How to Determine the Value of Your Antique Toys

Whether you’re a collector on the hunt for rare vintage toys or simply have a box of old Beanie Babies and Hot Wheels in your attic, you’re likely curious to know how you can determine if the toy you’re looking at is worth anything. The best way to figure out what your collectible is worth is by having it appraised by a professional. However, there are a few factors you can evaluate on your own to decide if it would be worth your time to seek the assistance of an appraiser and even sell your collectible items in toy auctions.

Factors That Affect the Worth of Your Antique Toys

While the market for antique toys is booming, collectors are particular about the items they invest in. Just because you feel a special connection with your assortment of Lincoln Logs, model trains, or action figures does not mean it has monetary value. Expert appraisers and seasoned toy collectors will evaluate the worth of your toys based on several factors.


Some of the most sought-after toys include those manufactured in small quantities. Rare antique toys are often made with high-quality materials or unique craftsmanship. For these reasons and an inability to replicate the toys, rare items are usually valued at a higher price than other collectibles.


While age alone cannot determine the value of a vintage toy, it can affect the item’s resale price. Old toys made with materials or technology no longer in use today are often highly sought after by collectors, driving up their price tags. If you have a toy made in the 19th century, you likely have an antique item worth a lot of money, especially if the toy is in good condition.

You can find the age of the vintage toy by looking for a patent number, maker’s mark, or country of origin mark on the toy or box. Once you’ve located this mark, you can look it up online to see when the toy was made.


Toys were made to be played with and loved on, so it’s rare to find an antique toy without signs of wear and tear. If your toy has little to no scratches, dents, or missing parts, it will be priced higher than toys with signs of damage. You could get the highest value for your vintage toys if they are in mint condition, which means all their parts are intact and in their original toy boxes.


Your antique toys will be valued at a higher price if you can prove the authenticity of the collectible. If you have some form of documentation showing the maker and manufacturing date of the toy, you could receive much more money than if it was unauthenticated. Even if you do not have documentation, you may still be able to prove the antique toy’s authenticity by looking for the manufacturer’s mark or the manufacturing date on the toy’s body.


No two toys were created equal, and no two toys are viewed the same in the eyes of collectors. When determining the value of your antique toys, you will need to consider each toy’s type and who would be likely to buy them at an auction. Here are the top categories of antique toys:

  • Transportation Toys: Some of the most popular vintage toys include model cars and trains. If you have these toy vehicles and their accessories, you could easily find buyers interested in your items.
  • Moving Toys: These toys include those that you can operate manually or with mechanics and electronics. Vintage moving toys that still function properly are valued at a higher price than those missing parts.
  • Tin Toys: Many toys produced in the 20th century were made out of tin because it was cheap. Today, antique tin toys are highly valued because they are durable and often fully intact.
  • Building Toys: LEGO building toys are still being made today, but older versions are still valuable. Lincoln Logs are also popular with antique toy collectors.
  • Action Figures: If you have action figures representing popular superheroes or cartoon characters, you could have a highly valuable collector’s item on your hands.

Ask an Expert to Appraise Your Vintage Toys

If you have a collection of antique toys, consider getting them valued by an experienced professional. Our expert appraisers at Bodnar’s Auction can help you determine your toy collection’s worth by evaluating its condition, age, and rarity. If you’re interested in selling your items, we will handle the process and ensure you get a fair price for your antiques and collectibles. For more information about our antique toy auctions, contact us today!

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I’m happy with everything Joe and Janet did, you were both informative and were very helpful with the questions I had being that I was never in that position before. Janet’s response time was also positive for me. It was interesting to watch the auction live. I thought you did an amazing job and had a nice banter back and forth. You seem to be a good team! Thank you for all your hard work and making this difficult time of letting  my deceased father’s collectibles go an easy experience.

Kim F.

I would like to thank you for including me in your online sale.

Everything from none contact drop off, to none contact pick up, was handled with the outmost professionalism.

I appreciated your clear communication after the sale with a printout and an explanation of when I’ll receive my check.

Overall I was very please with the prices my jewelry achieved, some lot  went for less then I expected, others went for more, it’s all in the average.

Thank you very much

Michal F.

I come to your auctions often. You and your staff are great. Your change to an online auction on 4/9 is just another testament to your fine character and being thoughtful of others. The items are great no doubt, but a big reason I keep coming back is due to the culture you have created. Thank you. Art

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Sold in July 18, 2019 sale and Overall Pleased!

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I received the proceeds from the Auction and wanted to again thank you and your team.  Everything went so smoothly and you all did such a great job from start to finish.This was an overwhelming experience for me and you made everything so easy.  I have been recommending you to everyone!

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