If you’re cleaning out your parents’ attic or going through boxes in the garage, you might want to wait before tossing any old toys in the donation bin. While chances are good most of the playthings from your past only hold sentimental value, there’s always the possibility that you’re hanging on to a treasure without even realizing it.
Check out some popular toys from the ’80s and ’90s that have fetched a pretty penny on eBay for their lucky owners.
1. My Little Pony
In 1981, Hasbro came out with a toy called “My Pretty Pony,” which shrunk and became “My Little Pony” the following year. Since then, there have been numerous pony generations, ranging from the first basic, brown horse to glittering, rainbow-laden unicorns. While most of the old MLP dolls are simply garage sale fodder, a small lot of first gen prototypes sold for $8,500.
2. Hot Wheels
In 1966, an inventor, a rocket scientist and an automotive engineer collaborated on an idea for a new type of toy. More than 50 years later, kids still enjoy racing the affordable miniature hot rods. Who knew they could be valuable? Someone did, because a collection of Hot Wheels from the ’60s and ’70s sold on eBay for nearly $5,300.
3. Lionel Train
Lionel produced its first electric train in 1901 and kids (as well as grownups) have enjoyed them ever since. So much so, in fact, that some of them are extremely valuable. A rare trolley recently sold for $9,100.
4. Power Rangers
You would be hard pressed to find a ’90s kid who didn’t have a favorite Power Ranger. Toy maker Bandai began creating Mighty Morphin toys in 1993, so if you’re stashing your old action figures somewhere, they likely produced it. Bandai also made a Zeo Zeonizer Morpher replica, one of which was sold for the high bid of $7,172.
5. Star Wars
You always knew your Star Wars toys would be worth big bucks one day, but your mom never believed you. Hopefully, she didn’t hand down your 1978 vintage Kenner Jawa to your cousin Billy, because one fetched $20,000 on eBay.
If you just had to catch them all, let’s hope you caught (and kept) a first edition Holo Charizard. Someone paid nearly $24,000 for the Pokemon card.
7. G.I. Joe
The military action figure hit the market in 1964. Since then, he’s been on countless missions and had starring roles in television and movies. Apparently, G.I. Joe has been making some people a bit wealthier, as well. A G.I. Joe Defiant Space Shuttle Launch Complex Vehicle sold for almost $5,000.
8. Beanie Babies
Although they were not the treasure troves many collectors once thought they would be, there are a few Beanie Babies that were worth holding on to. For example, a bidder purchased a Princess Diana Beanie Baby for more than $3,000.
Hasbro introduced Optimus Prime and other toy Autobots to the U.S. in 1984. The Transformers are still near and dear to the hearts of children and adults, and it shows in the popularity of the playthings. A die-cast first generation Transformers Hot Spot Protectobot Leader sold for more than $1,000.
The amazing web-slinger swung onto the scene in 1962 and has enthralled children with his superhero skills ever since. Toys continue to be popular and can be valuable as well. A 1967 action figure netted more than $7,000.
Who didn’t have some sort of “Little People” playset? If you still have one in good condition, it could bring you some cool cash. A vintage 1974 Fisher-Price Play Family Castle sold on eBay for nearly $800.
Not every popular plaything from your younger years is valuable, but you never know. Perhaps your basement or your mom’s garage is holding a jackpot.