• Discounts and special offers
  • Subscriber-only articles and interviews
  • Breaking news and trending topics

Already a subscriber?

By signing up, you accept Moneywise's Terms of Use, Subscription Agreement, and Privacy Policy.

Not interested ?

1. Nerf Turbo Football

Nerf football

Released in 1989, this football was a hit thanks to its distinctive grooves that helped the ball spiral effortlessly through the air. Even the least graceful kid could throw great distances, and the squish factor meant it was easy to catch, too.

Later that year, Nerf added a small plastic contraption to the side that made a high-pitched whooshing sound when thrown. The Turbo Screamer was born.

The Nerf brand continued to iterate throughout the ’90s, releasing tons of new sports products, before pivoting to focus more on toy guns. It seems fans miss the simplicity of the Turbo Football, as it fetches a high price.

Selling price seen on eBay: $200

More: Shouldn't your money be doing more? Open a high-yield savings account today.

Need cash fast? Turn to Credible for hassle-free personal loans!

With competitive rates and transparent terms, Credible makes borrowing simple and stress-free. Whether it's for a new car, home improvement, or debt consolidation, find the perfect loan for your needs.

Find the best rate for you

2. My Buddy Doll

My Buddy

Made by Hasbro in 1985, this simple doll was intended to teach young boys about friendship. Its legacy has taken a few unexpected twists, though.

My Buddy was a major inspiration for the design of the evil toy Chucky from the 1988 horror flick Child’s Play. The movie became such a classic that it’s hard to look at My Buddy the same way.

Then in 2003, the hip hop group G-Unit — featuring 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Young Buck — released a song by the name “My Buddy.” It echoes the catchy jingle from the Hasbro commercial: “My Buddy, My Buddy; Wherever I go, he goes.” However, in this case the buddy is a firearm.

Selling price seen on eBay: $265

3. Polly Pocket sets

Polly Pocket

The teeny tiny Polly Pocket can fetch you a mountain of moolah today.

The original line of toys, first sold by Bluebird Toys in 1989, looked like makeup powder compacts. Opening them up revealed a miniscule dollhouse or other playset. The actual Polly Pocket figurines were tiny, usually less than an inch tall.

Bluebird created a ton of different sets, including cottages, castles and other adventures. But after Mattel took over in 1998, Polly Pocket was redesigned as a doll on a larger scale. The brand has remained popular with kids, spawning books, movies and a TV show, but the old fans still appreciate the classic clamshell style.

Hopefully you didn’t lose any pieces.

Selling price seen on eBay: $996

Discover the power of FreeCash – your ticket to easy money

Dive into a world of rewards at FreeCash where earning cash is as simple as a click. No gimmicks, just real cash for your time. Join the community of earners today and watch your wallet grow effortlessly.

Make Money Now

4. 'Thundercats' Lion-O action figure

Thundercats Lion-O

The animated TV series "Thundercat"s debuted in 1985, following a group of catlike aliens as they try to find safe refuge from their enemies and protect the legendary Sword of Omens.

A line of action figures was released by LJN Toys in the mid ’80s, featuring all the main characters. The protagonist Lion-O is perhaps the most beloved. When his “suspension capsule” malfunctions, the 12-year-old’s body ages all the way to adulthood, though his mind remains as immature as ever.

Though the show was popular enough to spark two reboots, both faced harsh criticism. There’s nothing like the classics.

Selling price seen on eBay: $5,904

5. Rare Pez dispensers

1962 Lion's Club Pez dispenser

The value of Pez as a foodstuff is debatable, but the dispensers are undeniably popular among collectors. The company has made so many since 1949 that it’s essentially impossible to get every kind.

The craze really kicked off when Pez started adding 3-D heads to the top in 1957. The dispensers reached their final form in the 1980s when the company attached little feet to the bottom to help them stand upright.

While vintage Pez can fetch a high price, those made in small quantities for special events are even more prized.

Selling price seen on eBay: $500

More: 14 valuable coins that could be hiding in your change

6. My Little Pony generation one

My Little Pony

This major toy and media franchise arose from a single figure, called My Pretty Pony, released by Hasbro in 1981. After the 10-inch toy failed to win over many fans, Hasbro tried a new line of smaller ponies in 1982.

My Little Pony was a hit, partially because the toys were so collectable. They came in a range of bright colors. Some were unicorns, pegasi or sea ponies. They had sugary sweet names like Cotton Candy or Butterscotch. And each had a special symbol on its flank called a “cutie mark.”

Though the brand was definitely targeted toward girls, the broad appeal of the 2010s cartoon series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic created a cult-like following among adults, including men.

Selling price seen on eBay: $539

7. Original run of Transformers' Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime

Though Transformers didn’t introduce the concept of shapeshifting robot toys — it evolved from earlier Japanese lines Microman and Diaclone — its memorable characters have helped the franchise endure for decades.

The mid-’80s cartoon etched the civil war between the Autobots and Decepticons into the minds of kids across America. The villainous Megatron and backstabbing Starscream were fun, but the heroic leadership of Optimus Prime genuinely inspired people.

Countless toys, films, shows, comics and spinoffs later, the blue and red 18-wheeler remains totally iconic.

Selling price seen on eBay: $29,999

8. Rare Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures

Scratch from TMNT

Who could imagine, when the first comic released in 1984, that so many people would fall in love with four pizza-gobbling turtles, named after Italian Renaissance artists, that live in N.Y.C. sewers and are trained in the art of ninjutsu by their rodent sensei?

After four cartoon series, six feature films, dozens of games and even a touring concert series, it’s clear fans are attracted to a lot more than the weird premise.

There’s a ton of TMNT toys out there, but as usual scarcity is just as important as a character’s popularity. That’s why the virtually unknown Scratch the cat will fetch a much higher price than Michaelangelo.

Selling price seen on eBay: $1,980

9. Hot Wheels ‘redlines’

Hot Wheels

Take a look at your bucket of random Hot Wheels cars. Do they have a red line on the tires? You might have a ritzy ride on your hands.

These “redlines” come from the first 10 years of production, from 1968 to 1977, and are treasured by collectors. The line itself isn’t proof of the toy’s age — it was revived for some vintage-style reproductions — but it’s a good reason to investigate further.

Kids are typically very rough on their Hot Wheels, smashing them together and rolling them through the dirt, so old ones are hard to find in good condition.

Selling price seen on eBay: $10,000

10. Original 'Star Wars' action figures

Boba Fett

For more than 40 years, "Star Wars" has remained one of the most popular media franchises around. The movies have spawned an endless stream of comics, cartoons, collectables and cosplays, but people still want the original toys.

All that merch made George Lucas a fortune. Before the first movie came out, Lucas famously passed up directing fees in favor of merchandising and licensing rights to the property. The studio expected Star Wars would be just another Sci-Fi flop.

Time has proved quite the opposite. Characters like Luke Skywalker and Boba Fett are no doubt popular, but any toy from the ’70s and ’80s, even random droids and background characters, can fetch thousands.

So hold on to your Baby Yoda toys. In another 40 years, people might be just as nostalgic for The Mandalorian.

Selling price seen on eBay: $34,900

More: Turn your collectibles into even more wealth. Open an Acorns account with just $5


This 2 Minute Move Could Knock $500/Year off Your Car Insurance in 2024

Saving money on car insurance with BestMoney is a simple way to reduce your expenses. You’ll often get the same, or even better, insurance for less than what you’re paying right now.

There’s no reason not to at least try this free service. Check out BestMoney today, and take a turn in the right direction.

Caitlin Cochrane Former Staff Writer

Caitlin Cochrane was formerly a staff writer with MoneyWise, and has an educational background in human resource management and professional writing. When she is not writing, she is at home drinking tea and playing with her bunnies.


The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.