Did you know the most was a bear by German maker Steiff that sold for $2.1 million at auction? While many of us may not have limited-edition toys like that lying around, we may have ones leftover from childhood. But do you know which are worth the most?
You could have a fortune sitting at the bottom of that old toy box or in the attic. Read on as we discuss the most valuable toys you may have at home.
- G.I. Joe
Toys lines did not come much bigger than G.I. Joe. Originally a doll-sized toy that was released in the sixties, it fared fairly well in the US and UK (Where it was known as Action Man). Influenced by the success of the Star Wars line, it was redesigned for the eighties toy market with smaller figures and an increased vehicle and playset line.
The US Flag is well-known amongst collectors of for being one of the largest toys ever produced. This aircraft carrier and home to G.I. Joe measured at over 7ft long. As it takes so much room, some collectors have even been known to use them as coffee tables.
While this playset does command a high price, there are others that bring in sums just a large. A prototype action figure went for over $200,000 at auction, making it one of the most valuable toys from the 80s.
- Pokemon Cards
Pokemon was a triumph of invention and marketing, and a testament to the innovation inherent in gaming company Nintendo. Its first appearance was on the Gameboy handheld console in 1996. Your task was to travel the globe, capturing animal-like creatures known as pocket monsters, affectionately known as Pokemon in Japanese.
Not only could you collect and battle on the game, but collectible trading cards and a cartoon also helped propel the property to superstardom. In this first generation of Pokemon cards from the late nineties, hide some of the most valuable trading cards in existence.
Charizard was the final evolutionary stage of one of the most popular Pokemon. There are only 120 cards with a holographic picture from this series. Each one is worth around $67,525 judging by eBay sales.
- Beanie Babies
In 1993, nine Beanie Babies were launched. A range of small plush toys, they were filled with plastic beans instead of traditional stuffing.
At first, many retailers refused to stock them because of a lack of interest. However, they later became one of the first internet viral sensations and started a collecting craze in the US.
Some of the most valuable toys from the 90s are beanie babies, and this value comes down to a combination of scarcity and factory errors. For example, Valentino the Bear is worth a good amount, but mistakes on the tag can net you over $1000 dollars.
However, Valentino is not even the most expensive. Claude the Crab has been listed for around $5000 on eBay, showing there is still an active community of people who buy and sell Beanie Babies for money.
- Atari Air Raid
Vintage games consoles are a market on their own. However, none of their popularity would be half as big as it is now if it was not for the Atari 2600 console.
After the success of arcade games such as Pac-Man and Pong, Atari ventured into the home electronics games market. With some great marketing and game licensing, it propelled its 2600 console to stardom. In fact, the console became so huge it even managed to cause a crash that would destroy the industry.
With so many imitators and a lack of quality, people got bored of clone-like titles and consoles. One game, based on the movie E.T, was so bad and sold so little that it got dumped at a landfill in the New Mexico desert. When they were recovered in 2014, the 881 games fetched over $107,000 in profit.
However, you don’t have to go into the wilderness to find Atari games that have value. Air Raid is one of the console classics and can fetch over $33,000 when unopened and sealed in a box.
- Polly Pocket
Valuable toys from the 90s do not come harder to find than Polly Pocket. Despite having a moderate fanbase, they command extremely high prices when complete. The reason for this is that these micro doll’s houses had lots of tiny parts that were so easy to lose.
The most valuable ones tend to be tie-ins with classic fairytales and Disney. The Little Mermaid and Alice in Wonderland sets have been known to fetch $2000 each.
- MOTU Eternia Playset
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are enjoying a renaissance as of late, with new Netflix animations and a movie in the works. The original figure line is still one of the most valuable vintage toys from the 80s, and any figure still in its packaging is going to sell for at least $200 and upwards. However, it is the toys from the final few waves of this popular line that get the highest prices.
One of those is the Eternia Playset. A huge set featuring three towers and a monorail, it was far too expensive for many families, at a time when the line was fading in popularity. A boxed one in great condition can go for well over $3000.
If your old He-Man figures are not boxed, then do not despair. One of the rarest action figures did not even come packaged but instead arrived in a plastic bag. A mail-away gift if you collected tokens from Wonder Bread, this fairly average action figure can net a cool $2500 dollars if graded.
Collecting Valuable Toys
Even if you are not in it for profit, collecting rare and valuable toys can be a rewarding hobby. Pick a line you loved as a child and decide if you will collect loose or sell in packaging. From here, keep an eye out on groups and auctions for some bargains.
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