What Are Tickle Me Elmo Dolls Worth Now? We Found Out What Your Favorite '80s and '90s Toys Sell For on eBay
Yesterday, Bustle conducted an investigation to find out roughly how much a vintage American Girl doll is worth today. Inspired by a piece by BuzzFeed that found many of the dolls and play sets available for auction on eBay for upwards of $500, Pamela took a look around herself to see what she could find — and the results were… not totally the same. Sure, there are a few mint-condition dolls with their full accessory sets and books going for insane prices, but odds are, most of us have much-loved dolls that will only fetch about $50.
This whole kerfuffle got me thinking: What might some of our other favorite toys from the ‘80s and ‘90s be worth these days? I combed eBay for information about nine must-have toys from our childhoods to see what was up. As you might expect, most of the toys don’t sell for as much as the collectors probably hoped they would during the height of each one’s popularity — and although there are a number of absurdly high listings, I suspect, like Pamela, that they reflect their owners’ hopes for their value, rather than what people are actually willing to pay for them.
Still, though — the nostalgia is strong with these ones, so let’s take a look, shall?
1. Beanie Babies
Although some Beanie Babies, like this $652,000 Princess Diana commemorative one, do command some monumentally steep prices:
Most of them don’t. Even the ones we were convinced would be worth a small fortune when they were first retired largely ended up like poor Garcia here, who’s lucky if he goes for $10 on eBay:
So if you’ve got one of them hanging out in your closet, you’re hypothetically in the money. Oh, and just for the record, if you have any Beanie Babies with misprinted tags, that’s a surefire way to drive the price up. Remember Garcia the $10 Wonder? With a misprinted tag, he goes for $3,000:
At the height of the original Tamagotchi craze (circa 1996 to 1998), I remember seeing listings for them on eBay, which was new at the time, for hundreds of dollars. Considering that the toys originally retailed for somewhere in the neighborhood of $25 to $35… well, there’s your proof that it’s all about supply and demand. Interestingly, original Tamagotchis these days can run the gamut from super cheap to super expensive. This brand-new-in-box one from 1997, for example, has an asking price of $200:
Whereas this one, also brand-new-in-box, is only asking for $10.99:
You know what will net you a pretty penny, though? A Japanese “Devil Gotch” dating back to 1998:
For the curious, current Tamagotchis retail for about $20, although they’re currently on sale at Toys R Us for $14.99.
First-edition Furbies have suffered pretty much the same fate as Tamagotchis. Some of them can net you around $500:
But most of the time, it’ll probably be around $40, even if they’re brand-new-in-box:
And if yours is a little battered… well:
Six bucks? Ouch.
The newest Furby costs about $50, although like Tamagotchis, they’re currently on sale at Toys R Us for $29.99.
4. Tickle Me Elmo
I found eBay listings for original Tickle Me Elmos in just about every price point possible; most of them seem to hover around the $30 mark:
Although they can run as cheaply as $10:
But here's the thing: Can anyone explain to me why these things were so popular when they first debuted in 1996? I mean, I know I was many years out of the target demographic at the time… but still. I just don’t get it.
5. Teddy Ruxpin
Oh man. My brother had a Teddy Ruxpin, and I always wanted to play with it so badly… but alas, I was always deemed too young to be allowed around its many robotic parts. TR seems to have a respectable following on eBay, with the majority of the listings for a well-kept bear hovering around $150 for an unboxed one:
And $279 for a boxed one:
The outliers include a $450 one with a Santa suit:
And this one going for the low, low price of $9.99:
Be on the lookout for fakes, though; this one, for example, looks a little suspect.
6. My Little Pony
I can’t remember if it was my birthday or Christmas, but I vividly remember one gift-giving holiday when I was about three years old (so we’re talking 1988 or so) during which I received a zillion My Little Ponies. Maybe I should have hung onto them. Individual ponies from the ‘80s often go for around $50:
(I definitely had one of those ones, by the way; their tails twirled when you wound a flower-shaped dial on them.)
The most expensive one I found on eBay has an asking price of over $1,780; it appears to be a super rare one, though, so bear that in mind:
New MLPs of the Friendship Is Magic variety run $15.99 (or $12.79 on sale) for a set of three at Toys R Us.
7. Polly Pocket
Vintage Polly Pockets actually do pretty well on eBay, as long as you’re selling an actual set as opposed to a few random pieces. It’s also worth noting that Polly Pocket compacts and sets made by Bluebird Toys are worth more; Mattel purchased the company in 1998, after which the value of the toys drops. Generally compacts seem to run between $25:
(I had that one!)
With the rarest of the rare asking for $500:
No longer quite so pocket-sized, today’s Polly Pocket sets run between $7.99 and $32.86.
8. The Littlest Pet Shop
Like My Little Pony, the Littlest Pet Shop is having a renaissance thanks to Hasbro and their television channel, The Hub. The original Littlest Pet Shop debuted in 1992, though, and if you’ve got any complete sets from their early-to-mid-‘90s run, you can snag roughly $25:
To $50 for ‘em:
New Littlest Pet Shop toys run between $3.99 for individual dolls and $39.99 for the biggest sets.
9. Treasure Trolls
I cannot, for the life of me, explain my obsession with Treasure Trolls. I loved them, though, and had approximately eighty million of them. (Well, not actually eighty million, but you get what I mean.) All that collecting appears to have been for naught, though, as most of them are only worth a few bucks nowadays:
Although the birthday month-themed “Wish Stone” ones bring in a little bit more, as long as they’re brand-new-in-box:
They’re probably about to get a makeover, by the way; DreamWorks Animation, which purchased Trolls in 2013, has a 2016 musical film starring the fuzzy-haired creatures and the voice of Anna Kendrick due to hit cinemas in 2016.
Image: Wiki Commons