Let’s be honest, adult life sucks. You have to go to work, you have to pay bills, you have to understand politics and deal with the buffoons who are in charge of your country, you have to force yourself to get excited about a new vacuum cleaner, you have to make your own dinners (that DON’T include turkey dinosaurs and smiley faces each night) and you have to pretend you like people. It’s hard work, it really is.
Thankfully, when times get tough in the adult world, we think of something that makes us feel instantly better – our childhood. Ahhhh, the life of a kid. You know what they say, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone, and that’s definitely true when it comes to our childhood. Instead of going to work, we went to school for a few hours of fun each day, spending all of our time flicking rulers at our friends and taking a good twenty minutes sharpening our pencils and chatting to our friends at the front of the classroom. Then, after school we got to play with our awesome toys. We’d spend hours playing board games, spend every weekend in the garden with our Super Soakers and spend our down-time cuddling our teddy bears or dolls and reading our favorite Harry Potter book. It was pure bliss.
Unfortunately, as time went on we had to get rid of our boardgames, our dolls and our books and shove them in the attic – because apparently it’s not socially acceptable for a 26-year-old to walk around town wearing unicorn slippers, trading Pokemon Cards and carrying all of our purple Beanie Babies. If only.
Thankfully, it seems like some of your retro toys that you (reluctantly) stowed away could now be worth hundreds of dollars to the right buyer. So take a look at this list of the 30+ most valuable childhood toys that could make you a fortune…
Original Monopoly Game – $146,500
Ahhh, Monopoly. We’ve all played the game that has broken families and proved who really has the worst anger issues in your family. Charles Darrow created the game in 1933 and even kept one for himself – a hand-drawn oil cloth edition of the game (oooh, sounds fancy). This edition was sold in auction in 2011 and sold for a whopping $146,500! But even if you don’t have this rare version, you might have a vintage version. These have been known to sell for around $3,125. We’ll take that…
First Edition Barbie – $23,000
Barbies are one of the most well-known toys out there, but they’ve had a bit of a makeover since their original days. Many collectors love the original hourglass figure of the 1959 Barbie (famous for her Zebra-striped bathing suit), so much so that they are willing to pay between $8,000 and $23,000 to get their hands on her.
Game Boy – $750 – $1,500
In a time ruled by mobile phones, Xbox and Play Stations, it’s easy to forget the handheld Nintendo Game Boy – even though it was amazing. When it was first released in 1989, it became a huge hit, and everyone wanted one. But it seems some people do still want them… a mint condition Game Boy (so probably not like our smashed screen one) can earn you hundreds of dollars. If you’re really lucky and have the special edition Game Boy Light, you could be earning even more. How does $1,500 sound?
Vintage Super Soaker Water Guns – $100 – $500
Super Soakers were the ultimate water fight weapon – and you just couldn’t get into a water fight without having this guy behind your back. The original versions are still in demand today – and if you have a version from the ‘90s, you could be looking at around $150 for a used Super Soaker, and around $500 for one in pristine condition.
First Edition of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – $6,500
We all know how popular the Harry Potter saga is, and we’ve all got at least one, if not all of the books at home. But if you do have one, get it out now and see if it’s the first edition! If it is, these babies are now worth up to $6,500. And it gets even better if you have a signed copy, as one has recently been sold for $15,000…
1982 Skeletor Action Figure – $1,650
This Masters of the Universe figurine was He-Man’s evil nemesis – but most people seemed to like Skeletor over He-Man. I guess everyone loves a bad boy. But this figurine is so popular that some hard-core Masters of the Universe fans are willing to pay big bucks to get their hands on him. If you have the original 1982, in-box mint condition figurine, you could be looking at upwards of $1,500…
Action Comics No.1 – $3.2 million
Action Comics was the first comic to bring Superman to the world… so it’s kind of a big deal. If you have the ‘No.1’ comic, you’re in luck. There are less than 50 of these comics in existence, and a pristine edition sold in 2014 for $3.2 million. Yes, that really does say $3.2 million! This makes it one of the most valuable childhood toys out there!
Boba Fett Action Figure – $2,000 – $5,000
With Star Wars being one of the most popular franchises out there, it’s no wonder their merchandise sells for prices that are simply out of this galaxy. If you happen to have the Boba Fett Action Figure in your house (in-box and in mint condition, of course) you could be selling it for as much as a cool $5,000.
Teddy Ruxpin – $500
The Teddy Ruxpin Bear was like the original Care Bear, and it could even read its owners a bedtime stories with its built-in cassette player. If you had one of these, you were incredibly lucky. Today, Teddy Ruxpin Bears that are in mint condition can sell for around $500 if you can ‘bear’ to get rid of it…
1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure – $25,000
These Star Wars figurines were once sold at Sotheby’s, and in 2015, the whole collection was bought for over $500,000. But the Luke Skywalker figurine is the gold mine. There were only 20 of these figurines manufactured and sold around the world, and one Skywalker can sell for $25,000. So keep an eye out for Luke…
Peanut Royal Blue Elephant Beanie Baby – $5,000
Let’s be honest, we all had way too many Beanie Babies than we needed. All we seemed to do with them was stick them on the end of our bed and protect their TY labels at all cost. But if you have the Royal Blue ‘Peanut’ Elephant, you could be quids in. Because of a manufacturing error, only 2,000 of these Beanie Babies were ever sold, because its color was a lot darker than was expected. Now, these are in high demand, and could earn you a cool $5,000.
Fisher Price Push Cart Pete – $3,000
Fisher Price toys were, and still are, some of the most popular toys out there. Fisher Price’s Push Cart Pete was released in 1936 and was sold for 50 cents at the time (you can’t even buy a candy bar for that price now). Today, these pull-toys can sell for $3,000 or more, depending on it’s condition.
Hot Wheels – Various Prices
Who knew these little cars could be worth so much money? We normally bought Hot Wheels for a few dollars each, but some of the rare wheels can be worth a bomb. One of the rarest breeds is the 1969 ‘Volkswagen Beach Bomb’ prototype that comes complete with surfboards – but they never went into production because their wheels were too big for the tracks. Nowadays, that same car is valued at $125,000…
Original Furby – $900
Okay, so Furbys were super creepy – but we all wanted one. And we all probably had one, because they were once the highest selling toys around. It’s likely that you opened your box to play with your Furby, but if you decided to keep an earlier version and not open the box, you could fetch around $900 for it. If you did un-box your Furby, feel free to kick yourself.
Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls – $400 – $600
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls were probably some of the most adorable dolls of all time, especially with their delicious-sounding names. The dolls were first released in the ‘80s, and if you have one of the original dolls (still in their box), you could be selling it for around $400 – $800.
Mario Kart 64 – $750
Mario Kart was our all-time favorite Mario Bros. game of all time. And we just really loved Kong. If you have one of the vintage cartridges of this game, and it’s in mint condition, you could be selling it for a handy price of $750. Think of all of the other Mario products you could buy with that…
Pokemon Cards – Various Prices
Yes, we all collected Pokemon Cards. Even if you didn’t know what Pokemon was (shame on you), you still collected them because they turned into playground currency. We all know there are some cards that are rarer than others. In fact, a mint condition rare Pikachu card is being sold for $100,000. That’s dedication to the game.
First edition of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ – $25,000
Where The Wild Things Are is one of the most iconic and most famous children’s books of all time. But you can still buy the book, so why is this one so special? Well, first editions are always very rare – which makes people want one even more, especially if they have the author’s signature. In 2012, a signed first edition of the book sold for an amazing $25,000!
Jem and the Holograms Dolls – $700
If you grew up in the ‘80s, you probably loved the Jem and The Holograms cartoon – and probably loved the Dolls even more. Nowadays, these dolls (complete with clothing and accessories) can be sold for a whopping $700.
Happy Meal Toys – Various Prices
When we were younger (or if you still do as an adult. We won’t judge), you couldn’t go to McDonald’s and not have the Happy Meal – because that meant you wouldn’t get the toy. McDonald’s first released their Happy Meal Toys in 1979, and some collectors want to have the whole lot. You can buy huge collections on eBay, like the full Disney collection, which sold for $300. Not bad considering they come free with the meal…
Garbage Pail Kids’ Cards – $1,000 +
If you grew up in the ‘80s, it’s more than likely that you still have a few of these cards lying about somewhere – maybe down the back of the couch, underneath the refrigerator or in the back of your wallet – they just seem to be everywhere. In your search, keep a look out for the ‘Adam Bomb’ card, as this could earn you around $4,000! Normally, a full set can sell for $700.
Wun-Dar He-Man – $1,000
You might not remember this guy if you never bought Wonder Bread back in the day. He was often called the naked-loincloth man, and was free whenever you bought a loaf of bread in the ‘90s. But if you thought ‘hey, it’s free so it must be a load of old rubbish,’ well, you’ll be kicking yourself now. He has previously been sold for $1,000 on eBay…
American Girl ‘Molly’ Doll – $5,000
American Girl Dolls are now sold for around $120, but those are the new dolls. If you have some of the discontinued dolls a.k.a Molly, Samantha, Kirsten and Felicity, you could be laughing. Because these Dolls are no longer around, everyone wants one. If you have the doll, accessories, and clothing, you could make over $5,000.
Lionel’s Pennsylvania ‘Trail Blazer’ Train Set – $1,100
We all loved a train set when we were younger. There was nothing better than taking over your living room with the tracks and annoying your parents by driving the train into their feet. (Come on, we all did it). These are very valuable childhood toys, so if you have one of the original Lionel’s Pennsylvania ‘Trail Blazer’ sets, make sure it is the 1934 Standard Gauge edition, and you could be earning up to $250,000…
Vintage Atari Cartridges – Various Prices
So for some reason, Atari decided to bury hundreds of its game cartridges in 1983 under the desert in New Mexico. We’re not quite sure why. Kinda weird. But 881 of these cartridges have since been found and sold for an immense $107,000. If you don’t fancy getting your metal detector out and scanning the desert, you might have one of their rare games somewhere in your house that often sell for hundreds of dollars on sites like eBay.
Original Transformers Action Figures – Various Prices
Nowadays, we know Transformers from the CGI movies, and the up-market toys. But they were first released in 1984 and are now in high demand. If you have an original Transformer Action Figure that is still in the box, you could be on your way to booking that nice vacation you’ve been wanting for a while… especially if you have the Optimus Prime figurines – these can fetch up to $2,000 and more. Just remember to take us with you.
Lego Trains – $1,500 – $3,000
Lego Trains were a genius invention. Everyone loves Lego. And everyone loves trains. It was a win-win situation. But true Lego fans are willing to pay huge amounts for original versions. If you have the Steam Cargo Trains or the High-Speed City Express Trains or the Diesel Freight Trains, check your attic now… because they could be worth between $1,500 and $3,000!
Masters of the Universe Eternia Playset – $1,900
This play set is one of the most popular and hard-to-come buy gaming sets that one person has even described the Masters of the Universe Eternia Playset as the ‘Holy Grail’ of the Masters toys. If you still have an untouched box, you could earn a cool $1,900. Not bad…
Jurassic Park Action Figures – $1,250
Jurassic Park was such a smash-hit of a movie that everyone wanted the merch! If you were smart enough to get your hands on some of the Jurassic Park action figures back in the ’90s – and looked after them – then you could have a small fortune sitting in your attic. Most of them fetch a couple of hundred dollars each, but this particular Omega T-Rex is worth a whopping $1,250!
Lite Brite – Up to $350
Awww man, we used to love Lite Brite! If you’ve never played with one of these sets then you seriously missed out. Basically, you got a load of plastic pegs that you’d fit into an illuminated board to make a picture. If you were a good kid and put everything back as it should be, you could sell a full sit for over $100. If you have a Lite Brite Cube, however, then expect to get up to $350 for it!
Polly Pocket Sets – From $500
If you’ve managed to keep your Polly Pockets pristine (and not lost all the little bits like we did) then you may have a nice little nest egg in your attic. Polly Pocket are still a popular toy now, but none of the modern sets will go for as much as the old-school ones! If you have a sealed Polly Pocket Jewel Case then you can sell it for an impressive $600. Most other sets in good condition can go for over $500.
Magic: The Gathering Cards – $27,000
While more people became obsessed with Pokemon as a TCG, it turns out that Magic: The Gathering Cards are some of the most valuable. They’re kinda like the holy grail of trading card games, and you’re sure to have some knocking around somewhere. If you do, have a look for the Black Lotus alpha-deck card… Only 1,100 of these were ever printed and it’s worth more than $27,000 nowadays. Sealed Alpha decks and other older cards are worth thousands, too.
Beauty and the Beast on VHS – $9000
It’s crazy, but old Disney videotapes sell for a small fortune on eBay and other online marketplaces. If you’re lucky enough to have some original VHS runs around, then they’re definitely worth looking into. Beauty and the Beast is one of the most valuable, with the Black Diamond edition of the movie fetching up to $9000 online! We knew we kept all those Disney videos for a reason.
Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls – Various Prices
Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls first came out in 1978, and some people just really loved them. Including Joe and Pat Prosey who have even created their own custom-built Cabbage Patch Doll museum (maybe a bit too much). Apparently, you can buy their 5,000 strong doll collection for $360,000… small change, really.
Pez Dispensers – Various Prices
We used to love Pez Dispensers. Sometimes even more than the candy (even though we really did love the candy), but finding the coolest and most exciting Pez characters was your Saturday morning mission. Nowadays, however, these empty Pez Dispensers could earn you some serious cash. In 2006, the Astronaut B dispenser sold for $32,000. But if you have the Santa Claus, gun or Mickey Mouse dispenser, they’re pretty sought after too…