Old toys, consoles and comics hidden away that could earn you a small fortune
Classic 1980s toys you may have tucked away in your loft are creating bidding wars at auction.
For those who grew up in the decade, the 1980s was arguably the greatest era for children’s toys. From action-packed TV adverts to picking the must-have toys from a home catalogue, many of them are boxed away collecting dust and could be worth thousands of pounds.
According to specialist toy auctioneers, Wessex Auction Rooms, “1980s toys are currently creating the biggest bidding wars.” So if you’ve still got any toys from the era hidden away, they could be worth a mint, the MEN previously reported.
The price they fetch depends on factors including the toy’s rarity, condition, popularity and particularly if they are unopened in their original box – but even with a few scuffs, all is not lost. Tim Weeks, toy specialist at Wessex Auction Rooms said: “It’s amazing to think how many of these classic toys are still tucked away people’s lofts and could be worth a small fortune. It’s not just boxed and carded examples that make money, even loose figures and vehicles in play-worn condition have value.”
To help see if what you’ve still got hidden in the attic is worth anything, online pop culture and entertainment retailer Zavvi has pulled data from Ranker.com to find the ’80s collectibles that could be worth a small fortune. Below is a list of the top 10 rare toys and how much they are known to sell for.
10. Game Boy
Just sneaking into the 1980s toy era, Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld console was first released in Japan in April 1989 and in the US later the same year. Although not as technologically advanced as some of its competitors at the time, an estimated 118.69 million units of the Game Boy and its successor, the Game Boy Colour, have been sold worldwide, making it the fourth best-selling video game console of all time.
According to the data, Game Boy consoles have been known to sell for £634.
9. Cabbage Patch Kids
If you were a kid in the ’80s, you’ll likely be well acquainted with the Cabbage Patch Kid phenomenon. The dolls were instantly recognisable thanks to their signature rosy cheeks and kids were enamoured with their charm.
Cabbage Patch Kids became one the most popular toy fads of the decade. The toys were so in demand in 1983 that they caused riots in the US as frenzied shoppers scrambled to buy their child one for Christmas amid stock issues.
They sold nearly three million dolls and officially became the most successful new doll introduction in the history of the toy industry.
According to the data, Cabbage Patch Kids have been known to sell for £732.
8. 1983 Indiana Jones Action Figure
After the success of the film release of Raiders Of The Lost Ark in 1981, American toy company Kenner produced a series of Indiana Jones action figures and other toys based on its lead character and the movie. These included a 12-inch-tall “Authentically styled Action Figure” of Indiana Jones, as well as smaller-scale action figures, playsets, and replicas of the German desert convoy truck and Jones’s horse.
According to the data, 1983 Indiana Jones Action Figure has been known to sell for £773.
7. Daredevil Comic #168
Published on January 1, 1981, this iconic issue revealed that Matt Murdock (Daredevil) loved Elektra before his accident and the murder of her parents, according to the Marvel website. Perhaps another reason it fetches a fair whack is because in issue 168 of the comic, Elektra’s name is misspelled as “Elecktra” on the cover.
According to the data, Daredevil comic #168 has been known to sell for £891.
6. 1986 American Girl Doll
American Girl dolls are a US line of 18-inch dolls first released on May 5, 1986, by Pleasant Company. The dolls portray eight-to-14-year-old boys and girls of various ethnicities, faiths, and social classes with the aim of teaching aspects of American history alongside an accompanying book series written from the perspective of a girl living during that time period.
According to the data, 1986 American Girl Doll has been known to sell for £962.
5. Star Wars Action Figures (£1,728)
The original Star Wars figures produced between 1978 and 1985 are some of the best selling toys of all time. From must have figures like Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and C3PO, to craft like the Millennium Falcon, Star Wars toys are big business even today.
The original Star Wars film was released in May 1977, and the unprecedented response to the film led to a high demand for toys. Subsequent releases of the follow up movies, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and the Return of the Jedi (1983) further fuelled kids’ demands for Star Wars figures and crafts for Christmas.
According to the data, Star Wars action figures have been known to sell for £1,728.
4. Vintage G.I Joe (£385.50 – £2033.30)
G.I. Joe is a US line of action figures owned and produced by Hasbro. Although popular in the 1980s, the original G.I. Joe figures were released back in 1963.
Many incarnations of the toy have been released since this time across the world, but the vintage models are the ones said to fetch the highest prices.
According to the data, Vintage G.I Joe toys have been known to sell between £385.50 – £2033.30.
3. Classic He-Man Action Figures (£2,550)
Along with Star Wars figures, classic He-Man and the Masters of the Universe figures will have been in the Christmas stockings of many British ’80s kids. The toy line of heavily muscled action figures was created by Mattel in 1981, and first released in 1982.
Since its launch, the Masters of the Universe franchise has spawned a variety of products, including multiple lines of action figures, television series, comics and even two feature films. Castle Grayskull was the centrepiece of the toy line, and is said to have sold more than 3.5 million units alone.
According to the data, classic He-Man action figures have been known to sell for £2,550.
2. Pepsi Optimus Prime (£4,148)
There won’t be too many kids who grew up in the ’80s who aren’t at least aware of Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots who could transform into a truck. Transformer toys were first released in 1984 with many kids in the UK getting a first taste of the shape-shifting robots watching the cartoon on the hit children’s TV show, Wacaday.
As well as the cartoon, the franchise has since spawned many spin-offs including a comic book series, and five live-action films launched in 2007 by director Michael Bay. In 1985, the makers released a special version of Optimus Prime in conduction with drinks giant Pepsi, which has since made serious money at auction.
According to the data, Pepsi Optimus Prime has been known to sell for £4,148.
1. Red Sea Crossing – Atari
Released in 1983, Red Sea Crossing is a Christian video game for the Atari 2600. The game’s main character, Moses, starts parting the Red Sea, with the goal of reaching the Sinai Peninsula.
Throughout the game, the player controlling the prophet attempts to dodge various underwater obstacles such as seaweed and giant clams, as well as pursuing Egyptians. With only two copies of the game known to exist, it is one of the rarest video games ever made.
According to the data, Atari game Red Sea Crossing has been known to sell for £8,549.
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