30 Vintage Toys That Are Now Worth a Fortune
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
“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.
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.
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.
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?
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.