Over the years, marketing has greatly influenced children’s tastes, affecting desired pastimes and causing a shift in consumer purchasing habits. Recent market research reports have shown that children are currently opting for more sophisticated toys and games, while Global Industry Analysts depict the global toys, and games industry is expected to hit the $100 billion mark by 2015. With an influx in opulent taste and a shift towards techno savvy items, industry professionals are focusing their production and marketing efforts on older children and adults. According to Popular Mechanics, (who recently featured a variety of items showcased in the International Toy Fair), toy manufacturers are continuing to conceive and include a share of luxury items amongst the assortment of affordable gadgets on toy shelves.
However, for those with old-school sentimental value, cherished childhood toys are irreplaceable, holding a distinctive place in our hearts. Weather it was an inexpensive rag doll you dragged everywhere, a intricate hand carved rocking horse, or a competitive video game you spent hours playing, our favorite toys are treasured. With the shift from the physical to the digital in chosen past-times, as well as children’s tastes, and of course the demand for the latest available gadget, it’s understandable, the previous generation of once beloved toys get swept under the rug; but what about their value? We’ve all heard of the value of original vintage clothing, accessories and jewels and even home décor, but what about the value of classic toys? Well the answer just might surprise you. It turns out, the (unknown) classic collector’s item you bought years ago for a few dollars, and the latest luxury item on the market, may very well be on the same exclusive toys and games list.
We’ve hunted down and compiled a list of the most exclusive toys and games on the market today. Counting down the 10 most expensive toys and games ever documented – and of course their elaborate price tags!
9 Mint Condition First Design NBA Elite 11 intended for Playstation 3: $2,250
The NBA game became a collector’s item when the final product turned out to be an imperfect prototype full of glitches. Even though most were thrown by the waste-side, several of the games were sold mistakenly. The lucky buyers now have a collector’s item on their hands as the video game became apart of the generation video game collectibles.
8 Grid 2: Mono Edition with Toy Car: $18,592
Produced by Codemasters, an award winning British games developer founded by the Darling brothers, the Grid 2: Mono Edition is considered to be one of the most expensive video game ever created. The pack comes with a shiny 170mph BAC Mono supercar made of carbon fiber and a PlayStation 3 console. While the standard version of the game retails from $53 to $32, this one comes in at just under $19,000, and is available on a pre-order basis only.
7 Hot Wheels Rear Loader Beach Bomb 1969: $100,000
The hot pink item is one of only two, ever made, and was amongst some of the test pieces (it came out too thin) originally given to employees by Mattel. It is considered the ‘holy grail’ of all hot wheels collections in the world. While the original asking price was $150,000 on Toy Peddler online, the rare item was sold to an avid Hot Wheels collector who reportedly paid between $70,000 and $100,000 for the toy.
6 Original G.I. Joe 12″: $200,000
The most expensive G.I. Joe action figure is the original prototype toy made in 1963 by Hasbro’s Don Levine. The figure is reportedly between 11 ½ - 12 inches tall and made from hand-shaped and shaved plastic, with all the fabric hand-sewn, and the metal hand-crafted. While the starting bid of this figure was $110,000, it was finally valued and sold for $200,000 a decade ago when it was first auctioned. (It was sold in an auction to American collector Stephen Geppi in 2003). It is now in the Geppi Museum in Maryland.
6. Gundam Fix Platinum Toy Robot: $250,000
Leave it to Japanese toy maker Bandai, (creator of the most expensive rocking chair) to come up with the most expensive toy robot in the world. Made in 2007, the Gundam Fix Platinum toy robot is 12.5 centimeters tall and weighs 1.4 kilograms. It yields 89 parts and is made from 1,400 grams pure platinum, while the robot’s eyes are made of 0.15 carat diamonds. If you’ve got a quarter of a million to spare, don’t get out your cheque book just yet, the impressive toy was made only to promote retail versions, and is not for sale.
5 Nintendo Wii Supreme: $485,000
The world’s most expensive video game comes from Nintendo (Wii) and is a gold-coated mass (22-karat gold) weighing 2.5 kilograms, and the front buttons are covered with 78 quarter-cut diamonds. Created by Stuart Hughes, (the same guy who created the most expensive iPhone), it took 6 months to produce.
4 Cubism Style Barbie: $551,000
Of course no toy list would be complete without mentioning one of the most iconic figures in the toy world, Mattel’s Barbie. The world’s most expensive Barbie doll was designed by Stefano Canturi (Cubism jewelry) in 2010. Having been featured in Oscar winning films, as well as the covers of fashion magazines worldwide, Stefano Canturi's designs have attracted the attention of some of the most influential individuals in luxury design. Most appropriately, the doll wears a cubism diamond ring on her right hand, followed by a neckpiece of 3 carat white diamonds around a 1 carat square cut pink diamond from the Australian Argyle Mine, a rare collector’s item.
3 Gold Rocking Horse: $1.28 Million
A tribute to the birth of Japan’s Prince Hisahito in 2006, the world’s most expensive rocking horse was designed by Ginza Tanaka, of Japan. The elaborate rocker is entirely handmade, solid gold, and weighs 80 lbs. In case you were wondering, the reported owner of this extravagant toy is a little girl named Blue Ivy Knowles Carter, daughter of Beyoncé and Jay Z, who paid $600,000 for a version of this gold rocking horse. Japanese jeweler, Tanaka is renowned for its opulent jewelry creations.
2 The Masterpiece Cube Rubik’s Cube: $1.5 Million
If you had access to one growing up, chances are you’ve attempted to conquer a Rubik’s Cube at some point in your life. Today, Rubik’s cube still remains the best-selling puzzle game in the world, with 350 million units of toy cubes sold globally as of 2009. The good news, the world’s most expensive Rubik’s Cube is actually a fully functioning toy. Each side is decorated with 185 carats of precious gems that include amethysts, emeralds, and rubies. The bad news (for most) is obviously the price tag. The toy was commissioned for the 15th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube in 1995 and was made by diamond master cutter Fred Cueller.
1 Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear: $2.1 Million
Topping off the list is the world’s most excessively outfitted teddy bear. The cuddly and stylish teddy bear was produced by German toy manufacturer Steiff. While Steiff is a manufacturer of handcrafted designs, they also claim to have made the world’s first teddy bear. Fully dressed in Louis Vuitton travel gear, including the complete set of LV luggage, the toy was sold at an auction in 2000 for $2.1 million; the buyer was Jessie Kim of Korea. It is now in the Teddy Bear Museum in Jeju, South Korea.