The toys of our childhood still manage to keep a special place in our hearts. Many of us remember the joy of playing with them and still feel a small tinge of happiness whenever we think about or maybe even see one of these blasts from the past. Often times it reminds us of the good times we had playing with them and the seemingly carefree lifestyle of childhood as compared to the sometimes stressful day-to-day responsibilities of adult life. But how far would you go to get your hands on one of these toys, or even your favourite toy of all?
Many of the big name toys crossed over into multiple forms of media like TV, movies, video games or books. This not only helped increase the popularity of these toys but their value as well. Now with auction sites like Ebay, people can buy themselves a piece of their childhood, and while it’s a nice sentiment, you wouldn’t believe how much some people are willing to spend to feed their nostalgia.
These are 10 '80s toys that have sold for incredible amounts of money.
10 Transformers: Optimus Prime and Megatron Action Figures – Sold For: $900
Long before Michael Bay got his hands on it, the Transformers franchise was one of the biggest in the world at its peak. Created in 1984, the powerhouse franchise focused on a galactic power struggle between two fractions of alien transforming robots - the good-guy Autobots lead by Optimus Prime and the bad-guy Decepticons lead by Megatron. Since its inception Transformers has spawned multiple animated television series, films both animated and live-action, books, comics along with the original toy line that launched the series and has since become serious collectors items.
9 The Real Ghostbusters: Fright Feature Action Figure – Sold For: $950
Ghostbusters was first released thirty years ago, back in 1984, to positive reviews and large commercial success. So successful was the film that it singlehandedly launched the franchise we all know and love. The film follows a group of “Parapsychologists” in the city of New York who start their own ghost catching business. Five years after, Ghostbusters II was released accompanied by two animated television series and some comics, books and multiple video games based on the series. The first animated series “The Real Ghostbusters” lasted six seasons from 1986 to 1991. Funny enough the toy line based on the series actually outlasted the show itself.
8 Mint Condition Cabbage Patch Baby – Sold For: $995
Initially known as “Little People” when the brand was first developed in 1978, Coleco began mass producing the dolls under the name Cabbage Patch Kids in 1982. The dolls quickly became one of the biggest fads of the '80s, and served as popular gifts during the holidays. In 1983 demand was so high – mostly during the Christmas holiday – that people actually fought over them. With thousands in demand as compared to only a few hundred typically in stock, there were multiple cases of people trampling, hitting and using handheld weapons in order to ensure they got themselves a Cabbage Patch Kid. Thankfully websites like Ebay now allow you to do all of your shopping from the safety of your couch.
7 Garbage Pail Kids: Adam Bomb – Sold For: $1,000
First released by the Topps Company in 1985 the Garbage Pail Kids are another '80s fad that’s still going almost thirty years later. The Garbage Pail Kids were actually created as a parody of the Cabbage Patch Kids, which got Topps sued by Coleco for copyright infringement. At the peak of their popularity the Garbage Pail Kids franchise had its own movie as well as a 13-episode TV series that never aired in the US due to criticism of its so-called “glorification” of violence as well as the way it depicted handicapped people. The series’ most iconic card, Adam Bomb was used on multiple series’ packs as well as advertising making it the most recognizable.
6 Teddy Ruxpin – Sold For: $1,400
At the height of its popularity Teddy Ruxpin was the best-selling toy in the world for two years straight in 1985 and 1986, with a TV series that ran for 65 episodes. The toy itself was an animatronic talking bear that read out stories. This was done by placing audio cassettes into a cassette deck in that was built into the bear's back. Teddy Ruxpin would move its eyes and mouth while reading in order to seem more lifelike. But really that’s just creepy.
5 Mint Condition In-Box NES – Sold For: $2,000
Arguably one of the greatest gaming consoles of all time Nintendo’s NES first hit the shelves of Japan in 1983. It released in the US two years later and was a saviour to the almost defunct gaming industry, which had pretty much wiped out the second gen gaming consoles in North America. The console licensed 709 games and gave gamers many iconic titles such as Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda and Mega Man among others. The console itself sold over 60 million units worldwide, almost 20 million of which were sold in Japan where production of the NES lasted a good 20 years.
4 She-Ra and Swift Wind Action Figure Pack – Sold For: $4,000
While not as popular as the He-Man series, She-Ra: Princess of Power had a good run from 1985-1986 putting out 93 episodes. She-Ra is (spoilers!) the alter ego of Prince Adam’s long lost twin sister Adora. Very similar to Adam’s He-Man, Adora uses her Sword of Protection to transform into She-Ra and is accompanied by her talking steed sidekick Spirit who transforms into the talking unicorn Swift Wind. She’s also gone to appear in her own DC Comics series as well as the “He-Man: Masters of the Universe” series.
3 G.I. Joe Motorized Battle Tank – Sold For: $6,500
G.I. Joe is probably one of the most iconic and oldest toy lines in the world. Starting in 1964 the toy soldiers would go on to give birth to the term "action figure". In 1982 the line relaunched with the popular background story of the G.I. Joe Team fighting off the terrorist Cobra Command that has become synonymous with the franchise. Like many other popular toy lines G.I. Joe has spawned a number of comic book adoptions as well as six different animated series and the recent live-action movie franchise.
2 He-Man and Battlecat Action Figure Pack - Sold For$7,000
The He-Man franchise started back in 1982 as a toy line created by Mattel. The action figures were accompanied with minicomics that gave some background story to the characters. The series mainly revolved around protagonist Prince Adam and his battles with the evil Skeletor, protecting the land of Eternia. The original animated series – the first of four different animated series based on He-Man and his companions – aired from 1983-1985. Several comic series, a feature film as well as an additional six lines of action figures followed along with a handful of video game releases.
1 He-Man Eternia Playset – Sold For: $17,000
Eternia was the land He-Man and his companions defended against the forces of the evil Skeletor in the series. The Eternia Playset which was in production from 1986-1987 was Mattel’s largest ever produced. The playset consisted of three levels of towers which were accessible by different vehicles. Because of its short production span the item itself has become somewhat of a rarity.