Hitting the Junk Jackpot: The Most Valuable Vintage Toys

Posted on 06/18/2014

Before you brush off your mom's request to finally remove your childhood toys from her basement, listen up. All of those action figures that offered priceless enjoyment in your younger years could return for a big payday now. If you've got any of these valuable vintage toys, congratulations-- you hit the junk jackpot.

She has more than 150 careers on her resume, but that's not necessarily what makes Barbie so valuable. When it comes to the plastic, high-heel-wearing icon, not all Barbies are created equal. For instance the Stefano Canturi Barbie, the special edition doll made for charity, sold for more than $300,000, making her the highest auctioned Barbie of all time. But how do you know if your Barbie is valuable? Ebay offers some telltale signs including where her copyright information is located. If it's on her bottom then you've got a vintage Barbie in your collection. Dolls with real rooted eyelashes are also considered collectible.

Pez Dispensers
The candy may be so-so but the real treat is the dispenser. If you've got a Pez dispenser collection do some research to find out if you own one worth thousands. Although the vast majority only sell for $3-$5 according to Pezoutlaw.com's Dispenser Value List, a few are worth big bucks. The most valuable is an astronaut prototype created for the 1982 world's fair.

Stretch Armstrong
First introduced in 1976, Stretch Armstrong was a goop-filled action figure whose appendages could be pulled and yanked. Since most Stretch Armstrong dolls were stretched into oblivion by their young owners, finding toys in mint condition is tough. If you've got one consider yourself lucky because these go for hundreds, even thousands of dollars. A set of seven sold for $17,000 on eBay in 2012.

Star Wars Toys
The late 1970s welcomed Star Wars mania. Toy aisles flooded with Darth Vader and Boba Fett. If you've got any Star Wars toys in your attic pull them out because they could be worth thousands. One of the most valuable according to actionfigures.about.com is the "telescoping lightsaber" Darth Vader. Manufactured in 1978, only a few hundred of these delicate action figures made it to market. Today they're worth an estimated $6,000.

GI Joe
This real American hero could singlehandedly wipe out your pile of debt. GI Joe Cobra Ninja sold for nearly $4,000 on eBay last year. Other models consistently fetch hundreds of dollars at auction, often breaking the $1,000 mark.

By Alison Storm

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