It’s nice to reminisce about toys we played with as children isn’t it? Especially as toys these days are so different. Back then, there was no internet or computer games, and most of the toys didn’t even need batteries! Those were certainly simpler times, and it was a new era of toys that were born of the latest television and film. Anything James Bond or Thunderbirds was so exciting! Etch-a-sketch, Spirograph and Scalextric (if you were very lucky!) were winners all round amongst girls and boys at the time.
Whilst it is lovely thinking about these different toys and how much fun they were, it is also a lot of fun to find out how much those toys are worth now. Afterall, if you have one or two of them in the loft, they may well contribute towards your next summer holiday, although, according to recent research, the cost of vintage toys is rocketing up at a massive 31% a year, so if you hang on to them a bit longer, they might even pay for the whole thing in a couple of years!
Here are some of the most popular toys from the 1950’s and 1960’s and what they could be worth now:
1. Matchbox Cars
There was nothing quite like the feeling of walking into a shop to gaze upon all the beautiful yellow boxes, and having the treat of picking one out for your birthday. These days, the yellow box these cars sit in is so much more significant when it comes to worth, financial worth at least. The more pristine the car, the better. Vehicles from before 1970 are worth the most because they are of a higher quality, in fact some Matchbox cars in mint condition from the right time period can fetch up to $25,000 dollars.
Barbie is like an old friend to some of us. She was there through all the trials and tribulations of childhood and kept smiling, no matter what. How fun it was to dress her up and buy the latest accessories for her! If you still have an original Barbie doll and she’s in mint condition, and she is from the 1959 to 1962 era, then she could fetch up to £1,000 pounds. Even better if you have one of the hourglass barbies from 1959 in the striped swimsuit with an updo, you’re looking at over £10,000 pounds! We could probably say goodbye to an old friend for that price to…
3. G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe was produced in the 1960’s by Hasbro. There are now many versions of the toys that are worth thousands to the right collector. An original prototype, which was made in 1963, sold for $200,000 on eBay! Whilst you may not have the prototype it could be worth digging in the attic to see if you have any other collectable G.I. Joes.
4. Hot Wheels
Hot Wheels cars all the way from the start of sale in 1968 to now have widely ranging values, with some being highly collectible and others costing next to nothing. Although some were and are toys, many models are now highly collectable and even showcased in annual Hot Wheels exhibitions. One of the things that makes certain models collectable is how very rare they are. Finding a rare hot wheels car is extremely difficult, and there are some models so rare, that they only come up for resale when certain collectors are ready to move them on. The rarest and most expensive Hot Wheels Cars from the 60’s are:
- Beatnik Bandit
- VW Beach Bomb, which has fetched over $70,000 in auction before
- 40th Anniversary Edition Hot Wheels, where a Beverly Hills Jeweller customised a car with gold and precious gems for the 4 billionth Hot Wheels car commemoration. The car sold for over $60,000 at auction and there is only one in existence.
- Twin Mill
- Splittin Image
- Custom VW without sunroof, which is worth around $1500 dollars
- Light MY Firebird
- White enamel Camaro which is worth around $2500
- Cheetah, worth $10,000
- Hiway Hauler
- Ram Rocket
- Burnin Box, which is worth up to $500 dollars
5. Gamera Godzilla Statue
Definitely not a toy you will necessarily remember, Gamera appeared on our screens in 1965 as a rival flick to Godzilla. A gamera is a giant turtle and fans of both Godzilla and Gamera have been wanting a movie of the two fighting each other to come out for years. Gamera toys fetch various values, but the most expensive one sold to date was a 5 foot statue which went for $14,000 dollars.
6. Where The Wild Things Are Book
Where The Wild Things Are is a 1963 book that was originally a little controversial during its initial release. However, it gained cult status and was released as a film in 2009. A first edition of the book, could make you a pretty penny, or $25,000 in fact, like the pristine signed version of one which went for that handsome price at an auction in 2012.
Etch-a-Sketch was a ton of fun, and it still is. You draw something, you rub it out, you draw again – simple, but effective. Unfortunately if you have an original Etch-a-Sketch then you won’t get much more than £10 or so for it, however if you can make beautiful art with it, you could be looking at selling it for much more. Some Etch-a-Sketch art has sold for over $10,000 dollars, you can see some amazing examples of it here. Perhaps it’s worth a bash seeing what you can knock up? Afterall, if its rubbish, you can always rub it out again in an instant!
8. Hornby Dublo
These popular 1960’s train sets were so much fun to play with weren’t they? Pretending they were running on a timetable all whilst playing station master, and blowing the whistle for them to go. Back then, you could get yourself a train as a treat for a birthday or special occasion without completely breaking the piggy bank. These days, the prices of the trains varies greatly depending on the model and the condition. An original 1963 Bournemouth Belle is now worth over £500 pounds. The more rare the model you have, the more it will be worth. 1964 and 1960 models with triple rail tracks are highly valued, as are the clockwork models from the beginning of World War 2. Do you have a rare Hornby Duplo set? Would you choo choo choose to let it go for the right price?
Sindy was a best-seller in the 1960’s and much like Barbie, she was there with us on shopping trips, in the garden, in the bath, and anywhere else we were allowed to take her along and walk her legs over surfaces, enjoying the many imaginary conversations that would ensue. Nowadays, vintage Sindy dolls are extremely collectable and some are worth over £1000 pounds.
Recently revived, Trolls are the rainbow haired, strange looking dolls that seem to always be appealing no matter what your age. They’re just so cute! Early 1960’s Trolls could fetch you over £100 pounds so, they might not be so cute you can’t let go of them…
11. Action Man
Action man was the guy you sent to parachute into the paddling pool (shark infested waters), to ride the dog across the kitchen (the huge, terrifying beast threatening civilisation), he really was the bravest of the brave. Nowadays, if you have a somewhat retired original Action Man, he could fetch you thousands of pounds in pristine conditions. Some collectors will pay thousands just for certain Action Man costumes alone.
Scalextric were super exciting toys to have, and not everybody was lucky enough to have one in the 60’s. These days, the new ones are common, and still just as fun to play with. Vintage models, if you have one, are only worth up to around £100 pounds, but rare cars could fetch you up to £100 each.
13. Vintage Dollhouses
Sometimes toys weren’t branded, but really unique and special. A very lucky girl in the 50’s or 60’s would have her very own dollhouse, complete with tiny dolls, tiny furniture and tiny everything. There isn’t a set price for how much a vintage dollhouse would be worth, but as a general rule they are worth more if they have a lot of detail, are well made and they are in excellent condition. To pitch yourself against the best of the best, take a look at one of the world’s most expensive dolls houses, Fairy House which began construction in 1928 and was finally finished in 1935. It is worth an estimated $7 million dollars.
View-Masters were always popular, and the majority are so common now that they aren’t really worth anything. You can pick up a good set with plenty of reels for under £50. If you are looking to sell yours to make some money, then it could be worth various amounts depending on what you have to sell. Usually the actual View-Master itself isn’t worth much, apart from blue and brown model B’s, and model D. The reels definitely could be worth something though. Those made between 1960 and 1963 are often blistered so aren’t worth much. Reels in good condition, particularly Mickey Mouse and other Disney themes, Barbie and Batman do have a value on the market and are very collectible.
By now, you’re hopefully at the very least enjoying some lovely memories of times gone by, and at the most, planning which of your childhood goodies you can sell to book that dream holiday (or at the very least a day out at the seaside with a bag of chips!). Who’s to say what brought you all that fun years ago can’t bring you even more fun as an adult, just in a different way.