If you grew up during a big toy craze, there’s a chance you fondly remember playing with a Teddy Ruxbin, a popular G.I. Joe, or an “adopted” Cabbage Patch Kid. If you loved those toys so much that you held onto them, you could have a small fortune sitting somewhere in your home. These popular children’s toys are worth hundreds and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.
We’ve mixed up our list with incredibly rare prototypes you should keep an eye out for alongside some more common toys from the last 50+ years which you might have in your collection! Do you have any of these toys? Some have increased in value by 30,000 percent! The Cabbage Patch Kids price tag is pretty crazy.
The $475,000 Beanie Baby Is Still Out There
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Beanie Babies cost less than $10 when they debuted, and they were a smash hit. Buyers flocked to stores all over the country in the hopes of finding rare Beanie Babies they could sell on eBay or keep as an investment. The Beanie Baby craze eventually faded, but there’s still a hidden gem in the collection.
Known as Princess Diana, this incredibly rare purple Beanie Baby bear is worth an estimated $475,000. Ty introduced Princess Diana on October 29, 1997. In November 1997, Ty informed U.S. retailers they could only order 12 of the incredibly rare dolls. The “first edition” of the Beanie Baby was only available to a handful of customers and is still considered the holy grail of any collection.
Meet The $72,000 Hot Wheels Van
Photo Credit: Mattel
When Mattel realized the pink rear-loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb van wouldn’t work on its race tracks, the toy was quickly discontinued. The design is incredibly unique for Hot Wheels, featuring a surfboard sticking out of the back of the toy.
To date, only two of these incredibly rare toys have been discovered. Most recently, one of the vans sold for a mind-boggling $72,000 at auction, proving definitively that some people never outgrow their love of childhood memories.
The $20,000 Superman Toy
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In 1940, Ideal Novelty and Toy Company created a 13-inch tall Superman action figure. The toy was made from wood minus its head and upper body. The toy has become one of the most highly collectible in the world.
This doll is the first to ever be made for the franchise and sold for just 94 cents when it was released. With a selling price of more than $20,000, it is now worth almost 30,000 times more than the original MSRP.
Teddy Ruxpin Now Sells For $400
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In 1985 you could pick up a Teddy Ruxpin doll for $69.99. The stuffed animal with a built-in cassette recorder was an immediate smash hit among children. The doll remembers who you are, tells stories and even moves his eyes to give a more lifelike appearance.
While prices vary based on the condition of your Teddy Ruxpin, we have seen them selling for $400 on eBay. If you didn’t exactly care for your doll the way you should have, it could still be worth upwards of $150. Try getting that type of money for your standard cassette player.
The Original Lite-Brite Is a $300 Buy
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Debuting in 1967, the Original Lite-Brite sold for just $10. Now you can get a 3000% return on that investment! It was a simpler time in 1967 and children didn’t need an iPad to be amused.
Lite-Brite features a lightbox with small, colored plastic pegs that illuminate when turned on. Kids could even create masterpieces by placing pegs on various included templates, immediately transforming themselves into artists. The original set included red, blue, orange, white, green, yellow, pink and violet pegs.
The $20,000 Barbie In A Swim Suit
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A lot of Barbies were created when the doll was first announced thanks to an incredibly quick rise in popularity. On average, some of the original Barbie dolls can fetch upward of $1,200 a piece.
If you have the holy grail of Barbies, you could afford to buy a new car with the sale of the unique doll. A first edition Barbie with the classic black-and-white striped swimsuit is now worth up to $20,000 at auction. Not bad for a doll that cost just $3 when it debuted in 1959.
A $900 Furby Can Annoy You For Years To Come
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Remember when the Furby debuted in in 1998? Parents were fighting each other in store aisles to get their hands on the electronic gift. The toys could talk to each other, made weird sounds, and had creepy blinking eyes. At one point the National Security Agency (NSA) banned the toys from Fort Meade over concerns they could listen in on conversations.
The toys originally cost just $35, and some of the rarer first editions in mint condition are selling for upwards of $900. That’s a lot of money to pay for an item that so many people found annoying.
The Cabbage Patch Kid ‘Adoption’ Fee Has Gone Way Up
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In 1984 you could purchase a Cabbage Patch Kid for an “adoption fee” of $40. The dolls started as hand-stitched “sculptures” by Xavier Roberts in 1976 but debuted in a newer form eight years later.
If you held onto one of the original 1984 dolls, you could sell it today for upwards of $1,000 in mint condition. The doll was recently re-released but not with quite the same fanfare it received more than 30 years prior.
The $1,000 Strawberry Shortcake Doll
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I admit that I used to have my G.I. Joe’s play with my sisters Strawberry Shortcake Dolls when I was a young boy. It turns out I should have been helping her take care of the dolls instead of destroying them in an act of childhood warfare.
My sister had the Mint Tulip doll which was several years old when she received it. The doll first appeared in 1979 and I completely destroyed it during a G.I. Joe versus the Shortcakes battle of 1985. That doll, which once sold for pennies on the dollar, is now worth $1,000.
The Mail Order My Little Pony And A $900 Price Tag
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If you wanted a My Little Pony in the 1980s, a quick trip to Toys R Us or KB Toys would allow you to purchase one of the popular toys. However, the holy grail of the collection could only be snagged through a mail order process.
The My Little Pony known as Rapunzel is pink in color and has an incredibly long mane of yellow and gold hair with pink tinsel. You had to mail order this pony then patiently wait for it to arrive. If you went through all of that hassle you are now in possession of a My Little Pony that could fetch up to $900 and maybe more if you find the right brony willing to pony up some extra cash.
The 1978 Telescopic Light Saber Darth Vader Is Worth $6,000
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When Star Wars debuted, the world watched in amazement as George Lucas delivered a new high-tech approach to filmmaking. Millions of people flocked to their local theaters to watch Star Wars and just as quickly a toy behemoth was created.
In 1978 you could purchase Star Wars toys for $2.49 each. One of those toys is considered a must-have for any serious collector. The telescopic lightsaber Darth Vader toy is worth $6,000 on today’s toy collector market. Only a few hundred of the toys were created by Kenner because the extended lightsaber was considered undesirable amongst buyers.
The $25,000 Luke Skywalker Toy You Need To Own Right Now
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We couldn’t possibly talk about Darth Vader without mentioning Luke Skywalker. A mint-condition, still-in-the-box Luke Skywalker toy sold for $25,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2015.
Japanese designer Nigo decided to sell the toy — a 1978 Luke Skywalker action figure — and he fetched a small fortune. He also offloaded several other rare Canadian and Hungarian versions of bounty hunter Boba Fett which brought in $6,250 and $15,000 respectively.
Check Out This $13,000 Matchbox Car
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When Matchbox cars debuted in 1953, they sold for less than $1 each. The cars were beloved by millions of children and the toy company behind the vehicles, Lesney Products, was eventually acquired by Mattel.
Fast forward to 2004 when Jim Gallegos, a renowned Matchbox collector, purchased a brown No. 30 crane for $13,000. That’s more than a 13,000% increase in the value of the toy. Fun fact, Gallegos owns more than $1.4 million worth of Matchbox cars.
An $85,000 Toy Crane
Photo Credit: Lionel Lines
The Lionel 3360 Burro Crane was a prototype for many model cranes that would arrive after it. Built in the 1950s this masterpiece of prototyping has been incredibly hard to find.
An eBay auction for the Burro Crane managed to score $85,062.25 for the seller. Lionel trains are considered some of the best-built models of all-time, but we still can’t imagine spending this much cash to own a rare toy.
The Pokemon Pikachu Illustrator Card Is Priced At $150,000
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The Pokemon trading card game soared to popularity in January 1999 and it has remained a popular game among children and adults. If you are looking to score the rarest card in existence look no further than the Pikachu Illustrator card.
The card features a rare double star which already increased its value. Throw in the fact that only six of the cards were made and it becomes one of the rarest collector’s items in the toy-buying world.
The Capcom Big Bang Bar Pinball Machine Is Worth $30,000
Photo Credit: Capcom
There are a few rare pinball machines still available for sale but none have exceeded the allure of the Capcom Big Bang Bar Pinball Machine. Presented in the 1990s at the Pinball Expo Show in Chicago, this prototype eventually led to a very small number of manufactured units.
The pinball machine features excellent sound quality, animations, and gameplay. The artwork is top-notch, and the machine stood out among the pack. However, Capcom only produced 13 of the machines, making them nearly impossible to acquire. Because of the low production numbers, the machines now sell for $30,000 each.
The ‘Adam Bomb’ Garbage Pail Kids Card Is Worth $4,000
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When the collector card craze was in full-swing in the 1980s, the Garbage Pail Kids were having their renaissance moment. Children flocked to the toys which were among the best selling of the decade.
If you were lucky enough to get your hands on an “Adam Bomb” card and you’ve kept it for all these years, it’s now worth around $4,000. Even less rare cards can still bring in upward of $700 each. If the cards are in their original packaging, they can be worth even more money.
Wun-Dar He-Man Goes From Free To $1,000
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In the 1990s you couldn’t turn on Saturday morning cartoons without seeing He-Man on your television set. The popular character spurred a $1 billion toy-buying frenzy that surprisingly only lasted several years.
The team at Wonder Bread decided to give away “Wun-Dar” He-Man as a gift with the purchase of their bread. Not a lot of the toys were created, and many were lost over time. Today, Wun-Dar He-Man is worth $1,000. Even out of the box and not in mint-condition this toy sells for upward of $120.
The $32,205 PEZ Dispenser
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PEZ dispensers have long been a popular collector’s item, but none are more coveted than the 1982 World’s Fair Astronaut B PEZ Dispenser. This prized possession is believed to have been a prototype to The World’s Fair board.
When the dispenser surfaced at auction, it quickly grabbed the attention of collector’s and brought a sale price of $32,000. This collector’s item is by far the best value on the dollar we have discovered. It’s also incredibly rare given its one-of-a-kind prototype design.
Your Old Super Soakers Could Be Worth Some Decent Money
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Super Soakers aren’t going to sell at prices that let you buy a new car with the profits, but they’re worth a close examination. The toys, which sold from $10 to $50 new, can now fetch upwards of $500 in mint condition.
Let’s be honest, you probably played the heck out of these toys, but even in a non-mint condition, they are still worth at least $150 each. Personally, I would rather re-live my childhood by playing with them, but if you’re hard up for cash here’s a simple way to make some rent money.