'Where the Wild Things Are': $20,000
Whether you read "Wild Things" to your children or your parents read it to you, if you have a first edition of the Maurice Sendak classic, you could convert it into serious cash. Originally selling for $3.50 in 1963, the 48-page, 300-word children's book has lately sold at auction for more than $20,000.
The First Barbie: $8,000
Did you play with Barbies as a kid? If so, check to see if the iconic doll is still around. The first-ever Barbie, originally produced in 1959, sells for around $8,000 online, with some going for as high as $10,000.
Babe Ruth Figure: $13,600
Original McFarlane action figures of the Babe have sold on eBay for about $14,000. But before you get excited, make sure you have the one where he's wearing a blue hat (only five were produced).
1961 Matchbox No. 30: $13,000
While most of the 27 variations of the No. 30 truck are valued at $25 to $100, a rare version with a light brown body and a red crane is almost impossible to find—and sold in 2004 for $10,000. A collector later paid $13,000 for the same toy.
1952 Micky Mantle Baseball Card: $282,000
If you happen to have a mint-condition 1952 Topps baseball card featuring the Mick lying around, now may be a good time to put it on the market. Experts currently estimate the card's worth at $282,000, making it one of the most valuable baseball cards on the planet.
G.I. Joe Prototype: $200,000
Series creator Don Levine hand-carved this G.I. Joe prototype in 1963, aiming to make it look like Sean Connery. Don't waste your time poking through the attic looking for one, however—only one was made, and it sold at auction in 2008 for $200,000.
1969 Volkswagen Beach Bomb: $72,000-Plus
The 1969 Volkswagen Beach Bomb was discontinued because, unlike the other Hot Wheels, it couldn't be used on the Mattel race tracks. Its bizarre design, with a surfboard hanging from the back, made it unattractive to some but highly desirable to collectors. Even back in 1999, a Beach Bomber sold for $72,000, and the value has probably risen since then.
Mego Elastic Batman: $15,000
If you've never heard of the Mego Elastic Batman action figure, don't feel bad—there are only two in existence. The stretchy toy was created in 1979 in response to waning interest in traditional 8" figurines, but toy company Kenner thought it was too similar to its popular "Stretch Armstrong" product line. Kenner successfully sued Mego, killing the elastic Batman (which fetched over $15,000 at auction in 2006).
1972 Blythe Doll: $2,000
Inspired by the popular '70s Keane paintings, Blythe dolls were introduced to a largely indifferent American public in 1972. Even with cool functionality—you could change the dolls' eye colors by pulling a string—the $20 price tag was apparently too much for consumers at the time. But these days, they're considered a collector's item, frequently netting over $2,000 online and at auction.
Marklin Hand-Painted Beer Wagon: $9,000
The itty-bitty, 15-inch hand-painted toy beer wagon may not look like a barrel of laughs, but apparently it brought back a lot of memories for one anonymous buyer, who not long ago shelled out over $9,000 for one.
14 icons who led the way from the 1950s to the '70s as jeans went from a workwear staple to a fashion essential
12 memorable remarks from the groundbreaking French designer
The wit and wisdom of Julia Child
Words of wisdom from His Holiness
I can barely remember what I did last Tuesday, but certain moments from summers in the '70s are as vivid as if they happened this morning
11 exquisite photos that evoke road trips of a time gone by