Could your childhood toys be worth more than your car?

The appetite for rare and collectible toys in South Africa is growing dramatically, says Claire Cobbledick, Gumtree South Africa. “Toys from the 1970s to 1980s are becoming hot ticket items as their original owners’ advance their careers and have more spending power in their thirties and forties. Nostalgia drives many collectors to get their hands on old favourites, and money is no object.”

Toys that are currently in high demand on the site includes tin cars and soldiers from the 1950s, Fischer Price items from the 1970s and collectibles like Cabbage Patch Kids, Magic Diaper Babies, Power Rangers and Trolls from the 1980-1990s.

“Marketing to children increased, more mothers entered the workforce, and television tie-ins all lead to a toy boom in the eighties and nineties,” says Cobbledick. “Because the buyers have such strong emotional ties to these toys, they are fetching incredible prices.”

Some of the pricier items you could cash in on include:

  • Barbie

Love her or hate her, Barbie is raking in big bucks in the secondhand market. When she first appeared in 1959, Barbie cost R45. Today, a 1959 Barbie in fair condition (without the box) can rake in about R150,000. Currently, the most expensive fashion doll on Gumtree is a Princess Diana Doll (wearing her so-called “Divorce Dress”) with a price tag of R2,800.

  • Collectible Cards

Pokemon trading cards were launched in the USA in 1999. Some cards were extremely limited. A Pikachu Illustrator card recently sold at auction for R21-million

The Pokemon trading card game was first introduced by Wizards of the Coast in North America in January 1999. Considered to be one of the rarest cards ever produced,  the Pikachu Illustrator card features a rare double star. Only six of these cards were ever made; they were awarded as prizes in the 1997 Japanese Pokemon Card Game Illustration Contest. 

  • Kewpie Dolls

These dolls originated in Germany and have been around since 1912. Because they were so widely circulated, the average doll from the 1920s fetches about R2500 but collectors might very well shell out more for a rare item.

  • View Master

Before every kid had access to an iPad and smartphone, there was the View Master – a stereoscope with cardboard slides that would display different images as the View Master buttons are pressed. Today View Master can sell for R800-R5000 depending on the age and condition, while the slides can fetch R100 each.

  • TV tie-ins

Masters of the Universe, Thunder Cats, Dino Riders and My Little Pony kept the kids of the 1980s glued to their TV screens – and the collectible toys were a huge hit. Today your unboxed figurines can sell for R500-R1500 on Gumtree.

  • Fischer Price

Landline phones may have fallen out of vogue, but the Fischer Price Phone (on wheels) is still immensely popular. Expect to sell yours, in good condition, for R300-R500.

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