Here is a list of 10 valuable and collectable old toys that could make you some money.
The experts at AuctionMyStuff.com take a look at some of the most popular childhood favourite toys that might be worth something now. You might just want to have a look through those old boxes in the loft after you have read through these!
1. Paddington Bears
Photo Credit : Winston Lee
Michael Bond's first Paddington Bear book appeared in 1958. During the 1970s Paddington's popularity increased with his appearance on television.
Gabrielle Designs produced the first soft toy in 1972. The company gave Paddington his boots, made by Dunlop. Michael Bond then added boots to his Paddington character.
The early British version of the Paddington bear wears a safety pin in his hat. The American versions do not have the pin, as it would breach safety regulations.
Early Paddington Bears are quite collectible.
A Gabrielle Designs bear from the 1970s, beige plush, in excellent condition, sold for £80 in February 2013 at Vectis Auctions. A Gabrielle Design rare Paddington’s Aunt Lucy, in traditional Peruvian costume sold for £140 at the same auction.
Steiff Paddington bears are in demand too, such as this bear sold for £70 at Vectis in August 2014. Among the best prices achieved in the past few months was £220 for a R John Wright Paddington Bear from 2001.
2. Hornby train sets
Photo Credit : Ben Salter
The British model railway maker Hornby has been a firm favourite among collectors for many years. The first model was produced in 1920, designed by Frank Hornby and manufactured by Meccano. The older models command higher prices with some examples from the 1930s fetching over £3,000 at auction. These values vary depending on model, condition and rarity. The Dublo range was introduced in 1930s and a 1935 clockwork 0-gauge could make over £1,000.
Gorringes recently sold a Hornby Series Clockwork 0-4-0 Zulu train set for £750.
3. Star Wars items
Photo Credit : Barron Fujimoto
George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise began in 1977 when the first film was released. The film’s popularity owes to how it revolutionised the cinema industry. All six films have enjoyed massive box office success and the resulting merchandise enjoys a wide fan base among collectors. Within the Star Wars realm there are many different items to collect including figurines, games, comics, posters, stationary, videos, etc..
Toys which had been bought for a few pounds are now being sold for hundreds, if not thousands. High priced example include an original 1980 Palitoy Empire Strikes back Medical Droid which sold for a record breaking £7,000 in February this year. It was 100 times the auction estimate. At the same auction a Darth Vader action figure reached £2,520.
4. Monopoly game-sets
Photo Credit : Mikael Miettinen
Monopoly has a special place in many people’s childhood memories. Invented by Charles Darrow in the 1930s and originally manufactured by Parker Brothers, it is a fast-paced game of property trading. It was even involved with a scheme by the British Secret Service during World War Two being used to deliver information to prisoners of war. Early editions of the board game are considered vintage and are highly prized by collectors. The rarest of which is the 1935 “Trade Mark” Edition (No. 7 Black Box version) as there was only around 24,000-25,000 released. Other highly sought after editions include the 1946 Fine Edition, the 1985 50th Anniversary Edition, and the 2001 Nostalgia Edition, amongst others. The most expensive Monopoly board was a complete game-set from 1933, handmade by Charles B. Darrow himself. It sold as part of the Malcolm Forbes Toy Collection at Sotheby’s, in December 2010, for $146,500 (approx. £93,100).
5. Corgi toys
Photo Credit : JD Hancock
Corgi toys were a range of die cast model vehicles. The production began in 1956 by the Mettoy Company in England, in direct competition with Meccano’s Dinky Toys. Popular models include those from well-known films such as the Batmobile and James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5. A long time favourite among collectors Corgi Toys often sell for a good price with many models making well into the hundreds of pounds. A mint condition, boxed car will always be more valuable than without as with many collectable toys.
In 2008, Vectis Auctions sold a Corgi No. 204 Rover 90 Saloon for £360. In the same auction, a Corgi No. 207M Standard Vanguard Saloon Mechanical sold for £280.
6. Star Trek
Photo Credit : Sonny Abesamis
Star Trek, the well-known and well-loved sci-fi television series, was first aired in 1966. It followed the intergalactic adventures of Captain Kirk and his crew on the starship Enterprise. It has even been suggested as the inspiration for the invention of the mobile phone. This ensued the subsequent franchise which spawned three television series, films and a line of related merchandise which includes comics, video games, magazines, books, costumes and figurines. At a Christie’s auction in 2006 a model of the Starship Enterprise-D fetched a staggering $576,000 (approx. £307,000) against a pre-sale estimate of $25,000 to $35,000 (approx. £13,000 to £18,000). Collectible items include costumes worn in the original series. Boxed figures can be bought relatively cheaply, but some can fetch a reasonable some. The rarest and most sought-after include figures manufactured by Mego, which were based on the original series. Most of them are worth around the £70 mark ($100).
7. Fisher Price toys
Photo Credit : Sarah Joy
Fisher-Price has long been associated with creating a multitude of child safe toys. Founded in 1930, their fundamentals were good manufacturing, intrinsic play, learning and good value for money. Since they have produced over 5000 different toys and are still going strong today still being the first choice for many parents when buying toys for their children. Nostalgia for these toys of the past drives collecting in this market with the older toys being more popular amongst collectors. The trotter toys are popular with collectors, especially those manufactured in the 1930s. A Donald Duck ‘Angry face’ trotter toy from 1937 recently sold for $190 at Heritage Auction Galleries (approx. £120).
Last year, Working Hot Mammy, an early wind-up dancer, sold for $510 in the US (approx. £320).
8. G.I. Joe figurines
Photo Credit : New York National Guard
G.I. Joe figurines were a range of action figures manufactured from 1967 by Hasbro toys. The toys were marketed as generic faced soldiers which were collectively known by the acronym G.I. standing for ‘Government Issue’. There is a massive collectors market for these toys and adults who remember playing with these toys have now become enthusiastic collectors.
A famous example was sold for $200,000, by Heritage Auction Galleries, in 2003 (approx. £124,000). This was a prototype with movable hands and feet making it look more realistic. This was, at the time, the most expensive toy ever sold.
Early versions are considered the most collectible and the condition of the doll and its clothing are essential. Among the most rare of all G.I. Joe memorabilia includes the 1967 Marine Jungle Fighter Accessory Set, the Magnum Power Accessory Set from 1976 as well as the G.I. Nurse. In 2013 though, Heritage Auction Galleries failed to sell the prototype for the first G.I. Joe dressed in an Air Force uniform, and an early production model G.I. Joe Navy Talking Action figurine at $12,500 each (Approx. £7,800).
Photo Credit : Tracheotomy Bob
Barbie launched in 1959 by Mattel at the American Toy Fair. It was noticed that there was a gap on the market for a girl’s dolls which were not modelled on infants. Barbie was based on the German doll Bild Lilli. She became the best selling doll in the worlds with over a billion sold; she is now considered a collectible. Certain models are more desirable to collectors than others and certain release years hold more importance. An original from 1959 in mint condition could easily make £2,000, such as this No. 1 Barbie which sold at Christie’s London in 2002 for £2,880.
Early models are more highly prized as well as rare examples that have bendable legs or red hair.
In 2010, a Barbie designed by Stefano Canturi, wearing a diamond collar necklace, sold for $302,500 as part of a jewellery sale, to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (£191,000).
10. Dinky Toys
Photo Credit : Stephen Edmonds
Meccano produced a range of die-cast toys from 1935-1979 called Dinky Toys. Already producing trains under Hornby, Dinky Toys came to represent other transport vehicles including cars, military vehicles, and farm machinery. By 1935, they were producing lots of different items including ships, small trains and aeroplanes. These items are extremely collectible nowadays and this is one of the more famous names to look out for. As with most collectible items the value of these items is determined by what a collector is prepared to pay for them.
In 1994, an early red and green delivery van, emblazoned with the name of W E Boyce, a 1930s London cycle shop, sold for £19,975. It was sold in the 1930s for about 1s 6d old money, or 7.5p in today’s currency, and was among the first toys of its type to be used for promotional purposes.
Unboxed items in good condition can still be bought for a few pounds, but the rare models can go for hundreds with the highest quality and boxed pieces commanding the most. Valuable Dinky Toys to look out for include two-tone cars from the Fifties, and sets, like the fire brigade set, in as well as promotional vehicles, including trucks and vans.