We all had our favorite childhood toys when we were growing up. For me, it was my old Tonka trucks — I had an entire fleet of them that I regularly used to help me carve miniature highways and water canals out of a large dirt planter in our front yard: a couple of dump trucks, a road grader, a bulldozer, a track grader, and even a crane. Let me tell you, those toys could really take a beating back then too.
It’s too bad that I no longer have any of my old Tonka trucks because, according to Realpriceguides.com, many Tonka toys from long ago are now worth anywhere from $100 to $1200, assuming they are in good condition.
It’s not just old Tonka toys — in 2010, a toy truck made by Buddy L sold for $2700.
I used to have a whole battalion of GI Joe dolls and accessories too. Unfortunately, I gave them all away — even my coveted GI Joe with kung-fu grip. I know.
Anyway, if you happen to still have a vintage GI Joe USS Flagg Aircraft Carrier Playset hiding up in the attic, you may be interested to know that they’re currently selling on Ebay for as much as $1250. And if you think that’s impressive, the GI Joe Defiant Space Vehicle (circa 1987) is on the same site right now for $12,999.
Add those to the growing list of things today’s middle class can no longer afford.
Of course, not all toys appreciate in value over time. In fact, you may be surprised to know that time has been less than kind to some of the more iconic toys from long ago.
Remember the Cabbage Patch doll craze? For some inexplicable reason, there was a period of time back in late 1983 when people were going absolutely bonkers over those ugly things. Why, I’ll never know.
Anyway, those hideous old dolls fetch a very modest $46 today. That’s just a $1 premium over modern Cabbage Patch dolls you can buy in toy stores now, proving that contemporary popularity — no matter how rabid the demand — can never be viewed as a guarantee of future price appreciation.
With that in mind, check out the following infographic for the current value of many other popular playthings from the past. As you’ll see, like most everything else in life, not all toys are created equal.
Photo Credit: tankgirltai; Infographic: Two Little Fleas
Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way says
I had Barbie, Tamagotchi and Pokemon cards before and it’s very expensive! I even remember before, the brick games are very expensive too, but now some of it is only less $1.
Remember all those toys from 1960 to about 1975 by Mattel and Hasbro? The ones that had tons of movement and/or noise. Many helped with hand and eye coordination etc.
Barnes & Nobles has them…for about 20x what they used to cost! But it is still a fair price for toys that will be played with for more than one day. And maybe by more than one child.
Len Penzo says
Yes, toys were much different back in the 60s and 70s. I think they were much more clever than the toys today — and take a lot more punishment. I remember when those hand-held electronic football games game out in the mid-70s. They were all the rage — you’d see groups of kids huddled around the guy who was playing the game cheering him on as he tried to move the “football” down the field. Good memories.
I’ve been a fan of snakes and ladders that never fail to excite me every time I play it. I still got one here, which my son still plays.
Len Penzo says
Do you mean “Chutes and Ladders,” Jayson? I used to enjoy playing that game with my kids too.
Randy A says
Wish I would have kept my Lionel train set from about 1959. Also, my Kenner Girder and Panel Building Set from about the same period.