5 Toys You Had as a Kid That Are Worth Tons of Cash Now

By Anne Goetz September 4, 2013 View all posts (1)
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Mom and Dad never anticipated, in 1978, that one day the Sith might help send their grandkids to college. But, if you once had even one of the toys on this list—and you played with it very gently (or not at all)—selling it to the perfect, passionate collector today could mean big bucks. Toys from the ’70s, ’80s and even the ’90s, especially those linked to favorite television shows and movie characters, may be hot commodities among collectors on the second-hand market.

5 1972 Blythe Doll

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Blythe was “the doll with a surprise in her eyes.” Blythe’s eyes freakishly changed color when you pulled the string at the base of her neck. Spooky, yet satisfying, the Blythe doll stood almost a foot tall and sported funk-a-delic mod clothing with boots. She came in a variety of hair colors—blond, brunette and redhead—and in 1972, she sold for around $6. Today, a single disembodied Blythe leg can fetch upward of $100. If you have the whole original doll in good condition, don’t blink—you’re probably looking at a chance to score about $2,000.

4 1970s Stretch Armstrong

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If you were an 8-year-old boy boy in 1976, you probably either had, wished for or played with a Stretch Armstrong figure. Made of latex rubber and filled with sugary corn syrup, of all things, the original Stretch Armstrong was manufactured by Kenner from 1976 to 1979. Stretch was aptly named, as his whole appeal rested on the fact that kids could stretch him to impossible limits and he would always return to his original shape. Today, collectors happily pay thousands of dollars for this simple, bendable toy. Mint in the box, with the paper instructions and accessories, Stretch Armstrong can net you around $2,500. Sweet!

3 Peanut the Royal Blue Beanie Baby

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Ty, Inc. issued Peanut, the royal blue elephant, on June 3, 1995. The Beanie Baby remained in production for another three years, but the royal blue version was produced only through October of that year, making it a rare and ultra-collectible plush toy. Ty’s Beanie Babies were conceived in an effort to produce an affordable toy that children could purchase using their own allowance. Because they originally sold for about $5, many children in the mid- to late 1990s owned a version of Peanut the elephant. Those fortunate enough to still have one of the first 2,000 ever produced in the royal blue color could be sitting on $1,500 to $5,000—and that’s not peanuts.

2 Double-Telescoping Darth Vader

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If Dad held onto the early “Star Wars” toys, it’s possible he might have a double-telescoping version of Darth Vader packed away in grandma’s attic. The most valuable figure in a series that featured Vader, Luke and Obi-Wan, this version of the Dark Sith Lord featured a light saber that extended from his hollow arm, then extended again in a thinner, more-fragile tip. The dual-extending weapon was costly to manufacture, and Kenner quickly changed the design in the next wave of figures. Because it’s estimated that only three of the figures remain—still packaged and unaccounted for—each is valued between $2,000 and $7,000, depending on the condition and whether or not it’s in the original packaging. Not bad for a $2.49 investment. Take that, Rebel Alliance.

1 Magic: The Gathering — Black Lotus Card

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The 1993 collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering was the first of its kind to spawn a professional player circuit. Introduced by Wizards of the Coast, MTG still boasts a following that numbers in the millions. Particularly collectible among Magic cards was the powerful Black Lotus. Whether an Alpha Black Lotus or a Beta Black Lotus, an authenticated card of this variety in mint condition today can help you collect upwards of $15,000.

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