Do you have hidden toy treasures hiding in your loft?
PUBLISHED: 14:39 23 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:57 25 March 2019
For anyone considering undertaking a spring clean of their homes, spare a thought for what you could unearth - rather than put away.
Exmouth collector David Burton, who runs Wonder Years in the town’s indoor market, has chosen his six top picks for toys and merchandise which could be worth a pretty penny – all while collecting dust in a forgotten corner of your loft.
The Journal asked Mr Burton which items could be sitting unused in your home that have the potential to sell for an amount which would leave your wallet much fuller!
1960s Bubblegum cards
Produced by AB&C Chewing Gum Ltd throughout the sixties, these cards was given away free in there packets of chewing gum.
The prized set to look out for is series one of the Batmas issue, which in good nick can fetch as much as £150.
Called the Black Bat, the series was followed by two more – the Blue bat (a complete set can sell for £70-£80) and Red Bat (around £50).
Mr Burton said: “They were quite popular but at the time, they would get lost because kids played with them.
“Nice condition sets are quire prized because they are not easy to get hold of.”
War-time Beano annuals
The prized annuals were released between 1940 and 1947.
At present, the 1942 book is being sold on eBay for just shy of £1,000.
Mr Burton said: “Some of the annuals between this time were not called Beano annuals, but Magic Beano Books.
“If you have an annual dated between 1940-45, you are probably looking at anything up to £3,000, depending on condition.
“Even poor to satisfactory condition could go for £500 and £700.”
The Six Million Dollar Man toys
Perhaps deemed an unusual pick, there’s logic behind the choice.
While the market is saturated with figures of superheroes, Barbies and Action Man, there are not many The Six Million Dollar Man Toys – making them somewhat of a commodity.
Mr Burton said: “As well as there not being many made, they were quite pricey when they came out.”
Only a smattering of figures and merchandise were released to the public markets, before drying up.
Mr Burton said the sci-fi show was as ‘hot as Hades’ for several years before disappearing in 1978.
Its legacy leaves behind a selection of pricey toys, with an Action Man-sized figure and costume fetching around £20 in today’s market.
If boxed, the cost would be five times that – a handsome £100, with the potential to reach up to £120 depending on the box’s condition.
Not bad for a movable piece of plastic!
Early Lego bricks
Before exploding and becoming the second-most popular toy country globally, Lego was a minnow in a vast toy pond.
Scrapping amongst various other companies, the Danish company has now come up trumps, with almost every household containing a brick or two of some colour.
However, back in the days of its small stature, the bricks Lego produced were not usually kept by families.
“Why would you keep them?” Mr Burton mused. “At the time, Lego was a tiny company among other companies.
“No-one worried about keeping the bricks.”
The first plastic bricks produced by Lego were in 1949 – at the time they were known as Automatic Binding Bricks.
Mr Burton said a friend of his sold a very old Lego brick for £18 – so you can imagine the price tag you could command should you find a box of them!
Old wresting figures
Unlike The Six Million Dollar Man, the market does have plenty of wrestling figures for sale.
And while the combat sport continues to grip the public’s imagination, the prices will continue to flourish when it comes to the movable plastic figures.
Mr Burton said: “Carded [still in original packaging] wrestling figures can command a good price.
“An original Hasbro figure with card can sell anywhere from £25 to £400, depending on the wrestler and condition of the card.”
A quick search of eBay revealed that even uncarded figures can still go for a lot, if the wrestler is right.
An ungraded and out-of-card Sgt Slaughter figure, dated 1992, sold for £60 at auction.
Mr Burton said: “An ungraded Dusty Rhodes figure could cost more than £100.
“If graded, you could expect to see the price be more than double that.”
Grading is the process of thoroughly examines a product and highlighting any flaws or imperfections.
The higher/better the grade, the more value the product retains.
• Old packs of stickers, brands including Panini and Merlin. Early Batman, Star Wars and A-Team stickers are hot property. Price: Up to £10 per pack.
• Atari video games. Price: NA
• Vintage football programmes. Look for programmes dated in the 1930s and ‘40s. Price: Between £20-£30 each depending on age.
• Original Spectrum ZX 81 computer, boxed. Price: £100-£120
• Vintage horror toys – Freddy, Jason and the Terminator figures do have some value. Price: N/A
• Vintage tin-plate O-gauge railway sets. Has to be in good condition to fetch the high prices. Dates should be 1930s to late ‘40s/ early ‘50s. Prices: Single carriage, as much as £140; engine, tender and few carriages: Between £1,500 - £2,000.