Retro Riches: 35+ Old Toys With Emotional And Monetary Value

By Joyce S March 8, 2023

Childhood is all about learning about ourselves and the world we live in. What we interact with—toys we play with, movies we watch, food we eat, etc.—stick with us throughout our lives. Although, with advancing technologies, it seems like the former holds more value for older generations. Before iPads and the Nintendo Switch, there were action figures, comic books, and Lincoln Logs. These toys always held value, but increasing rarity and the power of nostalgia can give them a pretty hefty price tag.

Whether you have some old toys lying around or just want to revel in your childhood, read on to see how much some old toys are worth. As kids, we couldn’t fathom Al McWhiggin’s greed in Toy Story 2, but looking at these toys, we understand why he was obsessed with those pristine old toys.

Barbie and Ken — Price Tag: $100,000

Barbie and Ken are timeless characters, although the blondie is now over 60 years old. To prove the life-long success, a long-waited Barbie movie is about to hit theaters worldwide, and the expectation is high. Certainly, fans won’t stand for any inaccuracies.

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Toys, on the other hand, occasionally have errors. In 2011, there was a mistake—considered a manufacturing error—that led to a series of bearded Kens on the shelves. It might have bothered people back then, but little did they know the toy would be worth more than its ~$50 price tag.

Barbie 1st Edition — Price Tag: $8,000

If you think that Barbies are costly today, check this out. A rare Barbie doll from 1959, the year she came into the world, was estimated to be worth $8,000—even after being played with a few times by some lucky kid.

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We have to remember that the estimated prices will always vary since these kinds of goods have not only production costs but also sentimental value, which is much harder to put a price on. If you want this fashion icon on your shelf, you may pay between $8,000 to $27,000.

Thundercats Bengali — Price Tag: $800 – $2,000

The adored blue hero collects fans of all ages and nationalities, but sometimes, one or two action figure pieces remain at the stores waiting for a sparkly-eyed person to become its owner. If you can’t find it there, you should take a look at eBay. 

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The cute little 1986 Thundercat model may be bought for something ranging between $800 to $2,000 on eBay. This is a special vintage Bengali doll because it has never been played with. It wasn’t even opened, so you’ll definitely feel the excitement of unboxing it. 

The Rarest Mystery Machine — Price Tag: $150,000

Collectors are the kind of people who don’t measure efforts or costs to purchase the pieces they want so much. Most of the high-cost auctioned collectibles are made by anonymous buyers, which makes sense since they want to be left alone with their brand-new acquisition.

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It’s hard to imagine, though, that a tiny Hot Wheels car that has never been mass-produced would cost around $150,000. This prototype didn’t pass the quality tests standard of its time, so this is believed to be the only piece, hence the impressive price. 

The 1938 Comic Book 1st Edition — Price Tag: $3.2 million

You read it right! This was the Nº1 comic book of the Action Comics series and is dearly remembered by comic book fans because it introduced Superman for the very first time. Since then, comic books and pop culture have been telling superheroes’ stories and gathering fans every year.

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Action Comics Nº1 was bought for no less than $3.3 million. The exorbitant sum was paid by Goldin, a collectibles marketplace, on behalf of an anonymous client in January 2022, and it is considered, to this day, the third most expensive comic book ever sold.

Raggedy Ann Doll — Price Tag: $1,000 – $4,000

The soft cotton doll that innocent children from the 1910s once loved now represents two of the most profitable and fun horror movies franchise today created by James Wan, The Conjuring and Annabelle. The Raggedy Ann doll dates from 1915 and was patented by Volland.

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The few vintage copies of the cotton doll cost something around $1,000. The copy you see here was announced on eBay at $4,500. We know that owners put the price they think the object is worth, so whoever buys this doll may not pay that much—but it still won’t be cheap.

Boba Fett Action Figure — Price Tag: $32,000

The world-famous masked bounty hunter, Boba Fett, had his legacy preserved thanks to comic conventions, successful movies, and even a Disney+ spin-off. There’s been a lot of criticism of the recent Star Wars media, but the original trilogy is a timeless treasure.

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Regardless of the audience’s age, the Star Wars universe continues to be a valuable one for fans and the market. The Boba Fett action figure you see here is in pristine condition and due to its rare status, is worth around $32,000. 

Monopoly 1st Edition — Price Tag: $147,000

If you have never played Monopoly in your life, please, hurry and find your best friends to have this experience with you. One of the most fun ways to introduce finances and match to a kid is to play Monopoly with them.

Image source: Sotheby’s

Buying lots, hotels, important streets and avenues, and beating your friends on the game is priceless (pun intended). The original handmade Monopoly game came to be in 1933 and was purchased by Sotheby’s in 2011 for $146,500—in real money, not Monopoly brand currency.

Atari Cartridges — Price Tag: $200 – $100,000

Go check your old video game boxes to make sure you’re not sitting on a gold mine without knowing. In the past years, many old Atari cartridges have been auctioned and sold for prices that go from simple $200 bucks to monumental sums like $100,000.

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The astonishing variables attached to Atari’s worth are due to the low number of copies still available and the popularity of the games. A website specializing in games ranked the Atari cartridges from the cheapest to the most expensive one. ET was the game that had the highest bid of $100,000.

Batman Action Figure — Price Tag: $800

There’s a Batman for every generation, and we hope you like yours. Of course, we’re talking about the movies. But the geek public also has their comics, graphic novels, and action favorites, and the blue, grey, and black little guy is one of them.

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The 1976 Batman figure was offered on eBay for a few hundred bucks, and the lucky buyer paid $800. If you’re curious about how much your favorite Batman action figure cost, Google it and let us know. We bet it’s the Michael Keaton Batman.

Wonder Woman Action Figure — Price Tag: $2,000

Take a good look at this Wonder Woman action figure. Did you notice anything strange? Yes, the package reads “Batman.” The first thing you probably thought was that, whoever did this, he/she was either reprehended or even fired over this mistake.

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We hope that’s not the case because, as ironic as it may sound, this simple $24 model of the great female superhero was once estimated at something around the $2,000 mark. Imagine making that much money over a silly mistake like this one.

Furby 1st Edition — Price Tag: $900

This is not one of the five Furby toys covered in precious stones and crystals sold for $100,000, but it is still precious. Furby was born in 1998 and made Millenials go crazy with those big and round bright eyes.

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Those of you who still possess a 1st edition in good condition and are thinking about getting rid of it, read this first. Some of the 1st editions of Furby were on the market for almost a thousand dollars. As we already know, auction prices vary, but it’s a pretty nice sum.

Toy Story Signature Collection — Price Tag: $20,000

Take a good look at this Signature Edition Deluxe Film Replica of the nicest cowboy on Earth. Woody and his friends Buzz, Jessie, The Arm Men, and all the others are cherished figures on the geek market. Those who decide to sell might get some good money in return.

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The entire Toy Story Signature Collection was offered on eBay for the shocking amount of $20,000. Yes, you read it correctly. We must remember that these are not the ordinary Toy Story action figures we see in stores. It’s the shiny and special Signature Collection Deluxe, in actual movie size.

Mario Kart 64 — Price Tag: $1.56 million

The Mario Bros. universe is so profitable, and it’s amazing to see how they keep on getting wealthier. The Universal Studios theme parks in Japan, and the brand-new American Super Mario Bros. park are a testament to the franchise’s success.

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In 2021, The New York Times reported that a replica of the Mario Kart 64 was auctioned for the jaw-dropping sum of $1.56 million after 16 bids. Up to that point, it was considered the most expensive auctioned video game in history, but then, 2022 came with that $3.2 million offer.

LEGO Trains — Price Tag: $400 – $1,000

This next item combines two obsessions: trains and LEGOs. The world-renowned brand seems to always bring the next trendy toy to the fanatics of the world. It’s only fair that, as time goes by, some of those items become rarer and more valuable. 

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This complete LEGO train set is one good example of how financially valuable an old toy can become thanks to its sentimental value and timeless popularity. Copies of this set were offered online with prices ranging from $400 to $1,000.

American Girl Dolls — Price Tag: $1,100 – $3,200

Molly, Samantha, Kirsten, Kanani, and Felicity are some of the well-known American Girl Dolls that became a sensation of playtime around the USA. Today, some may argue that they are kind of obsolete in the market, but some of the original dolls are worth quite a lot. 

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They were never cheap, but current auction prices make their initial cost seem like pennies. The prices of the original doll vary. For example, an original Samantha doll can be found in online auctions for $1,295, while an original Kirsten Larson can be found on eBay for something around $3,200.

Troll Doll — Price Tag: $300 – $700

The cute little creatures that became protagonists in two popular movies have a long history you may not know. They came around in 1959 and became a huge success in the ‘60s with their signature chubby shape with colored and messy hair.

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The original ones are not as adorable as the ones we see in the Trolls movies, but they were the ultimate trend back then. Some of the originals that survived to this day can be bought for prices varying between $300 to $700. 

1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure — Price Tag: $25,000

Star Wars action figures will keep getting popular and expensive. Although now they are mass-produced and can be easily found pretty much in every country, there are some that can only be found in a few households, like this 1978 Luke Skywalker action figure.

Image source: Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s purchased this never played-with action figure along with a complete Star Wars set of collectibles. The Luke Skywalker action figure alone was worth $25,000. We suspect that the more time goes by, the more expensive and rare goods like this will become.

Disney VHS Tapes — Price Tag: $50 – $15,000

Way before streaming services were popular, we had to physically get a copy of a movie to enjoy it. As cumbersome as those old VHS tapes were, kids today will never appreciate the sheer joy of walking out of a video store with a copy of your favorite film.

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It’s unanimous: Disney animations were and still are the most accomplished animation studio ever, and that includes the VHS tapes still floating around. Movies like the original Pinnochio animation were listed on eBay for $50, while a copy of the original 1999 Mulan was sold for an eye-popping $15,295 in 2019.

Aliens Glow In The Dark Extravaganza — Price Tag: $2,000

Lisa Frank’s Aliens that glow bright neon colors in the dark had its prime in the ‘90s, and kids from all corners of the world nagged their parents about it. It was the newest obsession. The glowy aliens and accessories had it all. Some original kits are available on eBay for approximately $2,000.

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Neon pens, colorful stickers, star shapes of all sizes, and bright and gooey slimes are all space-themed. The kit was adored not only by the little ones but also by their parents. It made science projects more fun and enticing. The sky was the limit when having fun with the Alien kit. 

Claude, The Crab Beanie Baby — Price Tag: $3,500 – $10,000

Prices on eBay are always estimates. What people pay isn’t always the same as what was announced at first. Nevertheless, it’s a shock to observe some of the prices asked for vintage products, and it seems like childhood items are among the most valuable listings.

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Beanie Babies were lovely stuffed animals, and Claude is one of the most pricy ones. It can be found on eBay for prices ranging from $3,500 to $10,000. We don’t know if anyone is going to buy the $10k Claude, but it’s interesting to see how people price their loved memories.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Toy — Price Tag: $700 – $900

The unparallel success of the 1982 Spielberg movie ET keeps on ranking as one the top films of all time, and rightfully so. The movie had groundbreaking technology and performances from incredible child actors we love to this day, like Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas.

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The original animatronic ET was auctioned for the staggering amount of $2.56 million in 2022, but there are feasible options for us who don’t have this amount of money at our disposal. The “life-size” figures can be found online with prices ranging from $700 to $900.

Valentino The Bear Beanie Baby — Price Tag: $42,000

Another Beanie Baby that isn’t cheap but loved anyway is Valentino The Bear. TY stuffed animals had a huge variety of animals, like Snort The Red Bull, Peanut The Elephant, Halo Bear, and many others. The TY Beanie Baby Valentino The Bear had its last copy sold in 1999.

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Nowadays, even those with manufacturing errors and tag problems are valuable and cherished online for sums of money no one can believe. A Valentino The Bear can be found online with estimates at $42k. But the crown jewel of the Beanie Baby series is the Princess Bear priced at $500,000.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards — Price Tag: $4,200 – $2 million

Western fans may know Yu-Gi-Oh! from the TV series and the cards, but it actually started in 1996 as a manga series, written and illustrated by Kazuki Takahashi. It was years later when the now-famous trading card game was released.

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Every Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon card is worth some money, but this particular Yu-Gi-Oh! card is one of the rarest and most expensive ones. Today, the most valuable Yu-Gi-Oh! card available is The Tournament Black Luster Soldier with a price tag of $2 million. The original price listed for this card was $10 million.

Jem And The Holograms Dolls — Price Tag: $600 – $1,000

Whenever we go to toy stores looking for something for our kids we notice that dolls and action figures with accessories and extra trinkets are the costly ones… and the favorite choice of the little ones. It may be worth buying one for posterity, though.

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The rockstar doll of the 1980s, Jem and the Holograms made a huge success in her primetime and might pay up your investment today. Some of the full sets containing dolls and accessories are worth a lot and can help you make ends meet.

LEGO Sets — Price Tag: $10,400

The adored building blocks toy that made the childhood of countless people joyful and memorable remains one of the most profitable and loved toys of all time. With dedicated museums and exhibitions around the world, the LEGO world moves a lot of people and money every day. 

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If you’re willing to pay top dollar for a new LEGO set you should consider hanging onto it for as long as you can. Released in 1979 and costing only $25 at that time, the 926 Space Command Center is worth about $10,400 today.

Garbage Pail Kids’ Cards — Price Tag: $1,750 – $19,000

In the face of initial negative feedback, Garbage Pail Kids managed to pierce through the market and soon after its release, it was a smash hit and extremely popular among kids. Today, the original card sets are valuable collectibles with jaw-dropping figures. 

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A 1985 Junky Jeff card went under the hammer for $1,750. Brutal Brad, another copy from 1985, went home for $2,900. But none of these cards were auctioned for such a shocking sum as the 1984 Nasty Nick. The little devil was sold for $19,000 in October 2020.

Kermit The Frog — Price Tag: $ 2,500

Sites like eBay help collectors find the vintage items they’ve always wanted, so go up to the attic and dust your Muppet toys to earn some extra dimes. The American sweetheart-friendly frog has decades of fame and millions of followers not only in American territory but in every corner of the world.

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The Muppets are huge to this day, and it’s only natural that the older they get, the more valuable they become. On eBay, you can find several vintage copies of the adorable and smiley frog for various prices. There’s an offer open for a 1976 used toy that is nearly $2,500 on the website.

Fisher-Price’s Push Cart Pete — Price Tag: $3,000 – $8,000

Fisher-Price toys are must-haves when you’re a kid. There are toys for all ages and they help stimulate development. Over the years, the source materials changed, but the fond memories remain. The 1936 Push Cart Pete is one of Fisher-Price’s best-sellers.

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This original 1936 copy had a heartwarming and financial value of $8k back in 2008. Another pristine copy of the toy was listed in 2021 for $3,000. Even though it isn’t the most appealing toy for kids today, this Push Cart Pete definitely carries important emotional value. 

G.I. Joe Action Figures And Accessories — Price Tag: $8,000

Hasbro also sits on a huge load of money as one of the absolute dominant toy companies worldwide. The G.I. Joe mania began with the tiny soldiers we, as kids, put to fight against each other. The characters gained life and well-known faces in the G.I. Joe movie franchise. 

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Before successful Hollywood movies, the G.I. Joes were toys present in almost every household. Some vintage copies hold high prices as time goes by. Collectors can check eBay for those rare pieces. A Defiant Space Shutt piece was sold on eBay for an amazing $8,000.

Skeletor Action Figure — Price Tag: $500

Back in the ‘80s, kids took pleasure in buying the latest Masters of the Universe action figures, aiming at getting the full set in the shiny collectors’ case. As the leading man, He-Man was obviously the most wanted figure of the whole group. 

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But Skeletor is not left behind at all. The iconic villain and the greatest threat to Eternia, Skeletor, has conquered the hearts of loyal fans and some of the most valuable action figures of the Masters of the Universe is Skeletor. Prices vary, normally starting at $500. 

Horrorscope Movie Viewer — Price Tag: $35,000

The horrorscope movie viewer pioneered alternative ways to tell gripping horror stories in an original style. This 1964 copy featured four of the best horror stories ever written: The Curse of the Werewolf, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Creature from the Black Lagoon

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…aka four of the most classic monster archetypes from Universal Studios. The unique—and at the time, advanced—toy is available for auction on eBay, but get ready to spend some cash if you really want it. The toy is listed at $35,000. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1980s Action Figures — Price Tag: $400 to $900

A pretty smart way to have a popular character trendy for decades is to innovate in merchandise. T-shirts, toys, school supplies, and even giant-themed-parks all with one main goal: to make money while entertaining their loyal fans. The TMNT franchise is a top-notch example.

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The TMNT world had multiple products exploring cute green ninjas with famous names. Everyone remembers classic TV cartoon and movies. Raphael, Donatello, Michaelangelo, Leonardo, and the unforgettable Splinter’s old action figures cost small fortunes today. A Vintage Soft Head Michelangelo can be yours for $692 on eBay.

Vintage My Little Pony — Price Tag: $575 – $1,550

My Little Pony is another great franchise success case that explored all sorts of media outlets to spread their cuteness and struck a lot of gold by doing it. The infinite possibilities of shiny and colorful ponies have sparkled in the eyes of children for quite some time now.

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Some My Little Pony collectibles are offered online for a couple of bucks, but the real treasure lies in the rare copies. An Argentina Novia Wedding Pony went under the hammer for $649.99. But the rarest My Little Pony is Rapunzel, listed on eBay for $1,550.

She-Ra, Princess Of Power — Price Tag: $100 – $4,000

A line called Princess of Power, launched in 1985, raised the bar for female heroes and She-Ra was the poster girl of the new wave of female leading toys and characters. The Masters of the Universe characters alone can cost an arm and a leg.

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It’s no different when we search online for the action figures of the real Princess of Power. In the year that She-Ra made her debut, she also scored one of the most loved action figures to this day. She-Ra and her unicorn sidekick, Swift Wind, action figures have prices ranging from $100 to $4,000.

Gundam Fix Toy Robots — Price Tag: $250,000

Aside from the beloved video games, Japan has a precious industry that feeds anime and manga fans from every country—both from Eastern and Western cultures. The Gundam Fix Toys Robots are giant robots that intrigues fans ever since it was launched in 1979.

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Some of these toy robots are real gold mines for those who collect them, and it gets pricier if you have a rare copy. The Gundam Fix Platinum robot has 78 platinum parts and brings a pleasant surprise to its head: a real 0.15-carat diamond. It can be yours for a mere $250,000.

Eternia Playset — Price Tag: $3,000

If Skeletor’s action figure looked costly to you, take a deep breath before reading this item. Eternia is the epicenter of the Masters of the Universe franchise world and it is the homeland of Prince Adam and the Royal Family. 

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The famous Castle of Greyskull is also there—need we say more? Eternia is the go-to vacation spot for many nerds. The Masters Of The Universe Eternia Playset brings a taste of what this place is like and it can be yours for the humble sum of $3,000.

PEZ Dispensers — Price Tag: $2,600 – $13k

PEZ candies alone were a clever move given by the Austrian inventor Eduard Haus III, who came up with the idea as an alternative to cigarettes. Ideally, it’d help people quit smoking. But innovation and creativity are limitless and PEZ candies began to look a bit different after the years.

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After reaching American shores, the candy dispenser gained new faces. The first branded PEZ dispenser was made in ‘58 and featured Popeye’s head on it. Some of the PEZ dispensers still available are Snow White’s with an estimated price of $2,600. The Political Donkey can be all yours for the tidy sum of $13k.

Rainbow Brite Dolls — Price Tag: $1,000

Introducing the 1983 sensations Red Butler, Lala Orange, Canary Yellow, Patty O’Green, Buddy Blue, Indigo, and Shy Violet. The tiny rainbow-colored dolls carried equally colored Sprites that completed the appeal to kids. Buying one by one and assembling a collection was the real deal.

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If you still have your Rainbow Brite Dolls, look them up on the internet and find out how much they are worth today. Some Rainbow Brite Dolls sold individually may not be worth much, but some collections cost nearly $1,000.

Original Transformers Action Figures — Price Tag: $1,320 – $2k

The car-turns-into-mighty-robots sensation came into this world in 1984 and it’s been gathering fans ever since. Decades have passed the Transformers universe earned TV shows, new toy lines, and a whole series of blockbuster films that’s about to have its revival in 2023 with Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

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That makes you think of your old and dusty action figures forgotten in your basement, right? The original 1986 G1 Ratbat and Frenzy were spotted on eBay for $1,320. The 1983 Diaclone Lucky Draw Gold Porsche 935 can be all yours for $1,500 while the incredible Optimus Prime has a $2k price tag.

Lucy & Polly’s Dream Cottage House — Price Tag: $ 6,000

The darling Polly Pocket caught everyone’s attention mainly because of its teenie tiny size and cute accessories and sets. Some of these copies can land you some good money if kept in good condition. Vintage and rare editions are available for auctioning.

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The 1992 Polly Pocket Partytime Stampers set is estimated at $5,000, for example. The 1996 Polly Pocket Jewel Case in original packaging is worth $2,500. Now, if you want the Lucy & Polly’s Dream Cottage House, be ready to spend around $6,000 on bids.

F.A.O. Schwarz Wizard Of Oz Porcelain Dolls — Price Tag: $50 – $1,195

The handmade porcelain doll set of the cherished Wizard of Oz characters is delicate and nostalgic—as it should be. Some of the porcelain dolls are listed individually, ranging from a few bucks to unbelievably higher numbers. The whole set, though, is a different story.

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The collectible Dorothy porcelain doll can be found on eBay, with bids starting at $50 bucks. Now, the never-played-with porcelain doll set with Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda available on eBay costs around $1,195.

Teddy Ruxpin — Price Tag: $1,000

After decades, action figures, entire playsets, car miniatures, and teddy bears become collectors’ dreams and inevitably worth fortunes. Some aspects make these toys important to the child we once were, but also valuable financially. Teddy Ruxpin is a VIP member of this group.

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Some limited editions were designed to be worth a lot, like the Steiff Diamond Eyes Bear with the eye-popping price tag of $35,000, but sometimes, the simplest toy bear hits the spotlights. That’s the case of the cute Teddy Ruxpin that can be bought for $1,000.

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone 1st Edition — Price Tag: $471,000

The Harry Potter fandom crosses generations, and we believe it’ll keep on doing it. Since the first book was published in the late ‘90s, J.K. Rowling became one of the most accomplished architects of fantastic universes, and a recent auction bid proved that.

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The 1st edition of Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone was auctioned in 2021, and a world-record bid of $471,000 took the dreamy hardcover copy of the boy who lived. Auctions and price tags like these will keep coming, and there’ll always have a loaded fan to buy them.

Super Mario 2 Original Game Cartridge — Price Tag: $1 million

Nintendo is responsible for blowing kids’ and adults’ minds with gripping games for decades. Mario and Luigi are the poster boys of the game industry. As time goes by and new versions come up, people tend to trade their old gadgets for new ones. You should be careful.

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Those who don’t throw away things may get lucky in the auction market. Recently, a vintage Super Mario 2 console estimated at $1,000,000 was sold, not at the millionaire sum, but for $88,550. Not bad for the original owner who found the dusty toy forgotten in the closet.