Valuable 1970s Toys to Look Out For
The 1970s were a fantastic time for toys, and some of these playthings have become valuable collector's items today.
Whether you're a hardcore collector or someone who just misses your childhood, check out some gems of the '70s that could be hiding in your attic or garage, waiting to fetch impressive prices. These items sold for top dollar on eBay in August and September 2023.
Stretch Monster Custom Figure
Most Kenner stretch toys spent time being, well, stretched and were lost to history. It's rare, therefore, to find one that hasn't been played with and still has its box.
This Kenner Stretch Monster is still intact, unstretched and in its box, making it a pricey and rare collectible.
This Ford Maverick (aka, Mean Maverick) was designed by legendary modeler Tom Daniel. The car is about 15 inches long and very detailed, down to fuel lines and ignition wires. The kit contains nearly 150 decorative elements such as racing stripes and dragster insignia.
A Mean Maverick still unbuilt in its original packaging can fetch thousands.
Evel Knievel Stunt Cycle
Evel Knievel was everywhere in the 1970s. A performer known for his daring jumps and stunts, he became so popular that he had a line of themed toys and merchandise that kids everywhere just had to have.
The motorcycle moved using a hand cranked, wind-up mechanism. And yes, Evel was attached — when he wasn't flying through the air, anyway.
Wonder Woman Action Figure
The Wonder Woman action figure featured a likeness of actress Lynda Carter, who portrayed the iconic superhero on the 1970s TV series. It's a popular item among fans and collectors, particularly if it's still boxed and her costume is complete.
This doll in particular is an earlier version — later versions featured Carter on the box.
The Water Wiggle simply connected to a garden hose and had a long, wiggling tube with a sprinkler head at the end. When you turned on the water, it wiggled around unpredictably, spraying water everywhere — a perfect solution to a hot summer day.
Who knew that it would be one of the most sought after toys by collectors in the 21st century?
Dick Grayson, Robin's Alter Ego
While there have been a few Dick Grayson dolls over the decades, this one from 1974 is the rarest and most valuable.
Most parts of this Mego doll move, and it comes in a removable cloth outfit. Figures Toy Company has recently created an exact replica of this retro doll for the much cheaper price of $10.
Shogun Warriors Godzilla
Mattel's Shogun Warriors Godzilla was a popular toy with kids and came from a line of toy Japanese monsters. The large (2-feet tall) plastic action figure of Godzilla had moveable parts and could shoot missiles.
It's now a collector's item and a valuable piece of pop culture history (particularly with its original packaging.)
The Bionic Woman Fembot
"Bionic Woman" fembots looked like the lifelike androids from the show, and they came with movable parts for posing.
Some even have accessories like extra limbs or weapons to make playtime more exciting. Of course, if you find one in the original box, it's even more valuable.
Value: Approx. $1,820.25
At the end of the 1960s and into the early 1970s, "big eye" art was everywhere, thanks to artist Margaret Keane. It was so popular it extended to toys and that's where Kenner's Blythe doll comes into play. Her eyes would change color when you pulled a string.
Blythe dolls were only produced for a year in their original run, hence their high sticker price.
Lord of the Rings Action Figures
There was plenty of merch associated with Ralph Bakshi’s animated version of "The Lord of the Rings," but it was never really marketed properly and most fans didn't know it existed. While there was a variety of action figures, they were limited in number.
Knickerbocker Toy Company, who produced the figures, was also in the last years of business (it folded in 1982), so these items are a real rarity.
Evel Knievel Stunt & Crash Car
This Evel Knievel stunt and crash car was a miniature replica of a car built by George Barris that still exists.
Like the toy motorcycle, it featured a wind-up mechanism that allowed it jump ramps or crash into whatever the user wanted.
Six Million Dollar Man Venus Space Probe
Inspired by the "Death Probe" and "Return of Death Probe" episodes of the "Six Million Dollar Man," the toy craft had a number of movable parts, from a spring-loaded missile launcher to exploding panels.
The probe also has front pinchers that the user would activate using the lever on the back.
Star Wars Early Bird Certificate
“Star Wars” came out in May 1977, but Kenner wasn't ready for its massive success. Its action figure line would not be ready in time for Christmas that year.
So Kenner came up with the idea of the Early Bird Certificate — a type of voucher kids could trade in for the figures when they were ready. If you can find one of the original “Space Club” cards and pair it with all of the action figures pictured on voucher, the value of this item will be much higher.
Hot Wheels Redline Cars
"Redline" Hot Wheels were made from 1968 to 1977 and featured red stripes across the tires. They are extremely valuable, no matter the make and model of the car.
This car still in its blister pack fetched top dollar in September 2023.
Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual 1st Edition
D&D manuals from the 1970s typically fetch top dollar, but this book is the most valuable we've seen thus far. That's because it comes from the estate of Gary Gygax, who co-created the game.
It was given to him as a comp copy for his time as president and company founder of Tactical Studies Rules (TSR). And yes, Gygax signed it, adding to the value.