The kind of thing that many of us have grown up dreaming about — finding treasure in real life seems so fantastical that it is a fantasy most adults let go. However, what a lot of people don’t realize is there is a decent chance you already own something you can cash in for a lot of money.
There seems to be something that drives adolescents to rid themselves of many things they adored as kids. That said, many people are still attached enough to store them away in a box or under beds instead of giving them away or sending them to the trash heap. If you still possess toys from your childhood, then it would be smart to research their current value as some retro toys have gone way up in value. In fact, here are 20 children’s toys you may have that are now worth a fortune.
In order for a toy to be considered for this list, it first and foremost needs to be worth a great deal today. For the purpose of this list, that means that when you compare what these toys can sell for now to what their suggested retail price originally was, the increase is absolutely remarkable. Next, the toy in question also needs to be one that regular people could possibly still own. Finally, it should also be noted that the value of these toys is highly dependent of the state of the item, so if the object is in a state of disrepair you may still be out of luck. Of course, it should also go without saying that a toy staying in its box may be key to its value as well.
20 Thunderwings Lion-O
The first of several toys based on an '80s cartoon to appear on this list, 130 episodes of ThunderCats were produced and initially aired between 1985 and 1989. Focused on a team of creatures that are a cross between humans and cats, they saved the universe from some pretty dastardly villains each and every week. The main character and leader of the titular heroes, there were many Lion-O toys that were produced and sold over the years. That said, if you held onto the Thunderwings toy of him and it is in good shape you could get more than $1,000 for it.
19 Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy Home Dollhouse
Originally created to be the focus of a series of greeting cards, the character of Strawberry Shortcake has gone inspired a wide array of things since then. Of course, the reason why we’re bringing her up is that she and her friends were also the subject of a toy line that stood out for one major reason, they had a berry smell. Like almost all hit toy lines, the people behind the Strawberry Shortcake figures wanted to make every dime they could. That is probably why they released the Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy Home Doll House which is rare enough now that it can be sold for more than $1,000 if it is still a complete set.
18 TMNT Scratch the Cat Figure
An absolute sensation in the toy aisle for a long time, based on the hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon millions of action figures were sold at the height of their popularity.
Looked back on with a great deal of nostalgia today, casual fans may not remember just how strange the toy line got at times.
Far from limited to the show’s main characters, a slew of forgettable side characters were incorporated into the series as well. Included in that group is the figure of Scratch the Cat, a mutant cat burglar. Some have managed to sell Scratch for roughly $1,200.
17 Individual Lego Pieces
Don’t get us wrong, obviously run-of-the-mill Lego pieces you can bulk-buy in any toy store are not worth a lot, but that said, if you have a box of old pieces stored away in the attic, it would be a wise decision to pull it out and look through it for any that look unique. That is because there are people out there that have held onto complete sets with one of two missing pieces that are willing to pay up in order to make it whole again.
In fact, there is an entire website for this alone, BrickLink.com,
and people have ponied up more than $1,300 for individual pieces in the past.
16 American Girl Dolls: Kirsten Larson
Close to the heart of a lot of people, when they were youngsters, they took their American Girl Dolls wherever they went and look back on that time with a great deal of affection today. As such, they have become highly collectable. As is the case with pretty much anything people collect, it is the rare items that fetch the highest prices and a retired doll named Kirsten Larson falls into that category. In fact, if you have it in the box with all of the accessories you can expect to get $1,500 for it.
15 She-Ra and Swift-Wind Two-Pack
Based on the strength of the He-Man brand in the toy line and on TV, the powers behind the series made the wise decision to create a new series of characters that existed in the same universe. Designed to appeal to young girls, She-Ra did that well and was also fantastic enough that kids of both genders developed a great deal of affection for the whole series. Powerful and heroic, the main hero of the line became immensely popular and is still beloved by many that have gone into adulthood to this day. That is why you can get $2,000 for a set of She-Ra and her trusty stead Swift-Wind in mint condition.
14 Raiders of the Lost Ark Well of Souls Playset
An odd fact, back in the day, there were some toy companies that produced and sold figures and sets based around more mature characters to kids. An example of that, the adventures of Indiana Jones on the big screen included some pretty grisly moments, yet the character was marketed to children at the time. Still an incredibly popular character, many adults continue to buy merchandise related to the character. Sold two years after the release of the original film, the Raiders of the Lost Ark Well of Souls Playset did not sell well at the time, so there aren’t many left. Fortunately, for those that have held onto theirs, they’ve sold for more than $2,000 in the past.
13 1982 Skeletor Action Figure
The ultimate villain in the world of He-Man, other antagonists would come and go but at the end of the day, it was always Skeletor and his henchmen that are remembered all these years later. An intense-looking character, it is almost surprising that so many parents were willing to purchase figures of this skull-faced bad guy for their kids. However, that was very much the case and he remains a children’s toy icon all these years later. Of course, not every figure of him was created equally and it is the original one that you can sell for more than $2,000 if it is the desired condition.
12 Fisher Price Push Cart Pete
By far the oldest toy to appear on this list, the Fisher Price Push Cart Pete first hit the market in 1936 and at the time, it was not expensive at all.
Sold for just 50 cents originally, even when you take inflation into account, that is not anything that resembles a kingly sum.
Oh, how things have changed in that regard. Known to be sold for $3,000 if it is still in good condition, in this case, you don’t even have to worry about it being mint or still in the box.
11 The Original Megatron
An interesting entry in an iconic toy line, the fact that Megatron transforms into a weapon was always weird, especially since in the cartoon he had to be wielded by someone else while in that state. Despite that, there is no doubt that the toy of him looked quite striking. However, many parents were understandably uncomfortable with the original version of the toy, as they felt it looked far too much like a real weapon. This led to the toy being taken off the market so it could be revamped to look less realistic. That decision has led to the original Megatron toy being a rarity that is sold for more than $4,000 today.
10 He-Man and Battle Cat Two-Pack
A character that absolutely screamed "butt kicker" visually speaking, at first blush, it may seem like He-Man would have been hard for kids to relate to. However, in a stroke of genius, his creators made him a much milder-mannered character that only transforms into his heroic alter ego when needed. In the case of his trusty animal sidekick Battle Cat, in its everyday persona, he was a scaredy cat that went by the name Cringer. Of course, when it comes time to play, most kids are going to choose the powerful version of each of those characters. That is why the He-Man and Battle Cat Two-Pack holds a place in people’s hearts and sells for $4,000.
9 First Edition Pound Puppies Plush
Forever most associated with toy trucks and construction vehicles, it should be noted that Tonka has put out several other beloved items for kids in the past. For instance, they were behind the Pound Puppy toy line, which were a variety of plush dogs that were able to stand out because of the extremely creative way in which they were packaged. Sent along with a cardboard doghouse and adoption certificate, they were a huge hit at one time in the past. Remembered very fondly, if you have one of the first edition Pound Puppies you could sell it for $5,000.
8 Eternia Playset
The final item that was a part of the He-Man toy line to appear on this list, back in the heyday of the brand, a number of popular play sets were sold alongside the figures. One of the most noteworthy has to be the awesome Castle Grayskull set that served as the home of Skeletor and his many henchmen. However, if you are looking to own the most collectable He-Man item, there is no doubt that you need to track down the Eternia Playset. So large because it was made up of 3 towers that very few of them were ever produced, they have recently sold for more than $10,000.
7 The Original Optimus Prime
From one massive toy line to another, in this case, we are not looking at another instance of some long-forgotten character or massive set that relates somehow to the Transformers. Instead, it is the original toy of the primary Transformers hero, Optimus Prime, that many toy collectors are willing to spend the most money on. A decision on their behalf that makes all the sense in the world, this particular toy had a big hand in the entire line, becoming the hit it was meant to be. As such, it has sold for $12,000 in a mint state and you can still get a heck of a lot for it even if it has been played with.
6 Air Raid Video Game
The first video game to appear on this list, if you have never heard of the Air Raid video game then rest assured, you are far from alone. Not associated with a major system like Nintendo or the Sega Genesis, it was developed by a long-forgotten company named Men-A-Vision and was a target game that never found much of an audience. In fact, it was so unsuccessful, it was the only game that Men-A-Vision ever developed. Despite all that, there are still people that enjoyed it as kids and want to have a current copy of it to play. That is why a copy of it recently sold for $20,000.
5 G.I. Joe Manimals Vortex Figure
An era in which the toy companies seemed to not realize that watering down a popular line is a horrible idea, in the '80s and early '90s, they wanted to milk popular brands for everything they were worth. Logical on the surface level, the problem came because, when odd niche characters were added to a beloved toy line, it only served to disappoint fans and turn them off. G.I. Joe got pretty out there, as they did with the Manimals Vortex extension of the brand that stores got prototypes of before the entire line was discontinued. Eventually sold, if your parents got you one somehow, it can now sell for up to $20,000.
4 Astronaut B Pez Dispenser
A part of the toy world that often times fails to get the respect it is due, Pez dispensers have been sold in stores across the world for decades at this point. Despite that, it often seems like the fact that they are sold for relatively small amounts and come with candy is the reason why they fail to come to mind for a lot of people when talking about iconic toy lines. Of course, there are still people out there that collect hard-to-find Pez dispensers and the rarest of them all is the Astronaut B. Actually, this one Pez dispenser is so sought after that it has sold for the price of $32,000.
3 Bandai Stadium Events Video Game
The video game system that revitalized the entire industry, after Atari’s popularity came to an end, it took the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System to bring out the gamer in a lot of people again. The home of many games that have gone down in history as classics, the NES is so beloved to this day that the Classic Edition was a huge hit in the last few years. Of course, there were also several games created for it that very few people played. One such example, only 200 copies of Stadium Events were sold in North America which makes it incredibly rare and so desired that someone recently paid $42,000 to own a copy of it.
2 Hot Wheels
The demand for certain vehicles from this line is nothing short of rabid. Actually, there are oodles of tiny metal cars put out by the company that are now consistently sold to people for prices in the thousands. For that reason, we had to group them all together for this entry to make sure they did not run over this entire list. The most expensive of them all, the 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb, has sold for the reported amount of $72,000.
1 Princess Diana Beanie Baby
Such a big deal that at one point, there were people dropping their life savings into them, Beanie Babies were so hot that it was speculated to be can’t-miss investment opportunity. Sadly, those that bought into that line of thinking hook, line, and sinker tended to lose their shirts once the market by and large bottomed out. However, there are still a few Beanie Babies that were hard enough to find that they not only retained their previous value, but those numbers have continued to sky rocket. The best example of that is the Princess Diana Beanie Baby that sold for $500,000!