How to Value Toys and Dolls?

Written by Alexander Bitar
Children's toys are known for surprise valuations because they continue proving extremely collectable despite their lack of intrinsic value. Learn about how to value toys and dolls with our valuation experts. Discover what to look out for and how it can impact the value.


Vintage toys: robots, windup-mechanism toys and cars.

Vintage dolls, teddy bears, windup-mechanism tin toys, and action figures are rare and do very well at auctions. It is worth checking your attic or garage in search of your old GI Joe toy, as an original can be worth up to £200,000, depending on its condition and the serial number. Vintage versions of classic board games such as Monopoly, Snake, and Ladders can bring quite a sum on a specialist auction.

Today, the expectations have to be countered, and modern toy producers take into account that there are collectors out there interested in their toys, so these are very common and easy to find. This written, almost all types of toys, games, or dolls have their collecting niche and will be of interest to someone, especially if they still have original packaging and are in excellent condition. Did you find an unopened LEGO set from your childhood? It is worth checking how much it is worth because a large community of collectors would pay you a fair price, especially for a model that comes from a discontinued series.

Luckily, here at Value My Stuff, experts in the field can provide professional valuation services so that you can take the necessary steps to discover how much your Toys and Dolls are worth today! Start Your Valuation Here!

Related: How to Value Toys

Barbie Fashion Doll Wearing Six Different Outfits. (Getty Images)

Barbie Fashion Doll Wearing Six Different Outfits. (Getty Images)

The Value of Dolls

High-quality antique dolls can be among the most valuable examples of toys on the market. Dolls made before the Second World War can be found in wax, fabrics, paper-mâché, china, Parian, and bisque, the latter of which generally has the highest value, in particular 'bébé' dolls. There are valuable examples of all types of antique dolls. However, condition and completeness are crucial to any doll's value:

– Clothing should be original and reflect period fashion.
– The doll should have its original limbs and body.
– Cracks, fading, and heat damage will lessen the potential value.
– Finally, there is an element of desirability in a toy's unusual or particularly charming aspects.

Follow these easy steps to value your vintage dolls.

Early examples of Steiff "Teacher" dolls can be worth between £1,000 and £3,000, depending on condition. "Bonnet-head" wax dolls or swivel-head china dolls have an exceptional rarity that has made them highly collectable. At the same time, the detail in the face painting and the features used can also enhance value. If your Grandmother or mother were lucky enough to get their hands on the Barbie doll when they were little girls, it is a good idea to check if they have it. Early Barbies from the 1950s, especially those originally produced in Japan, are highly collectable and sought after and can be worth anything from £8,000 to £30,000 depending on the condition and original vanity set.

Related: How to Value Barbies

The original 1935 Monopoly board patent

The original 1935 Monopoly board patent. Image: Public Domain

The Value of Classic and Vintage

Board Games It is widely caricatured that the original packaging for collectables such as toys is precious, and this can certainly be the case when it comes to mass-produced toys and board games; instructions and/or accompanying artwork, leaflets, or labels can also enhance value, particularly where unboxed examples are expected.

The value of some toys, in particular, early examples of wood and tinplate, are not reliant on the packaging; sometimes, there would not have been such an original box, and in these cases, the condition of the paintwork and the design may well be enough to secure a high value. As most types of toys are collected, age is often a significant factor within a type. For example, while Märklin model trains may generally fetch higher prices than Bing examples, Bing pieces from before the First World War are highly desirable.

Related: How to Value Chess, Playing Cards and Board Games

A replica of a Steiff model 55PB, the first Steiff Bear; Steiff-Museum Giengen, Germany, 2006. No original examples are known to survive.

A replica of a Steiff model 55PB, the first Steiff Bear; Steiff-Museum Giengen, Germany, 2006. No original examples are known to survive. Image: Matthias Kabel / License: CC BY-SA 3.0

The Value of Teddy Bears and Soft Toys

Mass-produced soft toys are a relatively recent addition to the toy market. The German firm Steiff is probably the most well-known and the first great soft-toy producer, established in 1877. Steiff Dicky Bear from the 1930s was sold for a hefty £50,000 at Christie's in London. Steiff is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most sought-after make, but most other soft toys that predate the First World War will have a high value. Unfortunately, the simplicity of soft toys, in particular teddy bears, has made fakes popular.

For this reason, invaluable examples should generally be consistent with age but not in bad condition; this likely means worn noses and paws but not replaced eyes or heavy restoration work. Uneven seams or inaccurate modelling can also give away fakes. On top of age, some bears or other soft toys have a scarce attribute or model that can enhance their value; a toy that appears unusual can have a hidden value.

Whether you are a collector looking to buy or sell a particular toy or a board game or just clearing your storage, it is always good to check the value of your finds. The toy you cherished in your childhood gained monetary value over the years. Is someone looking for this model ship you bought years ago but never had time to set it up? Our experts are here to help. Press here to get your Toys and Dolls Valuation within 24 or 48 hours – quick and easy!

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