Call your mom and dad and get them to pull out your old toy box — it's finally time to cash in on your childhood memories.
From cuddly Beanie Babies to interactive Furby companions and nostalgic Nintendo 64 games, the toys from the 1990s and early 2000s that once brought you joy are now skyrocketing in value, and you could be sitting on a goldmine without even knowing it.
Over the past decade or so, some of the most beloved playthings of yesteryear have become highly sought-after collector's items and in today's market, even plushies from a bygone era are being sold at auction for jaw-dropping amounts.
So, if you've been contemplating the fate of your dusty old toy collection, it could be time to take a deeper dive into the unexpectedly lucrative realm of vintage toys.
Of course, you'll have to be prepared to throw sentiment out of the window, but who knows? You might just uncover a hidden gem that could fund your next dream vacation or even a down payment on a house.
Here's a look at some of the most valuable nostalgic treasures of the '90s and early '00s — that may very well be languishing somewhere within your possession.
Ty Beanie Babies
When it comes to popular and iconic toys from the 1990s and 2000s, there really is only one place to start: Ty Beanie Babies.
These utterly charming and nostalgically irresistible bean-filled companions were once cherished as beloved friends, but it could be time to cash in on that friendship.
While not every Beanie Baby will fetch much more than a modest $5-10 — especially those that have been well-loved (see also: dirty, played-with and tags removed) — certain rare characters still have the power to command staggering sums.
For example, if you've got a mint-condition Iggy the Iguana (mistakenly called Rainbow the Chameleon on his tags) Beanie Baby from 1997 you can basically expect to become rich overnight.
According to a 2023 report from TheToyZone, this Beanie Baby once sold for US$50,000. Right now, you can find people selling it online for around US$13,000. Although remember, it's only worth what somebody will pay for it.
Other valuable Beanie Babies to check your stash for include Bubbles the Fish (1995-1997), Batty (1997) and Jolly the Walrus (1997).
First edition Harry Potter books
Not magic, just cold, hard cash. If you happen to own an original Harry Potter book from the 1990s, you might just be sitting on a goldmine.
Hardcover first editions of the British version of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" with the print line "10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" can be worth up to US$55,000. One such version is available on eBay right now for around US$27,000.
The American version, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," could fetch up to US$4,500 if it has the print line "1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 8 9/9 0/0 01 02" on the copyright page.
Go ahead, check your copy.
Nintendo 64 / Goldeneye 007 (1997)
This 1997 Nintendo 64 game is worth serious bucks if you were sensible enough to keep the original packaging. If your retro game is pretty much perfect condition-wise, you could be in for a major pay day.
This vintage 007 game has sold in the past for just under US$15,000, which is pretty impressive for a game that's now over 25 years old.
Electronic Furby (1998)
Picture this: a boxed electronic Furby from 1998 in remarkable condition. Now brace yourself for the jaw-dropping fact that this bizarre millennial favourite has previously been sold for an astonishing US$10,000.
Naturally, yours will have to be boxed and in great condition to be worth serious bucks, but yours could still fetch somewhere between US$50 and $300 in 2023 if he's still looking sharp.
Can you imagine having to say goodbye to those sorrowful eyes, though?
Home Alone 2 Deluxe Talkboy AFA 75+ (1995)
This Home Alone 2 Deluxe Talkboy AFA 75+ from 1995 is a true vintage treasure and is pretty valuable to collectors. Brand new, boxed and in perfect working condition, one of these could actually fetch up to US$10,000.
But don't fret if your Talkboy shows signs of a few adventures of its own. Even if it's slightly less pristine, there's still a chance to pocket a couple hundred bucks from its sale.
'90s Disney merch
It's no secret that the '90s marked a glorious era for Disney, often referred to as the Disney Renaissance. It was a time when iconic films like The Little Mermaid and a multitude of princess movies graced our screens, capturing hearts worldwide.
Unsurprisingly then, collectors and enthusiasts alike are clamouring to get their hands on the toys that bring back memories of that enchanting era.
In particular, certain 1990s Toy Story toys, like Woody and Buzz, naturally, will sell for hundreds of dollars if they remain unboxed and in good condition. Likewise, A Bug's Life plushies, characters from the former Disney ride Splash Mountain and rare Mickey Mouse toys could all get you way over $100.
You should also double check your old Disney VHS tapes. Despite a whole lot of buzz surrounding so-called "Black Diamond" Disney VHS sets, there's no concrete evidence that any Disney VHS tapes will guarantee you serious money (although some sellers do appear to be selling copies for thousands online).
While rumours persist of some tapes fetching exorbitant sums, the reality is quite different. While a single copy of Beauty and the Beast did sell for an impressive $9,000 in 2016, experts suggest that the majority of Disney VHS tapes hold a more modest value, ranging from $5 to $25.
That being said, if you've got a whole bunch of old Disney VHS tapes lying around, you could still be in for a pretty respectable pay day.
Nintendo 64 / Super Smash Bros. (1999)
This 1999 version of Super Smash Bros. will look familiar to many gamers of the '90s and '00s, but did you keep hold of yours?
In its original condition, it has been known to sell for almost US$10,000 in the past. However, you can find them online for a little cheaper now.
If you thought that was a lot of money, one mega rare Super Mario Bros. Nintendo game sold for US$660,000 at auction in 2021, breaking the previous retro video game record.
American Girl Felicity Merriman (1991)
While the price tag of current American Girl dolls hovers around $100, it's the discontinued dolls that truly hold substantial value, particularly when accompanied by their original outfits and accessories.
Whether you think these lil guys are cute or creepy, there's a big collector's market out there for them and your old dolls could be worth big bucks.
In the past, specific types of the Felicity Merriman doll have been known to sell for as much as US$7,820. Depending on her outfit, condition and accessories, you could sell yours today for between $100 and $1,000.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / Undercover Leonardo (1994)
If there's a 1994 Undercover Leonardo action figure hiding in your basement or toy box, find him ASAP!
This little chunk of plastic (in the right condition) could be worth over US$2,000 — so hopefully yours won't remain undercover for much longer.
Barbie Holidays Special Edition (1997)
Barbie fans, step up! There are a whole bunch of old-school Barbie dolls that are now worth much more than their original retail price, and if you've ever been gifted this particular Barbie at Christmas, it's time to find her again!
As usual, this model is a lot more valuable if you were forward-thinking enough to keep her boxed up and if you didn't shave off her hair (sorry, Barbie).
This special edition festive doll once sold for US$2,500, but most sellers list her on auction sites now for around US$500.
Nintendo 64 Smoke
The see-through games consoles that graced the '00s were undeniably iconic, and it's not hard to see why they were so popular. The appeal of their translucent style remains strong even today, making them a sought-after item for collectors.
To address the question on everyone's mind: What is the value of this translucent gaming wonder? When in excellent working condition and accompanied by the original accessories, these gaming machines have been known to command a price tag of over $1,500.
Princess Diana Beanie Baby (1997)
The crème de la crème of valuable Beanie Babies, this (admittedly slightly morbid) bear was created in 1997 to commemorate the death of Princess Diana.
There is some good news, though. If you've got one of these at home, tags intact, you could be sitting on a furry, purple gold mine.
TheToyZone says this bear has sold for US$18,950 in the past, but there are some listed online for even more than that right now.
Right now, hundreds of sellers are auctioning this model on eBay for anywhere between US$20 and US$500,000 (yep, really) depending on a few specifics.
One person is even selling theirs for an eye-watering US$900,000, but we're not sure you'll ever get that for a Beanie Baby. Not even this one!
Cabbage Patch Kids dolls
These dolls aren't just once-beloved friends from the late '70s and early '80s, but also oh-so-valuable to collectors.
In fact, some have been listed online for thousands of dollars, offering a lucrative opportunity for those willing to part ways with their cherished plastic friends.
And fear not if you own a Cabbage Patch Kid from the '90s, as they can still fetch anywhere between $20 and $200 depending on character and condition.
Baby All Gone
Remember Baby All Gone? This doll was known for both her feeding and changing features, and the fact she smelled like cherries and had a delicious-looking plastic cherry snack.
Not only a source of happy childhood memories but also a potential goldmine, Baby All Gone dolls are currently valued at around US$50-$100 on eBay.
If you have one in good condition with all of the original accessories, you can expect to make even more. Cha-ching!
All of this goes to show that those who are able to dust off the nostalgia and wave goodbye to their old toys can genuinely cash in on their childhood memories.
So, crack open those old toy boxes, clear out the attic, and take a closer look at what you might have hidden away. Who knows, you might just stumble upon a cuddly, 90s-looking gold mine!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
This article has been updated since it was originally published in 2021.