80s Toys are Making Noise

If you were a child in the 1980s, and like me, your Mecca was most likely Toys“R”Us, Kiddie City and the like. Transformers, He-Man, Strawberry Shortcake and Ninja Turtles, just to name a few, all flew off the shelves. The economy had recently recovered from the “malaise” of the 1970s and several toy franchises were all the rage. Fast forward to today, those kids, now grown, are revisiting this age as in seen in current pop-culture. The word is nostalgia. After all, that is what collecting is all about. It is why the stores seem to have an injection of reproductions and reissues. The boomers and gen-xers children are enjoying the several of the same toys, we did. They were awesome then and still are now. Like Kiss. (Yeah, I just invoked Paul Gene Ace and Peter for no reason.) Anyway, this post is for those of you that "grew up" and still have some of your original toys. If you kept them, and in good shape, which was not me, you just might find some handsome returns in the resale market. eBay, Invaluable, Live Auctioneers and several other online auction platforms are proving, day in and day out….80’s toys are hot!


Here are some excellent examples to illustrate…


1. Game Boy

1989 saw the release of the Nintendo Game Boy. Its most popular game at the outset was Super Mario Land. It was quickly followed up with monster hits like Tetris and Legend of Zelda. Thus, solidifying the crazy. And Pokémon, took it to the next level. The Game Boy’s game library became so extensive that it included approximately 700 different titles. Multiplayer modes requiring link cables, pre blue tooth, made it the addiction of millions. Come to think of it. The idea of monsters like Japan’s vending machine Capsule Monsters running through link cables, is rumored to be what inspired Satoshi Tajiri to create what we know as the Pokémon Franchise. This illustrates just how big Game Boy was to the entire world. Though the initial 8-bit Game Boy was eventually dropped for a “new” 32-bit Game Boy Advanced in 2003, make sure you check out the price for restored 80s’ Original Gameboy on eBay. A factory sealed original just sold for $2525 in August. Some of the original games’ resale prices are just crazy.

2. Strawberry Shortcake

Many avid toy collectors are not aware that Strawberry Shortcake and her friends were originally designed in the late 70s as greeting card characters. No one knew at the time; they would go on to be a wildly successful line of toys & a superhit cartoon series. Starting in 1979, Kenner produced these sweet-smelling dolls. You had Strawberry, The Berry Bake Shoppe, The Snail Cart (with Escargot The Snail), The Carrousel, The Berry-Shaped Carry Case, Flitter-Bit the Butterfly and so much more.


An original Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy Home is an easy $200-400 these days. A few of the rare dolls can fetch in to the $1000s. A Plum Berrykin just sold for $1380. A Mint Tulip $1200 and an Orange Blossom $1650.