Learn how to Promote Classic Toys and Flip Your Childhood Gems into Money

Know this in case you are making an attempt to promote outdated toys: Classic toy shops might pay as much as $700 for Hasbro’s uncommon 1967 GI Joe feminine nurse. They might love to purchase a retired Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer LEGO set for $600 or extra. The Fisher Worth blue A-frame home would possibly fetch $50.

However they aren’t serious about your bag of stuffed animals.

“Individuals are available on a regular basis with plush toys. I don’t wish to threat getting mattress bugs. I at all times cross on that except it’s a Care Bear from somebody I do know,” mentioned Jason Williams, who owns Large Enjoyable Classic toy retailer in Columbus, Ohio.

The marketplace for outdated toys has grown in the course of the pandemic due to pent-up demand from collectors and younger mother and father who’re nostalgic for a less complicated time. Many classic toy shops are open in individual once more and keen to purchase and promote.

“I believe the pandemic has introduced out plenty of leisure collectors,” Williams mentioned. “Loads of these toy traces that will not have bought as properly earlier than like Polly Pockets or Mighty Max now promote fairly properly.”

Right here’s what you should know to get high greenback in your classic toys, whether or not you’re promoting to specialty toy shops or in on-line auctions.

Learn how to Decide the Worth of Collectible Toys

Williams reels off values of classic toys as simply as Wall Road merchants quote inventory costs. However values differ broadly based mostly on provide, demand, the quantity manufactured initially and the situation of the toys.

eBay Analysis

In case you are considering of promoting classic toys, analysis the latest promoting costs on-line and pay shut consideration to what’s bought, not the asking costs of unsold classic objects.

“I have a look at bought listings on eBay and attempt to discover a median worth,” Williams mentioned. “If one thing sells for $100 as soon as, and a dozen occasions it bought for $50 and it additionally bought for $10, I’ll worth it at $40 or $50.”

Williams then pays a vendor 50 p.c to 70 p.c of the value he’ll placed on the toy, relying on the rarity.

Skilled Value determinations and Grading

In case you have a toy, particularly an motion determine, that’s in its unique packaging and appears to be promoting for $200 or extra on eBay, it might be value having it graded professionally. If it has an out of doors appraisal, you would possibly get extra for it and also you’ll know if somebody is making an attempt to make a lowball provide.

Many firms grade collectibles, and costs vary based mostly on the dimensions and the way lengthy you’re keen to attend. The Motion Determine Authority, for instance, prices $32 to grade a regular sized determine inside 60 to 80 days, or $55 to grade it inside every week. Often you must mail the merchandise to the grader and so they return it.

If you’ll find a grader or appraiser at a toy conference or native public sale home, that’s a quicker and cheaper route.

Toys from the Sixties and earlier will also be extremely valued even when they aren’t of their unique bins and may be value getting professionally graded.

Provide Issues

The availability a supplier has at any given time, which is only situational, additionally impacts a proposal to a vendor.

“If I’ve 30 of 1 determine, I’m going to cost it decrease and I’m going to pay much less,” Williams mentioned.

High quality Counts

A toy within the unique field is value extra, in fact. If that unique packaging continues to be wrapped in clear plastic, it’ll convey high greenback.

It’s often the skilled collectors who hold toys in mint situation. However in case you are making an attempt to promote your classic toys that children performed with for years, there are nonetheless loads of potential patrons.

Take into account the classic Fisher Worth Little Individuals units that had been manufactured within the Sixties and Seventies.

The blue A-frame is among the harder-to-find units. Williams would promote it for round $100 and pay a vendor $50. If it’s lacking just a few items, he’d pay nearer to a 3rd of his asking worth. If it’s lacking greater than only a few items he’d pay round $25.

Simply as classic report shops might purchase a scratched album as a result of the quilt is in good situation and so they know the identical album will come alongside unscratched, classic toy shops purchase incomplete and even damaged toys to finish beforehand bought units.

“We purchase issues on a regular basis to cannibalize the items to go together with different units,” Williams mentioned.

So How A lot Can You Get For Outdated Toys?

Right here’s a sampling of what some outdated favorites promote for.

Photograph courtesy of Katherine Snow-Smith

My Little Pony

Large Enjoyable has a glass case filled with My Little Ponies in each shade of plastic promoting for $10 to $75. Anticipate to promote yours for about half. The male ponies are value essentially the most.

“They did males that got here with footwear and hats. There was a development employee pony,” Williams mentioned. Male ponies didn’t promote in addition to the feminine ponies so fewer had been manufactured, thus making them extra uncommon.

A primary era, used Mountain Boy pony simply bought for $549 on eBay.  First era females Stardazzle not too long ago bought for $27 on eBay whereas Bangles went for $20 and Flutterbye went bye-bye for $12.50.

GI Joe Figures

Williams not too long ago paid $20 for a 1993 GI Joe. “He didn’t have any of the weapons,” Williams mentioned. “If he’d had these (the proprietor) would have gotten an additional $10 or $15 out of me.”

On eBay, a used 2008 GI Joe not too long ago bought for $15 and a 1964 GI Joe with uniform and boots went for $165.

Marvel Legends

Hasbro started manufacturing the Marvel Legends figures based mostly on Marvel Comics within the early 2000s.

“The demand for these is wholesome. Individuals convey them in on a regular basis,” Williams mentioned. “A determine might promote for $8 if no person cares about it anymore or they’ll go for a pair hundred {dollars}.”

A brand new She Hulk motion determine from the Fin Fang Foom sequence not too long ago bought for $170 on eBay. A used 6-inch Epic Heroes Iron Man went for $18.


Retired LEGO units are value essentially the most, and something associated to Star Wars or Harry Potter is in demand, Williams mentioned.

A Diagon Alley set that was opened with a worn field simply bought for $70 on eBay, however the identical set in a sealed field went for $510.

As for Star Wars LEGOS, a used Rogue Shadow retired Drive Unleashed set bought for $149 whereas a used Resistance Bomber went for $110.


Photograph courtesy of Katherine Snow-Smith

Polly Pocket

“Polly Pocket has gone up in recognition fairly a bit over the past 12 months and a half,” Williams mentioned, once more nodding to folks turning into extra nostalgic in the course of the pandemic.

A used 1993 Polly Pocket Fairy Mild Wonderland simply went for $58 on eBay whereas a 1992 Sky Princess Ring Doll bought for $24 and a Glitter Marriage ceremony Locket with all of the items went for $85.


Hasbro’s and Takara’s Transformers made between 1984 and 1990 are often known as Era One. These are those that curiosity toy patrons are essentially the most. Black Zarak, Fortress Maximus, and a few Diaclones items are the most well-liked, Williams mentioned.

A used Cybertron Darkish Scorponok from the Black Zarak sequence not too long ago bought for $60 on eBay whereas a used Fortress Maximus Headmaster from 1987 went for $288.


Beanie Infants

Rumors have circulated for years that the rarest Beanie Infants promote for tens of hundreds of {dollars}. However vendor beware: Greater than 1,000 of the purple Princess Diana bears are listed on eBay for $3.95 to greater than $10,000. Some are knockoffs for certain, whereas different costs are based mostly extra on wishful considering than comparable gross sales.

The Web is filled with lists of essentially the most valued Beanie Infants, and so they differ tremendously as properly. Some constant feedback say the bears with emblems embroidered on them or a wording error on their white tag will get the most effective worth. They’re supposedly value half as a lot with out the heart-shaped Ty tag.

If you wish to discover a worth and maybe a possible purchaser, it’s a good suggestion to hitch one of many many Beanie Child teams on Fb.

Photograph courtesy of Katherine Snow-Smith

Fisher Worth Little Individuals Units

There’s a Fisher Worth schoolhouse from 1971 in Large Enjoyable’s retailer window is a hook for bringing potential patrons into the store.

“Fisher Worth is a type of iconic issues that grabs individuals’s consideration,” Williams mentioned. It’s not in as a lot demand as motion figures or retired LEGO units, however so many individuals join with these units that had been fixtures in playrooms for generations.

They’re additionally gender impartial, in order that they attraction to a wider viewers.

A Fisher Worth A-frame play set with all of the items not too long ago bought for $114 on eBay. Twelve little picket individuals and 5 plastic chairs from the early Seventies went for $16.50 whereas the pink dragon from the citadel bought for $50.

The Sesame Road units attraction to a particular however vast viewers: Those that are nostalgic for Fisher Worth and are followers of Kermit, Oscar and Large Chook. The Fisher Worth Sesame Road city with characters and furnishings not too long ago bought for $250 on eBay whereas a single lamppost with the Sesame Road signal went for $12.50.

Promoting Classic Toys to a Toy Retailer

Classic toy shops are an excellent go-to for each skilled and leisure collectors.

Toy retailer house owners pay on the spot, which is a bonus over ready for objects to promote in a web based public sale. Additionally, should you can drive to the shop, there are not any transport prices concerned whenever you promote.

Williams’ calendar is full of “clear outs,” which suggests he’s going to a home with plenty of outdated toys hidden within the attic or basement. Some owners herald an property sale supervisor or public sale home, however Williams goes in to appraise and purchase the outdated toys first.

There are classic toy shops in each state. In the event you look on their web sites, most say they’re at all times prepared to purchase and promote. Name forward, in fact, to substantiate they’re shopping for what you must promote. Some classic toy shops primarily purchase comics, whereas some comedian shops additionally purchase toys.

Promoting By way of an Public sale Home

In case you have only one or two objects, eBay or a toy retailer are a superb guess, advises Blake Kennedy, auctioneer, appraiser and co-owner of Kennedy Brothers Auctions in St. Petersburg, Florida. However when you’ve got a set, a web based or in-person public sale run by an public sale firm might herald extra money, he mentioned.

Nationwide, public sale firms usually take a ten% to 35% fee, although they could cost a flat payment or negotiate a smaller fee on a really costly merchandise.

6 Ideas for Promoting Classic Toys On-line

Many individuals will mechanically head to eBay to unload their childhood toys. Right here’s how you can create an efficient itemizing.

1. Be Clear.

Describe any defects or lacking items. This protects plenty of time and hassle if the acquisition is disputed later.

2. Publish Good Images.

Have not less than 5 well-lit photographs of the merchandise from each angle and embrace any tags or producer markings to get the most effective worth.

3. Be Detailed.

Embody as many particulars, that are additionally key phrases, in your product description such because the producer and 12 months it got here out.

4. Be Clear.

Take a look at the product descriptions for different bought merchandise in comparable classes on-line to get their key phrases.

5. Be Responsive.

Take note of direct emails or messages on the web platform so you’ll be able to shortly reply any questions from potential patrons.

6. Be Immediate.

When the merchandise sells, mail it promptly and punctiliously so you’ll get a superb on-line assessment.

Katherine Snow Smith is a senior author for The Penny Hoarder.

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