It was only a few years ago that our toys were physical objects that didn’t survive within a phone or tablet. Whereas now children play on apps and online communities, there were whole generations that stored tangible nuggets of nostalgia on bookshelves and cupboards.
If you’re lucky, you might still have them today.
The value of vintage and iconic toys from as early as the 1980s have started soaring in value – with some racking up to hundreds of thousands of dollars today. Do you have any of these classic toys in your attic? If so, you might just be owed a payday. Let the games begin…
Happy Meals Toys
Average Original Price: Free! (With a Happy Meal)Potential Earnings: $100
Years have probably gone by since you bought yourself (or your kids) a happy meal. They came free with a meal and some of the toys are rising in value.
The older toys from the 1990s are worth around $100, depending on how many were in circulation at the time. If you happen to have any around your house, you can post them on eBay and see the rewards come in! One case, the ‘McFurbys’ were sold for $900!
Average Original Price: $12.89Potential Earnings: $120
These infamous items were brought to the limelight after screening adverts for them in schools in Illinois. Kids everywhere ran, jumped, and skipped into stores to pick up these swerving toys as soon as they could.
Today, kids are more excited by their iPads than to get any form of exercise. These toys, if in their original boxes, can be sold for north of $120. Would you like to use one of these again?
Average Original Price: $9.97Potential Earnings: $130-150
These bright lights were LIT for kids in the 1990s. Their calming and magical designs led the device to be named by TIME Magazine as one of the top 100 toys of all time.
Following its release in 1967, it enjoyed continued success for 30 years. Today, they can fetch a solid $150 in online auctions. Today, these things are still sold in stores like Best Buy, but it’s the OG devices which will garner the largest financial reward.
Average Original Price: $9.99Potential Earnings: $80
Twin brothers John and Anthony Gentile are the masterminds behind one of the most dangerous toys on the list. They worked with an aviation expert to help create a toy which could soar into the sky at the pull of a string.
Initially rejected by many toy makers, the Sky Dancer became incredibly popular. Over time, many of the toys were recalled due to safety concerns (too many kids were shooting them at their siblings) but this only raised their value.
Sit ‘N’ Spin
Average Original Price: $12.99Potential Earnings: $90
These things were a treat for toddlers and a gifty for parents! Sitting and spinning on one of these could entertain a young child for hours, using much of their afternoon energy on the toy.
Today, they can go on eBay for $90 – meaning its fairly easy to track on down and invest in a solid way of tiring out your baby! If you have one and your child is now too big for it, you can always sell it to the next generation.
Average Original Price: $10Potential Earnings: $90
Socker Boppers were a great way to let your children blow off some steam by punching each other in the face. These blow-up boxing gloves let children hot each other for hours causing fairly little injury.
Today, these vintage gloves can go on sale for $90 – and given that there aren’t many physical toys out there anymore, it might be worth an investment! Over time, these became less popular once children discovered the internet.
Average Original Price: $5Potential Earnings: $100
Before the iPod came along and changed the world, 90s kids would use HitClips to listen to their favorite songs. These little cartridges are now pretty much obsolete, but some will pay a pretty penny for some nostalgia.
Although their original price was $5, some can go for more than $100. If you ever tracked down one of these, you’ll be stuck listening to music from 25 years ago – which is either terrible or fantastic, depending on your age.
Nerf Turbo Screamer
Average Original Price: $12Potential Earnings: $100
This famous whistling Nerf ball was on every kid’s wish list way back in the 1990s. Today, they can be hard to find and people are willing to pay a pretty penny to get their hands on one.
On eBay, you can see bids reach up to $100 for the toy. Of course, this was a day when children actually played outside with their friends, so maybe demand among the young is a bit lower than their Gen-X parents.
Average Original Price: $37.52Potential Earnings: $200
These boots may look like they weren’t made for walking, and that’s because they were made for bouncing! Moon Shoes were designed to make it feel like you were walking on, well, the moon.
The reality was a bit more clumsy and awkward than that, but it didn’t stop children having fun around the house. Today, they can go for an impressive $200 – provided they are in their original boxes.
Average Original Price: N/APotential Earnings: $200
We couldn’t track down the original price of these secret keepers, but experts suggest they can be worth $200 today. These pocket-sized electronic devices were a young girl’s original way of writing her feelings down without her parents reading them!
It was opened using a secret code that was once special – before the fingerprint technology we have today. If kept in their original packaging, these things can go for $200. Today, you can still buy them on Amazon for $30.
Average Original Price: N/APotential Earnings: $130
These gadgets were effectively the male version of Dear Diaries. The Talkboy became incredibly popular in the 1990s, mainly due to its part in Home Alone 2 when used by Kevin McCallister.
Today, these recording devices can go for $130 on eBay. It’s most likely this will be a nostalgia purchase since it can’t do anything that a modern-day smart device can’t. What secrets did you record on these things?
Average Original Price: $12.50Potential Earnings: $430
These toys were first introduced in 1939 and can rack up quite a reward if they’re still in their packaging. The binocular-type devices were used to view photos, mainly of tourist sites from around the world.
They were used on Disneyland rides but have been quickly replaced by smartphones in recent years. Like most things in life. If you have any of these still lying around – it might be worth a trade.
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls
Average Original Price: $20Potential Earnings: $550
This little girl was introduced to the world in 1979 as the red-headed protagonist of The World of Strawberry Shortcake. Created by Muriel Fahrion, the character inspired TV shows, films, toys, and, of course, merchandise.
Today, a vintage Strawberry Shortcake doll can reach $500. Other characters and toys can reach a similar price provided they’re in their original packaging. Do you remember these dolls, and do you still have one?
Average Original Price: $10-50Potential Earnings: $600
These high-pressure water guns were the peak of summer for young children in the 1990s and 2000s. Over time, they have become more advanced and technical – almost taking the fun out of them.
However, original modest guns can go for $600 provided they’re not worn down by too much use. In total, the company made more than $1 billion in revenue thanks to popular models like the Monster XL and the original, the Super Soaker 50.
Toy Story Toys
Average Original Price: $30Potential Earnings: $700
If you grew up in the 1990s you probably had a Woody or Buzz Toy from the famous franchise. Even those could get you an impressive $500, it’s the supporting characters who can garner the most amount of cash.
Stinky Pete from Toy Story 3 could get you $700 due to the lack of toys that went into production. With the fourth film hitting cinemas in 2019, the world will surely meet a few more characters, so be sure to stock up while the price is low!
Nintendo 64 Games
Average Original Price: $60Potential Earnings: $750
These games weren’t exactly cheap at the time they were released, but it’s a good thing they’ve aged well! Some games are more valuable than others, and Mario Kart 64 takes the crown for the highest value.
A sealed brand-new game can get you $750 in the stores today, so what are you waiting for?! True fans of the console might remember Harvest Moon 64 – a cult game that now goes for $900, due to its initial cult following.
Jurassic Park Toys
Average Original Price: $27Potential Earnings: $900
Another blockbuster used to promote toys, Jurassic Park was a toy collector’s dream. As well as toys, there were merchandise, hats, t-shirts, mugs, and action figures. The 2015 reboot only increased the franchise’s popularity and, in turn, the value of the original items.
Today, the merchandise form 1993 can go for $900. No wonder they keep creating more dinos in the lab! Look out for the Carnotaurus, Gallimimus and the T-Rex.
Average Original Price: $35Potential Earnings: $900
Furbys were electronic toys which boasted their own language, much to the annoyance of parents everywhere. Their gibberish was screamed across the room and their eyes rolled around – bizarrely becoming one of the biggest toys of the 1990s.
Today, if your Furby is up in the attic collecting dust, it might be worth finding him – he’s worth a whopping $900! That is, if you didn’t take him apart to explore his insides, which many of us did even though no one admits it.
My Little Pony Dolls
Average Original Price: $13Potential Earnings: $900
In the 1980s there were 150 million little ponies sold in the US, which is absolutely mental. From 1982, they became an instant hit for young girls with their magical and colorful designs. Even today their popularity is still going strong.
The vintage ones in their original boxes are the ones that will collect the cash – $900 to be exact. Make sure you still have some of the original packagings and treat yourself to a high reward!
Average Original Price: $12.50Potential Earnings: $950
This Dracula-based video game was popular on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – which we cover on a future slide! For now, nostalgic players will be able to remember this game as one of its best.
A version of Castlevania was also valuable from the 1994 SEGA Genesis console, but it’s the NES version that’s worth most. A sealed version of the game can go for $950.
Average Original Price: Free (with purchase of Haleakala Dairy product on Maui, HI)Potential Earnings: $1000
Talk about a strong return on investment! These modest pieces of cardboard used to flip on tables can be traded in for $1,000.
It depends on whether you have entire sets and collections since that’s what will make the most money. Usual collections could get you $100 easily, but the holographic Jurassic Park set is worth a whopping $1 million. We like those odds.
Average Original Price: $200Potential Earnings: $1,000
For most, the Sega Genesis was the first video game console they ever had. Today, there’s a myriad of consoles and online games to play, but the Sega Genesis will always have a place in most people’s hearts.
Special shout out to Sonic the Hedgehog – the game that kept kids busy for hours after school each day. It’s easy to say this is one of the most pivotal games for young children in the 1990s.
Average Original Price: $200Potential Earnings: $1,300
If you didn’t have a Sega console growing up, then perhaps you were more prone to Nintendo gadgets. The rivalry between these two companies divided kids in the playground for years, with these players enjoying Mario games and Zelda.
Today, these NES devices can go for $1,300 online if still in good condition with worthy games included. Tetris, anyone?
Average Original Price: $90Potential Earnings: $750-1,500
Before mobiles and tablets took over the gaming industry, Nintendo’s Game Boy was one of the first handheld gaming devices. From 1989, you would be hard pressed to go to a kid’s house that didn’t have one of these.
Today, the original Game Boy is worth more than $1,500 on eBay. If you have the gold-plated and diamond-encrusted special edition (which we’re sure you don’t), you could collect $25,000.
Average Original Price: $20Potential Earnings: $1,400
In the 1990s, every kid had their favorite Power Ranger. In 1994, there was around $350 million worth of toys and merchandise sold to families across the US. By 1998, the franchise was still going strong and the toys back then are worth a mighty amount today.
A Power Rangers Lost Galaxy Deluxe Gold Galaxy Megazord toy sold on eBay for $1,400! Unfortunately, the 2017 reboot failed to attract the same attention.
Average Original Price: $8-10Potential Earnings: $1,450
Yu-Gi-Oh was never as popular as its rival, Pokemon, but it still left a deep hole in pop culture. First-editions of “Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon booster boxes” have reportedly sold for $1450 on eBay.
This doesn’t count as much compared to other card-based games, but it’s not a bad result if you briefly engaged in the fad. Do you have any Yu-Gi-Oh cards lying around at home?
Vintage Cereal Boxes
Average Original Price: $0.5-2.00Potential Earnings: $1,500
Remember when cereal boxes were the PINNACLE of breakfast each morning? It almost didn’t matter what you were eating, as long as your favorite celebrity was endorsing it. Well, it appears people are willing to cash in on the nostalgia.
A vintage box of Wheaties with Michael Jordan from 1991 sold for $1,500 online! We don’t recommend eating what’s inside. Alongside celebrities, people will also bid for cartoon characters from popular shows in the 1990s.
Skeletor Action Figure
Average Original Price: $5Potential Earnings: $1,600
This figurine will bring ou quite the profit if you still have it in its original box. The Masters of the Universe franchise was in full force in the 1980s and everyone had a He-Man toy. That’s why it’s surprising that it’s the main nemesis, Skeletor, that garners the most value.
He’s worth quite the pretty penny today at a whopping $1,600. If you have one still in condition, you might want to hold on to it – these will only rise in value.
Average Original Price: $160Potential Earnings: $1,640
This teddy from 1985 was a dream for parents who could press play on pre-recorded messages sung from the bear. Each night, children would fall asleep to the words of a bear while the parents could blissfully relax in the other room away from their children.
These things were taken off the shelves in 1987 but not before they gained a cult following. Even though they were brought back in 2017, it’s the original collection that can bring in the big bucks.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Average Original Price: $10Potential Earnings: $1,800
One Hundred Years of Solitude was first published in English way back in 1970. Today, it is considered one of the most important and impactful pieces of literature from Latin America. If you’re lucky enough to have a first edition copy, you might want to check the dust jacket.
Due to an initial misprint, there is an exclamation point where a period should be. Even though this was amended in later editions, the original typo can get you thousands!
Average Original Price: $15Potential Earnings: $1,926
These little collectibles were popular in the 1980s and 1990s among young girls everywhere. Kids could purchase different themes – such as princess, mermaid, or more – and set them on display.
Good news for hoarders: if you held on to the entire sets for all these years you could be in for a financial treat. Just a Sparkle Surprise Polly Pocket set could be worth $500 today. It’s the bigger sets, however, that are worth thousands.
Transformers Action Figures
Average Original Price: $20Potential Earnings: $2,000
These once-niche toys from the 1980s have reentered the mainstream culture ever since the revival of the franchise from film director Michael Bay. With approximately 58 films made since the early 2000s, toy owners are enjoying a jump in value for the original toys.
Transformers a still sold today – in places as accessible as Target or Walmart – but it’s the originals that are worth the thousands. Your vintage Optimus Prime can be bought today for $2,000!
Average Original Price: $18-26Potential Earnings: $2,000-$2,322
It’s only been a few years since these 1990s toys have entered the cult culture for some adults. It appears that investing in these little playable models was a wise thing to do – they can sell for more than $2,000 today!
Of course, you can sell any of them online but its the entire collections in their original packaging that will garner the most attention (and money!) from fanatics.
Average Original Price: $159Potential Earnings: $1,500-$3,000
It’s pretty amazing how LEGO has survived in the 70 years since it first entered our homes. Well into the 21st-century people are still enjoying their new sets and films.
You might want to see if your parents or grandparents still have their train sets – they’re worth literally thousands today! Keep an eye out for the High Speed City Express Trains from 1985 and the Diesel Freight Trains, which are the most valuable.
Cabbage Patch Kids
Average Original Price: $25Potential Earnings: $3,000
Whoever says that having children isn’t a good financial investment? These soft, round-faced sculpted baby dolls entered US markets in 1978 and were hugely popular at the time.
You didn’t just ‘buy’ one, you welcomed one into your family. If you held on to yours, you might be able to be rewarded for it. A James Dudley 1985 Cabbage Patch doll might go for $3,000 on eBay.
Average Original Price: $18Potential Earnings: $3,000
Parents hated Tamagotchis due to the incessant care and attention they required at practically all times. Invariably, children got bored of the adult responsibilities after a few days and so it was up to them to keep it alive.
Weirdly, these things have made a comeback from their time in the 1990s, even being cared for by Katy Perry. An unopened Tamagotchi can go for $3,000 on eBay!
Fisher Price’s Push Cart Pete
Average Original Price: $0.50Potential Earnings: $3,000
If you happen to have a mint-condition copy of the 1936 model, then you’re in luck! This ‘Push Car Pete’ is considered a classic
These models captured imagines for years and are still popular today, even though interest among the masses has wained a bit. Make sure to check all your cupboards and attics for these treasures!
Average Original Price: $1,200Potential Earnings: $3,100
Ok, your dream at becoming an international rockstar didn’t work out. That’s fine, at least you bought a trendy cool instrument from it. Well, if you’re like most of us who left their guitar in its case collecting dust, you might be in luck!
One lucky failed musician sold his Gibson guitar for more than $3,000, more than double the original price! eBay accepts many old instruments which might increase in value over time.
Average Original Price: $11Potential Earnings: $4,000
In the 1960s, almost every kid in town was yearning for an Easy-Bake Oven. They were based on the real-life kitchens adored by 1960s housewives in the era representing the American Dream.
A retro set of this classic item can be sold for $4,000 today, which is similar to the actual price of a real oven. The toys are so popular that they earned a place in the National Toy Hall of Fame.
Garbage Pail Kids
Average Original Price: $0.25Potential Earnings: $4,000
Perhaps one of the biggest ROIs in our list is this collection of Garbage Pail Kids. Selling for just 25 cents at the time, they can be swapped for thousands in today’s money.
They first got popular in the 1980s and featured small characters with… let’s just say… ‘abnormalities on fate’. The injured characters were banned in schools for being too violent and were deemed a ‘distraction’.
Average Original Price: $5Potential Earnings: $4,000
According to The Telegraph, investing in Lego is a safer bet than investing in gold! Since 2000, the value of gold has increased by 4.1%, whereas lego has increased value by a whopping 12%.
The building toys have found new popularity in recent years, so you might want to check your attics! Apparently, Lego Star Wars sets are the most popular, with a First Edition Millennium Falcon now worth $4,000!
Boba Fett Action Figure
Average Original Price: $25Potential Earnings: $5,000
Who doesn’t like Star Wars? The franchise entered pop culture in 1977 and has shown no signs of slowing down with new films, television shows, and comic books being made today. Real fans will know that this Boba Fett action figure was originally deemed ‘unsafe’ and was never released to wide audiences.
They were kept hidden for 40 years and have recently been made available to the public. If you get your hands on one of these toys (or bought one from before they were banned!), they will rack up $5,000 in valuation.
Average Original Price: $5Potential Earnings: $5,000
Who doesn’t remember the Beanie Baby craze? Before Pokemon, before Tamagotchi, there were these adorable animals that kids would collect and keep on display. Each one had their own personalities and character traits, causing headaches for parents everywhere.
Although you can sell almost any of your Beanie Babies, there’s one that holds the prize for the most valuable. There have only been 2,000 Royal Blue Elephant Beanie Babies called Peanut created – meaning you can sell it for $5,000!
American Girl Dolls
Average Original Price: $82Potential Earnings: $5,000
Many parents probably hated being forced to enter the American Girl store due to the excessive amount of collectible items from its catalog. The famous doll from the 1950s, Molly McIntire, is especially valuable due to how rare its initial production was.
A mint condition doll can be sold today for around $5,000 – do you have one?
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Average Original Price: $11Potential Earnings: $6,500
No one could have predicted in 1997 just how big the Harry Potter franchise would become. With countless reprints, movies, spin-offs, stage plays, and amusement parks, the 1st edition books are only raising in value.
If you were one of the early readers in the 1990s who bought the books at the start, you might have $6,500 sitting on your bookshelf. Did you ever read about the wizarding world? You might be in for a treat!
Magic: The Gathering Cards
Average Original Price: $4-8Potential Earnings: $13,500
Magic cards first started gaining popularity in the mid-1990s, and the game still has 12 million active players in the world today. The value of each card depends on their rarity, and “Power 9” cards remain the most valuable.
According to eBay sales, many people are willing to spend big to collect the items, with Alpha editions of the Black Lotus card going for $13,500.
Where The Wild Things Are
Average Original Price: $8.95Potential Earnings: $25,000
Hang on before you rush to sell your child’s favorite book! Although most aren’t worth a whopping $25,000 today, there are a few who can claim that prize. A special 1963 first edition (and signed!) copy of Where The Wild Things Are can get you thousands.
Do you happen to have a copy with Maurice Sendak’s autograph? Today, the books are still popular. As of 2013, the book sold 20 million copies.
Luke Skywalker Action Figure
Average Original Price: $20Potential Earnings: $25,000
It’s not just any old Skywalker doll that can earn you thousands. There is a special limited edition 1978 figurine that will have fans scambling all over the world! In a 2015 auction at Sotheby’s, a version of the toy sold for a whopping $25,000.
It was previously owned by Tomoaki Nagao, the creator of the Japanese clothing line, The Bathing Ape. Do you like Star Wars and its action figures?
Average Original Price: $1.79Potential Earnings: $32,000
The very first PEZ was made in 1927 in Austra. It was designed by people whose sole aim was to make a candy dispenser with sanitation in mind. According to sources: “the name is an abbreviation for the German word for peppermint, ‘pfeffermintz.’”.
You can put any character on top of their heads, making them incredibly popular and relevant for generations. Today, the original toys can be sold for more than $32,000!
Atari 2600 games
Average Original Price: $199Potential Earnings: $33,400
If you have any of the old Atari 2600 games lying around at home, you might be unknowingly sitting on a goldmine. One of its most valuable products is the Air Raid – even used versions can get you almost $14,000!
However, like most things on this list, most of their value can be made when they are in their original packaging. Gamers didn’t know how much they were worth until about 2007. Do you have any?
Spider-Man Comic Books
Average Original Price: $0.12Potential Earnings: $47,800
Given the rise in popularity for superhero films, it’s no surprise that their original source material would also increase. Some of the oldest editions of ‘Spider-Man’ comics can go for tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the storyline.
Spider-Man’s first appearance was in Marvel’s Amazing Fantasy #15 before spinning off into his own comic. This particular comic can get as much as $1.1 million!
Average Original Price: $10-20Potential Earnings: $100,000
For everyone who used to make fun of you and your stamp collection – it looks like you will have the last laugh! Some stamps, if kept unused and in good condition, can sell for thousands of dollars.
According to eBay, an Uninverted Jenny Error Stamp Sheet sold for $83,000! There are fun stories of other collections – one couple bought a nice-looking stamp for 10 cents and resold it years later for $200!
Average Original Price: $10-20Potential Earnings: $100,000
If you ever want to buy a new house, you might want to consider selling your Pokemon cards! Parents everywhere can rejoice to know that their countless efforts to ‘catch them all’ can finally pay off some 20 years later.
These cards became so popular that they were banned in schools due to competition and theft among young students. By March 2018, Pokemon sold more than 25.7 billion cards!
Average Original Price: $0.59Potential Earnings: $125,000
Perhaps one of the biggest ROIs on our list! Today, some of these little cars are worth more than actual, human, cars. That is literally mental. One car, the 1969 pink rear-loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb Hot Wheels car sold for an amazing $125,000.
Before you go searching for it in your attic, keep in mind that it’s the only one ever made of the toy. Some of the more common toys can go for $20,000 – so keep an eye out!
Average Original Price: $2Potential Earnings: $146,500
There are few homes in the world today that don’t have at least one version of Monopoly. Created in 1933, it has become the world’s most popular boardgame with 250 million boxes sold around the world.
Somewhere in existence is The Landlord Game – an early version of Monopoly that was hand-drawn by Elizabeth Magie. This is rumored to be valued at almost $150,000.
Average Original Price: $2.50-5.50Potential Earnings: $200,000
These toy soldiers first entered stores in 1964, and their original price depended on the model purchased. Fifty years later and these toys have garnered extraordinary value. The Missile Command Center sold for $17,500 at an auction, while other action figures have sold for $10,000.
It’s the first prototype, however, that has the most value – at a whopping $200,000. Today, the G.I. Joe character is still popular and even has a film franchise starring Channing Tatum and The Rock.
Average Original Price: $2-4Potential Earnings: $302,500
This particular Barbie was created by designer Stefano Canturi, and sold for a whopping $302,500! All proceeds went to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Barbie was created in 1959 and has survived for 60 years due to its ability to innovate and change with the times.
Today, Barbie dolls are sold in a wide variety of skin colors and body shapes to reflect a different time. Did you ever have one?
Average Original Price: $2-4Potential Earnings: $2.8 million
Before Pokemon cards, millions of Americans collected Baseball cards. It appears their value is only rising in time with some going for as high as $2.8 million! The rarest card ever made was the Honus Wagner Sweet Caporal collection – only 200 were made between 1909 and 1911.
If you manage to track one of these down, you’ll have to mortgage your house to buy it. Alternatively, if you have one in storage somewhere, it might just change your life!
1938 Action Comics #1
Average Original Price: $0.10Potential Earnings: $3.2 Million
Given the revival of superheroes and their rising popularity – could it be anything else? Action Comics is the original name for D.C Comics, the company behind heroes like Superman and Batman.
The original 1938 first edition is extremely rare – only 50 issues were ever printed. What makes this issue particularly special is that it marks the very first appearance of Superman. It is the most valuable comic book in existence.