You don't have to be a pack-rat to hold onto the cherished toys from your childhood. They offer sentimental value and let us day-dream about those simpler days of our youth.
But some of you likely have old toys that you want to part with, if only to de-clutter your home. What you should know is that some of your old toys may be extremely valuable to collectors and toy aficionados across the world.
Below we'll look at which toys may be hidden treasures that could fetch you a decent return.
Vintage toys will often be the most lucrative collectibles. For example, tin toys from the turn of the last century can be quite high in demand, even if they are from the 1920s.
Toy trains continue to attract interest from buyers nostalgic for the classic toys of the past. We learned that a one-off coal-powered model of the hand-made Flying Scotsman — reportedly crafted in the 1930s — was sold for $50,000.
In the automotive category, who could forget Hot Wheels? Those iconic toy cars are rare these days, and can be worth thousands. eBay experts say the most valuable Hot Wheels car is the Volkswagen Beach Bomb, which can sell for more than $125,000 US.
Don't overlook the simple toys, much like Hot Wheels. Look at the photo below of the "Fisher Price No. 740 Push Cart Pete Toy". It isn't fancy or complicated, and cost 50 cents in the year it was released in 1936. When it sold at auction, its final sale price was $8,000 US. Wow!
First-edition action figures and dolls can be lucrative for their owners. A first-edition Barbie Doll might be hiding in your closet, and if it is in mint condition it could attract bids as high as $23,000.
Star Wars memorabilia released between 1977 and 1985, when the first three films were released, are also valuable.
In 2013, toy specialist Vectis Auctions sold a Jawa figurine with a rare vinyl cape for £10,200, as the Daily Mail writes.
Why would old toys be so attractive to buyers? Glen Chapman, a toy specialist at C&T Auctions, told The Daily Mail: "It's all about nostalgia. People who grew up in the Seventies and Eighties are probably married, have children and well-paid jobs now.
"They have the money and want something to remind them of their childhood."
Old toys might come in the form of board games, and original games can fetch a decent return. For example, an original cloth version of Monopoly made in 1933 sold for $192,000 in 2011.
The Wall Street Journal reports that demand for vintage board games linked to Universal Studios monster movies of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s has boomed in recent years, inspired in part by rising interest in other collectibles from the same era. "Games in perfect condition featuring Dracula, Frankenstein or the Wolfman can fetch $1,000," WSJ states.
Other toys that could put some cash in your pocket include the original Furby, Beanie Babies, Cabbage Patch Kids dolls, Teddy Ruxpin dolls, Playmobil sets, Lego trains, Garbage Pail Kids cards, Happy Meal toys and first-edition books.
(Note we aren't discussing comic books in this post, since we'll dedicate an entire post to selling old comics).
It's also important to keep toys in great condition if you decide to pursue valuations or auctions or even yard sales. Dust off the gunk, keep the toys away from pets and direct sunlight, and wash them lightly with water and soap. If you have a board game like Monopoly, ensure all of its pieces and items are in the box.
If you want a free valuation of your old toys, and live in the Ontario area, get in touch with Muzeum and we can arrange a meeting.