5 Ways to Begin Collecting Toys (and What to Collect)

Vintage toy collecting has become a window into long-forgotten childhood, a way to make a quick buck and a nostalgic’s dream. Think back to the ’70s, before Star Wars became the multi-billionaire franchise everyone knows today. Kids would play with cheap, plastic figurines; toys were tossed into the trash or donated. These little Star Wars figurines, GI Joe Dolls, Hot Wheels cars, Cabbage Patch Kids and Strawberry Shortcake dolls are being sold today for anywhere between $100 to $16,000 on eBay, through collectible shows or auctions.

Rare and collectible toys might be too outrageous to purchase now, but have you been thinking about where to begin collecting the vintage toys of the future? 

A savvy purchaser could be buying a $10 toy today, only for it to sell upwards of $1,000 in 10 or 20 years. Toy collecting is fun, it can be inexpensive, and it can earn you some serious cash (or make a creative home display). Here’s where you can start with becoming a toy collector and knowing what to collect:

Pick a Toy Line

It can be daunting knowing where to begin with collecting. There are plenty of toy lines that have already drawn a collector community: Star Wars, Barbie, G.I. Joe, Polly Pocket, Care Bears, Transformers, and many other brands are insanely popular toys. You can invest in the rare editions released every once in a while or whatever is on the market currently.

Maybe you can take a risk on a toy line. The transforming Donnie toy figure, for example, or the hatching toothless baby dragon at Target might be a good place to start. Think about Littlest Pet Shops, Pokemon, Digimon cards and Bratz dolls– these were all brand new lines of toys no one had ever heard of. You never know who will be interested in buying a new, mint condition toy from your collection.

Go For the Rare Finds

You want to keep an eye out for certain things when collecting toys: age, authenticity, rarity and condition. These factors can majorly appreciate a toy’s value, according to eBay’s entertainment memorabilia selling guide. A rare toy is a find that could be sold for a pretty penny, rather than a doll, toy car or action figure that everyone and their mom had at one time.

Think of the Harry Potter toy collection; maybe everyone was busy buying the Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines. How many people kept an eye on the Dobby, Draco and Hagrid figurines? 

These are toys that could have long been discontinued, but now they have become valuable finds in the toy world. Millions of Harry, Ron and Hermione figurines are produced worldwide, which makes them far less attractive to buyers. However, like the Star Wars toys made during the early 2000s in support of the new franchise, a toy line could flop. Essentially, their line of toys could become worthless. 

You want to be strategic and watch trends.

Keep an Eye on New Toys

Think of the Funko Pop Collectibles—they seem to have burst out of nowhere, even though Funko was founded in 1998, but they are on sale everywhere. Not every single Funko Pop figure is worth collecting because they are so plentiful, but some figures have minimal editions. For example, The Simpsons figures were only made for a short period of time in 2011 and they’ll now run for well over hundreds of dollars on Amazon. The Queen Amidala Funko Pop figurine sells for nearly $110 on eBay.

There are some limited edition Funko Pop figurines explicitly made for gatherings and conventions, like Comic-Con, which are rare collectible finds by the end of the day. The more you begin to collect, the better you will understand the value of certain discoveries and memorabilia. 

Hold Onto Unopened Toys

If you plan to eventually sell your toy collection, there is one important rule you must keep in mind: a toy is worth the most in excellent condition, secure in its original packaging. Toys that have been pulled from their original packaging are called “loose toys,” or “loose in the box,” which refers to an opened box without the toy being removed.  

If you have a child who wants to play with the toy, it would be best to buy two of the same toys. This way, you can leave one toy pristine and untouched in its packaging, and your child has a new toy to play with!

Which Toys are the Best Bet?It is nearly impossible to predict future trends. What you will want to focus on is popular media, like video games, movies and TV shows. If you can find memorabilia from these popular outlets, like a rare Funko Pop Grogu figurine from The Mandalorian. Some popular items might include limited-edition LEGO sets, limited edition board games (collector Monopoly, Candy Land, Life, or Sorry boards), original Minecraft or Fortnite toys, or anything similarly hard to find.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

Gifting Like A Pro – Tech To Love

Every kid is different. Some will want to stay inside all the day playing games, other will love to play with Hot Wheels, and others are climbing trees and making tree forts. They will make mistakes as they grow up and will fill your heart with pride from time to time. Some moments you will want to give them a firm telling off, other times you will want to pull your own hair out. But you know, a childhood is to be cherished at the same time. Here are three ways to help your kid cherish their youth more with some gifting ideas.

If your kid is a gamer, consider getting him or her something that fits in that world. For example, gaming gear such as RGB keyboards, headsets, mice and even mouse mats have taken a high flight the last few years. Sure, the RGB element is completely useless, but kids seems to really like it. As with many things there is a sliding scale on the price category side. You can get cheap gaming gear from Amazon that will do what it says on the tin. You can go all the way up to premium brands such as Razer that will give your kid ‘bragging’ rights. It’s really down to what fits the budget. And if budget allows, you can even go as far as getting a VR setup. Even on a budget you can simply gift credit for whatever gaming platform there are own, i.e. Microsoft store credit for Xbox gamers, PSN credit for PlayStation gamers or steam credit for PC gamers.

Photo by Wilco Van Meppelen on Unsplash


If your kid is a less a gamer, but is completely into his or her vehicles, such as trains, planes and cars, consider getting a train set or a radio control (RC) vehicle. It’s a great way to connect to their interests and let it flourish by helping them imagine owning and driving one of these vehicles in real life one day. You will be surprised how good RC vehicles are nowadays, especially in terms of speed, control and battery life. You can find some of the best RC gear here. Start them with small, less powerful RC vehicles and work your way up to 4WD drift cars. Your kid might want to switch it up and go for planes and helicopters. Make sure you find to proper space to fly those RC vehicles though, a wide open field will do.

If your kid is truly an outdoorsy person, consider getting him or her an own tent, pro sleeping bag and backpack. All of the big outdoors brands will have a children’s range that will offer high quality outdoors equipment. It’s a great way for kids to learn the value of owning something and taking care of it. Deploying a tent properly but also packing it up the right way gets more value if they understand that it is their own tent. The idea they need to pack and carry their own essentials in their own backpack is a great way to teach self-sufficiency. Also care for their equipment such as hiking boots will instil lessons that will last a lifetime.


The Best Toys of 2018

It’s that time of the year again; the time for which children all over the world (and more than a few adults, too) have been waiting: the gift-giving season! In particular, as an adult and parent, you are well aware of the months’ approach, given how often the little one clamor about your feet asking questions about the toy budget this year. Instead of having to conduct hour-long searches on Google, we’ve compiled here a selection of the best toys of 2018 – with a wide range of costs so as to be inclusive of most peoples’ budgets.

Not surprisingly, some of the toys from last year crept on to this list, because of the simple fact that the craze for them has yet to die out. Fingerlings are one of them, and stores constantly complain of being out of stock when new requests come in, despite the feverish pace of manufacturers in keeping up with their end of the supply and demand curve. With that set, let’s jump right into the top toys.

The Fingerlings As Advertised

These little monsters and cute, adorable creatures are still near the very top of any kid’s list of toys this year. The Raptors Untamed is the latest incarnation in the line of finger-attached action figures, which successfully combines dinosaurs with the caricatures that have been thus far reserved for sloths, monkeys and other relatively cute critters. Fingerlings are recommended for ages 5 and up.

Plush Toys With a Twist

It’s not surprising that plush toys would be a big hit with kids within a certain age range; even many adults appreciate their large, plush and furry nature. The thing about the new brand of plush toys known as Grumblies – which are making waves across the nation – is that they’re losing a bit of their cuteness and gaining a rougher edge. For some reason, though, kids are taking to them as a replacement for the unrelentingly cute furries of yesteryear. Just wait until you get a look at their faces! Things sure have changed since you were a kid.

Dinosaurs Are Taking Over – Imaginext Jurassic

Not surprisingly, the reemergence of Jurassic Park on the Big Screen has spawned a resurgence of toys related to the franchise. The Imaginext Jurassic World Jurassic Park, for example, is a definitively hot ticket item that’s certain to fly off the shelves for months to come. It’s large and substantial, which means that it will take up lots of play time as your little loved one cycles through all the permutations and makes his little slice of Jurassic Park come to life.

Pet Vet Play – The Examine and Treat Play Set

For your fledgling veterinarian; this adorable playset starts him on the road to becoming a doctor for the sick animal someday. It’s no wonder that this is one of the best toy sets of the year – toy maker team Melissa and Doug has stocked the bag full of all the little elements that real pet docs use. You even get a pet toy dog and cat in the bag, on which to carefully run your health examinations. With two dozen pieces in all, your little one won’t want for examples of what to do. It comes with a diagram and a checklist, too.

Make Mine Marvel With The Avengers Training Kit

There hasn’t been a comic book franchise as successful on the Big Screen as Marvel’s recent movies, with characters like Spiderman, Iron Man, Thor and Black Panther capturing the imaginations of fans of all ages – especially the young. This toy set lets them use various odds and ends from their super-powered heroes and pretend to shoot repulsor blasts from the lifelike Iron Man gauntlet, or snake through the advanced jungles of Wakanda with the Black Panther mask.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Gun

Never to be confused for a real gun, this colorful projectile toy carries quite the punch – and it’s all in fun, guaranteed to provide the children with hours and hours of fun in any moderately expansive space. Nerf guns tend to dominate the Christmas season among a certain age group, and the company has responded with advancements that will have your boys (and some girls) clamoring for upgrades like the speed-load tech that automatically loads the next foam clip and lays waste to the opponent’s dreams of escaping untouched. Always be sure to get extra darts – they are inexpensive since it’s just colored foam.

We could of course go on and on with the toys that are available this year, but the above are definitely some of the very best.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

How To Keep Your Kids Entertained While Doing A Million Other Things At Once

Being a parent means your life is pretty much full of multitasking. There will rarely be a moment where you only have one thing to do at once. Mostly, you have a million things going on at the same time, and you’re like one of those street performers trying to keep the plates spinning at the same time.


Normally, entertaining your kids is a constant on your list of things to do. But, how can you do this when you simply have more pressing matters to tend to? The solution is to look for ways in which your kids can stay entertained without you needing to constantly watch over and supervise them. In this piece, I’ve listed a few of my favorite ideas to do this.

Put Netflix On The TV

Normally, I’m not an advocate of sticking your child in front of a screen and letting it entertain them for you. However, there comes a time where you simply don’t have the time to provide personal entertainment. In times like these, Netflix is your best friend. It’s like your virtual nanny, it will help keep your kids entertained for a good hour or so while you do what you need to do. Don’t let them watch it for too long, I personally think this is a great option when you’re making dinner for 30-45 minutes.

Get Them A Playhouse

A playhouse is a really fun toy that your children can pretty much play with by themselves. They’ll lose themselves in their imagination as they play with this toy house, pretending it’s their own. Normally, these are reserved for outdoor fun. However, the best kids’ playhouse can be used indoors as well as out. So, even when it’s rainy, your children can still play with it while you work, cook, clean, or just do whatever you need to do in peace.


Buy A Jigsaw Puzzle

Puzzles are a great way to keep children occupied without the need for constant supervision. A jigsaw puzzle can be placed on a table, and your child is free to try and solve it as they please. This is one of the best ways of occupying a child for well over an hour. They get caught up in trying to put all the pieces together and completely zone out from the world. If you work from home and have a lot to do, then this is a great idea for you.

Let Them Use Your Tablet

Again, I said it earlier, I don’t suggest you always stick a screen in front of your children!! But, your tablet is a great entertainment device for your kids. They can watch videos, play games, but also learn at the same time. My advice is to download educational games and apps that they can pass the time on while you’re busy. They stay entertained, they learn, and you get a little bit of peace and quiet.


Being a good dad is all about managing your time well! If you can keep your kids entertained while also doing loads of other tasks, then you’re doing a pretty great job!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.