15 Vintage Toys You Don’t Have To Feel Guilty About Trashing

Most old toys aren’t the goldmines you think they are.

collection of old wooden toys
Updated July 18, 2024
Fact checked

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

The value of toys can be completely detached from the materials used to make them. This is especially true of toys from bygone eras, some of which can fetch thousands of dollars.

However, if you’re tempted to hold on to your old toys to make extra money, think again. While some vintage playthings are valuable, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most old toys aren’t worth much money (if any).

So if you have any of the following items in your attic, here’s your permission to donate them to a good cause without worrying about their worth.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive discounts and financial resources

Over 50? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member you could be missing out on huge perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on things like travel, meal deliveries, eyeglasses, prescriptions that aren’t covered by insurance and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (Do not skip this step!) Doing so will allow you to take up 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

Ceramic or porcelain dolls

Ganka/Adobe porcelain doll with blond hair

Everyone has a grandma or great-aunt holding onto a collection of these. While your relative may have held onto their collection in the hopes that they may be worth something, most dolls will sell for around $10, so they’re probably not worth the space they’re taking up.


Rick Beauregard/Adobe pogs & slammers

A huge fad in the 1990s, pogs are cardboard coins that stack and are hit with a metal “slammer” coin. They were tradable in their day, but these days most of them aren’t worth much — maybe $1 each on eBay if you’re lucky.

Most Barbie dolls

monticellllo/Adobe barbie dolls of the ocean

Unless your Barbie is still in the box, very old, and very rare, it’s probably not worth much. Most Barbie listings come and go unbought on eBay, and many of the ones that do sell go for $20 or less.

Resolve $10,000 or more of your debt

Credit card debt is suffocating. It constantly weighs on your mind and controls every choice you make. You can end up emotionally and even physically drained from it. And even though you make regular payments, it feels like you can never make any progress because of the interest.

National Debt Relief could help you resolve your credit card debt with an affordable plan that works for you. Just tell them your situation, then find out your debt relief options.1

How to get National Debt Relief to help you resolve your debt: Sign up for a free debt assessment here. (Do not skip this step!) By signing up for a free assessment, National Debt Relief can assist you in settling your debt, but only if you schedule the assessment.

Try it

Model train sets

Олександр Луценко/Adobe train model on the railway

The value of a vintage model train set depends on what gauge it is (i.e., what size track it runs on). O, S, and Standard gauges may be worth something, but others have little resale value.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Fotoluminate LLC/Adobe babyland general hospital signboard

These iconic toys from the 1980s began when an art student, Xavier Roberts, rediscovered “needle molding,” a German sculpting technique, and used it to create soft sculpted dolls. By 1983, over 3 million dolls were “adopted.” While Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage then, demand has dried up in recent years.

Late-model action figures

zayacsk/Adobe action figure of gi joe

Granted, some action figures can be extremely valuable, such as original 1970s Star Wars figures in mint condition. But your box full of old G.I. Joes and My Little Ponies likely won’t fetch more than $20 online.

Beanie Babies

smakhalov/Adobe soft toys of husky dogs

This toy is the poster child for a collectible that once had rabidly enthusiastic fans and is now worthless. Some of these bean bag animals were worth thousands, but most are now worth less than in the 1990s — even if they still have the tags on.

Comic books

how to invest in comic books

If your comic books are newer than 1980, the only worth they have is the joy you get from reading them. The irony is that the comics that hold the most value are the ones that were printed before people started collecting them. Hence, it’s difficult to find comic books that are old enough and still intact enough to hold any value.

Strawberry Shortcake dolls

Helissa/Adobe strawberry shortcake moranguinho dolls

The 1980s nostalgia trend burst on the scene with remakes of classic kid’s shows and toys like Strawberry Shortcake. However, even vintage versions of these dolls and figurines aren’t worth much — less than $20 each.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!2

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Fisher Price toys

homank76/Adobe package of toy

Every preschool, church nursery, and grandma’s house once had at least a few of the classic Little People figures or a corn-popper vacuum toy. But unless you have a complete set of these vintage playthings in immaculate condition, it’s more worthwhile to donate them to another preschool, church, or grandma than to sell them.

Stuffed animals

Alexander Sabilin/Adobe assorted stuffed toys

We all had a favorite teddy bear as children, but most stuffed animals hardly look collectible after children grow out of them. Vintage stuffed animals don’t hold much resale value, even for sought-after characters like Carebears and Mickey Mouse.

Hot Wheels

matpit73/Adobe hot wheels series

If you think your vintage Hot Wheels cars are worth holding onto, think again. Even 1960s and 1970s cars in the original packaging go for a paltry $10-$30 if you’re lucky.

Funko Pops

Acento Creativo/Adobe harry potter funko pop

Yes, there are a few Funko Pops old enough to be considered vintage, but they’re probably not worth much more than you bought them for. Most of them go for around $15 — hardly enough to retire on.

Pokemon cards

selugallego/Adobe collectible pokemon cards

Like many 1990s trends, Pokemon has also made a recent comeback. So while there is a healthy market of Pokemon trading card buyers, you’re unlikely to make a killing on your vintage cards unless you have specific rare ones that are in fabulous condition.

Precious Moments figurines

Courtesy of Precious Moments a precious Moments figurine

These once-collectible figurines are now the fodder of every garage sale. You won’t get much for Precious Moments sculptures on eBay, but you may get a kick out of joining the Altered Moments Facebook group that repurposes the figurines by painting and altering them.

Bottom line

makistock/Adobe male volunteer holding donation box

Just because a toy is old doesn’t make it valuable. The desirability depends on the age, condition, and how many people want the particular edition, brand, or character your toy represents.

If online research reveals that you have a unique toy with several potential buyers, it could be worth holding onto until you find the right buyer. However, this is only true of a small number of toys. 

Most of the playthings in your attic, garage, or basement aren’t smart ways to build wealth; they’re best saved for grandchildren or passed onto another child to play with.

Choice Home Warranty Benefits

  • First month free
  • Protection for unexpected expense
  • 24/7 claims hotline
  • Network of over 15,000 technicians

Author Details

Jenni Sisson

Jenni Sisson is a freelance writer and editor who focuses on personal finance, real estate, and entrepreneurship. She has been published in Business Insider and The Ways to Wealth. In addition to writing, Jenni hosts the Mama's Money Map podcast to help fellow stay-at-home moms on their journey to financial freedom.