplace in the 1980s, they are becoming increasingly rare, bordering on unpopular and old-fashioned. Still, as of right now, the most costly Cabbage Patch Dolls belong to Pat and Joe Prosey. The Proseys have over 5,000 dolls in their Maryland museum and are selling their whole collection for $360,000.
Sega Genesis Console
The Sega Genesis Console is a one-of-a-kind piece of a gaming system. A revolutionary machine when it came out, the company has ceased to produce gaming systems. The Sega Genesis is the third of ten consoles that it has come out with since the business’s foundation in 1983. This particular system is valued at $2,000, provided that it is in working order.
Fisher Price Push Cart Pete
The Fisher-Price Push Cart Pete was once priced at $0.50. Today, this quaint little toy can be sold for $3,000 to the eager collector, provided that it is in decent shape. Pushcart Pete is a disgruntled worker with an expression on his face that plainly expresses his discontent with the job at hand. Pete twists his head and body from side to side while he pumps his legs to push his cart.
1982 Skeletor Action Figure
He-Man and Skeletor are some of the most popular Masters of the Universe figures. Skeletor is depicted as a muscular blue humanoid who wears a purple hood over a neon skull. His character aims to conquer Castle Grayskull, but the plans always fail due to the incompetence of his henchmen. Though not much was thought of them at the height of their popularity in 1982, an in-box mint condition figure could be worth up to $2,000.
Lite Brite toys were hugely popular in the 60s and 70s, where children played with pegs to their hearts’ content. They have since gone to a flat-screen version, a cube version, one that speaks and plays music, and finally, an app is currently being developed that will allow for mobile use of the game. An original Lite Brite can go for $100, not bad, given that they used to cost about $10.
Happy Meal Toys
Happy Meal toys have always been a great appeal for children who went to eat at McDonald’s. The value of the toys strongly depends on which toy it is, with Beanie Babies having been most popular in the 90s. Certain themes have become collectibles, like the 2002 Disney theme characters, which recently sold on eBay for $300.
Somewhere between an owl and a mouse, Furby toys were all the rage in the 90s, littering television screens with their ads 24/7. But today, these frankly annoying toys can run for $900, provided that the box is new and unopened. Its speaking capabilities spanned twenty-four languages, and over 40 million of the toys were sold.
Talkboy is essentially a fancy tape recorder that became very popular after the release of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York as it was created for this purpose. The company was permitted by the movie studio to sell a retail version of the toy, and it released two cassette recorders modeled after the film prop in 1992 and 1993, respectively. They are now worth $200.
Beanie Babies were the height of cool from the late 90s to the early 00s. Anyone who was anyone had at least twenty to their name, and the most enviable people had them covering their entire beds and furniture. The fad has since died down, but there are still some collectors willing to pay top dollar for certain models. A 1997 1st edition Princess Di plush can sell for up to $12,000.
Lionel’s Pennsylvania “Trail Blazer” Train Set
Model train sets of all kinds are going out of style, but the Lionel’s Pennsylvania “Trail Blazer” Train Set will remain in fashion for a very long time. This is because its price tag of the original 1934 version keeps going up: they are currently worth $250,000. That’s certainly something worth digging up from a dusty old basement.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1980s Actions Figures
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took over the world of ten-year-old boys in the 1980s. Overseen by their anthropomorphic rat Sensei, they battle the injustices of the big city. Between comic books, a T.V. series, and a slew of toys, the Turtles were wildly popular. Mint condition figures go for around $600, with rare pieces going for $5,000.
Vinyl Caped Jawa
Though there is no shortage of Jawa dolls, this vinyl clad version is worth a lot of money. This doll was initially created with a vinyl cape, but when the company realized it made the doll look cheap, they changed it to cloth. It is this one change that makes the vinyl caped figure worth $5,000. Not bad for such a tiny swap.
Transformers came out in the 80s and were an instant phenomenon. The toys were first released by Hasbro in 1984 and were owned by millions of kids all over the world. Today, these action figures go for around $2,000 if they are still in their original packaging. This sure makes it worth hanging on to them.
Jurassic Park Figures
Jurassic Park was one of the biggest films of the 90s, and the toys followed suit. This original dinosaur is worth around $1,200 provided that is in good condition in its original packaging. This institution of a film also has several rollercoasters to its theme, along with the required clothing and household items for merchandise.
Vintage Super Soaker
Every kid had a Super Soaker in the 80s and 90s, so now they can be purchased at any dollar store. Still, vintage squirt toys can be worth a small fortune. In fact, an item like the one pictured below can go for up to $1,000 in working order. This is yet another excuse to stop your children from playing with your old memorabilia.
Hasbro also created the Stretch Armstrong doll. This rather ordinary looking action figure was insanely popular among younger children because you could stretch its arms in all different directions without it breaking. Vintage Stretch Armstrong dolls can go for up to $4,000, and $10,000 purchases have also been noted.
Mario Kart 64
Mario Kart 64 has always been popular among all demographics, particularly children of the 90s. Whoever owns these racing games in their original cartridges can be $750 richer. But the game is so fun that it is not necessarily worth selling, especially because it is rather hard to come by, as is a Nintendo 64 gaming system.
G.I. Joe Circa 1964
G.I. Joe is the original male action figure, and much like its female counterpart, Barbie, it is still very much around today. But it isn’t the model that you bought at Christmas of last year at Toys R’ Us. Instead, try to track down the original model that no one has touched and you could be an impressive $10,000 richer.
Playmobil was one of the few sets of toys that became popular from Europe. The basic idea was that you would receive various parts and would need to build the set and then have adventures with it. It is, in fact, much like an old-fashioned version of The Sims. An intact set is now retailed at $800.
Barbies were first released in 1959 and came in just one model and color. Since then, the world of Mattel has expanded into thousands of variations, cars, houses, and even a companion. These dolls were the few toys that every girl played with growing up. But the original doll is worth a cool $23,000. Barbie World indeed.
First Edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’
Harry Potter has been a phenomenon since its release in the late 90s. As it turns out, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was difficult for J.K. Rowling to publish. She also avoided using her full first name as women are less likely to get published than men. Today, the first edition by Bloomsbury is worth up to $6,500.
Thanks to shows like The Big Bang Theory, everyone knows how valuable old comic books can be. This is especially the case for issues that contain new characters that appear in today’s television shows and films. For example, the first appearance of Venom in Amazing Spiderman #300 is now valued at $400, and the first issue of Watchmen is worth $55.
‘Retired’ American Girl Dolls
American girl dolls might set you back over $100, but they are also quite the investment. Some of the dolls, such as this Molly McIntire doll pictured below, are now worth over $2000 on eBay or at auction. The trick? To have dolls that are now retired. If so, these dolls will be out of stock and so worth a fortune to collectors.
Atari Video Games Cartridges
The old Atari video game cartridges are worth more than you would think. Because inventory that did not sell was resent to the manufacturers, who would then destroy them, these games are incredibly rare. In fact, they have been known to sell for $950 on eBay, provided that they are in their original packaging. The set pictured below sold for $675.
‘Masters of the Universe’ Eternia Playset
Any 80s child will remember the Masters of the Universe, where He-Man and his cronies went up against Skeletor and his crew. The toys will make any collector drool, particularly if the packaging is original. But the creme de la creme is this Eternia Playset. These sets go for around $4,900 as of 2019.
‘She-Ra’ 1980s Toys
She-Ra toys were the female equivalent of the He-Man toys of the 80s. These toys are worth a pretty penny, at any of these toys in their original packaging at $100. But that’s not all, the big-ticket items are the horse toys, again in their original packaging, can cost up to $400 a pop. Versions including She-Ra and Swift Wind can go for around $1,000.
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls
People around in the 80s are all familiar with Strawberry Shortcake dolls, but most aren’t familiar with the fact the characters initially appeared on greeting cards in the late 70s. The first Strawberry Shortcake doll came out in 1979, and by 1980, many more appeared on the market. These dolls and merchandise are now worth between $1,000 and $5,000.
Digimon Digital Monsters and Trading Cards
Digimon (Digital Monsters) was likely the most popular of the Pokémon rip-offs. They were something like Tamagotchi toys except for they were marketed towards boys in as much as the characters would battle each other. Outside the box, they are worth around $100, and $500 in their original packaging.
Lego Train Sets
This is what happens when you mix train collectors with Lego aficionados. Collectors of both niches would do a lot to get their hands on these babies. The freight engine, city sets, and more are worth around $1,000 at auction, and this Lego Express Deluxe runs for around $650.
1980s G.I. Joe Snake Eyes
One of the most important toys of the 80s was the Hasbro G.I. Joe doll. Though they initially came out in the 1960s, the new models were much different because they now came with full articulation. Over the years, one particular character has stood out: Snake Eyes. These dolls are now retailed at $2,000 on eBay’s Buy it Now.
1980s G.I. Joe – Other 3′ 3/4″ Figures
Speaking of G.I. Joe, though Snake Eyes is the most valuable of the 80s toys, the Cobra Commander, Flash, and Scarlett are also worth a good chunk of change. Having them lying around your home might fetch you anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on how rare the figure is and what kind of packaging it is kept in.
Pretty much every fantasy character has been a victim of the Funko Pop doll, but the most valuable are the Star Wars 2011 model, particularly those featuring Chewbacca and Shadow Trooper. These go for around $800 to $1000, but it is the Darth Maul holographic limited edition that sells for $2,000. Similarly, Game of Thrones models of Ned Stark have a price tag of $1,000.