30 Vintage Toys That Are Now Worth a Fortune

By Corinne Kerston
vintage toys

If you were the type of kid who kept toys nice and neat or refused to take them out of the box, listen up. While you may have been the butt of many of your friends’ jokes back then, you may be the one laughing all the way to the bank now. Some of those toys you so nicely packed away for a rainy day could now be worth a fortune. Let's take a look at 30 vintage toys worth lots of money today.  

Advertisement

Garbage Pail Kids Cards

Garbage Pail Kids cards were the Pokémon cards of the ‘80s. They were collectible, tradeable and so gross! With characters like Adam Bomb, Itchy Richie and Blasted Billy, all the cards featured a doll-like child that was either sick, maimed or hurt. Plenty of blood, boils, snot, explosions or the like could be found in a pack of Garbage Pail Kids cards.

Garbage Pail Kids Cards
Photo Courtesy: Jelene Morris/Flickr

And like many collectible cards, you could fetch good money for them if you have any lying around. Garbage Pail Kids cards in mint condition could earn you up to $100, while even used cards from the original 1980s are good sellers on eBay.

Polly Pocket

These pint-sized dolls and their size-appropriate homes were the prized possessions of many kids in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In 1998, Mattel bought the Polly Pocket brand and began manufacturing the dolls a bit bigger, but if you have the original sized Polly Pockets made anywhere from 1989 to 1998, you're in luck!

polly pocket
Photo Courtesy: Herry Lawford/Flickr

Sets still in their original packaging have sold for hundreds of dollars. Also, doll lots have gone for almost $1,000. With a price tag that high, it may be time to pay your parents a visit to paw through some of your old childhood boxes in the attic. 

Pokémon Cards

Pokémon cards may be hot now, but they’re definitely not new. Kids from all over the world have been trying to “catch ‘em all” since the ‘90s, and even back then there were those rare cards everyone tried to hunt down. One of the rarest was the Charizard holographic card. Released exclusively in 1999, this special card has sold for more than $5,000!

pokemon cards
Photo Courtesy: Minh Hoang/Flickr

And first edition sets have gone for even more. In fact, a mint condition set featuring a holographic Charizard card went up for bidding on eBay in February 2019 and the bidding started at a whopping $12,000 and sold for $25,000. If you have any old Pokémon cards lying around, do yourself a favor and check their value before handing them over to your kids.

Advertisement

Furby

Furby was small, portable and spoke in its own strange language. Not to mention it was pretty creepy-looking! Nevertheless, the half-owl-half-hamster creature was the must-have toy in 1998. To the dismay and confusion of many parents, kids went wild for these colorful talking toys. Like all toy crazes, this one eventually fizzled out. However, if you were a kid who decided Furbies were just too weird-looking and left yours in the box, your Furby toy could bring about more than just bad memories.

Furby
Photo Courtesy: Vox Efx/Flickr

Original Furby toys have sold for hundreds of dollars as well! So, while your old Furby may be one that you're tempted to toss, sell at a garage sale for a quarter or put in a weighted bag and let it sink to the bottom of a lake (yikes), it could actually be worth something if you decide to sell it.

Beanie Babies

Let's jump from something slightly terrifying to something extremely cute! Beanie Babies were both a child's and a collector's dream. With new releases occurring frequently, there were many opportunities to add to a Beanie Baby collection. The crowning jewels were always the limited edition ones, however. Often created and released for special events or certain people (like the Princess Beanie Baby created in 1997 after Princess Diana) these were made in limited amounts and for a short time only.

Beanie Babies
Photo Courtesy: Dominique Godbout/Flickr

Other Beanie Babies worth money now are ones that had manufacturing defects, like the royal blue elephant Beanie Baby sewn in a darker color than intended. If you have any Beanie Babies around your house, check your collection to see if you have any of these babies that could be worth a fortune. 

PEZ

If you thought candy containers would never be worth more than a few bucks, think again. Your empty PEZ dispensers – the ones you hated to throw out because of the characters you loved – could be worth some serious cash today.

pez
Photo Courtesy: Charles Kremenak/Flickr

In fact, a collectible PEZ dispenser made for the 1982 World's Fair sold for $32,000 on eBay! Check out this site for even more valuable PEZ dispensers that may be sitting in that lonely forgotten shoe box under your bed. Some of the costliest dispensers include Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse and the PEZ gun.

Advertisement

Original Monopoly Board Game

Did you know Monopoly traces its origins all the way back to 1902? Originally known as The Landlord’s Game, the game was first created to illustrate the concepts of land value taxation and economic privilege. Sounds fun, right? The game changed over the years and eventually morphed into what we now know as Monopoly in the 1930s.

monopoly
Photo Courtesy: glasseyesview/Flickr

While this game is widely available today, if you have an original game from the 1930s, it could be worth thousands. Even if you don't have a vintage Monopoly game, limited editions may also be worth some dough.

Super Mario Bros. for Nintendo Entertainment System

Today’s video game systems include Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation and Xbox. But the only system around back in the ‘80s was the Nintendo Entertainment System. Back then, millions of kids (and adults) spent hours controlling a pixelated Mario, collecting coins and “1-Ups,” or shooting ducks while watching an animated dog giggle.

super mario bros
Photo Courtesy: walknboston/Flickr

Today, graphics and technology have gotten light years better, but there's something nostalgic about the original. If you can find any of the original Super Mario Bros. games, you could be a few hundred dollars richer.

Super Soakers

If you've seen commercials for products like Bunch O Balloons (and let's be real, who hasn't seen these commercials) you know toys that make 100 water balloons in seconds are the granddaddy of water play. They're fast, easy and allow everyone to get soaking wet in seconds. But the envy of any water-seeking child in the ‘90s was a Super Soaker.

water gun 308292 1920
Photo Courtesy: ariesa66/Pixabay

The brightly colored water cannons delivered water to your target accurately and hard. While Super Soakers are still being manufactured, vintage Super Soakers are being sold on eBay for hundreds. Even used original models can bring a seller a couple hundred dollars.

Advertisement

G.I. Joe

Girls in the 1980s played with Barbies, but the boys? They played with G.I. Joe. The brawny hero action figure came with complete playsets, vehicles and a whole backstory that included the G.I. Joe team and their opponents – the terroristic Cobra Command.

g.i. joe
Tom McCormick/Flickr

These collectible figures were easy to accumulate back then, but if you want any of the original sets now, you’ll need to fork over anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Even incomplete sets from the ‘80s can sell a few hundred dollars today.

Power Rangers Action Figures

The mighty, mighty Power Rangers are now mighty, mighty expensive. The Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers burst onto the Saturday morning scene in the early 1990s, prompting kids everywhere to run around flaunting their best kung fu moves and shouting “It's morphin’ time!”

power rangers
Photo Courtesy: Baldwin Saintilus/Flickr

From a wildly popular TV show to toys and movies, the Power Rangers were one of the first team hero franchises. Now considered vintage, the original action figures can be found on eBay for way more than you would have paid in the ‘90s. Taking the time to check your closets for your old Power Rangers could prove to be a rewarding task. Totally tubular!

Transformers

Transformers have made a huge comeback in recent years, with numerous films and spin-offs about specific Autobots, like Bumblebee. But it's far from being a new toy line – Transformer toys date back to the 1980s!

transformers
Photo Courtesy: Pete Slater/Flickr

If you were lucky enough, or smart enough, to put any of these toys aside and keep them in decent condition, you could list them on eBay for $1,000 and up. Some bestsellers include the G1 Devastator Gift Set, G1 Jetfire and G1 Hot Rod, which recently sold for nearly $3,000 at auction.

Advertisement

Hot Wheels

Dedicated toy collectors everywhere know the value of Hot Wheels. While inexpensive, readily available and likely passed from child to child in your family, certain Hot Wheels are actually worth thousands. Like many car-loving boys who grew into adults, you may have a stash of Hot Wheels hoarded away in an attic, basement or garage somewhere. But in order to bring in the big bucks with Hot Wheels, you need to have a good eye.

hot wheels
Photo Courtesy: Mike Mozart/Flickr

Most of these cars are only worth a few dollars decades later, but if you know what you're looking for, you could sell select cars for thousands of dollars. Search your collection for limited edition vehicles or those that were manufactured with mistakes, to get the big bucks.

He-Man

He-Man was the lead hero of the most epic-sounding group there ever was – the Masters of the Universe. He-Man, also known as “the most powerful man in the Universe,” led his forces against Skeletor, the evil sorcerer from the planet Eternia.

he-man
Photo Courtesy: Wizard of X/Flickr

Guarding the universe wearing nothing but a loin cloth, He-Man was a manly role model for many young boys. Lots of toys and sets were produced in the 1980s and ‘90s, and could bring in anywhere from $50 to hundreds. And it’s not just He-Man that’s worth some serious dough. Other valuable Masters of the Universe action figures include Teela, Laser Light Skeletor and Mer-Man.

American Girl Dolls

American Girls are the epitome of high quality dolls. Even today, a new doll will cost about $100 to $120. Plus, add in various outfits, accessories and playsets and the cash will really start to add up. But here's the thing with American Girl – each year, the company issues a “Girl of the Year” doll.

American Girl Dolls
Photo Courtesy: Yusef C/Flickr

This special doll is made for that year only and is then retired. Even some mainstay dolls are retired from time to time. This means past “Girl of the Year” or retired dolls are usually hard to find and worth more than the usual $120 if you have one.

Advertisement

Magic: The Gathering

Like Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering has developed a cult following. Not just trading cards, Magic is a complex game about a battle between wizards. There are artifacts, spells and creatures involved, and players lose life points. The original game was based off the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.

magic: gathering
Photo Courtesy: Olhe/Flickr

Making its debut in 1993, first edition Magic playing cards are now collector's items. Sealed starter decks from the early ‘90s can fetch collectors thousands of dollars and limited edition cards can be worth over five-figures. Not bad for playing cards, right?

Yu-Gi-Oh!

The ‘90s brought us fashion trends like overalls, grunge, platform sneakers and all kinds of plaid. But apparently, it also brought us all kinds of playing cards. Besides Pokémon and Magic: The Gathering, the ‘90s also introduced us to Yu-Gi-Oh!

yu-gi-oh!
Photo Courtesy: Kevin Qiu/Flickr

With spells, monster attacks and life points, Yu-Gi-Oh! may sound similar to Magic: The Gathering. And like Magic, first edition cards are worth way more than an ordinary set of playing cards. Like the other playing cards on our list, cards that are limited edition, rare or extremely hard to find are going to be worth a few thousand dollars.

Vintage LEGO Sets

When you were a child and received a brand new Lego set, did you keep it sealed in the box and place it nicely on your shelf? Probably not! Like most kids, you likely ripped that sucker open, spewed Lego bricks all over the place and started to build immediately. But if you were that rare kid who actually kept the sets in the box, you may be able to sell them for quite a bit of money.

lego
Photo Courtesy: Bill ward/Flickr

Vintage or rare sets in new condition can go anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. If you have an exceptionally rare Lego set, you may be able to sell it even if it is used or missing the instruction booklet.

Advertisement

First Edition Barbie

There’s no denying Barbie’s looks have changed over the years. She’s gotten a bit curvier, ditching her iconic hourglass shape in favor of a fuller look. But whatever her shape or size, Barbie has remained at the top of the coveted doll list since the 1950s.

barbie
Housing Works Thrift Shops/Flickr

And like other toy franchises that have put out numerous dolls over the years, Barbie also has its special limited editions. These were often created for events or certain people. And, of course, these limited edition Barbies are now worth a lot of money. If you were lucky enough to score any of the collectible Barbies when they were released, you could list them on eBay and easily collect in thousands of dollars.

Vintage Atari Cartridges

Before Nintendo, there was Atari. With games like Centipede, Pong and Space Invaders, Atari was essentially at the forefront of the video game craze. Today, Atari serves as a vintage old school reminder of what video games used to be like.

atari
Photo Courtesy: Marcin Wichary/Flickr

Unlike Nintendo, which still puts out games and gaming consoles, Atari really is vintage. Defunct since 2003, Atari games – especially early ones – are worth hundreds. Some of the most valuable games are Air Raid, Red Sea Crossing, Birthday Mania and Gamma-Attack. Check eBay or other game buying and selling sites for the most competitive prices.

Game Boy

Yes, more gaming systems. Certain video games have come and gone, leaving plenty of opportunity to collect and make money off some of these relics. Game Boys were the first handheld devices, predating any cell phone that featured games.

gameboy
Photo Courtesy: Jack Brookes/Flickr

The first Game Boys were clunky, needed batteries and didn't have any color. They were carried around and the games were stuffed into the corresponding fanny packs. While Game Boys went extinct in the early 2000s, mint condition games and Game Boys can bring you hundreds if you still have them lying around.

Advertisement

The Fisher-Price Little People Family Play House

The Fisher-Price play house was like the tricycle of dollhouses. It's modeled for beginners, so perfect for little ones. Today, the houses come in a traditional-looking brown, but in the ‘60s and ‘70s the original house came in baby blue with a yellow roof. It also came fully stocked with furniture, four “Little People” figures and a dog.

play house
Photo Courtesy: rebeccanineill/flickr

While this dollhouse is still easily obtainable, it's the yellow-roofed version that is getting harder to find. Because it's so old and hasn't been manufactured in decades, the houses with the yellow roof can be sold for a couple hundred dollars on eBay.

Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls

In the 1980s, Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were mass-produced with their round-cheeked faces and cherub-like grins. They came with soft cloth bodies and harder vinyl heads, but from 1976 to about 1982, the Cabbage Patch empire began with soft sculpture dolls that were hand stitched. “Adopted” out of an old medical clinic remade into “BabyLand General,” Cabbage Patch dolls, then known as “Xavier Roberts Soft Sculpture Little People,” were carried out of the hospital, just like you would a real baby.

cabbage patch kids
Photo Courtesy: William McKeehan/Flickr

It wasn't until 1982 when Xavier Roberts sold the mass-producing rights to a company called Coleco that the dolls were renamed Cabbage Patch Kids. If you can find an original soft structure doll, you can bring in hundreds of dollars. You can earn even more if your vintage doll has Xavier Robert's handwritten signature on the doll's bottom.

Vintage Rainbow Brite Dolls and Accessories

Who here remembers Rainbow Brite, her friends the Color Kids and her sidekick Twink the Sprite? Rainbow Brite was spunky, colorful and her outfit was “goals” for cosplay kids. With the help of the Color Kids, Rainbow Brite finds the Color Belt and uses it along with the Sphere of Light to rescue the sprites and restore color to the land. Good stuff, right?

rainbow brite dolls
Photo Courtesy: Gushi Soda/Flickr

With the popularity of the television show, you can bet the dolls were also wildly popular. Today, the original Rainbow Brite dolls, and even the Color Kids, can bring in at least a thousand dollars.

Advertisement

Teddy Ruxpin

The idea behind Teddy Ruxpin was genius. An animatronic teddy bear that reads to kids, thanks to a cassette tape player built into the bear. Oh, and its eyes and mouth also moved when it read. Talk about the perfect storyteller!

teddy ruxpin
Photo Courtesy: @CNET/Twitter

Teddy Ruxpin was the ideal companion and teacher for young children, even if it was a bit creepy for parents. There are still talking Teddy Ruxpin dolls being made today, but the first ones released during the 1980s can be sold for up to a thousand dollars. Of course, it helps if Teddy is housed in his original packaging.

Ghostbusters Figures

“Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!” If you were alive in the ‘80s, you either saw the movie in theaters or rented it at the video store when it came out on VHS. And who doesn’t know the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? In fact, the popularity of Ghostbusters has lasted through the years, with a reboot of the movie released recently with an all-female cast.

ghostbusters
Photo Courtesy: poppet with a camera/Flickr

The wildly popular original movie was made into cartoons, Halloween costumes, books and toys. The action figures have made their way onto the list of collectors’ items, particularly the Peter Venkman Fright Feature. With bugged out eyes and stand-up hair, this action figure is one of the most coveted. Mint condition action figures can bring in hundreds of dollars. 

Lite Brite

Debuting in the 1960s, Lite Brite was way ahead of its time. Powered by a light bulb, users plugged multi-colored pegs into holes to display a colorful, lit up picture on a fairly large light box. For a ‘60s toy, this was innovative and creative.

lite brite
Photo Courtesy: Kyle Van Horn/Flickr

Lite Brite is still around today, but it’s definitely thinner than it used to be. It’s been made into different versions, including a flat screen version and 3D cube. As you can probably guess, with the many changes over the years, the original versions are now collectors’ items. 

Advertisement

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures

If it seems like today’s children are reliving your own childhood obsessions, you’d be right. With fads like Pokémon and Transformers coming back around, you can bet there are other TV shows and toys making their way back into pop culture. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is another one of those fads.

ninja turtles
Photo Courtesy: Baldwin Saintilus/Flickr

Recent cartoons and live action movies have made these characters popular again. But of course, it’s the original action figures from the 1980s that are worth something today. New in-box or otherwise mint condition action figures can be sold for a few hundred dollars. Rare pieces could bring you up to a thousand. Not bad for a single action figure! 

Vintage Strawberry Shortcake Dolls

How can you not love Strawberry Shortcake? She had the most delicious name and friends who sounded equally delicious. Her sidekicks included Huckleberry Pie, Blueberry Muffin, Apple Dumplin’, Plum Puddin’, Lemon Meringue and Orange Blossom. Anyone else getting hungry?

strawberry shortcake
Photo Courtesy: Abigail Batchelder/Flickr

Each character had their own distinct personality and matching pet. And you can bet there were dolls! The original dolls were released back in the 1980s, but if you have any of these dolls in excellent condition or (even better) still in the box, it could earn you a few hundred dollars.

Care Bears

Cute, cuddly and filled with tummy power with their “Care Bear stare,” these colorful teddy bears were what every little girl wanted. If you spent years collecting Cheer Bears, Love-a-Lot Bears and Friend Bears, you could be staring down a pretty hefty payday.

care bears
Photo Courtesy: John Trainor/Flickr

The teddy bears from the ‘80s are now considered classic or vintage and could be worth quite a bit. If you have a lot of these bears, even better! Some of the most expensive bears with the highest price tag on eBay include the 1984 Pink Cheer Rainbow bear and the 1984 Green Bedtime Moon bear.

Advertisement