Force Friday, and the ensuing madness that came with, was a reminder that the toy collector’s market will never go away. Sure, action figures don’t seem to be as big of a hit as they were maybe twenty, twenty five years ago, but people can still get it up for the really famous ones. (Personally, if I were going to collect anything, it would be those special toys that are absolute disasters, but that’s probably more of a commentary on me than anything.)

The reason some people get into collecting, though, is because everything old is now valuable, seeing as how nostalgia has become humanity’s number one export. Here we will talk a look at some of the most outrageously sought after and thus expensive toys from a variety of eras. Not only that, but we will also ask another important question of said toys — do they actually seem like they’d be fun to play with?

Original Superman

original superman toy

VALUE: Up to $25,000 (bruh…)

In spite of the fact that almost all of his movies are bad, and comics writers have a hard time nailing his character, Superman has never not been popular. A high quality, original copy of Action Comics is worth about as much as the GDP as some small nation states, so it makes sense that an original Superman action figure could get you enough to buy a midsize domestic automobile (which, hilariously, will immediately start wildly depreciating in value).

Does It Look Fun: NO. It’s just a dumb little statue. What, they didn’t have points of articulation in the ’40s?

Telescoping Lightsaber Darth Vader

vader with raised light saber

VALUE: $6,000

Rocket firing Boba Fett is the most famous of the mythical original Star Wars figures (and enough have popped up on auction blocks to confirm that yes, it does exist), but this particular Darth Vader had just as few manufactured, and the lightsaber piece (made of multiple pieces of plastic that would “telescope” into each) was broken so easily that it’s made it even more valuable since the manufacturer quickly tweaked the design and made it more durable with just a single piece of plastic.

Does It Look Fun: YES. Though, toys that look easy to break do come with an extra nervous factor about them.

Iron Man & Captain America Lego men 2012 New York Toy Fair Versions

lego captain America iron man

VALUE: $1,000-1,500

”These two figures are obviously available on the mass market currently, so they can’t be that valuable” you say to yourself, smirking smugly. Listen here, here you cocky SOB, these aren’t the standard figures you can buy now — these were prototypes, based on the comic versions of Iron Man and Captain America instead of the movies’ versions. Also, the production version of Iron Man ended up coming with a helmet that you could take off, revealing Tony Stark’s sneer underneath. This one just has the helmet painted on, so in theory it could be anybody wearing the Iron Man armor.

Does It Look Fun: NO. I mean, yes, but less fun than the actual versions you can easily buy in a store, because they have better accessories. Also, to get full value, you have to hold onto both the original bag and the Fair pass, which is easier said than done.

Transformer’s Jetfire

macros style Jetfire

VALUE: $2,500

My brother actually had this action figure, and it was cool as hell. The product of an odd licensing agreement; Jetfire’s mold came from a different company (Takatoku) than the one Hasbro usually got it’s licenses from (Takara), and was based on the Valkyrie fighters from Macross. It also had a bunch of snap-on armor, which means it has even more value when it’s still in the box. Then there would have been no way those pieces could’ve been lost by your stupid younger brother (I’m talking about me; I am that younger brother).

Does It Look Fun: YES. This thing has articulation out the ass, and also has some parts that are die-cast metal, which means you could do some real damage clubbing a home invader with it (this is the plot of Home Alone 4).

Hart Foundation Box Set

bret hart jim the anvil

VALUE: $1,200

Two figures, two championship belts, and a poster — I would’ve paid $1,200 when this thing first came out! (That’s a lie.) Collectors seem to have a real sense of affection for goofier, low-fi toys of the past; these are not handsome action figures by today’s standards, but they do look charming as hell. A lot of the old WWF Superstars toys are worth a fair chunk of change, so it makes sense that a twosome of one of the most popular tag teams ever would end up on this list.

Does It Look Fun: YES. Wrestling toys are so fun, and these had that cold, soft, rubber/plastic kind of smell.

Scratch The Cat

Scratch The Cat

VALUE: $1,000

A lot of the later run TMNT toys are worth at least a little bit of money, and that’s probably because they came out on the heels of the Ninja Turtle’s omnipresence, so they probably just let the first run sell out and called it a day. But Scratch the Cat, more than the others, really makes me go “who the hell was this?” A bunch of these TMNT villains were not recognizable at all, even the ones from the Archie Comics series (which I read, no judgement), and Scratch the Cat is apparently a mutant cat who went to jail?

Does It Look Fun: YES. The Nina Turtles generally had good toys, even if this one looks surprisingly generic for a toy line that got pretty out there.


6 Outrageously Valuable Action Figures

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