Have you ever wondered how much your most valuable toys are worth now? If it’s spring cleaning time, don’t throw away any toys as they could be worth a lot of money. Like many things from the past, some things can become more valuable over time than when they were bought.
Regarding toys, this is because of things like who owned it or if it’s an original or first edition. Check out some of the most expensive toys ever sold in history.
Action Figure – 1978 Luke Skywalker ($25,000)
Some related merchandise can become valuable over time, like many popular movie franchises. One of the best examples of this is the Star Wars saga. It was thought that the Luke Skywalker action figure would bring in at least $12,000.
It’s a hard-to-find figure from 1978 with a “double telescoping” lightsaber that was easy to break, so it was taken off the market. The lightsaber is still in one piece, and the figure is still in its original box. Action figures from the 1970s and 1980s still in their original packaging can be worth a lot of money.
A key Star Wars item with a double-telescoping lightsaber that comes in two pieces and is so rare that only about 20 are known to exist. The card looks like a C-8, but because of the bubbles, the overall grade is a C-7. This figure also has a serial number on the bottom, which shows that it was one of the first ones to be made.
Action Figure – Prototype G.I. Joe ($200,000)
G.I. Joe creator Don Levine made this rare prototype, a US soldier with all his gear. It’s mostly made of plastic, fabric, and wires, but it’s been painstakingly and lovingly painted with lots of tiny details.
Some G.I. Joe collectible action figures and accessories, like The Missile Command Centre, have sold for as much as $17,500, and other figures in the series have sold for as much as $10,000. But in 2013, a prototype G.I. Joe action figure sold at auction for an incredible $200,000.
Even though Joe didn’t get the minimum $250,000 bid at auction, the hand-made 11 1/2-inch figure was sold privately to comic book distributor Stephen Geppi for $200,000.
Barbies – Vintage 1959 Barbie ($23,000)
Before Barbie dolls were made, dolls were usually babies or soft toys. Barbie changed the doll market and, as a result, the whole toy business.
Mattel was the first toy company to show ads to kids, which helped them sell a lot of Barbies early on, even though the ads were criticized for being too one-sided and lacking in diversity. Today, Barbie dolls are precious to collect, and if you happen to have an original one from 1959, you could make a small fortune today.
Considering that it cost only $3 to buy initially, this is an excellent return on investment. But, like any collectible, the highest bid at an auction will be for a Barbie that has never been opened or played with. The original 1959 Barbie is worth around $27,450 today.
Baseball Cards – Honus Wagner Card ($2.8 Million)
A rare baseball card of Honus Wagner was sold for a record-breaking $2.8 million just over six months after it was bought for a record-breaking $2.35 million.
The American Tobacco Company released the baseball card in 1909, called the “Mona Lisa” of baseball cards. In February 2000, Brian Seigel of Las Vegas sold it to an unnamed collector in Southern California.
Wagner, a young player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, is shown on the T206 baseball card. At the time of the sale in February, it was shown at a news conference at Dodger Stadium.
Board Games – The Original Monopoly ($146,500)
Families worldwide have played old board games like this one for years, and their popularity keeps growing. Monopoly is no different, and it is often brought out to play as the most popular game during the Christmas season.
The very first version of Monopoly was made by Charles Darrow, who came up with the idea for the game and made 5,000 copies by hand. The original is a circle of oilcloth with squares, cards, and wood pieces.
Parker Brothers didn’t want to buy the idea, so he made these instead. After the tabletop game sold many copies and proved popular, Parker Brothers made an offer. The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, paid a hefty $146,500 to get one of the first 5,000 copies of the game.
Books – Where the Wild Things Are First Edition ($25,000)
Some books are valuable depending on their number of copies and quality. A first edition of the popular children’s book Where the Wild Things Are fetched $25,000 at auction.
The sale was made via AbeBooks.com for the signed copy of the first edition from 1963. Even more amazing is that it’s mostly a picture book with just a few words on each page. But for that price to be paid, the book had to be in perfect shape and have been read very little.
The copy sold was unique because it was a first edition signed by the author and in great shape, which is rare for children’s books. In the world of collecting books, signed first editions are the best of the best.
Comic Books – “Action Comics 1” ($3.2 Million)
Action Comics No. 1 was the first comic book with a superhero. When it first came out, it introduced readers to several heroes with superpowers. Superman was the most well-known of these heroes.
On the cover of this 1938 book, Superman is shown lifting a green car off the ground as people run away. The first print run of 200,000 copies sold out in a record time. As soon as the comic book started selling 1 million copies a month, they figured out that Superman was the reason why.
In the past few years, companies like Disney and Sony have helped to make comic books more popular. When it came out, this issue of a comic book only cost 10 cents, but a copy in perfect condition can now sell for as much as $3.2 million.
Hot Wheels – 1969 Volkswagen Beach Bomb ($125,000)
Mattel, an American toy company, made Hot Wheels for the first time in 1968 as the main competitor to Matchbox. Most Hot Wheels toys aren’t worth much—maybe $1 or $2 each—but some older and rarer ones are worth a lot.
For example, in 2011, a Volkswagen Beach Bomb prototype from 1969 that was never put into production sold for a very impressive $125,000. The original ‘Beach Bomb’ featured realistic proportions, including a small surfboard protruding out the trunk window.
Only 50 of the 144 prototypes exist today. In 1969, they sold the ‘Beach Bomb,’ but it was wider, and the surfboard was on the side. The sold Pink Beach Bomb’ is unusual since it has a heavier bottom than the original prototype design.
Pokémon Cards – Pikachu ($100,000)
When Pokémon became all the rage there were TV shows, plush toys, and, of course, the trading card game, the empire’s crown jewel. People who grew up playing with Pokémon cards probably remember how amazing it was to see a very rare card like Mewtwo or a holographic Charizard for the first time.
When they were first made in Japan in 1966, Pokémon trading cards took the world by storm, and millions of cards were sold worldwide. You might be surprised to find out how much some of your cards are worth and how they could be one of the most valuable toys from your childhood.
Some cards can sell for crazy amounts today if they are in perfect shape. One example is the Japanese version of the Pikachu illustrator card, which has been known to go for $100,000 on eBay. So, if you’ve been able to keep your Pokémon cards, it’s time to get them valued.
Vintage Atari Games – “Air Raid” ($33,400)
The Atari 2600 games console came out in 1977. If you like video games, you probably know a few things about them. People generally thought this was one of the worst game consoles ever made, but if you had one and kept some cartridges, you might be sitting on a goldmine.
People think that “Air Raid,” is the most expensive Atari game in the world. Used, it could sell for around $14,000, but a brand-new cartridge still in the box could sell for around $33,400.
In 2013, a woman from North Carolina found an extremely rare NES game called Stadium Events at a Charlotte Goodwill. After she tried to sell it to a local game store, which couldn’t pay her what it was worth, she put it up for auction for $12,000. In 2015, a sealed copy of this game went for $35,100.
The most expensive toys in the world are now collectors items for adults who want to preserve the nostalgia of days gone by. The games on this list are rare and revered, fetching thousands or millions of dollars at auction.