For most people, toys are something we all grew up with, regardless of what era we were born in. They are objects that played significant roles in our childhoods and were a big part of our lives at some point, whether for a short or long time.
It is no wonder that there is a market for toy collectors who wish to hold onto the sentimentality of a youth past, perhaps acquire objects of favorite toy brand, or simply admire a fun piece of history. Could the box of decades old toys you found in your parents’ attic be of any value? Is there something you held onto that might be worth more than you expected? Here are some helpful tips and tricks to assist you in determining how to value toys.
While when thinking of toys, the images that come to mind are likely the plastic figures, wind-up mechanicals, or stuffed animals of our own childhood, people have been playing with toys since before recorded history. Ancient Egyptian tombs of children included sophisticated play objects such as wooden carved animals on wheels with mouths that opened and closed. European children of the same time were known to play with balls, toy carts, rackets, and yo-yos. Ancient Roman children had access to cloth and terracotta dolls, as well as miniature toy soldiers. The medieval period introduced kites and hobby horses. Throughout history, humanity has displayed a consistent instinctual need to play, pretend, and make-believe across cultures.
"Ancient Egyptian tombs of children included sophisticated play objects such as wooden carved animals on wheels with mouths that opened and closed."
While the nature of toys lends itself to fun and lightheartedness, toy collectors still take their business as seriously as any other sector of the art and collectibles market. Therefore it goes without saying that the condition of an item is pivotal when assessing its value. A damaged item that might otherwise be worth a considerable amount of money will see a significant decrease in value. If your toy bears evidence of cracks, dents, broken parts, missing pieces, chipped paint, fading, and so on, this is considered damage that will negatively affect your item’s worth. However if this is the case, do not be entirely dissuaded; if your item is old or rare enough, exceptions may be made in the case of condition.
And important aspect to note about the toy collecting hobby is that just because your item is very old does not mean it will sell for a lot of money. It all depends on the rarity of the toy; if its demand exceeds its supply it is considered a rare item and will bear significant value. Rare toys that are high in value include, but are not limited to Garbage Pail Kids Cards, the original Monopoly Game, Fisher Price’s Push Car Pete, American Girl Doll Molly, and the first edition Barbie. A 1978 Luke Skywalker action figure will sell for $25,000.
Another helpful tool to use when setting out to attain a pricing estimate for your toy is price guides. Today the internet provides a multitude of free databases and pricing lists that can lead you in the right direction when it comes to finding the worth of an item. A few examples of such websites are Kovels.com and Brianstoys.com. It is important to note that while price guides can offer you a ballpark idea of what an item is worth, their suggestions are not set in stone and can vary depending on shifts in the market; thus one should take this information with a grain of salt.
Toys provide a fun and comforting sense of nostalgia and sentimentality, joining together the fun and carefree memories of childhood with history and pop culture. Toys represent an aspect of life that mankind has shared across generations, continents, and cultures, that is the need to imagine, and learn through play as children. As toys have been part of every society and civilisation throughout time, it is certain that they will likely continue to entertain generations to come.
Whether your interest is in 19th century animatronic toys, vintage Barbies, or 90’s Furbies, the toy collecting sector can provide endless joy and fulfilment for many. While the above hints will serve as a helpful guide in pricing your item, the most important part of the process in determining an accurate estimate for your toy’s worth is to seek professional appraisal; luckily here at ValueMyStuff there are experts in the field who will be able to provide a reliable and trustworthy valuation.