If you’re overdue for a closet cleaning session, this might give you extra motivation: Those toys from the ’80s and ’90s that you stashed away in storage could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars today. Of course, not all “vintage” toys are worth a lot of money, so it’s important to know what’s actually valuable and what’s just junk. Find out which collectibles might turn out to be great investments.
- Selling price on eBay: $212.29 for Vintage Original 1993 Lite Brite
Although Lite-Brites were introduced in 1967, you can still sell newer versions on eBay for a few hundred dollars. The simple toy became a hit by allowing children to create light-up masterpieces using translucent pegs placed over a back-lit black canvas. The modern version of the toy is available at Target.
- Selling price on eBay: $200 for 2019 PEZ Sweets & Snacks Expo NC Limited Edition Exclusive Dispenser
Most people who collect PEZ dispensers do it for pleasure rather than resale value, according to an eBay buying guide. The value of a dispenser depends on its rarity; according to the guide, the most valuable dispenser is the Santa Claus PEZ dispenser from 1955. Who knew Christmas decorations could be worth money?
- Selling price on eBay: $199 for Vintage Polly Pocket Stampin’ School Playset
Polly Pockets may be small, but they can earn big bucks on eBay. The most valuable “vintage” sets were created by Bluebird Toys between 1989 and 1998, according to an eBay buying guide.
Cabbage Patch Kids Dolls
- Selling price on eBay: $285 for 1984 Xavier Roberts Soft Sculpture Little People Cabbage Patch Kid
Cabbage Patch Kids dolls were created by Xavier Roberts in 1979 and brought to the mass market by the now-bankrupt toy company Coleco in 1982. Early Cabbage Patch dolls can sell for prices in the hundreds, but if you happen to have an original pre-Cabbage Patch Kids Xavier Roberts doll, it can sell for much more.
- Selling price on eBay: $399 for Super Soaker Larami Hasbro Monster XL
The value of a Super Soaker model will change based on supply and demand, Complex reported. The Monster is the most valuable model and can sell for as much as $399. That’s a huge increase from its original price of $10 to $50.
- Selling price on eBay: $1,000 for original 1998 Furby Electronic Model 70-800
When it came out in 1998, the Furby electronic pet quickly earned “it toy” status for being the first robotic toy of its kind. If you happened to get your hands on one of the original Furbies, your toy could be worth hundreds today. While a regular Furby from 1998 sells for about $1,000 on eBay, rare editions can sell for even more. A rare Furby lot is selling on eBay for $2,000.
- Selling price on eBay: $294.01 for 1998 Teddy Ruxpin Talking Toy
Bedtime stories got more animated with the introduction of the Teddy Ruxpin talking toy in 1985, a stuffed bear who “read” to children using cassette tapes. The original Teddy Ruxpin — which retailed for the equivalent of $159 in modern-day dollars, according to CNET — was discontinued in 1987. The talking bear toy was reintroduced in 2017 and quickly became one of the hottest holiday gifts to buy. You can still make a sizable profit if you sell an original on eBay.
Strawberry Shortcake Dolls
- Selling price on eBay: $199 for Strawberry Shortcake Plum Puddin’ with Elderberry Owl
Kenner released a variety of Strawberry Shortcake dolls throughout the 1980s, and each had its own signature scent. A vintage Berrykin Doll with Critter and Comb is selling on eBay for $250.
'Harry Potter' Books
- Selling price on eBay: $3,400 for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” Hardcover First Edition
Potterheads who got their hands on first editions of the “Harry Potter” books could resell the books for hundreds of dollars. A first edition of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” sold for $81,250 in 2017 — more than 5,000 times its original price tag, the Independent reported.
Garbage Pail Kids Cards
- Selling price on eBay: $729 for 1985 Series One Complete Garbage Pail Kids 82-Card Set
A surge of 1980s nostalgia has caused the value of Garbage Pail Kids cards to rise, Gizmodo reported. While standard sets can fetch hundreds of dollars, rare cards can be worth almost $100 on their own. For example, a Dutch edition of the Adam Bomb card sold for about $97 on eBay, the website reported.
- Selling price on eBay: $1,249 for 1984 Transformers G1 Megatron
The original Transformers toys are now worth a lot of cash — one woman even became a millionaire when she sold her collection of 275 original Transformers figurines on eBay in 2007, Gizmodo reported. Even if you don’t have all the figurines, you can still make bank on certain individual toys.
'Jurassic Park' Toys
- Selling price on eBay: $204 for Jurassic Park Lost World Series One Thrasher Tyrannosaurus Rex
“Jurassic Park” is one of the biggest summer blockbuster hits of all time, and many of the original movie’s toys can sell for much higher than their original cost — but some species are worth more than others, Complex reported. The Carnotaurus, Gallimimus and the T-Rex are typically sold for the highest prices.
My Little Pony Dolls
- Selling price on eBay: $1,500 for Vintage My Little Pony G1 Rapunzel and Goldilocks
The pastel ponies you collected as a child in the ’80s and ’90s could be worth real money today. The price you can get for a pony depends on the quality of its hair, how clear any symbols or markings are and how clean the doll is. The most valuable ponies are mail-order ponies, which could only be ordered with “pony points,” and flutter ponies, which have wings, according to an eBay buying guide.
- Selling price on eBay: $1,000 for Ty Princess Diana Beanie Baby with crown
The value of your Beanie Babies depends on how rare they are. Retired and limited edition Beanie Babies are the most valuable, AOL reported. Value also depends on the condition of the Ty tag — a missing tag can decrease the toy’s value by 50%. One of the most valuable Beanie Babies is the Princess Diana collectible.
- Selling price on eBay: $1,600 for Bandai Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Deluxe Set Megazord
In 1994, $350 million worth of Power Rangers toys were sold, and sales were still going strong four years later with sales for 1998 reaching $200 million, Ad Age reported. Because the toys were so ubiquitous, even the original action figures don’t go for much: You can buy an original 1994 Red Ranger doll for less than $20 on eBay. However, limited edition Power Ranger toys can be worth thousands.
- Selling price on eBay: $1,675 for a 1991 Monopoly Franklin Mint Edition
When it comes to the popular board game, early editions and collector’s editions of Monopoly are worth the most, The Spruce reported. If you get your hands on the right Monopoly set, you could earn a pretty profit. For example, the Franklin Mint deluxe collector’s edition of the game retailed for $500 to $600, and recently listed on eBay for $1,675.
American Girl Dolls
- Selling price on eBay: $625 for Kirsten American Girl Doll
The three original American Girl dolls — Molly McIntire, Kirsten Larson and Samantha Parkington — emerged onto the toy scene in 1986. They were eventually all discontinued, although Samantha was reissued in 2014, AOL reported. Some of the discontinued dolls and outfits are now selling on eBay for over $1,000.
Marvel Action Figures
- Selling price on eBay: $3,000 for Marvel Iron Man Mark 43 Cinemaquette
The value of a Marvel action figure depends on the condition, age and rarity, according to a buying guide on eBay. Rarity has more of an effect on value than age: An older figurine that is super common will be worth less than something newer that was only produced in limited quantities. Having the original packaging and accessories also adds to a figure’s value.
- Selling price on eBay: $11,000 for 2014 Karl Lagerfeld Barbie Platinum Label
Classic Barbie dolls, as well as more modern special edition Barbie dolls, can go for thousands on eBay. Maybe the Oprah Barbie will become the next coveted doll.
Super Mario Bros. Nintendo Games
- Selling price on eBay: $5,999 for 1989 Super Mario Bros. 2 for Nintendo NES
The Nintendo Entertainment System was a popular home gaming console, and Super Mario Bros. was one of the original games launched with it. An original Super Mario NES game is now worth thousands, with an unopened Super Mario Bros. 2 game recently selling on eBay for $5,999.
Pokemon for Game Boy
- Selling price on eBay: $1,999 for Yellow Pikachu Edition
The original Pokemon video games were created for Game Boy and were released in the U.S. between 1998 and 1999. While an unopened, special Pikachu edition of the first-generation Pokemon game is currently listed on eBay for $1,999, you can still rake in cash if your game cartridges are not in pristine condition.
'Where the Wild Things Are' First Edition
- Selling price on eBay: $4,500 for Signed “Where the Wild Things Are” First Edition
First editions of the beloved children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” are now worth a lot more than their original sticker price. However, you can still make a profit on an unsigned copy, with first editions selling for $50.
G.I. Joe Action Figures
- Selling price on eBay: $2,000 for 1974 Talking Commander G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe action figures were introduced in the 1960s, and some of the least popular figurines at the time are now the most desirable collectibles. Case in point? The G.I. talking commander, which was introduced in 1974. However, the talking commander is now popular due to its life-like hair, and can sell for as much as $2,000, TheGamer.com reported.
- Selling price on eBay: $8,995.42 for Star Wars Lego First Edition Millennium Falcon
Investing in Legos might be a safer bet than investing in gold, according to an analysis done by The Telegraph. The value of gold has increased by 4.1% since 2000, while the value of some Lego sets has increased by 12%, the newspaper found in its 2015 analysis. According to The Telegraph, the Star Wars Lego sets are the most valuable.
- Selling price on eBay: $22,500 for First Edition Legend of the Blue Eyes White Dragon card set
Yu-Gi-Oh! is centered around a fictional world in which card games are used for battle. The value of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards range from “common” to “Duelist League,” which are the rarest and can only be obtained by competing in the League. Among the most expensive cards is the Blue Eyes White Dragon, which can sell for up to $13,000, according to TheGamer.com.
- Selling price on eBay: $490 for Hot Wheels 2009 Holiday Car: Volkswagen Drag Bus
The Hot Wheels brand was launched in 1968 and continues to thrive today. According to Mattel, two Hot Wheels toy cars are sold every second of every day. Because the toys are so common, only rare and collector’s editions are worth serious money. The most valuable Hot Wheels car, the 1969 pink “Beach Bomb” VW Bus, is worth $100,000, according to Street Muscle Magazine.
Vintage ‘Star Wars’ Action Figures
- Selling price on eBay: $14,300 for 1978 Kenner Star Wars 12 Back-A Vinyl Cape Jawa
In 1978, Kenner released its first line of “Star Wars” action figures, which included the 12 core characters. These original figurines are the most valuable, with the Darth Vader figurine commanding the highest value. While the actual values are estimated to be in the hundreds, according to a buyer’s guide on eBay, some can sell for thousands if the demand is there.
Magic: The Gathering Cards
- Selling price on eBay: $15,499 for Magic: The Gathering Alpha Edition Black Lotus card
The Magic: The Gathering trading card game was launched in 1993 and now has over 20 million players across the world, according to the game’s official website. The value of a Magic card depends on its rarity, with the “Power 9” cards being the most valuable; the Alpha edition of the Black Lotus card is the most valuable of all the Magic cards, according to an eBay buying guide.
- Selling price on eBay: $19,000 for first edition Pokemon card set
Before the Pokemon Go craze, there were Pokemon trading cards. And if you held onto your cards from the ’90s and kept them in good shape, they could be worth thousands now. The most valuable cards are the first edition base set, sold from 1999 to 2000, according to an eBay buying guide.
Spider-Man Comic Books
- Selling price on eBay: $109,000 for Marvel “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15: Spider-Man
Spider-Man appeared for the first time ever in Marvel’s “Amazing Fantasy” No. 15 comic book, making it a hot commodity for collectors. While a copy is selling for $109,000 on eBay, the issue fetched $1.1 million at a 2011 auction, Time reported.
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About the Author
Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.