MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Collectibles soaring during pandemic

Demand spikes value of toys, cards
Value of collectible toys soaring
Posted at 7:07 PM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 20:12:05-04

If you have old toys, dolls, or baseball cards in your basement or closets that you haven't checked in years -you may want to dust them off.

Because things from our youth are becoming super collectibles during this pandemic.

If the pandemic has you spending a lot of time at home, you might want to dig into your closet.

Because many old toys and trading cards are soaring in value this year.

Walk inside O'Smileys Dolls and Collectibles and you'll find a wonderland of classic toys.

"This is what I consider the doll room," said owner Sherry Smiley, who has shelves of dolls that these days are in high demand.

"You are seeing a lot of interest in the '80s Barbies, you are seeing an increase in early Cabbage Patch Kids," she said.

Smiley says Gen X'ers are now seeking the toys of their youth.

"We come to an age where we start to reflect what the best times of our life were," she said. "Those are the toys we go after."

In the original box, some are worth hundreds of dollars.

Among them:

  • 1970's Barbies.
  • 1980's Cabbage Patch dolls.
  • Early American Girl dolls.
  • Crissy and Dawn dolls.
  • African-American Christie dolls.

USA Today says African-American dolls in general are seeing a huge increase in value.

Melrose Cross of Springdale is glad she kept her daughter's dolls.

"She left them here so that when she brings her little girl to visit, she gets to play with them," Cross said.

Margie Schultz with believes people working at home all day have sparked the new interest.

"In the last year, prices have been going crazy," Schultz said. "I think those that still have jobs are buying like crazy."

Toys for boys are hot too.

If you didn't tear the legs off your G.I.-Joe or He-Man, they can be worth $50 or $100 right now.

"He-Man and G.I. Joe right now sell more than the Star Wars," she said.

Meanwhile, Hot Wheels from the 1970s are another hot collectible.

"This one is a 1970 Camaro, for $89," she said.

The key with any vintage item is condition and scarcity.

If it's a Harry Potter toy with millions of copies out there, it's probably not going to be that valuable.

The same is true for the hottest collectible of all right now - vintage cards.

Some early Pokemon cards from 1997 through 99 have sold for thousands.

And vintage baseball cards are on fire.

"A card like this is worth thousands of dollars," said Dean Hanley of Dean's Cards and he exhibited a Pete Rose rookie card.

"Some of these high-end cards, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, they are five and 10 times what they were a year ago," said Hanley, who cautions that rarity and condition are key.

If millions were made -- we're looking at you, Funko Pops and recent Star Wars toys -- you may have to wait a long time.

A 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card sold for $5 million this year.

So check your closets so you don't waste your money.