Rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures can sell for a fortune, so if you happen to have some lying around at home it might be worth digging them out. This Slam Dunkin’ Don can sell for around $110 (£80) if boxed and in mint condition.
Rainbow Brite started out as a TV series in 1983, with the dolls becoming popular throughout the 1980s. Rarer examples, such as this Kitty plush toy, can sell for a fair amount – a used toy recently fetched $132 (£100) on eBay, and those in their original box and in good condition can fetch a lot more.
Famous for its appearance in the holiday classic Home Alone 2, the Deluxe Talkboy cassette recorder was released in November 1992 and appeared in many a Christmas stocking that year. Today, collectors will pay up to $170 (£130) for a mint condition model.
This big green lump of plastic may not look like anything special, but collectors will fall over themselves to get their hands on one. In September 2019, an eBay buyer paid $180 (£135) for a used version of the Hot Wheels toy, which features a multitude of fun ramps, tracks and bridges.
This handheld LCD game sold by the truckload during the 1980s and you may have even found one in your stocking one Christmas. If so, here's hoping you left it in the box. Recently, boxed models that are in mint condition have sold for up to $220 (£165) on eBay.
A cheap bottle of perfume from the 1990s might not sound like a great find, but some collectors are willing to spend $335 (£250) for just that to get their hands on a now unavailable scent. Discontinued in 2001, the unisex OM eau de toilette that used to retail for less than $20 (£15) a bottle has been known to sell on eBay and elsewhere for 16 times that amount.
A-Team merchandise flew off the shelves throughout much of the 1980s. A boxed toy van inspired by the hit TV series recently sold for $350 (£260) although it did also come complete with two sets of figurines, and was in the original packaging. Meanwhile other A-Team merch, such as figurines and toy jet bombers, frequently sell in the region of $130-$260 (£100-£195).
The quirkier vintage Fisher Price toys tend to fetch the highest prices these days, and the 1980s McDonald's Drive Thru Playset is one of the most coveted. A used set, complete with accessories, recently sold for $500 (£375) on eBay.
This gargantuan LEGO set is not for the faint-hearted. Consisting of almost 6,000 individual pieces, it's the largest set of all time and is widely coveted by ambitious LEGO creators. Released in 2008, the rare set originally retailed at $369.95/£299.99, yet it's recently sold for $500 (£375).
When the GI Joe range was first dreamt up in the early 1960s, marketers worried that boys would never want to play with ‘dolls’, so they coined the term ‘action figure’ instead. GI Joe action figures have gone through several incarnations since then, but if you have a rare or early example in good condition it could be worth a fortune. In 2003, one of the prototype action figures was sold by Heritage Auctions for $200,000, which is the equivalent of $300,640 (£225k) in today's money. More recently, rarer figures that were available in stores, such as the Marine pieces (similar in style to the one pictured), have fetched upwards of $550 (£410) on eBay.
If you happened to get one of these Ghostbusters toys for Christmas in 1990 and have left it in the box for the past three decades, you’re in luck. An unopened example of the model car recently sold for $590 (£445) on eBay, while used vehicles could also fetch a tidy sum.
Remember what you got for Christmas in 1979? Was it a Sony Walkman, complete with a Guardians of the Galaxy case, by any chance? If so, you could make a fortune from it: these special-edition personal stereos, if in good working condition, can sell for more than $730 (£545).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise was everywhere in the 1990s, and much of it isn't worth an awful lot of money today, but the more obscure action figures achieve sky-high prices at auction. This super-rare 1993 Scratch Action Figure, in its original box, can sell for as much as $900 (£675), going by recent eBay sales.
More than 30 million units of the Sega Genesis console, known as the Sega Mega Drive in Europe, were sold during the 1990s. Yet the original Sega Genesis 1 is rarer, and an unused model in its box can command as much as $940 (£705) on eBay.
Released in 1982, the Commodore 64 is the best-selling computer of all time, and it would have appeared under more than a few Christmas trees in the 1980s. Although used models are common and plenty of reproductions are on the market, boxed mint condition models go for up to $1,000 (£750) on eBay and similar auction sites.
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Nike Air Jordans have become an iconic shoe, and rare versions are highly sought-after by collectors. These ultra-rare shoes (pictured), which were worn by Michael Jordan himself in 1985, recently sold for an incredible $615,000 (£460k) through auction house Christie’s. The shoes don’t need a celebrity connection to be worth a lot of money – other Nike Air Jordan sneakers frequently sell for more than $1,000 (£750) on eBay.
Launched in 1982, the ZX Spectrum was the UK's number one home computer during the early to mid-part of the decade, with eight different models released, together selling five million units globally. If you were lucky enough to receive one of these as a Christmas present in the 1980s, you could make some serious cash from it today, as boxed working models sell for as much as $1,495 (£1.1k) on eBay.
Those Nintendo NES games you got for Christmas back in the day could be worth a lot of money. Collectors will pay three- and four-figure sums for the rarer cult titles: for example, a factory-sealed example of the classic Castlevania game sells for up to $1,600 (£1.2k).
The Taj Mahal may be LEGO's largest set, but it's not the company's most valuable. That accolade goes to the Ultimate Collector Millennium Falcon from the Star Wars series. Launched in 2007 with a price tag of $499.99/£499.99, a used set recently went for $2,000 (£1.5k). Meanwhile, sealed versions can sell for a whole lot more.
Comic fans, listen up. If you happen to have a copy of this rare first issue of Image Comics' The Walking Dead, published in 2003, you could make some serious cash from it. Mint-condition specimens have sold for $2,100 (£1,580).
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Top of many gamers' Christmas lists in 1997, the Mario Kart 64 game for the Nintendo is a revered classic. Collectors have paid up to $2,175 (£1,630) for a factory-sealed version of the game on eBay in recent months, although you could still make hundreds from a used version if it's in good condition.
Masters of the Universe toys would have appeared in many a Christmas stocking in the late 1980s and early 1990. This Laser Light Skeletor is a particularly rare example. If you happen to have one sitting in its box in perfect condition at home, it could fetch up to $2,570 (£1.9k).
If you grew up in the US during the 1970s, chances are you had your heart set on one of these Raleigh Chopper bicycles, which were all the rage. Seems like they're having a moment with collectors too, as the MK1 and MK2 models have sold for as much as $5,000 (£3.8k) online.
This Super NES game from the 1990s is a cult classic and collectors will go to great lengths to snap up a copy, especially if it's in mint condition. In fact, a factory-sealed example once sold for $5,100 (£3.85k) on eBay.
The Game Boy console came out in 1989 and quickly became immensely popular, selling one million units in the US in a mere few weeks. For a factory-sealed original Game Boy in mint condition, you could make as much as $1,800 (£1,360), while clear or colourful consoles have fetched up to $5,400 (£4k) on eBay.
Published in 1980, A Confederacy of Dunces by American author John Kennedy Toole received critical acclaim, winning the Pulitzer Prize in 1981. Nowadays, if you happen to have a first edition 1980 copy in mint condition, it could sell for up to $9,000 (£6.75k), according to AbeBooks.com.
Any chance you had one of these in your Christmas stocking in the 1980s? If so, you're in luck. Rare Transformers action figures can sell for a fortune these days, with this Optimus Prime action figure being one of the most coveted. Later versions, such as the 2000 Takara Super Fire Convoy Edition pictured, may not fetch as much, but a 1984 model recently sold for $11,400 (£8.55k) on eBay.
The US version of the first Harry Potter book, which was published under the title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, can sell for as much as $15,000 (£11.25k) according to AbeBooks.com if it was signed by JK Rowling. Don’t fret if your copy wasn’t signed by the author herself – unsigned copies are currently listed as selling for up to $3,000 (£2.25k) on the same site. If yours is a first edition, it’ll have the number line of 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02 on the copyright page along with “Printed in the U.S.A.23" and "First American edition, October 1998".
Vintage Fisher Price toys can sell for a fortune at auctions, and this Push-Cart Pete wooden toy from 1936 is the most coveted of all. In 2007, one sold for a massive $12,500 at an auction by Morphy's Auctions, equivalent to $15,700 (£11.8k) in today's money. Meanwhile in 2009, at another Morphy's auction, one sold for $8,000, the equivalent of $9,700 (£7,275).
Old-school Apple products can sell for far more than their more recent, high-tech counterparts, as they are now considered collector's items. After the company discontinued the iPod Classic in 2014, prices of the device on auction sites crept up, with a sealed first generation version selling for $20,000 (£15k) that year. More recently, the portable music players have sold for around $1,500 (£1,125) on eBay.
Published in 1963, children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, written by Maurice Sendak, quickly became immensely popular. In fact, it’s sold at least 19 million copies worldwide since it was published. Thanks to revived interest in the author’s work, first-edition copies are worth a fortune – one sold via AbeBooks.com in 2012 for a massive $25,000 (£18,755).
Magic: The Gathering cards attracted a cult following in the 1990s, and still do. Launched in 1993, these trading cards can sell for a fortune at auction. A used copy of the limited-edition Black Lotus card sold for $26,500 (£19.88k) on eBay, showing that these cards can be worth a huge amount.
Barbie dolls were released just over 60 years ago, with the first doll being introduced to buyers at the American Toy Fair in New York in March 1959. Ever since then, Barbie has become a cultural mainstay, and these early dolls are now cherished collector's items. An original 1959 doll has sold for as much as $27,450 (£20.6k) at auction.
Old iPod Classics sell for a fortune, but this particularly rare special edition U2 iPod, released in 2004 and engraved with band members' signatures on the back, can sell for serious cash. In 2014, one sold for a massive $90,000 (£67.5k) on eBay.
Monopoly is a Christmas favourite, and if you happen to have a vintage version of the iconic game you could be hundreds of thousands of dollars better off. In 2011, the earliest surviving version of the board game, released in 1933, sold for $120,000 (£90.05k) at a Sotheby's auction in New York.
A first edition 1997 copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is known as the "Holy Grail" of Harry Potter collector's items. There are just 500 copies known to exist, so if you happen to have one on your bookshelf you could make a fortune. In March 2020, one personalised first edition copy sold for a staggering $158,315 (£118,812) through Bonhams auction house. To check if you have one, first edition copies are dated 1997, have a print line that reads 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, and feature a mistake on page 53 – '1 wand' is printed twice on the page.
Although it's pretty unlikely you'll have one of these ultra-rare Pokémon cards sitting around at home, if you do you could be in for a treat. The massive success of the Pokémon Go augmented app game launched in 2016 re-ignited interest in the retro trading cards. The rarest, the Pikachu Illustrator card, of which only 39 copies are known to exist, sold for an astonishing $195,000 (£146,330) at a New York auction in 2019.
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