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We all wish our parents bought us these valuable vintage toys when we were younger!

Culture | April 6, 2018

Big bat bucks: Toys and other products associated with Batman are expected to coin $250 million (U.S...CANADA - AUGUST 10: Big bat bucks: Toys and other products associated with Batman are expected to coin $250 million (U.S.) for licensed U.S. manufacture

For years and years kids have loved their toys. Very early children’s toys were made of metal or wood and were heavy and clunky. Many toys were homemade including baby dolls. No matter what a toy was ever made of, one thing is for sure; kids just love(d) them!

Action figures, Legos, Tinker Toys, Fisher Price toys, toy cars including Match Box and Hot Wheels, playsets based on TV cartoons and comic book heroes, as well as children’s books are probably things most people remember from their childhood. Even if you didn’t have your own, you may have had a friend who did.

Chances are that when you “grew out” of your toys, they made their way to the garage sale or the thrift store. After all, there was always something newer and better coming out. Out with the old and in with the new!

Have you ever wondered what your old, vintage toys are worth?

If you or your parents had the presence of mind kept any of your old dolls, games or playsets, you may be in luck! Some of the old toys that are now considered vintage are worth more than you might think.

Vintage toys can be worth serious money now!

Childhood toys from years ago are worth much more than their original price. Well, at least people are willing to pay serious money. Websites like eBay are attracting collectors from all over the world. Collectors who are serious about their toys are paying top dollar.

Collecting vintage toys is very popular and a big business.

Some people are in search of that one special toy from their childhood for memorabilia, while others treat toy collecting as a hobby. There are also those people who have turned vintage toys into a highly profitable business.

Some people like to assign value to the top ten vintage toys. I say that that is an impossible task. Some people value vintage toys for their monetary worth, some for their charm and some for the nostalgia. That being said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Below are some of the valuable picks I came across.

Comic books have always been a widely collectible item!

The most expensive comic book ever sold on eBay was Action Comics No. 1, which went for a cool $3.2 Billion. Why you ask? It was the very first comic that introduced the world to Superman.

The Original Monopoly Game is worth $146,500.00.

An original, hand drawn, oil cloth version of Monopoly, made in 1933 and owned by the game's inventor, Charles Darrow, sold for $146,500 at Sotheby's auction house in 2011; nearly double its expected price. Less valuable vintage versions of the popular game have sold for more than $3,000.00 and limited editions sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars.

Hot Wheels Prices Vary

Most of these toy cars that fit in the palm of your hand sell for just a few dollars, but rare Hot Wheels cars can be worth thousands. One of the most valuable Hot Wheels is the 1969 "Volkswagen Beach Bomb" prototype. It was designed with surf boards hanging out of the back window and wheels that made it too large for Mattel's race tracks. The fact that it was not widely produced is what makes this one all the more valuable to collectors. It is valued at about $125,000.

A 1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure sold for $25,000.00. 

When Nigo, a Japanese designer and businessman, decided to sell off his Star Wars collection, he went to Sotheby's Auction House. The 2015 auction brought in over half a million dollars, and included “this as-new, boxed Luke Skywalker figurine.” The price was so rich because it is one of only 20 known to be in existence.

Where the Wild Things Are: First Edition 1963

One of the most famous and well-known children’s books is, the first edition of, “Where the Wild Things Are.” When it was first released in 1963, it sold for just over $3.00. Now, passionate collectors from all over the world yearn for a copy of this rare book. Because of it is so highly sought after, it has raised its value up to a staggering $20,000

Peanut Royal Blue Elephant Beanie Baby sells for up to $5,000.

Due to a manufacturing error, only 2,000 of the royal blue "Peanut" elephants were manufactured with a darker color than originally intended. Now, it's the most collectible Beanie Baby in existence, and sells for as much as $5,000.

Vintage Jawa in a vinyl cape brings a price of $2,000.00.

When the Star Wars Jawa figure first came out it cost a modest $1.99. What makes this Jawa so appealing is that the originals came with a cape made out of vinyl. Not long after the toy was released, the Kenner Company decided that the cape looked “too cheap” so they switched from vinyl to cloth. Both the original vinyl and cloth caped Jawas are rare and valuable. Although Star Wars has spawned the most tie-in toys, those from other entertainment franchises, including G.I. Joe and Star Trek, can fetch hundreds of dollars if in good condition.

Mego Elastic Batman 1979: $1,00.00

The Mego Elastic Batman toy was originally worth just $16.00. The Mego Company tried to copy the Kenner Company’s Stretch Armstrong by creating the elastic superheroes collection. Mego elastic toy action figures that were released included Superman, Batman, and Plastic man. Not surprisingly, Kenner eventually filed a lawsuit and won, resulting in the company being prohibited from making anymore superheroes. Because of the latex and stretchy insides, many of these toys have since disintegrated. However, it is believed that two are still in existence. If you find one, don’t pass it over!

Lionel’s Pennsylvania “Trail Blazer” Train Set: $1,100.00

Lionel’s nostalgic electric train sets have been known to be reminiscent of a bygone era. Although they are still in production today, some of the vintage train sets can be worth as much as $250.00.

Blythe Doll

The Kenner Company’s, Blythe Doll came out in 1972 and was considered a high fashion doll. Special features included eyes that changed color with the pull of a string. The doll was only sold for one year in the United States. Because of its rarity, it has developed a massive cult-like following across the world and now sells for upwards of $500.00.

Happy Holidays Barbie 1988 edition: $300.00

When this Happy Holidays Barbie was first released it sold out extremely quickly. Because of this, people were marking up the price on their second-hand dolls. Kids and collectors alike were desperate to find a Happy Holidays Barbie. The company who manufactured them, Hasbro, took note of this and realized that there was a demand for “collectors’ edition” Barbie dolls for adult collectors. Happy Holidays Barbie is considered, by some, to be the first Barbie in the special collectors’ edition.

Classic toys and games never go out of style!

Classic board games like Chutes and Ladders, Candyland and Uncle Wiggily are still being played today by kids that have no idea about their history. If you are lucky enough to find one in the original box (good condition) with all of the pieces, you have a collector’s item that is very attractive to collectors.

Years ago, toys and games were so simple. There were no electronics. Some games, like Checkers and Scrabble required the player to use brain power to consider their next move. There were no cheat codes. If you lost, you lost!

It is hard to believe that the toys we played with as children are now considered antiques!

The Easy Bake Oven first sold in 1963 for $15.95. In today’s currency, that would be equivalent to about $115.00; pretty expensive, right? The vintage toy was originally heated by an incandescent light bulb and came with cake mixes, small round pans, a mixing spoon and spatula. The light bulb heated and baked the confection, which was pushed out the other side when it was done.

Although the Easy Bake Oven has been modernized, collectors still seek the original, vintage version.

Over the years, there have been countless toys introduced to the market; some worth more than others. Many of them are going for big bucks, not just because they were once popular, but because they are hard to find. Naturally, that drives up the demand by avid toy collectors, which in turn, drives up the price.

Whatever your age, I bet there's a toy you remember playing with when you were a kid, like Silly Putty, Slinky, Balsa Wood Airplanes, Barrel of Monkeys or Jacks.

So whether you're a collector looking to happen across a rare collectible toy or just hoping to score some major cash on your old Easy Bake Oven that's been sitting in your attic, you would do well to keep your eyes open. Take a look at antique shops and on eBay, there are bound to be some that will take you back in time even if you aren’t a collector.

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Rebeka Knott

Writer

Rebeka grew up in the 1960’s & 1970’s and has always subscribed to the theory that a positive attitude will take you far! She is a wife and mother of 3 with a fun-loving spirit, believing that family and relationships are invaluable.