Nostalgia is a beautiful beast. Entertainment industries are always looking to capitalize on our yearning for the past as they release new movies, TV shows, and video games that appeal to the type of things we loved in our childhood. That may be one reason why some rare authentic items from our past is worth so much.
Collectors are always looking for the rarest items in their niche. Collecting toys from the past has been a part of the collecting community since the beginning, and it’s getting to the point where many of our favorite toys are attracting high-paying buyers. If you’re lucky enough to own one of these items in its original packaging, now might be the time to make a sale.
There’s no price tag on the sense of nostalgia, but collectors are trying. The nineties were home to some of the forefathers of video games, and much of the gaming gear will net you a sizable sum. Before you start rummaging through your parent’s attic though, make sure it is one of the more expensive items rather than something you can sell for a $5 profit. Now, let’s get into all of the stuff your parents gave to the Salvation Army when you moved out.
15. Tamagotchi Giga Pets
Giga Pets were all the rage for ’90s kids. There is hardly anyone who experienced his or her adolescence in the 1990’s without one. Everyone has a memory or two of keeping their Giga Pet alive through hard times, only to watch it die when occupied for a few hours.
Giga Pets can be credited with beginning the revolution of mobile gaming. Before them, there were few engaging games you could keep in your pocket. Tamagotchi was the premier brand of Giga Pets, and those who saved their unopened devices could cash-in if they sell them today. The original price of the Tamagotchi Giga Pet was around $15. It’s now selling for $100-$200 depending on the type. The rarest version could get you around $400 on the right day.
14. Hasbro WWF Action Figures
While nostalgia may play a part in the way we view things, many people consider the ’90s to be the best era in wrestling. Many of the most recognizable names in the business were in their prime at the time, and have built careers off of the WWF and WCW. There may be no better example of how great the ’90s wrestling scene was than the fact that the WWE continues to bring back vintage names to attract older viewers.
The Hasbro WWE figurines were some of the first on the market. They’re much simpler than the action figures that followed, but their price is now considerably higher. People who have these figures in the original packaging can ask for upwards of $300. For the most expensive characters, the seller can demand over $1,000.
13. Nintendo 64 Games
The days of Nintendo 64 were so much simpler. You played a game until you got sick of it, and then moved on to the next one. There was hardly a market for used games at that time, because games were cheap enough that you wouldn’t need to sell one back. Now, with the price of games being so high, there are used versions of games at every gaming store.
This is one of the reasons that old Nintendo games sell for a good amount. Most people hung on to them, and the market is dry for some of the best games. You can probably snag yourself a used copy of Super Smash Bros. for around $50, but a brand new version will run you closer to $400. If you held on to one of the more popular games on the console without opening it, you may be sitting on a substantial sum of money.
12. Super Soakers
Super Soakers revolutionized backyard summer fun. They brought water guns to the next level, and the release of the Super Soaker Monster XL was what started it all in 1999. Unopened versions of this original release are extremely rare, as these were not the kind of toys people kept in their original packaging. As of the writing of this article, there appear to be none on sale on eBay. If you can find one, or happen to have one on-hand, they can fetch you around $500. Since they are extremely rare, the price may be even higher for the right buyer.
Even if you weren’t one of the few people who saved their first Super Soaker, used versions of this model can range from $100 to $300 depending on the quality. Even slightly damaged models can be seen reaching over $100 on eBay.
11. Magic Cards
Magic is one of those card games that stood the test of time. People are just as invested in the MTG scene as they were when the game initially came out, but if you were one of the people who have managed to save their original cards, you may be in line for some money.
There are quite a few cards with a value that has grown exponentially over the years, but the most expensive ones are those that were eventually banned from the game. These cards were so powerful that they eventually had to be taken out of circulation. The most popular of the cards on the banned list, and generally the most expensive is the Black Lotus. This is one of the most powerful cards ever made and one of the rarest. Pretty much anyone who has one knows how much it’s worth, but you can find listings for this card on eBay upwards of $25,000.
This lovable electronic buddy was always a little creepy due to its resemblance to the 1984 movie, Gremlins, but if you were patient enough to hang onto these furry creeps you could be in store for a decent payday.
Opened Furbies offer a modest reward, but it likely won’t be worth selling. The same goes for non-original Furbies. If, however, you find yourself with an unopened 1998 original Furby, you could find yourself netting anywhere from $400-$500. The prices on eBay seem to range from people exploiting the market to those who don’t know how much they should be charging. If you find a cheap version on eBay, you may have the chance to flip it for a considerable profit. Just make sure you don’t get them wet. You’ll damage the value and may find yourself in a Gremlins situation.
9. Pokémon For GAMEBOY
Pokémon is one of the most prolific games of our generation. The lifespan of Pokémon has been longer than many other games of its kind, and has been aided immensely by the video game adaptations of the traditional card game. Pokémon Blue, Red, and Yellow were some of the most popular Gameboy games on the platform and are still being played today.
Don’t get too excited. Your heavily used copy of Pokémon Blue will fetch you about the same price you paid for it in 1996. If you had the self-control to keep your game in pristine condition, however, you can be looking at a $300-$500 profit. These unopened games are extremely rare at this point, and eBay only has a couple of them at a time, making the games even more valuable.
8. Super Mario Bros For NES
The release of the NES is credited by many to be the console that resurrected the home video game market. Before the NES release, many gamers had given up on playing games on their couch due to the sub-par product that had been released in recent years.
One of the hallmarks of the NES was the Super Mario Bros video game. It helped create the community of Nintendo fans. A ton of people played the game and for many ’90s kids, it was the game that introduced them to the world of gaming.
While a lot of people may have copies of the game, unopened copies are extremely rare. You won’t turn a profit on your dusty old cartridge, but if you’re one of the people who saved their copy in anticipation of its future value, you can get anywhere from $400-$600 on eBay.
7. Lego Sets
Lego sets are not exclusively ’90s toys, but they were part of many ’90s kids’ childhood, nonetheless. Children have been playing with Legos since they were released, but many of the unopened sets are worth a fortune today. Of course, the fun in Legos is building things, but those who suppressed their construction urges may be rewarded with a substantial amount of money today.
The sets range in price, and were initially rather expensive; but the right sets sell for thousands of dollars on eBay. Bleeding into the early 2000’s, some of the most expensive sets can be reasonably sold for as high as $6,000. It’s hard to keep the Legos in the box, but if you succeeded, you probably have excellent self-control and a fair amount of money in your pocket.
6. Power Rangers Toys
Power Rangers were a staple of ’90s culture. Every boy had at least some experience with Power Rangers, and even girls showed interest in the TV show. The toys were always a big seller, and some saw the market for what it was—a collector’s dream.
Not all of the original Power Rangers toys are worth something. Some of the cheaper stuff can be found for as low as $5. Generally though, most of the vintage Power Rangers action figures will go for over $100 or $200. When you get to the rarest and most valuable, though, the price goes through the roof. The most valuable piece on the market is the 14K Gold Lost Galaxy Megazord. This treasure can go for thousands of dollars.
5. Pokémon Cards
’90s kids were always telling their parents that Pokémon cards were going to be a good investment, and they weren’t wrong. Unfortunately, most of the cards you thought would finance your first car ended up being worthless. Still, there are a fair amount of rare cards, especially those from the base set, that can catch a considerable profit on eBay.
A first edition Charizard holographic can sell for up to $3,000. You’d probably be hard-pressed to find a buyer with deep enough pockets, but there are many other rare cards that can get you hundreds of dollars. That’s not bad for the investment of $5 in the 1990’s. Pokémon seems to be an evergreen commodity, but there’s no telling how long the cards will retain their value. Sell them while they’re hot!
4. Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels have been around for a long time, with the first car being released in 1968. They remain a staple of childhood toys, and many increase in value year after year. The vintage cars can catch a fair price, but the 1995 Treasure Hunt set contains some of the most valuable cars created.
The individual cars in the set range in price on eBay, but you’d be hard-pressed to find an authentic Treasure Hunt car under $100. It’s not uncommon to find them for as high as $600 for a single car; with the entire set, it’s always over $1,000. These collections are generally in the hands of full-fledged collectors, but if you happen to have one of the cars in the original packaging, you could be sitting on a goldmine.
3. American Girl Dolls
While American Girl Dolls started in the 1980’s, the 1990’s were the heyday for the franchise. They continue to be popular today, as girls of all ages value the authenticity of a genuine American Girl Doll.
These dolls were one of the toys that was predicted to retain its value. There were a ton of collectors who were all over the American Girl market, and it turned out to be a lucrative investment. Some of the dolls didn’t increase too much due to the amount produced, but many of the rarer releases can get you well over $200. Some of them are even priced in the thousands. It’s not too late to get into the American Girl game. If you buy one now, you may be the one cashing in 15 years from now.
The Nintendo 64 was the first video game console for many of the kids who were born in the early 1990’s. It was released in 1996 and it gave gamers a taste of multiple games they’d be playing deep into their 20’s. Games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros., and The Legend of Zelda became franchises that are still making content to this day.
If you’re looking to get yourself an N64 to relive your childhood, it shouldn’t break the bank. A used version of the N64 in decent condition should run you a bit over or under $100. There are some extremely rare consoles on the market, though, that still have their factory seals. The consoles become even more valuable if it was some sort of special release. As of now, the price of a sealed Nintendo 64 console is almost always over $1,000, but the cap can be over $3,000. If you were savvy enough to keep your N64 in mint condition, you may find yourself worthy of a substantial profit.
1. Beanie Babies
Beanie Babies, for those who haven’t looked into it, seems like it may have been a bust of an investment. Beanie babies were hot in the streets in the 1990’s, as many people predicted they would retain value. For that reason, a lot of people held onto their beanie babies and didn’t see a return on investment. Specific beanie babies, however, granted their investors a sizable sum.
The range of prices for Beanie Babies varies more than anything on this list. You can find some for around $20, but the most expensive ones sell for over $4,000. Among the expensive ’90s toys, Beanie Babies will get one of the best prices. These are usually limited releases or rare finds, but for a toy that has been irrelevant for so long, it’s not a bad deal.