Have any of these toys? You just made a ton of money
Rummaging around the attic in mom and dad’s house might yield some valuable toys you discarded from your youth. Although the 80s and 90s weren’t that long ago, many toys from these eras are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars! Before you declare millionaire status, research reselling tips.
Laurie Anderson Dowell, a toy collector in California says: “The most important feature to a toy’s value is usually whether it is in its original packaging, and what kind of condition the box, card, or bubble is in. MIP (mint in package) and MIB (mint in box) toys are more highly covetable.” Below is our list of valuable toys with their estimated original and potential selling prices. Perhaps you got one of these for Christmas and never opened it?
Happy Meal toys
AVERAGE OG PRICE: Free (with purchase of a Happy Meal)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $100
McDonald’s removed Happy Meals from its value menu, thus hiking up the price to $3.99 in most locations. The older toys that came with Happy Meals are skyrocketing in value, despite the meal no longer being considered ‘valuable.’
They easily sell on eBay for $100, some for a lot more. Mental Floss said that a whole set of “McFurbys” was recently put up for sale for $899. Seems like embracing the whole Furby craze was the right call for Mc’D’s.
NEXT: Reselling your Skip-It might get you over $100.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $12.89 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $120 (vintage)
It was the infamous 1990s Skip-It commercial filmed at Ravinia elementary school in Highland Park, Illinois that helped make this toy a success. The advertisement played during children’s programming. Kids had to have it when they saw that apparatus swinging around other kids’ ankles.
Skip-Its are still available for sale, but definitely lost a bit of its cool factor with children today (iPads are the new hip thing). However, collectors might buy your old Skip-It for $120 on eBay. Might have to be in original packaging, however!
NEXT: Lite Brites will make your bank account bright.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $9.97
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $130-150
How magical and calming it was to make brightly lit and colored designs with a Lite Brite. Time Magazine named it one of the top 100 toys of all time in an article, due to the toy’s continued popularity since its release in 1967.
Having you been hanging onto your Lite Brite? If it’s a vintage set still in its box, you could slang it for $130 to $150. Lite Brites are still sold through retailers like Best Buy — new versions would not be worth that much obvi.
NEXT: Did you own a pair of Moon Shoes? We’ll tell you how to get a couple hundred for them.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $37.52 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $200 (vintage)
These shoes look super weird, but they make you feel like you’re walking on the moon! Stomping around in these shoes with built-in trampolines mimics what the creators think walking on the moon is like. We can’t confirm the accuracy of the imitation but they’re fun either way.
These were first introduced in the 1950s and had success well into the 1990s. If you have any vintage pairs, you might be able to resell them for a couple hundred on eBay. As we’ve mentioned before, mint condition Moon Shoes in that original packaging will get you the most cash.
NEXT: Originally this was made for adults, but contemporary versions were then geared towards children.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $12.50 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $430 (vintage)
This toy was first introduced in 1939. Children (and adults) could look through the binocular-like device to view photos and other images. Tourists attractions and travel images made up the bulk of the reels that you could get from View Master.
View Master had various uses but its contemporary design is geared towards children. It’s also been used for Disneyland rides, TV shows and some blockbuster flicks like Jurassic Park and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. View Master has fancy upgraded versions but vintage is worth more.
NEXT: Named after a sweet dessert, this toy now is worth sweet moolah.
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $20 (for new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $550 (for vintage)
Strawberry Shortcake is the six-year-old, red-headed protagonist of The World of Strawberry Shortcake. The character was originally introduced in 1979 and created by Muriel Fahrion. Strawberry went on to inspire TV shows, films, toys, merchandise, and more. The entire franchise is now owned by Canadian company DHX Media.
Currently on eBay, a vintage doll of Strawberry Shortcake character Banana Twirl is going for $550. GOBankingRates says one Strawberry Shortcake plum-scented Plum Puddin’ with Berrykin Doll Set went on eBay for $500. Other characters should go for lots too, as long as they’re vintage in original packaging.
NEXT: This toy originally cost between $10 and $50 but is worth much more now.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $10-50
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $600
This toy water gun operates using manually pressurized air to shoot water at your friends, mom, dad, neighbor, etc. It was the joy of many little kids, especially during summertime, much to the annoyance of many parents. Its popularity generated more than $1 billion in total sales.
Complex said the Monster XL and the original model, Super Soaker 50, were in highest demand on eBay in 2015. Demand might be different right now for particular Super Soakers. If you sell the right water gun at the right time, you could look at a tidy sum.
NEXT: Stinky Pete’s value stinks of $$$.
Toy Story toys
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $30 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $700 (vintage)
If you’re like most millennials, you grew up watching Toy Story and probably have some of the toys in your boxes back at mom’s house. Some of the main characters will sell for a couple hundo’s — Buzz goes for $550 and Woody $580.
Supporting roles actually might sell for more. Take one of the villains, Stinky Pete, for instance. The little-known character’s action figure can sell for $700! If you have any of the annoying alien characters from the crane machine, those might retail for $690.
NEXT: Nintendo 64? More like Nintendo $750!
Nintendo 64 games
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $59.99
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $750
If you have the right ones that is. One of the most in-demand cartridges is Mario Kart 64. A mint condition one — in an unopened box — can get you $750. A rare one that’ll get you even more money is Harvest Moon 64.
No, it’s not a Neil Young game (he had a song called “Harvest Moon” — get it?), but a farming game that was never produced in large quantities. People weren’t into farm games back in the day, apparently. Its loyal fanbase inflated its worth to $900!
NEXT: Some dinos from Jurassic Park are worth more than others.
Jurassic Park Toys
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $26.99 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $900 (vintage)
Jurassic Park was a major blockbuster movie that still retains a loyal fanbase. After the movie came the merchandise — t-shirts, hats, mugs, and toys, of course. Action figures of dinosaurs and the human characters quickly flooded children’s toy boxes, and now are worth a pretty penny to collectors.
Its reboot in 2015 quickly became extremely profitable, perhaps adding to the value of vintage action figures in their original packaging. A Jurassic Park Lost World Series One Thrasher Tyrannosaurus Rex sold on eBay for $900, says GOBankingRates. Turns out some dinos are worth more than others too — Complex Magazine says to watch out for the Carnotaurus, Gallimimus and the T-Rex.
NEXT: How do you say “I’m rich” in Furbish?
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $35
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $900
Do you have an old Furby collecting dust in your attic? If so — dah noh-lah! In case you don’t speak Furbish, that translates roughly to: “It’s time to party!” And party you shall, because your Furby can be sold for $900.
The annoying fuzzy electronic critter became the “must have” item for 90’s kids, much to the disdain of parents forced to listen to its incessant gibberish. To pull in the big bucks nowadays, your Furby needs to be in its original box.
NEXT: Have this pog set? You could get $1K for it!
My Little Pony Dolls
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $13 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $900 (vintage)
Can you believe that 150 million My Little Pony toys were sold in the U.S. in the 1980s? Introduced in 1982, the franchise featuring magical, colorful ponies captures the hearts and minds of fans even today. New versions of the pony are still being created to this day.
However, it’s the vintage ones that rake in the most cash. The ones with highest quality hair and clear markings or symbols can be sold for lots. However, it’s the mail-order ponies that were ordered with “pony points,” and the “flutter ponies” (ones with wings) that are worth the most according to GOBankingRates.
NEXT: If you have this Pog set, you might have made a lot of money…
AVERAGE OG PRICE: Free (with purchase of Haleakala Dairy product on Maui, HI)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,000
Pogs were originally round cardboard inserts in milk caps with which kids played a flipping game. It’s insane to think they could pull in $1,000 — that is, if you have the full Marilyn Monroe set. Its rarity has pumped up its value, possibly also the appeal of the blonde starlet.
If you have the complete Jurassic Park set, it could possibly be worth MORE than $1,000. One full set of pogs of the movie dinos, which included six holographic pogs, pulled in $1 million! More normal sets can do at least $100.
NEXT: Flip your Game Boy for this much.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $89.99
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $750-$1,500
The most valuable toys are vintage ones, even if they’re not that old like Game Boy. Created in 1989, the Game Boy became a popular handheld game console. If you’re a 90’s kid, you’re likely to have one laying around your house.
How much can you resell it for? Surprisingly a lot — an OG Game Boy can get up to over $1K on eBay. Do you have the gold-plated, diamond-encrusted special edition Game Boy? You probably don’t, but if you do, you might be looking at $25,000.
NEXT: Only this special edition Power Ranger is worth a lot.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $20 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,400 (vintage)
Every kid had their favorite Power Ranger. No matter who was your favorite — the pink, yellow, red, or blue ranger — the TV show and toys had a huge impact on kids in the U.S. About $350 million worth of Power Ranger toys were sold in 1994.
The franchise was still going strong in 1998 with $200 million in sales. Not a lot of Power Ranger toys can resell for a sweet load of cash unless they’re a special edition. A Power Rangers Lost Galaxy Deluxe Gold Galaxy Megazord figurine recently sold on eBay for $1,400, says GOBankingRates.
NEXT: Skeletor could get you a lot of bones.
Skeletor action figure
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $4.99 (1982 price for He-Man toy)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,600
If your formative years were in the 80s, you probably were a fan of the Masters of the Universe franchise released 1982. Everyone loved the protagonist He-Man, but it’s actually his arch-nemesis Skeletor that’s worth the big bucks.
Anyone forced to play the villain during playtime will be pleasantly surprised: Diehard collectors are willing to shell out $1,650 for a Skeletor action figure. As with most toys in the reselling game, it has to be in its original box to be sold for that price.
NEXT: This 1985 teddy bear made a comeback in 2017.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $159
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,640
This cuddly teddy bear came onto the market in 1985 to read bedtime stories to children through pre-recorded cassette tapes. Mom and Dad could just set up Teddy Ruxpin if they were too busy to spend time with the kiddies. The well-read teddy had a short shelf-life.
It was taken off the market in 1987. Perhaps it was its steep price tag? The original Teddy Ruxpin was today’s equivalent of $159. When it was reintroduced in 2017, it quickly became the “must have” toy for the holidays. A 1985 original Teddy Ruxpin is the kind that’ll draw in the big bucks on eBay.
NEXT: Pocket this much for your Polly Pocket.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $14.99 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,926 (vintage)
These tiny doll portable sets popular in the 80s and 90s came in various themes — mermaid, princess, you name it! If you managed to keep track of every piece of your Polly Pocket set, you could get some cold hard cash.
Reselling sites, like eBay, are best for selling Polly. Got a Sparkle Surprise Polly Pocket set? Say hello to $449.99! If you have a complete version of one of the larger castle sets, you might be able to flip it for $1,926.
NEXT: Sell your Optimus Prime for an optimal price.
Transformers action figures
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $20
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $2,000
Transformers first came out on the scene in the 1980s. The franchise’s action figures’ values have skyrocketed since then, especially the very popular hero, Optimus Prime. Transformers are still sold at places like Target or Walmart but only vintage ones are valuable.
A vintage Optimus Prime action figure in its unopened box has sold on eBay for $2,000. That’s basically 100 times its original price! This might be hard to find lying around — most kids with Optimus action figures played with them relentlessly.
NEXT: Playmobil will get you more real money, not play money.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $18-$26 (1990 price)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,999-$2,322
In recent years, this toy has become a cult obsession for adults although it was originally created for children. The vintage sets have catapulted in popularity due to the toys’ wide array of unique sets and characters. You won’t believe how much some’ll sell for…
A big collection of vintage Playmobil listed on eBay for $1,999. That’s not a crazy asking price — figurines in original boxes have gone for $2,322. You could sell them on eBay or Etsy without original packaging but for lower prices.
NEXT: This train is on its way to Rich Town!
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $159.99 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $1,500-$3,000 (vintage)
Lego first hit the retail scene waaaay back in 1949, capturing children’s imaginations and even developing into theme parks. The Lego train made for a fun toy — not only could children build little scenes but they could also have an electric train chug through them.
There are many varieties within the Lego electric train categories, such as the High Speed City Express Trains from 1985 and the Diesel Freight Trains. Those models in original, unopened boxes could yield about $1,500 to $3,000.
NEXT: Cabbage Patch Kids don’t look so creepy now do they?
Cabbage Patch Kids
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $24.99
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $3,000
The round-faced, soft sculpted baby dolls first registered for their U.S. copyright in 1978 and exploded in popularity (more on the Cabbage Patch Kids backstory here). Toy collector Laurie Anderson Dowell clarifies: “One didn’t buy a Cabbage Patch doll, one ‘adopted’ it. Hence you were paying an adoption fee.” Many a child begged their parent for a Cabbage Patch Kid doll for Christmas.
Rare dolls are still coveted, but worth waaay more nowadays. A James Dudley 1985 Cabbage Patch doll, for example, might go for $3,000 and a 1981 Blonde Girl Little People doll could fetch $2,000.
NEXT: People have gotten a few thousand from selling this toy.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $17.99
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $3,000
Tamagotchis were the bane of many parents’ existence. The handheld, virtual pets required incessant care and attention (which often fell onto parents) just to stay alive. At the height of Tamagotchi’s craze, a frustrated mother told the Chicago Tribune: “I wake up every morning and something is dead.” Yikes.
Like most 90s trends, this toy has made a comeback. Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom were even spotted accessorizing their red carpet looks with some old school Tamagotchis. An original Tamagotchi in its unopened box can yield up to $3,000!
NEXT: Easy-Bake brings in easy money.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $10.97
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $4,000
Just about every kid begged for an Easy-Bake Oven when it came onto the market right before Christmas in 1963. It was modeled after 60s kitchens, in a then on-trend light yellow or teal color. Got a vintage set? It might go for $4,000.
Its hefty value might have to do with how popular the toy became. It’s even part of the National Toy Hall of Fame! Forget the fact real ovens cost less than $4,000 — why not bake with incandescent light bulbs instead?
NEXT: This Garbage Pail Kid is worth more than the rest.
Garbage Pail Kids
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $0.25 a pack
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $4,000
For all the young’uns out there: Garbage Pail Kids were collectible sticker cards first made popular in the 1980s. They featured child characters with terrible abnormalities or fates, told in a comical way. The cards were banned in schools, which cited them as “distractions.”
Any cards you have still might be valuable, especially one rare card: One man sold the rare Adam Bomb card on eBay for $4,000! We’re guessing that’s because Adam Bomb was the most iconic of the series. Less rare sets can still yield a couple hundos.
NEXT: This Star Wars action figure is particularly valuable.
Boba Fett action figure
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $24.99 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $5,000 (vintage)
“The Boba Fett action figure was a mail-away promotion, advertising a firing missile from his backpack,” says Anderson Dowell. “This was deemed unsafe, so this version wasn’t released.” Some did show up on the market, however. Anderson Dowell guesses they were prototypes which sold for a high price.
If you have the Star Wars villain Boba Fett action figure (mint condition, in an unopened box), you might be able to score a cool $5,000 for it. Opened Boba Fett toys might be able to score some good cash as well.
NEXT: Beanie Babies are valuable, especially this one.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $5.00
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $5,000
Remember the Beanie Baby craze? Before Pokémon, these were the toys kids had to “catch ‘em all” much to their parents’ dismay. You can resell some Beanie Babies for more than others (*cue everyone checking their collections*), but there’s one that’s the most coveted of all…
There have only been 2,000 Peanut the Royal Blue Elephant Beanie Babies created, thus its value has skyrocketed into the thousands. Some can sell for $5,000. Beanie Babies with manufacturing flaws can sell for more than others too.
NEXT: This American Girl doll is worth more than the others.
American Girl dolls
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $82
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $5,000
We’re sure many parents hated being dragged into the American Girl store or thumbing through the catalogs to purchase the dolls’ multiple — and expensive — accessories. The 1950’s era bespectacled doll, Molly McIntire, is particularly valuable because of its rarity. A mint condition Molly can go for $5,000.
Molly is rare because production of the doll stopped in 2013, after 27 years on the market. Other discontinued models like Kirsten, Samantha, and Felicity can rake in pretty pennies — especially, if they were made by its original manufacturer, Pleasant Company.
NEXT: You’re rich, Harry!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $10.99 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $6,500 (vintage)
Toys are not the only childhood items you can resell for a profit. Books can also be resold for a pretty penny, especially if they are a first edition copy of the wildly popular Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Those can sell for $6,500.
In general, first edition copies of books are the most valuable. A first edition of the magic-centric novel signed by author J.K. Rowling herself could go for a whopping $15,000. These books are especially valuable if you haven’t lovingly dog-earred all of its pages!
NEXT: This book is worth twice as much as Harry Potter.
Where the Wild Things Are
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $8.95 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $25,000 (vintage)
Before you hurry to sell your child’s favorite book, check that it is the 1963 first edition signed copy of Where the Wild Things Are. Such a copy was sold in 2012 for $25,000 on Abebooks.com. Got a mint first-edition copy without Maurice Sendak’s autograph?
Such a version might still rake in some cash! A collector is sure to be interested as the book is well-loved — by its 50th anniversary in 2013, the book had sold 20 million copies.
NEXT: This Star Wars action figure will sell for even more than Boba Fett does.
Luke Skywalker action figure
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $20 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $25,000 (vintage)
Not any ol’ Luke Skywalker action figure can sell for $25,000, only a limited edition 1978 figurine can. One was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for that price in 2015. It belonged to Tomoaki Nagao, the creator of the Japanese clothing line, The Bathing Ape.
With only 20 copies of the toy ever made, it has a rare “double telescoping” lightsaber that easily broke (thus, it was pulled from production.) Today, you might swipe a Luke Skywalker for around $20 at Target, but those lack in rarity and covetousness.
NEXT: PEZ dispensers dispense cash now.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $1.79 (new)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $32,000 (vintage)
The first PEZ candy dispenser was made in 1927, Austria. “The name is an abbreviation for the German word for peppermint, ‘pfeffermintz,'” says Anderson Dowell. “The dispenser was designed with sanitation in mind, so you wouldn’t be touching more than one sweet at a time.” You could find a dispenser in the shape of any of your favorite movie characters!
If you’re willing to part with your particularly rare PEZ dispensers, you could make lots of $$$. A vintage Rabbit Fat Ear PEZ is selling on eBay for $124. However, Astronaut B, a dispenser created for the 1982 World’s Fair sold for $32,000.
NEXT: Atari 2600? More like Atari $33,400!
Atari 2600 games
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $199 (introductory price for console)
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $33,400
If you have a stash of old Atari 2600 games, you might be sitting on a goldmine. One of the most valuable of all is the Air Raid — a used version brings in $13,900 while one in its original box might be worth $33,400.
Another rare game, Red Sea Crossing, sells for a bit less at $13,800. But who are we kidding — that’s still a lot! Its appeal stems from its limited promotion. Other than an ad in Christianity Today magazine, gamers didn’t know about it until 2007.
NEXT: If you caught them all, you can catch a lot of money…
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $10-$20
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $100,000
Your parents will be happy to know all the Pokémon cards you collected back in the day are finally worth something. The most valuable of all? Perhaps the Japanese-version Pikachu Illustrator card. In 1998, one sold on eBay for a large sum of $100,000.
The series was first created in 1995 by the Japan-based Satoshi Tajiri. The trading card game, which was based on the animated series, launched in the U.S. in 2003. Much like Beanie Babies, it drove kids to covet the entire collection. By March 2018, it had sold over 25.7 billion cards worldwide.
NEXT: Hot Wheels, hot cash.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $0.59
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $125,000
Some of these mini cars are worth the same price as real cars. The 1969 pink rear-loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb Hot Wheels car sold for an incredible $125,000. Before you get hopeful, there was only one ever made of this toy — hence the high price.
Other Hot Wheels toys might be able to be sold for high prices on eBay, or if you’re ambitious enough, at the Annual Hot Wheels Collectors Convention in Los Angeles. Some other high rollers include a Volkswagen Minibus priced at $20,000.
NEXT: This Parker Brothers game is very valuable.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $2
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $146,500
The money-centric board game was first released by Parker Brothers in 1933. “Ironically, it was based on another 1903 toy called ‘The Landlord’s Game,’ meant to show the greed of monopolization,” says Anderson Dowell. Creator Elizabeth Magie meant to demonstrate Ricardo’s Law of economic rent, Georgist concepts of economic privilege, and land value taxation.
Charles Darrow is often credited as the creator of the Monopoly we know today, but his version is derived from Magie’s The Landlord Game. Darrow originally made the game on oilcloth instead of stiff cardboard. A hand-drawn version of the game from the early 30’s is worth $146,500.
NEXT: If you are an 80s or 90s kid, you probably have this toy laying around.
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $2.54-$5.66
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $200,000
G.I. Joe first came onto the scene in 1964. The selling price for the figurines varied depending on the version purchased, but in 1968 a basic soldier toy sold for $2.54, a talking version could be $4.94, and a nurse action figure was $5.66.
Some vintage G.I. Joe action figures sell for much more now. In 2003, a prototype G.I. Joe sold at an auction for $200,000. Other toys have sold for less: The Missile Command Center sold for $17,500 while other action figures have sold for $10,000.
NEXT: Life in plastic, it’s fantastic — and rich!
AVERAGE OG PRICE: $1.92-$3.96
MIGHT FLIP FOR: $302,500
This Barbie created by designer Stefano Canturi sold for an unbelievable price. The blonde doll is dressed in a black evening gown with a rare pink diamond necklace. At an auction, it sold for a whopping $302,500 with proceeds benefiting the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Barbie was first created in 1959 by the co-founder of Mattel, Ruth Handler. As Handler’s doll modernized, other designers began designing gowns for Barbie. Other vintage Barbies to sell for a lot include a first-edition doll, which sold for $23,000, and the De Beers 40th Anniversary Barbie, which sold for $85,000.
NEXT: Incredibly valuable items you probably owned and threw out
1. Vintage soda crates
As high as $199
Possibly the most surprising item on this list, old wooden soda crates can be pretty valuable. Now, why anyone would pay more than a couple of bucks for one of these things is unclear, but they can go into the hundreds on eBay!
Coca Cola crates, specifically, are in high demand. A yellow wooden crate from 1948 sold for $199 on eBay. A Coca Cola Eight Ball crate in mint condition, also from the 1940s, went for just under that. But even crates in poor condition can be valued at over $100. There’s even one from the 1920s for sale, listed at $125!
2. Retro lunch boxes
As high as $400
Perhaps not quite as mainstream as other collectibles on this list, lunch boxes have made their way into the crosshairs of collectors everywhere. Since their inception, cartoon characters, rock bands and all things in-between have been emblazoned on tin lunchboxes (the more recent plastic ones are less relevant) for kids to fill with PB&J and ham and cheese sandwiches.
Now, those lunch boxes can be worth real cash. A vintage Bonanza lunchbox made by Aladdin Industries Inc. is worth $130, while a Beatles lunch box, even in poor condition, can be worth around $400! Perhaps it’s a good idea to keep those plastic lunchboxes kids have today around too, who knows what demand for them will be like in the future.
3. Polaroid cameras
As high as $420
No one really needs cameras anymore. Even journalists take photos with their smartphones, right? Wrong. There are a lot of people who are willing to pay big bucks for a Polaroid. If there’s something an iPhone can’t do – yet – it’s snapping a picture and developing it on the spot.
And, as an added bonus, the developed photo looks like it went through an Instagram filter. So far, these Polaroid cameras have been sold for a couple hundred dollars – in fact, a Polaroid 120 manufactured in 1960 recently sold for $420. So for those people who are into making investments in collectors’ items – this might be a good one. It’s sure to be worth even more as we all plunge deeper into the depths of the digital age.
4. Beer cans
Between $35 and $1000
Next time you’re getting ready to toss out that cold one you finished while drinking with the pals, you might want to think twice. Look at that can and take a moment to consider whether it might be considered vintage in just a few years.
A 2015 story in the New York Post told the tale of Jeff Lebo, a man who has been collecting beer cans for 40 years, adding them to his vacation house in York Haven, Penn. The house, which Lebo said he plans to convert into an eco-resort, houses 87,000 cans of retro booze, worth about $1.6 million. An individual flat top beer can be manufactured in America between 1935-1941 could be worth anything between $35 and $1000!
5. Vintage Christmas ornaments
As high as $1,000
For those people who celebrate Christmas, they have likely become accustomed to receiving various Christmas ornaments and accessories as gifts. Usually, such a gift is met with one of two reactions: 1. The recipient perches the ornament on their tree for years to come or 2. The recipient stashes the ornament in a box in the attic, never to be seen again.
It turns out that, while not everyone knows it, there is a third option. No, not re-gifting – that would be harsh! The alternative to the first two options would be checking the value of the gift online and selling it for some extra cash. Vintage sleds, too, can be worth up to several hundred dollars. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to own a 1880s blown glass ornament shaped like a cluster of grapes in either red or amber, you’ve hit gold – those go for worth as high as $1,000!
As high as $1,000
Of course, the price at which one sells their Furby for is at the discretion of the seller themselves. An early version in its unopened box could fetch up to $900, says Good Housekeeping. However, a 1998 Furby in original packaging is asking for $1,000 on eBay, as of May 2019.
The furry, talking toy burst onto the scene in 1998 to the annoyance of many parents. Furbies back in the day weren’t cheap either. The demand drove up the price for this “it” toy to around $100, says AOL.com. Tiger Electronics revamped the toy in 2012, thus renewing interest in Furbies.
7. Mason jars
As high as $1,000
Now you’ll see mason jars at any hip, new restaurant used in place of your classic cup. Those mason jars aren’t the ones that are valuable, however. Before they were all the rage, they were used to can fruits and other perishables. (There wasn’t any refrigeration.) Country Living lists the most valuable mason jar brands from the 1840s to 1920s:
The unmarked Cork-Top Jar, the Upside-Down and Lightning Jar by Ball, E-Z Seal by Atlas, the Improved jar by Hero, Self-Sealing jar by Kerr, Beaver Jar made in Canada, Violet Jar by Columbia, Sun Jar by Bartow, and the Willoughby Stopple. Check your cupboards and see if you have any of these brands!
8. Cereal boxes
As high as $1,003
They say every item out there is worth something to someone, and a recurring theme in this article indicates that just might be true. Empty beer cans, old lunch boxes, and now cereal boxes? OK, OK, the cereal boxes sometimes have to be unopened to be of any value, but when they are, they are.
And it’s not necessarily the older boxes that are always worth the most. The simple Kellogg’s Sugar Pops box from 2009 can go for $161, while a box of Nabisco Shredded Wheat from 1966 fetched an impressive $1,003. There are other valuable collector’s items you might have in your possession – keep reading.
9. Rare cookie jars
As high as $1,200
With the trend in healthy-eating sweeping across the developed world, it’s no longer as common for families to have cookie jars lying around the kitchen. And most of us who do eat the bundles of chocolaty goodness on a regular basis probably don’t keep them in cookie jars.
But it might be a good idea for people to check their garages and attics for old cookie jars – especially if they were produced in the ’40s and ’50s. According to Reader’s Digest, an Uncle Mistletoe Marshall Fields cookie jar from the 1950s sold for $1,200. Other cookie jars, especially when they are sculpted in the shape of a widely recognizable figure – like a cartoon character – can go for several hundred dollars.
10. VHS tapes
Varies, but as high as $1,500 (as of April 2019)
As is the case with most collecting, not any ol’ VHS tape is worth fat stacks. Oprah magazine dished on the valuable Black Diamond Disney VHS tapes that have flipped for a lot on eBay. Don’t expect to be able to pay off your mortgage with old Disney tapes, however.
As of April 2019, there’s a set of Disney Black Diamond VHS tapes on eBay going for $1,000, a single Aladdin tape for $1,300 and a sealed Beauty & Beast going for $1,500. Collectors looking to buy might be preferential to sealed copies that are in mint condition, just FYI!
11. 1990s CDs
As high as $1,500
It’s incredible to think that by now there is an entire generation that has never inserted a CD into a CD player to jam out to their favorite tunes. As such, those of us who do have CDs around might feel a little outdated for it – and might feel the need to toss them out. But depending on the CD in question, that might not be the best idea.
While not yet on the same level as vinyl, CDs are becoming ancient artifacts as far as music-consumption tools go. And that can be seen in some of their market values. Michael Jackson’s signature series disc from 1993 can go for around $1,400. Another example is Coldplay’s first public release, the Safety EP, which came out in 1998, is worth between $1,000 and $1,500.
12. 1980s boom boxes
As high as $1,600
Kids these days might not even know what a boom box is – unless they are hipsters, whose thirst for vintage items have boosted the value of items like boom boxes from the 1980s. The boom box trend of the ’80s set the stage for portable cassette tapes and CD players by personalizing music consumption.
According to Metro, a retro Boombox Ghetto Blaster sold today can go for up to $1,600. Today, of course, people don’t need any of those things because they have smartphones to do mostly everything for them. But there was a time when city streets from New York to Tokyo were lined with young people carrying around these heavy pieces of equipment and cranking to their favorite tunes.
13. Vintage handbags
Between $400 and $3,000
Handbags can be something of an addiction for many people. Think of it: There are so many people in the developed world that buy multiple posh handbags every year. Or month. Or week. And how many of them end up piled in the deepest, darkest corners of their closets?
There might be a better place for those bags, depending on their brand and model. Old handbags need love, too! “Vintage Chanel in good condition will retail on a secondary market for $2,000 to $3,000 — or even $400 if it is in poor condition,” Marie Dietrich, an appraiser at Gary Germer and Associates, was quoted as saying in Reader’s Digest. Not a bad deal!
As high as $4,000
You’d be surprised to know that interest in Tamas (short for Tamagotchi) is alive and well. The egg-shaped digital pet arrived in Japan in 1996, eventually making its way stateside in 1997, says The Ringer. At the time, Tamagotchi was sold for $15 to $18. OG Tamas sell for a lot more now…
A Badai Original red and white Tamagotchi made around 1996 or 1997 is on sale on eBay as of May 2019 for $4,000. Other original Tamas on the e-commerce site are also going for exorbitant prices — an original white and green one is $2,000 and an “ultra rare white” Tama is for sale at $1,629.99.
As high as $4,400 (depending on what it is!)
“Never walk past the box of postcards at an estate sale,” says magazine Good Housekeeping. The Christmas postcards might be the most valuable, at least right now. Terry Kovel, co-author of Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, says that while all holiday collecting has gotten popular, Christmas items are the most desired.
Kovel told Good Housekeeping that vintage postcards can go for $10-$50 but some have sold for three or four figures (e.g. Christmas cards signed by Prince Charles and Princess Diana were bought for $600 to $4,400 at auction). Very few people have postcards signed by Dynasty Di, but hey — you never know what you might find in a thrift store…
16. David Bowie’s ‘Diamond Dogs’ Vinyl
Between $2,500 and $7,500
Banned vinyl covers seem to be all the rage among collectors. So that one-time rock star David Bowie pushed the envelope perhaps a little too far might be able to turn his loyal fans a profit. When Bowie first released his “Diamond Dogs” LP, its cover was a bit too much for the public to handle.
Featuring a cartoonish rendition of Bowie himself – with dog parts in place of a human’s lower body – was so controversial that his record label pulled it. Now that limited-edition cover can go for anywhere between $2,500 and $7,500, although some people might prefer not to sell such a magnificent relic of music history. For those who are interested in earning cash on vintage items, there is more to discover.
17. Vintage bands tees
As high as $7,000
If there’s a market for old, empty beer cans, it’s not so farfetched to imagine that vintage band t-shirts would be worth some serious dough. And, as they often serve as a visual embodiment of key moments in music history, they certainly are. You might recall The Beatles’ 1966 “butcher” album cover that was immediately withdrawn.
Well, a t-shirt from the 1970s featuring the controversial cover was sold on eBay for $595. And an original 1987 Guns N’ Roses t-shirt from their Appetite For Destruction European tour sold for over $1,000. One of the more valuable vintage tees is the one only given to crew members working on Nirvana’s In Utero tour. One of them racked up almost $7k!
As high as $7,500
Kanye West might one day give Michael Jordan a run for his money when it comes to running the sneaker game. Between 2009 and 2014, the rapper partnered with Nike to produce the Nike Air Yeezy, and more recently the Yeezy brand has moved to Adidas. Both versions were well-received by sneakerheads everywhere.
While most Yeezys aren’t exactly considered vintage yet, some of the shoes’ high resell value can indicate they will be worth more in the future. And the truly retro Air Yeezys are worth even more. The Air Yeezy 2 Red Octobers originally cost $245 when Nike first rolled them out in 2012. Their resell value? A full $7,500.
19. Game Boy
As high as $8,000
Collectors are more interested in old Game Boys that are in original packaging or a limited edition run. For example, eBay has a Nintendo Game Boy Color Pokemon Center Hong Kong Limited Edition Pikachu for sale for $8,000 as of May 2019. The product is in its original, unopened packaging.
This adds to its insane monetary value. Released in 1989, Game Boy quickly became the “must have” toy all over the world. It combined aspects of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) with other handheld game features, says the National Museum of American History. OG Game Boys were bundled with Tetris (a game created in 1985).
20. Vintage Levi’s jeans
As high as $8,000
Vintage Levi’s are a hot collector’s item with a demand that is only likely to increase with time. What kinds of Levi’s, some might wonder, are considered vintage? Generally speaking, the pairs manufactured before 1980 – especially Levi’s 501s – are what denim collectors are itching for. Collectors are in the market for older pairs, too.
One pair of 1950 Anniversary Levi’s Jeans went on eBay for $8,000. Another pair of “rare vintage Levi’s” that feature a big letter “e” and hidden rivets went for $899. “The Jeans are in vintage condition, they feel very old and brittle,” the seller wrote. “I’m not sure if they could be worn without falling apart, but they are a great piece of Americana.”
21. Old microphones
As high as $9,999
This might not be the most common item on the list – the singing experience of the vast majority of people probably doesn’t extend far beyond singing into hairbrushes and shower heads. But people who do actually have old microphones lying around can make some extra cash on them if they so choose.
The rarer retro finds, such as the Neumann U-47 from the ’40s, can be worth tens of thousands of dollars on the web, according to Reader’s Digest. In fact, one was recently sold on eBay for a whopping $9,999. The microphones most people have lying around aren’t worth nearly that but could fetch somewhere around 50 bucks. Curious what else you might have that could be worth cash? Keep reading.
22. Happy Meal Toys
As high as $10,000
Finance101 mentioned the potential cash you could get from selling any old Happy Meal Toys you have in our article “Have any of these toys? You just made a ton of money.” A 2018 Today Show story says adults can rake in a ton of cash for these collectibles.
As with finding the true value with most collectibles, you’re better off taking your bag of Happy Meal Toys to an appraiser. Another way to judge what you might be able to sell these for is to scan the current listings on eBay. A set of Disney Happy Meal Toys is going for $10,000, as of April 2019.
23. Old cell phones
Between $500 and $10,000
Many people in the digital age have grown accustomed to replacing their iPhone or Android phone with a new model every few years. When they do so, they often toss their older model into a drawer or closet, never to be seen again. It turns out doing so might be a big mistake for those itching for some extra cash.
There is a market out there for old models of phones, dating back to the beginnings of cell phone history. The original mobile phone – the Motorola DynaTAC – has been sold on eBay for up to $500. And in the original package? Think oh, say, $10,000.
24. Retro boogie boards
As high as $10,000
No, not the boogie boards that kids play with at the beach – those aren’t worth much. But there is a growing market for retro professional body boards throughout the world, especially in Australia. Like conventional surfboards, they are used to ride waves – only lying down and with the help of flippers.
Vintage body boards can be quite pricey. According to Riptide Magazine, a body-board collector – who wishes to remain anonymous – in Australia has put his entire vintage collection up for sale. All 37 boards have to be bought as an entire collection – for $7,400. As Riptide points out, though, it’s not an awful deal, considering there are retro boards going upwards $10,000 each.
25. Vintage handbags
As high as $15,995
This is dependent on the brand of the handbag. For example, a rare, vintage, black Chanel alligator evening handbag is on eBay for $15,995. (That’s a good portion of a lot of people’s salary per year!). The bag is pre-owned and contemporary to 1984-1986.
Is that bag too pricey for you? Try an authentic vintage Gucci handbag, which is on sale on eBay for a mere $12,000 (as of May 2019). As you’ve probably noticed, the handbags that’ll get the most attention are designer. However, these can be pre-used unlike toys and some other collectibles on our list.
26. Original Cracker Jack baseball poster
As high as $61,000
One day, a Wisconsin police officer was shuffling through his barn and found an old poster that must have been sitting there forever. It was a Cracker Jack baseball poster that was printed in 1915. The officer’s baseball card-collecting friend told him it was worth some serious dough.
It makes sense that an old Cracker Jack poster in such decent condition would be worth something, but the officer must have been shocked when he learned the value of the poster. It was eventually sold by the Mile High Card Company for a whopping $61,000 – truly enough to make a person want to search through their old stashes of junk.
27. Barbie Dolls
As high as $23,999
When people think of making investments in valuable collector’s items, Barbie dolls probably aren’t on the top of their lists. But the reality is, Barbie dolls can be incredibly valuable. Ranging from just under $1,000 for the Midnight Tuxedo Barbie to $23,999 (no, there’s no typo there) for the Blonde Barbie released in 1959, these dolls can be worth a fortune today.
Just ask Barbie superfan from Germany, Bettina Dorfman, who owns over 17,000 dolls – by far the world’s largest collection, according to the Guinness World Records. Her enormous collection is valued at more than $220,000, according to metro.co.uk. That’s enough to purchase an entire house.
28. Retro Air Jordans
As high as $25,000
Indisputably one of the best-selling sneakers in the world, Air Jordans have developed a cult following since the 1990s. Today, they are a pop cultural phenomenon with no sign of going away any time soon. People literally wait in line for hours to pick up the most recent release of Air Jordans. Ever wonder what the big deal is?
Well, it turns out not everyone who spent hours at the mall buying the Air Jordan 12 OVO’s or the Air Jordan 2 OG’s was purchasing them for personal use to wear with a sleek pair of jeans – reselling them can be quite profitable. A pair of the Air Jordan 1’s (black and gold) sold for $25,000. That’s literally enough for a brand new Mustang, spent on a pair of sneakers. And there are other valuable items you may own – read on.
29. Rare edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’
Between $40,000 and $55,000
Millions and millions of people – including kids – have owned or still own a copy of “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” known in the United States as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” It turns out some copies of those books are goldmines.
Hardcover first edition printings of the 1997 book have become the gold standard for Harry Potter collectors, and can literally be worth anywhere between $40,000 and $55,000. How can one tell whether they are in possession of such a copy? Look for a print line that reads “1 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.” Also, the credit goes to “Joanne Rowling” and not JK.
30. Perfume bottles
As high as $80,000
Antique appraiser Dr. Lori lists a couple of tips for collecting vintage perfume bottles on her YouTube channel. A 1940s bottle with its stopper intact and an intricate design might yield $75 retail. A 1960s crystal bottle might get you $25-35. Make sure it’s real crystal, however.
You can tell it’s real crystal because it should be heavy (crystal has lead in it) and it’s clear. Rare early 20th century bottles have been auctioned for much more — a René Lalique bottle went for $80,000 once. That said, paying attention to brands when collecting vintage bottles might prove fruitful!
31. Old typewriters
As high as $100,000
Antique dealers have a thing for old typewriters. Perhaps it’s not so surprising – the machines are important relics that conjure up such vivid memories from a different time. It was a time before the smartphone or computer existed – before anyone could simply hit the “delete” key and keep typing.
As such, typewriters give vinyl records a run for their money in the king-of-vintage department and can command large sums of money. For example, Branford House Antiques, which sells such items, reported that a Hooven Automatic Typewriter recently sold for $7,500. And that’s not even close to as high as the values go for the machine – the Malling-Hansen Writing Ball, nicknamed the “Rolls Royce of typewriters,” can be worth a staggering $100k!
32. Vintage advertising signs
As high as $117,000
Long before people began to be bombarded with pop-up ads on the internet, telling them what to purchase based on their web-browsing tendencies, there were things called signs. Those signs would hang up in bars, restaurants, and gas stations. Now that these physical ads have become retro, some of them are worth a chunk of change.
For example, an old advertisement for AAA Root Beer literally was sold on eBay for over $1,200, while a vintage Coca Cola ad went for a staggering $117,000. Ads for real beer are also a racked in stacks. Retro signs for Pabst and Old Milwaukee can even go up to four-figures. So check your garages for these things!
33. Old magazines
As high as $156,000
Hoarding is generally not seen as a positive thing. But hoarders who are able to muster the ability to go through their things and find some of their old magazines might have a reason to rejoice because some of them might be worth large sums of money.
Ordinary copies that were sold for less than a dollar back in the day can go for $20 or $30. The rarer versions, though, can be far more valuable. A copy of Beeton’s Christmas Annual 1887 was sold for $156,000 at an auction in 2007. In general, old fashion magazines tend to be worth more than others because designers like to use them for inspiration.
34. Steiff Teddy Bears
As high as $182,550
Everyone had a little cuddly teddy bear they had as a kid – that one infinitely loyal animal toy that comforted them when they would cry and served as a pillow when need be. But it turns out that sometimes when the stuffed animal’s owner stays as true to the toy as it was to them, the fluffy little things can offer more than just sentimental value.
That’s especially true for people who owned Steiff bears as children. Widely regarded as the original teddy bears, many Steiff bears have now become vintage – and vintage often translates into cash. That is also the case with limited edition Steiff bears. The adorable, Louis Vuitton-clad Steiff Bear, for example, reached a record price of $182,550 at a charity auction.
35. Old coins
As high as $200,000
It’s no big secret that old coins can be worth money. Just how much money, though, is an entirely separate issue. Antique dealer Jeff Bidelman of Rare Collectibles was requested to look through an abandoned house by the late owner’s daughter in 2007, and he was shocked at what he discovered.
Rumor had it, according to the daughter, there was treasure buried in a hole in the wall of the house. As Bidelman later discovered, the rumors were spot on. The antique dealer discovered a bunch of 200-year-old coins that ended up being worth $200,000. Moral of the story? Keep your old coins.
36. Old stamps
As high as $200,000 (for entire collections)
The American Philatelic Society says that rookie stamp collectors usually start by collecting any and all kinds of stamps. Experienced collectors might start to focus on domestic, worldwide, stamps from certain regions, etc. Countries of the world issue 10,000 stamps annually says American Philatelic Society.
If you’re looking to sell, collectors will pay more for mint condition stamps (aka, stamps that have never been used). Used ones can get some dough but not as much as mint. As of May 2019, someone is selling a US and worldwide stamp collection on eBay for $200,000, so opportunities for reselling are pretty good.
37. Vintage Apple computers
As high as $200,000
Anyone who had an Apple computer throughout the ’80s and ’90s and still owns it can make some kind of cash selling it – if they’re willing to give up such a legendary collectible, that is. One of the first successful home computers, the Apple II was sold from 1977 to 1993.
It was Apple’s very first mass-produced personal computer and thus, in hindsight, a true historical artifact. A collector with the original A2S1 system in mint condition can rack up to $2,500. And then there are the limited edition machines – one woman donated a rare Apple 1 computer to a Silicon Valley recycling firm, not knowing it was worth $200,000, according to Metro.
38. Auto Parts
As high as $200,000
Here’s a valuable vintage that has the potential to apply to everyone. It might be worth venturing into the garage and checking under that rusty hood for some gems. Hood ornaments, car vases and other parts with decorative value can be of value to collectors.
Those parts can be repurposed for future industrial design – especially if they are in decent condition. A hood ornament can be worth around 20 bucks. And for those lucky cats who end up discovering a rare one, well, their profit could end up being somewhere in the thousands range. The most expensive hood ornament in the world, a diamond-encrusted Rolls-Royce Spirit of Ecstasy, was never sold at auction, but was estimated at a generous $200,000.
39. Action Comics No. 1
As high as $2.16 million
Comic books have always been a popular collector’s item – and not just among comic enthusiasts. And as with other collector’s items, the rarer and more vintage the comic book is, the more it’s worth. Building contractor David Gonzalez learned that first hand when he accidentally found one of the most iconic comic books ever.
Gonzalez was renovating a house in Elbow Lake, Minn. when he stumbled across a copy of Action Comics No. 1 – featuring Superman’s debut – among newspapers used as insulation in the walls of the house. Gonzalez sold his copy, which was graded as a 1.5 out of 10 due to a detached book cover, for a whopping $175,000. A near-mint copy, graded at 9, sold for $2.16 million in 2011.
40. Fender & Gibson guitars
As high as $2,266,970
Grown adults who once had dreams of being in a successful rock band as kids might be in luck if they kept their guitars around until today – some of those things are worth some serious bread. And vintage electric guitars made by Fender and Gibson, the two most recognizable brands, are most likely to be worth more.
The instruments are consistently being bought and sold online. And the more vintage the guitar, often the more money it can yield. Rockers love a nostalgic guitar. A Gibson Les Paul made in the ’50s can literally be worth up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Reader’s Digest. Famous guitars fetch even more than that – John Lennon’s Gibson J-160 Acoustic Electric guitar was sold in 2014 for a mind-boggling $2,266,970.