From Playtime to Profit: Toys We Remember From the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, and What They Could Be Worth Now

Toys From the ‘70s

We grow up so fast, don’t we? Whether you’re 30, 40, or 50 years old, it probably doesn’t feel like too long ago you were an infant sitting cross-legged on your bedroom floor, staring at your favourite toys sprawled across the carpet and trying to decide which one to play with first.

Children love toys and have done for centuries; some of the earliest known toys date back to ancient civilizations. As just one example, ancient Egyptian children played with homemade clay rattles and dolls made from papyrus reeds. While the physicality of toys has undoubtedly changed over time, the concept has always remained the same. 

We know you’re busy but stop what you’re doing and have a well-deserved coffee break. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and explore some of the most popular toys of the 1970s through to the 1990s, and how much money they could be worth now.


The ‘70s was a very exciting time for the British toy industry. Many new playthings were influenced by pop culture and TV shows, such as G.I Joe and Star Wars, and this decade saw the rise of electronic toys. No one ever forgets their first Game & Watch device, racing home from school and squabbling with siblings to have the first go. Here are some other toys that dominated the market during this decade.

Hot Wheels 

The flashy miniature toy cars took the toy industry by storm shortly after their release in 1968, but they became a definitive toy of the ‘70s – and they’re still popular today! Designed to be used with track sets and playsets, children fortunate enough to own models such as the Grand Prix  and the Heavyweights were able to race and play with their cars in multiple different settings.

How much they could be worth now – If you were to sell your 1970s collection of Hot Wheels cars, you could be looking at significant money – depending on which cars are in your possession, and the type of condition that they’re in. To give you a rough idea, in 2022, the 1971 Magenta Sugar Caddy was valued at £1,053, and the 1971 Porsche 911 Momo 277 Urban Outlaw at £1,620!

Fisher-Price Little People

Though originally released in the 1950s, Fisher-Price Little People remained a popular toy throughout the 1970s. Are you feeling nostalgic thinking about the chubby little people, with their round heads and big eyes? We are too. These iconic plastic play figures and playsets were well-liked amongst children because they allowed for imaginative and creative play that could last for hours.

How much they could be worth now – If you’re having a clear-out and considering selling your Little People, you might like to know that vintage sets are going for almost £300 on eBay, which is a good indication of what you might be able to secure for your own toys.


Notable trends and developments shaped much of the British toy industry in the 1980s. As expected, the popularity of electronic toys continued to grow rapidly due to the continuous rise in computers and video games, meaning many toys boasted technology-related themes and features. Here are two other examples of popular toys in the 1980s.

Cabbage Patch Kids

In the early 1980s, toy company Coleco introduced a line of dolls called the Cabbage Patch Kids, each one featuring a round head, chubby cheeks, and the instantly recognisable “Cabbage Patch” hairstyle. These dolls were unique as they were made to look like real babies, and the fact they came with adoption papers and birth certificates offered a sense of realism to the children who played with them.

How much they could be worth now – Your own vintage Cabbage Patch doll could be worth hundreds of pounds! Teresa Ann, a 1985 Cabbage Patch Doll, recently sold for £1,600 on eBay, and somebody else paid £655 for a 1986 Anna Greta. 

My Little Pony

We have much to thank Hasbro for! In 1982, the famous toy company released a line of small, colourful, plastic ponies that came with a variety of grooming accessories including brushes and combs. Whether you had the Earth Ponies, the Pegasus Ponies, or the Unicorn Ponies, you were guaranteed endless fun acting out different scenarios and stories, as well as grooming and accessorising to your heart’s content.

How much they could be worth now – If you’re the owner of an original collection, you could be sitting on hundreds of pounds. In fact, the rare Baby Minty Pony can pick up around £420 on the resale market, and the rarer Rapunzel My Little Pony can sell for over £1,200 on eBay. Perhaps it’s time to get up into the loft and retrieve those beloved plastic-hoofed mammals?


The nostalgic ‘90s offered so much in the way of toys and games. By this point, electronics were really soaring, and some lucky children had luxury gaming consoles such as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) and Sega Genesis. It was so easy to while away the hours playing Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Combat, parents exclaiming “you’ll go square-eyed if you sit in front of that TV anymore!” Let’s look at two other games that were dominating the market…


Huge thank you to Japanese company Bandi for giving many of us our first taste of responsibility with these digital pets. Designed as a small, egg-shaped device, we were able to pop it in our backpacks or pockets and carry it around with us wherever we went, feeding it, playing with it, and caring for it while on the move. 

How much they could be worth now – Okay, brace yourself… If you happen to have an original English Tamagotchi, you could sell that baby for up to £3,500! Wouldn’t that be nice after an expensive Christmas? And, if your parents blessed you with a Tamagotchi Original White Lotte on your 10th birthday, you could sell that one for £50,500! 

Power Rangers 

Popular TV show Mighty Morphin Power Rangers gave ‘90s kids a line of action figures, playsets, and other merchandise that made them feel super cool and uber-powerful! The show and its accompanying goods quickly became a cultural phenomenon; “Isn’t the smallest chance of victory enough of a reason for us to keep fighting?” High in quality with lots of detail and vibrant colours, it’s not hard to see why every kid wanted their hands on them.

How much they could be worth now – While your action figure sets might have meant the world to you at the time, it doesn’t look like you’d make too much money from them in 2023. Again, this will depend on which character you have to sell, and if it’s in excellent condition. To give you a rough idea, most of the current listings on eBay range from £1.50 to £39.99, although there are a few going for £100 to £200.

Are you looking to sell your old toys?

If you want to get the house in order before spring and happen to come across some of your old toys packed away, selling them could certainly be an option. The prices discussed in this article serve only as a rough guide, and you’re encouraged to explore other avenues to find out how much your old toys are really worth. Ways you can do this include online marketplaces, online toy price guides, and local toy stores and toy collectors.  

Alternatively, keep hold of each one and pass them down the generations as a wonderful keepsake. They certainly don’t make toys quite as unique anymore!

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