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Clearing out old childhood toys - What to donate, what to sell?

NoffNoff Registered User regular
Hey everybody,

My parents are looking to free up some storage space, so I'm going to help clear out my and my siblings' old toys that they've had in storage for years.

They're pretty paranoid about getting rid of something valuable (to collectors, I guess). A lot of the stuff is going to be Lincoln logs, assorted random lego pieces, stuff like that, but I guess there might be some late 80's to early 90's action figures and accessories (ninja turtles, transformers, super hero stuff) that could have some value. All of those are going to be common toys-r-us type stuff, and very well used.

So I guess my question is, what should I keep an eye out for? Is there a market for (really beat up) late 80's-90's boy's toys or do they really need to be in good condition to have reasonable value? We didn't really have any gaming consoles or other big items like that.

I realize this is not a lot of information to go on, but I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

Thanks!

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    You can look up the things you find as you go, and that might be the best thing to do, but generally I think very well-loved stuff isn't usually going to bust open any coffers unless it is REALLY rare and you can find someone who is desperate. I just went through something similar looking up old My Little Ponies and baseball cards.

    That said, it also depends on your definition of "valuable." If you can find 20 toys that will sell for $10... $10 obviously isn't a lot of money, but it adds up if you find a lot of stuff like that. If you don't feel anything worth less than $2k is valuable enough to be worth your time to try to sell, the chances of finding something like that in your closet is really low and you can probably safely bin things in bulk.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    Lego keeps it's value pretty well and will have a lot of buyers on places like ebay for bulk unsorted lots sold by weight.

    As for the action figures, collectors are going to want toys to be in good condition with all the accessories, and preferably in a box. I would doubt you have anything worth selling if they're all well used and from the 90's. But if anything would be worth money it might be the transformers.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    Action figures can be sold in bulk, too. It's not a lot of money, but it can be some. If you can still remember which figures all the accessories go to and can get full matched sets, you can get more individually (still a LOT less than if they were in boxes), but if there's any doubt, you can sell it in one big lot. I sold some 80's/90's Ghostbusters, Ninja Turtles, Transformers, and He-Man this way, and the buyers were mostly collectors who were more interested in buying the accessories than the figures - there might be a figure here or there that they wanted, but they mainly wanted accessories to fill in gaps or missing items from figures they already had.

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    zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    I did something similar not to long ago and just put it all in one big box labeled it childhood toys took some pictures and a brief description and sold it in bulk. Ended up being worth bout 400 bucks.

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    CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Some old video games can be valuable. Transformers fans seem pretty fanatical so if any of those toys are rare they might be interested in beaten up versions to restore.

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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    Yeah. Don't forget that there are people who want older toys for restorations, for parts recovery, and for customs/kitbashing. The most important thing is knowing what you've got.

    Also, don't assume that an item HAS to have its box to sell. There are plenty of people out there who just want one for their shelf or something. As long as it is in good condition.

    As these items are played with, check for stress or breaks in the plastic. Plastic stress looks like a discoloration (usually lighter/white), and will happen on ball joints or places where the figure has flexed. Some might happen no matter what, but it may also lower the value of the item and should be noted in a description.

    You can use websites like tfu.info to identify your figures (I'm sure there is one of those for almost every toy line out there, I know I've seen it for GI Joe), and there are collector guides out there that can help you with pricing.

    .. And I just learned that Toyfare shut down 2 years ago. Well suck, I was going to point you to that.

    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Make sure that you check up on everything in case something might be rare these days. When I unloaded some old Power Rangers stuff a few years ago, I had plenty of below $5 stuff, but the occasional $30-$50 piece.

    Transformers you have to be really careful with... Some of the old ones are really valuable.

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    I can has cheezburger, yes?
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    AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    Oh, last piece of advice:

    There comes a point where it isn't worth bothering with it. That's where you go with straight lots. But if something isn't selling, chuck it. My mom is a huge pack rat and will only get rid of things in garage sales, and I've sadly picked that habit up as a side effect - and it makes cleaning crippling when you have shelves full of stuff you aren't actually attached to. You don't sound like you are in that position, but be careful. While everything has a use and a value to someone, don't kick yourself if you decide to just let go.

    He/Him | "A boat is always safest in the harbor, but that’s not why we build boats." | "If you run, you gain one. If you move forward, you gain two." - Suletta Mercury, G-Witch
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited May 2013
    JaysonFour wrote: »
    Make sure that you check up on everything in case something might be rare these days. When I unloaded some old Power Rangers stuff a few years ago, I had plenty of below $5 stuff, but the occasional $30-$50 piece.

    Transformers you have to be really careful with... Some of the old ones are really valuable.

    Transformers are almost worth having somebody n the know, like a collectable toy expert or actual collector, look at if it won't cost a lot. A lot of the really valuable ones aren't always valuable - either the same unit reused under multiple names or with different decals where one is for whatever reason worth much more than the rest. For example, I can't remember its name, but there was one character who turned into a race car complete with brand logos. One version had a cigarette logo on it, and it was quickly replaced with a slightly different version. The cigarette version is worth quite a bit of money, the other version is not.

    There used to be a good forum where you could post pictures and get information like this, but it disappeared and I've never looked for a similar site.

    Hevach on
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    MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    A different perspective: I would save anything you have fond memories of if you see having kids at any point if your future. It's fun to pass these things along to the next generation.

    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger Steam-http://steamcommunity.com/id/DugDanger/
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    ANTVGM64ANTVGM64 Registered User regular
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    JuliusJulius Captain of Serenity on my shipRegistered User regular
    Foomy wrote: »
    Lego keeps it's value pretty well and will have a lot of buyers on places like ebay for bulk unsorted lots sold by weight.

    Yes but also gift that shit to your children man. Or any children you know.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    Foomy wrote: »
    Lego keeps it's value pretty well and will have a lot of buyers on places like ebay for bulk unsorted lots sold by weight.

    Yes but also gift that shit to your children man. Or any children you know.

    I am a children, gives the lego.

    I would just sell things in lots. If you have something particularly valuable, a collector might spot it in your photographs and drive your lot value up. It drastically reduces the time you have to spend sorting, though, and you'll pull in a few bucks.

    What is this I don't even.
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    MrDelishMrDelish Registered User regular
    You'd be surprised at how different older lego prices vary. Bricklink can give you a good idea of what is worth more. My advice on selling it is if you care enough, sell the minifigures separately and by genre (Castle, Town, etc) and the bricks as a lot. Heck, if you want to put pictures up of the figures and bricks I can take a look and tell you if anything stands out as particularly valuable.

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Oh, donation. As for donation, you can donate anything that isn't falling apart pretty much. Places like Goodwill will take toys; I'm not sure about Toys for Tots if they're used, but you can call and ask. Stuffed animals are a bit different. They need to be really clean in order for them to actually be put on a shelf most of the time.

    Also, see if you have a friend with kids who wants them. Especially for things like Legos, if you have a friend with kids who's strapped for cash they might really appreciate that stuff.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    OrestusOrestus Registered User regular
    I did this a few years ago and made a decent amount of money ($1000 ish). I'm not an expert but Ebay would seem to really be your friend here, it's a sellers market as there is so much visibility that its very unlikely someone is going to get a steal off of you by buying something for much less than it is worth, since anything of value is going to be seen by alot of different collectors who will get the bidding up to around market value. I always listed stuff on Sunday afternoon/evening with the thought that it gave people all week to think about it/bookmark it and then have plenty of free time to make that impulse buy at the last minute.

    I remember being really surprised when I put up a used, incomplete, but still w/ box copy of the boardgame Fireball Island for like 15 bucks and within a few hours it was up to around 150 dollars :) You never know what people want or don't, so its certainly worth a try.

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    JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    Do we have an eBay thread? Seems like we ought to have one... but yeah, research is your friend when it comes to stuff like this, but always double and triple check your findings and use a reputable source.

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    I can has cheezburger, yes?
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    LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    eBay is a good place to research BUT look at the completed auctions that ACTUALLY SOLD. You will see tons of auctions with high prices, but with no bids . . . A lot of sellers relist again and again hoping for crazy-high prices.

    Some 80s Transformers are valuable, others not so much. You can look them up on eBay as "G1 Transformers". You can also check out Transformersland to identify names and accessories of Transformers. Transformers from the 80s are G1. Some later Transformers are G2. If you have anything from 1997 or later, it is probably Beast Wars or Beast Machines.

    Are any of your siblings girls? Ghost of the Doll is a great resource for identifying girls toys of the 80s and 90s.

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    ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    Tfw2005 has a really healthy marketplace, and they're also good at advising you on what's worth your while. Depending on the amount of transformers in the lot, you may want to head over there.

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