May 24, 2024 | Samantha Henman

These Toys From Your Childhood Could Be Worth A Lot Of Money


Finders & Keepers

If your parents—or you—were the type to carefully pack away old toys in the attic or basement once you grew out of them, well, you’re in luck. A whole bunch of the toys we grew up with are worth a bunch of money now. Here’s a selection…starting in the $100 range and going all the way up to $3.2 million!

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Pez Dispensers

$1 - $32,000

Sure, not every single old Pez dispenser is going to be the thing that ends up padding your retirement fund. But there are a number out there that fetch a surprising value for resale—from soft head Dumbo and Mickey Mouse, worth a couple grand each, to political dispensers from 1961 that go over $20K, to 1982 World's Fair Astronaut B, which reportedly sold for $32,000.

Close Up Photo of 1982 astronaut b pez dispenseryoshifumi yamaguchi, Flickr

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Lite Brite

$100

There was nothing like working tirelessly in front of a Lite Brite for an hour or two, and then closing all the curtains and turning off the lights to see the fruits of your labor. Did you know that they first came out all the way back in 1967?

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Sets from the 70s and 90s now go for roughly $100.

Close Up Photo of Lite-Brite Toy with Hello on itDhscommtech, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Bop It!

$100

Bop it! Twist it! Flick it! Sell it! This bossy toy was a 1990s favorite, and it’s increasingly harder to find—resulting in listings on eBay for around $100.

Close Up Photo of Bop ItLarry D. Moore, CC BY 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Vintage Easy-Bake Oven

$150 - $250

Sure, the fun was in the play when it came to toys growing up—but it didn’t hurt that you also ended up with a sweet treat after playing with an Easy Bake oven. These nostalgic favorites go for all sorts of prices, but rare models from the 90s will fetch between $150 and $250.

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Close Up Photo of 90s Easy-Bake OvenAimee Wenske, Flickr

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Happy Meal Toys

$1 - $1,000

If there’s one guaranteed kid-pleaser, it’s the offer to get a Happy Meal at McDonald’s. The beloved chain has been doling out Happy Meal toys since 1979, and collectors go wild for them. Complete sets from different eras can go for up to $1,000.

Close Up Photo of Flintsones McDonalds Happy Meal Toys - 1994jadedoz, Flickr

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Cabbage Patch Dolls

Up to $2,000

When it comes to reselling Cabbage Patch Dolls—which caused a mania of their own when they came out in the 1980s—there are a lot of variables at hand. Do they still have the box?

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What about adoption papers? Some rare versions, like Teresa Ann, sell from a couple hundred bucks all the way up to $2,000.

Vintage Coleco Cabbage Patch Kids Boy 1985 - Wallace Reganjadedoz, Flickr

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Nintendo Game Boy

$1 - $5,900

When Game Boy came out in 1989, it was a revolution in gaming. No one was more envied in school in the 90s than the kid who had a Game Boy.

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Though used versions of the system go for all sorts of prices, a “Launch” edition of the Game Boy with box is going for $5,900 on eBay right now.

Close Up Photo of Original Nintendo GameboyWilliam Warby, Flickr

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Original Transformers Action Figures

Up to $25,000

Transformers were a hot commodity when they first came out in 1984—and have stayed that way ever since. Some of the figures from that first run—new in box of course—go for a pretty penny, with popular figures like Optimus Prime being listed at $25,000.

Close Up Photo of Transformers Optimus Prime G1Gustavo Vargas, Flickr

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Hot Wheels

$1 - $150,000

There are a whole lot of Hot Wheels cars out there in the world—and most aren’t worth more than a couple of bucks. However, rare models are prized by collectors, with one of the rarest versions of all, the 1969 Volkswagen “Beach Bomb” prototype, going for upwards of $150,000.

Close Up Photo of Hot Wheels Volkswagen Beach BombTrains By Perry, Flickr

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GI Joe Action Figures

$1 - $200,000

What Barbies were to some 80s kids, GI Joe action figures were to others. They go for a variety of prices, with rare models like a 1963 GI Joe "Toy Soldier" going for $200K in 2003.

Close Up Photo of of Original G.I. Joe lineupdavid ollier, Flickr

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Vintage Atari Games

In the $100s

These game cartridges go for a variety of prices, depending on the game. In one sale, 881 cartridges were sold as a lot for $107,000—the coda to a strange tale where a rumor that Atari had buried cartridges in the desert turned out to be true, and someone dug them up.

Close Up Photo of Atari 2600 and vintage gamespxfuel, Wikimedia Commons

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Lionel Train Sets

In the $100s

Lionel Train sets are likely more the kind of thing you’d find in a model train enthusiast’s collection rather than a kid’s toy chest, but there are versions out there—including the Pennsylvania “Trail Blazer” train set, that go for hundreds of dollars.

Close Up Photo of Lionel Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 electric locomotivecontemplative imaging, Flickr

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Digimon

In the $100s

The Digimon universe was after our time, but the franchise, which began in 1997 and encompassed toys, trading cards, a TV series, and video game, among other things, was wildly popular. Some card sets are on eBay for hundreds of dollars.

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Close Up Photo of Digimon Cards on a dark surfaceAna Paula, Flickr

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Vintage Playmobil Sets

Up to $400

Playmobil sets originated in Germany and were first sold in the US in the 1970s. They really got popular in the 1990s, and sets from this era, like a Victorian-style dollhouse and a knight’s castle, go for around $400.

Close Up Photo of of vintage Playmobil dollhouseFatima, Flickr

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Vintage Super Soakers

$100 - $500

There were tiny water pistols which barely let out a stream of water…and then there were Super Soakers. These high-powered water blasters came in all shapes and sizes, and some 1990s versions can go for up to $500.

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Close Up Photo of Vintage Super Soaker Squirt Gun Cut Away and Replica Prototype. Dark backgroundKelly Michals, Flickr

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Vintage Colorforms

$250 to $700

Sure, coloring books were fun—but Colorforms really took it to the next level, with the variety of activities they offered. Vintage versions featuring characters like Mickey Mouse or 90s Disney properties like Aladdin can fetch up to $700.

Close Up Photo of Mickey Mouse Puppetforms by ChloroformsJeff Dilbert, Flickr

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Original Furby

$900

THE toy of the Christmas season in 1998 was the Furby—a bizarre-looking animatronic creature that spoke its own language. If you happen to have one sitting in its original box from that era, you could get a cool $900 for it.

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Close Up Photo of NIP original Furbyub86, Flickr

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Lego Train Sets

$400 - $1,000

It makes sense that these would be on this list, and valuable—after all, Lego and trains are two of the most beloved things to collect out there. There are a number of different valuable sets out there that go for between $400 and $1,000.

Close Up Photo of Lego Train SetAndrea Vail, Flickr

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Teddy Ruxpin Dolls

$500 - $1,000

Who could forget the iconic ads for Teddy Ruxpin dolls in the 1980s? Though the ads made the toy seem far more interactive than it actually was, they were nonetheless a high demand product for kids of the era.

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Now, Teddy Ruxpin dolls in good condition can go from $500 to $1,000.

Close Up Photo of Teddy Ruxpin ToyKatrina Klokkevold, Flickr

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Garbage Pail Kids Cards

Up to $1,000

These iconic trading cards from the 80s, featuring characters like Disgustin’ Justin and Peg Leg Greg, can fetch a pretty penny on the secondary market—with in-demand characters like Adam Bomb going for even more.

Close Up Photo of Garbage Pail Kids sticker trading cardsJelene Morris, Flickr

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Troll Dolls

Up to $2,000

Troll dolls caused a craze in the 1990s—offering kids a huge variety of colors, designs, clothing, and, of course, belly button stones. Nostalgia is a powerful thing, and some eBay sellers have rare versions going for up to $2,000.

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Close Up Photo of of Troll Doll with troll gem belly buttonCheryl, Flickr

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American Girl Dolls

Up to $3,000

American Girl dolls are beloved by kids and collectors alike. New ones are a hefty $100, but if you were to come across a discontinued one in your storage or local thrift store, you can get up to $3,000 for models like Molly, Samantha, or Kirsten.

Close Up Photo of American Girl dolls, Molly and KirstenJane Hettich, Flickr

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Mario Kart 64

$400 - $4,000

This beloved game is fun for seasoned gamers and novices alike—and definitely one of the most popular of all time in the franchise. Copies of the game made for Nintendo 64 usually go for a few hundred bucks, but there are listings of New in Box versions that go for upwards of $4,000.

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Close Up Photo of Mario Kart 64 cartridgeMatias dos Santos 91, Flickr

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Peanut Royal Blue Elephant Beanie Baby

Up to $5,000

While the Beanie Baby craze of the late 90s is long gone, there are still some Beanie Babies out there that go for wild prices, including this one, which is a darker shade of blue than intended because of a manufacturing error.

Close Up Photo of Peanut the Royal Blue Elephanthytam2, Flickr

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Vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures

Up to $5,000

There was nothing like TMNT mania in the late 80s and early 90s. Action figures from this era, when New in Box, can go for thousands of dollars—but you can even still fetch a few Jacksons or Franklins for lightly used ones.

Close Up Photo of vintage teenage mutant ninja turtles~ tOkKa, Flickr

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First Edition Of “Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone”

$6,500

Harry Potter fever took the world by storm in 1998, and whenever a new volume came out, kids and adults would line up at bookstores for the midnight drop. Nostalgia is strong around this cultural icon—which is why US first editions of the first volume of the series go for up to $6,500.

The first American edition of Harry Potter and the Sorceror's StoneBrokenSphere, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia Commons

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Nintendo GameCube

$6,500

When I got my first job and got nostalgic for the Super Nintendo console I grew up playing at friend’s houses, I found one at a garage sale for $40. Well, if you were born a little later and get nostalgic for game systems of past, like the GameCube, you’re looking at $6,500 for a New in Box version.

Close Up Photo of Nintendo Gamecube placed on a wooden surfacePaul Tweedle, Flickr

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The First Barbie

$8,000

To be honest, we thought the first Barbie would go for more—but I guess since it was mass-produced, there are more out there. Barbie’s first look included a striped swim suit, a low ponytail, and hoop earrings—and ones in good shape go for up to $8,000.

Close Up Photo of The First Barbie DollKonrad Summers, Flickr

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My Little Pony Figurines

$3,000 - $10,000

My Little Pony, as a brand, has enjoyed near-continuous popularity since they came out. As a result, some rare figurines go for thousands of dollars when collectors get involved.

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Close Up Photo of Vintage My Little Pony Merry Treat And Baby Stockingsjadedoz, Flickr

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1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure

$25,000

It makes sense that New In Box toys from the original release of Star Wars would fetch a pretty penny, but some of the prices are mind-blowing. Only 20 of this particular figure were made, but there’s plenty of other Star Wars memorabilia out there that collectors search for.

Close Up Photo of 1978 Luke Skywalkers action figureWizard of X, Flickr

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“Where The Wild Things Are” First Edition

$25,000

A signed first edition copy of the beloved children’s book by Maurice Sendak sold for $25,000 in 1963.

Close Up Photo of Where The Wild Things Are first editionJo Zimny, Flickr

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Boba Fett Action Figure

$32,000

Bounty hunter Boba Fett, first introduced as a silent character in The Empire Strikes Back, returned and made quite an impression in Return of the Jedi. He was an immediate hit with fans, leading to the production of action figures—with one vintage Fett, in mint condition and new in box, being sold for $32,00.

Close Up Photo of Vintage Boba Fett action figureMatty C., Flickr

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Magic: The Gathering Cards

Up to $87,000

Magic: The Gathering cards seem like one of those things you have to be a serious collector to understand—or to understand the value of. But one thing is for sure:

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rare cards go for serious money, like the Alpha “Black Lotus,” which sold for $87K.

Close Up Photo of Magic The Gathering Cards pileNathan Rupert, Flickr

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The Original Monopoly Game

$146,500

What’s more iconic than Monopoly? Unsurprisingly, the hand-painted original version of the game garnered a lot of attention when it went up for sale, ultimately going for $146,500. But there are other versions that are just as lucrative—from antique sets from the 1930s, to more recent limited edition versions.

Small box version of the original 1935 monopoly gameLucianomarq, Wikimedia Commons

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Pokemon Cards

$1 to millions

We have to admit—these ones have always gone over our heads. There’s such a wild variety of Pokemon cards out there. Some are seemingly worthless, while others are listed for over $1 million on eBay.

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Why? Who knows.

Close Up Photo of Pokemon Card CollectionYunus Seyrek, Flickr

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Action Comics No 1

$3.2 million

This comic from 1938 was the first to introduce the character of Superman, so you can understand why its highly sought after by collectors. One copy sold for $3.2 million in 2014, making it the most expensive comic ever sold.

Close Up Photo ofAction Comics No. 1 - The First Appearance of SupermanJim, the Photographer, Flickr

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