Do you still have the toys you played with as a kid? Better yet, do you have the toys your father and grandfather played with as kids? Hopefully, they kept the original boxes and didn’t abuse them too much, because old metal toys are starting to be worth serious money. Consider this: a collection of tin toy motorcycles that once belonged to publisher Malcolm Forbes just sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $15,000. If you factor in all the Forbes collection toys that sold at auction, the total price was $2.3 million, including $194,500 for a 3 foot long replica of the ocean liner Lusitania. I’m not saying your Transformers will fund your retirement, but I’m not saying they won’t, either.
Although many items in the Forbes collection dated from the 1920s and 1930s, some were as recent as the 1980s. Japanese metal toys from the 1960s and 1970s, mostly robots, cars or airplanes, are beginning to approach stupid money in value, especially if you have the original packaging. I had a bunch of these as a kid, since they were cheap and readily available at the local newsstand, but none of them survived my reckless youth. What better way to stop an invading robot than with explosives? Enough firecrackers and M-80s always seemed to do the trick, but now I wish I’d have taken better care of my stuff. Back then they were toys, but now they’re “failed investments”.