Nothing can take us back to the past the way our old toys can. They can fill us with joy, help us remember some of the best parts of our childhoods, and can be a topic of endless conversation with our friends and loved ones. Very little can beat taking a walk down memory lane with our folks and reminiscing about that set of toy cars or that one stuffed toy that we dragged everywhere with us when we were young. However, those same toys which are invaluable to us personally could also be worth a fortune.
Don’t believe us? Now, we’re not talking about any old doll that’s been dragged through the mud and is missing an eye (or limb!). With that in mind, you might be surprised to see all the different toys, books, cards, collectibles — and more — that could nicely plump up your retirement savings. Let’s take a look at some classics that, depending on their condition, could be worth a hefty chunk of change.
We all remember those furry little creatures. They came in all colors, had giant eyes, and a tiny beak that would move when they spoke. And they would speak at random times, like the middle of the night. They were all the rage back in the ‘90s, and just as quickly as their popularity soared, they seemed to vanish.
While they have made a bit of a comeback recently, if you can get your hands on an unopened original Furby, you could end up with several hundred extra dollars in your pocket!
Vintage He-Man action figures
Most boys who grew up in the ‘80s, and many girls too, know who He-Man is. His legacy started as a cartoon, but it quickly spread out into popular toys that kids all across the country loved. He was a burly action hero who fought villains in a sword-and-sorcery adventure, most notably his archnemesis, Skeletor.
Still have some of those vintage He-Man action figures around from the ‘80s? You could be sitting on a small fortune. Individual characters could sell for over $70, but a full collection? Closer to $200!
Barbie is nearly synonymous with childhood for many girls and plenty of boys. She’s an icon in the toy world and has found a way to adapt to stay modern in every decade. If you didn’t have a Barbie, you probably knew someone who did. However, if you have a collectible Barbie?
You might be in for a windfall. Some collectible Barbies can go for $1000 on sites like eBay. If you do happen to have a collectible version, it might be a good idea to see who is paying what for dolls like yours.
Transformers action figures
These robots in disguise have seen their fair share of ups and downs throughout the years. Popular in the ‘80s and ‘90s with the cartoons, they had a resurgence in the mid-2000s, when the movies starring Shia LaBeouf became hits. The toys and collectibles, contrarily, have remained popular since their inception.
Individual Transformers action figures from the ‘90s go for anywhere from roughly $20 to $40, but some individual toys can be worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
Remember those little dolls, tiny and cute, that had their own little heart-shaped container that would fit in your pocket? Yep, Polly Pocket were popular back in the day and, while they have been reinvented to stay modern, are popular today too.
However, if you have an older set, complete with accessories, you could possibly get hundreds of dollars for your old toys. Some sets can sell for roughly $200, with others scaling up to over $455.
G.I. Joe action figures
Like He-Man, G.I. Joe action figures were a popular toy. However, unlike He-Man, they’ve been around since the 1960s.That gives us a whole lot more to work with as far as toys go, as these action figures have been popular for nearly twice as long.
Individually, you could expect to get anywhere from $20 for a single figure to nearly $100 for a complete collection. Be careful though! Many of these figures come with multiple parts, so don’t lose any.
Magic the Gathering cards
If you’re familiar with Magic the Gathering, you probably know how much some of the cards can go for. However, if you haven’t played in a long time, it may surprise you to learn that certain cards, like the Black Lotus, can sell for over $100,000 on sites like eBay.
Many people take this game very seriously, even still today, and these cards are powerful. Some can destroy an entire deck without an “attack.” If you have a deck, take a look through and see what you have!
One of the must-have toys of the 90s was the Tamagotchi. These virtual pets were bought by kids in the millions and had to be fed daily and cared for. Even though they were produced in vast numbers, some examples are worth much more today than they originally were.
In particular, the very rare Tamagotchi Ocean (released back in 1997) can fetch prices in the hundreds of dollars in the collector’s market. Other models may not reach those highs, but can still attract a value higher than their original worth.
Hot Wheels, those small and incredibly accurate racing cars, have never stopped being popular. Each year, new models are made and modeled on real vehicles, allowing collectors and children alike to enjoy them.
However, some of the older models can earn you quite a pretty penny. The most exclusive model, collector number 271, sells for about $3,500. While not many will get that price, there are quite a few that could earn hundreds of dollars.
After Pokemon became a hit, several other anime cartoons followed suit and hit American television. Yu-Gi-Oh! was one of those shows and, like Pokemon, had a card game to go with it. While these have less value overall than, say, Magic the Gathering cards, you can still make out like a bandit.
If you have a complete deck, called “Power Nine,” you could sell it for up to $27,000. That’s a down payment on your dream house!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
One of the most popular children’s series of all time, a specific copy of the first Harry Potter book could get you a huge chunk of change. If you were fortunate enough to snag a first edition of the first in the series, specifically Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, you could get over $6,000 for it.
Simply check the number line on the copyright page. If it reads “1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02” then you just might be in luck!
My Size Barbie
Back in the 90s, a new kind of doll took the toy stores by storm. Why? Well, My Size Barbie was not your typical doll. It stood about three feet tall, meaning kids stood to play with them and even share Barbie’s outfits.
Whether or not yours has been collecting dust since coming out in 1992, there’s a chance it might be worth something. While prices vary, they often hit over $150 dollars, with those in especially good condition surpassing the $200 mark.
Spice Girls polaroid camera
Spice Girls Mania hit the USA in the ‘90s, and you could hear their music (and see their merchandise) everywhere. They were so popular that the girls even made what is now a cult-classic movie, aptly named Spice World.
If you were a fan, and got your hands on a Spice Cam, or a Spice Girls Polaroid camera, you could be in for some cash. They can sell for over $160, especially if they are in good condition.
Now, stick with us. We know that Barbie gets a lot of hype, but she was a classic piece of childhood from the 1950s to, well, today. And she is so much more than just a doll, too; she comes with accessories, friends, dollhouses, and playsets.
These playsets, usually consisting of furniture and accessories, even pets, can earn over $100 a pop if in good condition. It really might be worth digging through your attic to find your old toys to see if you have a Barbie playset still intact.
Spice Girls dolls
If you wanna be (get it?) making a quick buck, you may want to search your house to see if you have any Spice Girls dolls laying around. Honestly, what would be more popular than to make a set of dolls based on the Girls?
It was clearly a good marketing decision, as these dolls are still widely sought after. If you have the whole set of the Spice Girls dolls, you could expect to make anywhere from $80 to around $150 on an auction site like eBay.
Happy Meal toys
According to our research, the toys we got as kids in our McDonald’s Happy Meals could be worth a pretty penny these days. While individuals could get you a nice bit of pocket money, a complete set of, say, the miniature Beanie Babies, or Teenie Beanies, could get you up to $800.
Of course, the better the condition they’re in, the more you’re likely to get. But an unopened set? That could get you plane tickets to a nice vacation!
Almost from the start, Beanie Babies have been recognized as a potentially lucrative investment. Not all Beanie Babies end up being worth a small fortune, but some do. Take for example, the Princess Diana Beanie Baby.
A first edition can set collectors back some $500,000 dollars, while other versions still sell for hundreds. Other Beanie Babies fetch prices of upwards $24,000. These may have a rarity factor, or some kind of error, like a typo. If you have a Beanie Baby, it doesn’t hurt to check if yours is worth something.
Before Pokemon, Digimon, or Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, baseball cards reigned supreme. While you couldn’t play them in card games the way you can with Pokemon, you could trade them and collect your all time favorites.
Throughout time, baseball cards have been cherished, and people will go out of their way to complete their collections. Rare cards can be worth anywhere from a few hundred up to $7,000. That’s a whole lot of change for a single card!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures
We all remember Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, and Splinter, as well as April O’Neil, the red-headed reporter. The cartoons and movies swept through the country, creating a turtle craze that continues today.
Well, if you still have one of their sets of action figures from the ‘80s, you could be in for some big cash. Individual characters can sell for over $70, but a whole set could get you more than $200 — especially if it’s still in the box.
Cartoon VHS set of tapes
There are so many cartoons that can take us right back to our childhoods. Land Before Time, Pinnochio, The Little Mermaid…they all can make us feel young again. However, many of those cartoons are now available on DVD or different streaming services.
With the rarity of VHS becoming ever greater, Disney VHS in particular can earn a bit of profit. In the past, some single copies have sold for thousands. Realistically, a set can earn anywhere from $5 to $20 for each tape.
Super Mario Bros. 3
Many of us played some variation of Mario at one point during our childhoods. Most Mario games came as a bundle with the purchase of a Nintendo system. Not Super Mario Bros. 3, however! Instead, it was sold as a stand alone game, which makes it unique, and therefore desirable.
If you’re lucky enough to have a copy that works, you could get up to a whopping $30,000 from this one game alone. Talk about a retirement plan!
American Girl dolls
American Girl emerged as a popular line of dolls in the 90s. Each had their own detailed backstory and distinctive identity, with the original group of dolls being Samantha, Kirsten, and Molly. Indeed, if you have one of these in good condition, you may have a doll worth well over $1,000.
If they’re signed by their creator, Pleasant Rowland? That will likely increase their value, with one Samantha American Doll selling for almost $3,000 dollars!
Thundercats action figures
Even if you hadn’t watched the cartoon yourself, you probably heard kids all over the playground shouting, “Thundercats, ho!” as they played make believe. Even before the new cartoon relaunch of Thundercats, these action figures were considered collectibles and were highly sought after.
You need only head down to eBay to see that some listings of Thundercats action figures are being sold for over $1,000. A whole set, opened and clearly used, is listed at almost $9,000!
If you read comics as a kid, you likely were a fan of The Uncanny X-Men. One of the most popular franchises throughout history, the X-Men have a certain je-ne-sais-quoi that make them appeal to much of the population through comics, movies, and toys.
With that in mind, some of their older comics can earn you quite a sum. In fact, some specific comics sell for over $300 a piece. If you have a big collection, those can really add up fast.
The Game Boy revolutionized the portable video game industry. Not surprisingly, it may have seemed like every kid wanted one back in the ‘90s. Now, they’re a popular collector’s item, with some used Game Boys selling for upwards $180.
Game prices vary by rarity, but it’s the unopened games that are especially valuable! While it might be unusual to own an original unopened game, these can draw in big bucks, with Pokemon Blue and Pokemon Yellow potentially selling for over $2,000!
Cabbage Patch Kids dolls
When you hear the term Cabbage Patch Kid, you can probably picture the dolls? Likely, you’re thinking of dolls with cute round faces, big cheeks with dimples, and little button noses. They certainly had a distinctive look to them, one that people all over the country fell in love with.
Today, some of the older dolls can be found listed for thousands of dollars on sites like eBay. If you have one, it may be time to take it out of the closet and give it a good dusting.
Super Soaker water blaster
At one point, Super Soaker became so synonymous with water blasters that it ended up becoming a generic term for them. For collectors, many Super Soakers are now very valuable blasts from the past.
Indeed, one of the largest models ever made, the Super Soaker Monster XL, sold for $500 in 2016. Others have also attracted decent prices, such as the notoriously powerful Super Soaker CPS, which sold for $300. All in all, it could pay to give your cherished childhood water blaster a chance on the market.
X-Men action figures
Like the comics before them, X-Men action figures have remained popular over the decades. If you happen to have a collection of the toys, you might be in for some money. An unboxed, well-loved full set can get several hundred. But boxed individual pieces in good condition?
A single toy, even an accessory like the X-Jet, could get you about $300 a piece. The bigger your collection, the better condition, the more you could expect to get from listing your action figures.
Garbage Pail Kids cards
Almost as a response to the over-the-top cuteness of Cabbage Patch Kids, Garbage Pail Kids quickly rose in popularity, too. These kids were as gross and disgusting as the Cabbage Patch Kids were adorable, and many children flocked to them.
Today, the collectible cards could be worth a tidy sum. Have a big collection? You could actually earn thousands of dollars for it. It’s worth investigating and listing to see what you could possibly get!
Lego sets from the ‘90s
Building blocks have been a way for children to play throughout time. However, nothing really beats Lego building blocks when it comes to having fun and creating something unique. As a child, if you wanted to build something, all you had to do was go to the toy store and find the Lego aisle.
There, you could get any set, from pirate ships to castles to planes. Have an unopened set from the ‘90s? It could be worth hundreds of dollars.
Baby Alive Baby All Gone
Most children love to play pretend, and make believe that they are adults. That’s why children’s cashier sets, cooking toys, and office sets are so popular. For kids, the more realistic the better! That’s one of the reasons why Baby All Gone was (and is) a popular doll.
You could feed this doll, and watch it “eat” its meal, and then have to change its diaper. Real parents may marvel at children wanting to change a diaper, but that doesn’t stop this doll for selling for nearly $100.
Those Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers didn’t only succeed against Rita Repulsa. They also thrived in popular culture when they took it by storm in the ‘90s. With many collectors being kids back then, there is now a great demand for the action figures.
Of course, their worth is likely to vary by the toy’s condition and rarity, but they can get into the hundreds of dollars. As an example, a boxed mega-size Red Ranger (released in 1994) was recently listed for $500 on eBay.
Easy Bake Oven
In a similar vein as Baby Alive, Easy Bake Oven was a safe way for kids to experiment and pretend to be an adult. While they are still around, if you played with one as a kid — and it’s still in good condition — it might be worth a sizable chunk of change.
You can see them on eBay going for anywhere from $50 to over $300. Best of all, these toys don’t even need to be unopened to be worth over $100. Of course, having the original box on hand does help with the price!
Pokemon are a phenomenon that hit the States in the ‘90s and never left. Even today, the various Pokemon media are incredibly popular, from card games to cartoons to video games. If you played the card game when you were a child, you should take another look at your collection.
In fact, if your cards are in good condition, you could get over $54,000 for a single card. In many states, that’s enough to buy a whole house!
Star Wars action figures
Even if it was a long, long time ago since they’ve been played with, certain Star Wars action figures could still be valuable. It does depend on their condition and rarity. A mint-condition double telescoping Luke Skywalker action figure from 1973 was bought for over $12,000.
Similarly, a boxed 1979 Boba Fett with rocket firing mechanism can be worth as much as $45,000. Unboxed? Upward $10,000! So, it might be time to check your Star Wars heroes to see if they have a pricey bounty on their heads.
Tickle Me Elmo
It would be hard to forget the Tickle Me Elmo craze of the 1990s. People were desperate to get their hands on one of these toys for their children, and some of that fervor has lasted! If you were lucky enough to get a Tickle Me Elmo as a child, it might be worth something today.
An unboxed version could get you over $20, but should your Elmo still be in his original packaging, you could get over $50 for him.
Buzz Lightyear action figures
Just like his signature phrase — “To Infinity and Beyond!” — Buzz Lightyear has remained an enduring part of popular culture. While he may not come to life, some versions of his figurine have also become valuable to collectors.
In particular, the limited-edition Holiday Hero Buzz Lightyear and first generation Buzz Lightyear, have been listed on eBay for hundreds of dollars. They, however, don’t come close to a rare, unopened Utility Belt Buzz Lightyear film replica. That sold for a galactic price of $1,300 on eBay!
What could have been better than a cute and cuddly teddy bear back in the 1980s? One that could talk! Meet Teddy Ruxpin, who not only had a cassette tape in his back, but eyes and a mouth that could move.
His collectibility has only grown due to the rarity of the original line as his creators, Worlds of Wonder, went out of business in 1991. Although prices for the adorable bear can fluctuate significantly, some examples in mint condition have sold for over $1,000.
My Little Pony dolls
Between the original cartoon and the relaunch of the show in the mid-2000s, My Little Pony has been a childhood favorite for generations now. To go with the cartoon, you could get a wide collection of different My Little Pony dolls.
Dolls from the ‘90s are typically worth between $20 to $50, but if you have a rare doll from the 1980s, you might be sitting on a few thousand dollars worth. That’s nothing to sneer at for a single toy!
Do you remember those dolls that had wings on their arms, and you could send them dancing through the air by pulling a string? They were a popular toy during the ‘90s, and while they won’t make you a millionaire, they could still get you quite a few bucks.
Take a glance at eBay and you’ll see prices for these toys range from $20 up to over $100. If you have one lying around, it wouldn’t hurt to list it. After all, many of these toys are being sold out of box!