Unlikely Heroes: Why some toys worth fortune are surprising choices

The true trajectory of a toy is remarkable when you stop and think about where it starts and then where it ends up.

As a child, you clamor for a toy because it’s popular, fun or new. You don’t have to spend two decades worth of time holiday shopping to know just how much the “it” toy can mean to the masses.

But when you get older, your old toys obviously aren’t kept to play with but rather either set aside for your sons or daughters or, in some cases, used as means to flip them into a small fortune.

While that mindset isn’t that shocking when you consider how eBay and other auction sites, along with an influx of second hand toy stores that sell vintage toys, are doing quite well in a marketplace that puts a premium on the past, in this case toys.

But what is surprising are certain toys that you never paid much attention to that are now worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, while some you expect to be on a list of most lucrative toys from decades past.

For instance, Pokemon cards were all the rage and they still are; the throwback Easy Bake Oven also does fairly well on the open market, raking it between $300 and $500 for one. Certain brands, the same ones that are flourishing today, also are creating quite a buzz for some of their older incarnations, such as Barbie, Lego and Star Wars, just to name a few.

Some are more head scratchers, such as the line of talking dolls and bears, namely Teddy Ruxpin, who can score their owners a whopping $500 to $700 if they try to ship him off to a new home by selling him online. The Cabbage Patch Dolls gained fame in the 1980s and they’re just as famous now for other reasons: being worth thousands of dollars to the right collector.

For collectors who once were kids, the toys and their value don’t mean nearly as much as simply having the toy to call their own. They look at it with great value not from a money standpoint but instead as a reminder of a simpler time being a child.

And for some kids turned adults, the toys, while sentimental, just carry too much of a financial windfall to ignore, instead opting to trade them in for the almighty dollar.

Neither opinion is wrong but certainly worth paying close attention to what toys you may have left in your toy, or should be now say, treasure chest.


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