Released by the TY Toy Company, Beanie Babies are a stuffed toy filled with little plastic beans. They became hugely collectable and sought after but the rarest Beanie Baby is the Royal Blue Elephant called “Peanut.” Released in 1995, the elephant was supposed to be light blue but a factory mistake created the collectable Royal Blue model. Highly desired, the Royal Blue Peanut has sold for more than $3000 at auction.
Lunch boxes weren’t always cheap plastic pails covered in Justin Bieber stickers. No, they used to be pure metal, and thousands of them were sold to kids across America. Most were plain or had scenes from the latest hottest films. Superman first appeared in comics in 1938 but it took till the 50s before he started appearing on lunch boxes. Considered the Holy Grail of lunch boxes, this Superman box was released in 1954 by Universal and, in mint condition, can sell for over $11,000.
Hasbro was the maker of the popular line of armed elite soldiers called G.I. Joes. In the 90s, as demand was flagging, they planned to release a series of G.I. Joe aliens called the “Manimals”. All the Manimals had a transforming ability and could have capitalized on the Transformer market. In addition, the Manimals were larger in size than the regular 3 3/4″ figures. They were set to be released but were pulled from shelves at the last minute. But some made it out to the public and are now one of the most sought-after collector toys. One has recently sold for $21,000.
After Return Of The Jedi, George Lucas released a combo set of Storm Troopers and Ewoks, with some Ewok weapons used during the final showdown between the fur balls and the forces of the Empire. These Star Wars figures were a hot item for kids, and so few complete sets survive to this day. Part of the Jedi action set, this combo pack is even rarer and sells for thousands of dollars on Ebay.
Magic: The Gathering, or Magic Cards, is one of the first collectible trading card games. Released in 1993 by Richard Garfield the cards allow people to play as wizards with each player having their own deck of cards that they can use to cast spells against each other. The most expensive of these cards is the Black Lotus. A signed version from Garfield sold for $25,000.
The 1982 World’s Fair Astronaut B PEZ Dispenser was a prototype sent out to the World’s Fair Board. It was never put in production, but PEZ employees were given copies from the factory. When one turned up on Ebay, the winning bid was an impressive $32,205.00 USD.
The Nintendo Stadium Events game is the Holy Grail of cartridge video games. It was released in the States in 1987 with the Family Fun Fitness mat, a short-lived control pad that used feet instead of hands. In 1988, Nintendo bought out the FFF and replaced it with the Powerpad. Games that were released with the FFF were taken off the shelves and destroyed, leaving this one of the rarest games out there waiting for you to discover it in a yard sale somewhere out there. In 2011 one sold for $22,800.
Boba Fett entered Star Wars canon in the horrible and ill-planned 1978 Star Wars Christmas Special. Even though he was a bit player, his brief scene caused a huge surge of interest and earned him a massive group of fans that searched for, and snatched up, any collectible that they put on the shelves.
To meet this demand, a Boba Fett with a rocket arm (nicknamed Rocket Fett) that shot a plastic missile was planned, but events elsewhere nixed the release. A Battle Star Galactica toy with a similar firing mechanism caused some injuries, and one child even died from choking after it was shot into his mouth. Faced with a backlash, the toy makers pulled the Rocket Fett. But some prototypes made it out into the world and one could be sitting in your closet right now. An authenticated C-9+ painted J-slot rocket-firing Boba Fett prototype figure, with authentic prototype 8-sided rocket, would go for around $25,000.
In the 19th century German town of Giengen, seamstress Margarete Steiff had discovered what seems natural to us today: kids love a toy they can squeeze and cuddle. This was big news back then, as kids’ toys was little more than tin soldiers and porcelain dolls. Margarete stumbled on the concept of making soft toy elephants that kids could hug, and it caught on like wildfire.
At the turn of the century, her nephew gave her the idea to also make bears. The first design run was called 55 PB. The 55 stood for its height (55 cm), P stood for “Plush” and B for “Beweglich”, which is German for “moveable”. An American saw the prototype and immediately ordered 3000, as a Teddy Roosevelt hunting incident caused a craze for Presidential toys that were called…teddy bears.
The bears were shipped off to America and…just disappeared. People claim they are the some of the first bears ever made and are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, but no one can find any. No one knows what happened to them, but they suspect shoddy German manufacturing meant that they didn’t have a long life before falling apart. But somewhere out there might be one waiting to be discovered.
The Beach Bomb was a prototype car to be marketed as a scaled-down version of the real VW bus. But The Man wanted all Hot Wheels to be able to be used on Mattel race tracks. The Beach Bombs center-of-gravity was too high, and surfboards hanging out of the back caused it to tilt up. The prototype (now known as Rear-Loader Beach Bomb, or RLBB) was produced an unknown amount of times by admirers in the Mattel factories, but the mass-produced version with surfboards on the side and lower profile was the one eventually released to the public. Now surviving RLBBs are worth tens of thousands of dollars. In 1999 a collector paid $72,000 for a Beach Bomber and, in 2009, a collector listed his RLBB for $150,000.
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