Collecting items like Beanie Babies can be a fun hobby that allows you to create special memories. What you might not realize is some collections also grow to be worth a fortune.
In some cases, items hold a sentimental value so high that selling the collection isn't an option. However, you might be willing to part with certain objects for the right price.
For example, in December 2020, Fox 5 Atlanta shared the story of college student Caleb King, who has made $80,000 selling his old Pokémon cards. He spent just $4,000 on the originals, and now his investment will help him pay for medical school.
If you're like many people, you want to kickstart the new year by decluttering your space and finding ways to improve your financial outlook. The secret to achieving both of these goals could be sitting in a box in your basement or displayed on a shelf in your home, so it's time to consider cashing in your unintentional investment.
Want to know if your collector's items have skyrocketed in value? Keep reading to learn how much some of the most recognizable brands from the past are worth today.
Last updated: April 9, 2021
Now that the wildly popular Japanese franchise has been around for 25 years, your old Pokémon card collection could be worth an actual fortune. As previously noted, cards can sell for thousands, so it's time to dig them out of your parents' basement.
A quick scan of eBay sales reveals sellers have made thousands on Pokémon cards over the past few months. For example, an uncut rare sheet from a fossil set containing holographic cards sold for $10,000 in October 2020. Also impressive, in November 2020, a Mario Pikachu card sold for $1,000.
The average American household spends $3,414 per year on health insurance, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so selling one -- or a few -- of these cards could cover this expense.
They soared to popularity in the late '90s, and some Beanie Babies are still highly coveted on eBay.
For example, a Mystic Unicorn with iridescent horn, yarn mane and tail -- released from the first lineup in 1993 -- sold for $368 in October 2020. Additionally, a Rufus with tag and tush from 2000 sold for $100 in November 2020 and a set of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" Beanie Babies sold for $89.99 during the holiday season.
Cashing in on your Beanie Babies could help you get out of town, as the average plane ticket costs $258.89, as of the second quarter of 2020, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
'Star Wars' Action Figures
An iconic franchise, people are willing to shell out serious cash for "Star Wars" action figures on eBay.
In December 2020, a "Star Wars" Uzay Blue Stars action figure from 1988 sold for $20,650. That same month, a "Star Wars" lot of vintage figures sold for $15,000 and the Kenner "Star Wars" ESB Millennium Falcon figure sold for $6,995.
Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the U.S. averages $1,909 per month in 2020, according to Apartment Guide. Therefore, if you own even one of these toys, selling it could potentially pay your housing costs for several months.
Read More: Disney's 27 Biggest Controversies
McDonald's Happy Meal Toys
As a kid, you always looked forward to the toy in your Happy Meal, but now some of these items have a decent value on eBay.
To give you an idea of what you could earn, a lot of six "Space Jam" plush dolls and eight toys from 1996 sold for $49.99 in October 2020. Additionally, in December 2020, a box of more than 100 Happy Meal toys from the '90s and 2000s sold for $50.
Selling a few sets of Happy Meal toys could pay your grocery bill, as a family of four on a moderate food budget spends an average of $212.50 per week, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Polly Pocket Dolls and Accessories
Developed in the 1980s, Polly Pocket has become a cult classic that people will pay serious money for on eBay.
For example, a Vintage Bluebird Polly Pocket lot with more than 50 dolls and 11 light-up playsets sold for $1,935 in November 2020. Additionally, a 1997 Bluebird Polly Pocket Jewel Case sold for $1,199 in December 2020, and that same month, a lot of vintage Polly Pocket sets and figures from 1989-1996 sold for $350.
The average monthly car payment for a new car is $554 and $391 for a used car, according to Experian, so selling your old Polly Pocket items could easily pay this bill.
More From GOBankingRates