A Small Toy Car Costs – Kids who loved cars, trucks and motorcycles had plenty of cool toys to choose from in the 70s and 80s. These toys were well built and many moved around on their own. And because so many of these machines were modeled after those that became famous in TV shows and movies, every kid wanted one. Today, adults who miss their childhood are paying big bucks for some of these toys. Here are a dozen vintage toys on wheels that are worth crawling through your attic.
Launched in 1980, Schaper’s Stomper 4X4s were aimed at young children who were into off-road craze. Powered by a single AA battery, these little trucks cost around $10 and had four-wheel drive that spun soft paddle tires, a set for indoor and outdoor use. They even had headlights on. Stompers has produced some cool models including Subaru Brats, Dodge Power Wagons, Jeep Honcho pickup trucks, and even larger Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks. The bodies of these toys were very detailed and faithful to real machines, which added to the fun.
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Stompers had a hard life. The kids played with them outside in the mud to see what they were capable of. The body has scratches; the clips securing them to the housing may break. So Stompers on eBay are offered with a Buy It Now price ranging from $10 to around $100 depending on rarity and condition. The big rig models mentioned above seem to be one of the most valuable. Unopened models still in cellophane cost hundreds of dollars.
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Slot machine racing tracks were extremely popular in the 1960s and 1970s. The big ones occupied a lot of hobby shop properties, but it was the smaller 1:64 scale game cars and the tracks they raced on that provided years of fun for the crazy kids at home. These kits, made primarily by Aurora A/FX (Aurora Factory Experimental) and Tyco, used plastic rails with two metal rails running along the surface (one for power and one for ground). Small cars have electrical contacts that maintain a connection to the rails of the track. The speed of the car was modulated by a hand controller; Pressing the trigger too hard when the AFX car is approaching a corner can fly off the track, something we’ve almost all done at some point for fun.
In the mid-1970s, a full AFX car kit of two or more cars cost less than $40. Today, many cars cost the same if the bodies are in good condition. Rare models can cost over $100, while entire track sets can cost nearly $300. One AFX car with a 1957 Chevy Nomad body in its original packaging had a Buy It Now price of almost $850 on Ebay.
From 1982 to 1986, car-loving kids across the country watched the TV show Knight Rider on Friday nights. It featured an automated, semi-autonomous, crime-fighting, and talking Trans Am known as KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). The premise sounds ridiculous today, but this all-new Trans Am was styled after the 1980s – just like its co-star, The Hoff. The show was a huge hit and the toys flooded the market. One of the coolest was Kenner’s voice car. Press the cool vintage blue California license plate and the voice car will say six different sentences. The set also includes a figure of Michael Knight.
Knight Rider toys generally seem very collectible. A voice car in good to good condition with a few scratches on the exterior will appear on eBay for a Buy It Now price in the $50-$60 range. Complete cars with box in good condition with minimal scuffs sell for nearly $90. they can cost hundreds in a box; we saw a list close to $900.
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Motorcycle stunt riding was owned by Evel Knievel in the 1970s. Knievel was legendary not only for the wild jumps he performed, but also for the jumps he crashed on. When Ideal released the 72-77 range of Evel Knievel toys, they were hot sellers, the most popular and valuable being Stunt Cycle. The stunt bike was on a red starter stand with a lever at one end for lifting the gyro wheel at the rear of the bike. Once fully charged, the bike will start and cycle through your living room or hopping over. It was amazing. Eventually, the company produced the Dragster, Chopper and Sky Cycle, all of which ran on this gyroscopic platform.
The stunt bike was so popular that it was reissued in the 1990s and early 2000s. But it’s genuine 1970s merchandise that brings in money. The rarest and most valuable stunt bike is a 1977 silver high jumper. It is rare and advertised on eBay for buy now prices ranging from $1,000 to nearly $3,000 in mint condition. Locked in a box and never opened? Much more. So start digging in your parents’ attic.
Barbie must have her dream car. At the time, Mattel was creating a line of Barbie-themed Corvettes, dune buggies, and the cool little Beach Bus van. But Star Traveler, launched in 1976, was the best of them all. This is a faithful three-foot scale replica of GMC’s innovative front-wheel drive V8 motorhome. The Star Traveler was made in the 1980s and had many of the amenities of a real motorhome, including a shower, sofa, beds, kitchen, and even a removable sundeck and even a small hibachi grill.
The Star Traveler was only $19.97 in the 1977 Sears catalog and has been available in a variety of color schemes over the years, although the original yellow seems to be the most popular. Barbie toys are collectibles and this RV is no exception. Frequently used Star Travelers are listed on eBay for between $40 and $90. But lightly used, with all accessories and original box, they can cost from $100 to over $200. So the next time you find one for ten dollars at your local flea market, you have to grab it.
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You know. Hot Wheels is one of the most popular and valuable toy cars of all time. The brand was launched in 1968 as a more fun and adapted version of the traditional small toy car. Sixteen cars were released in the first year. Since then, thousands more have been released in virtually every imaginable design. Hot Wheels and those iconic playsets remain popular to this day, with over four billion units produced. Hot Wheels collectors are a dedicated bunch. So it’s not hard to find the one you played with as a kid for sale on eBay. Most of them are still cheap because the company built so many of them. But these funky and unique ones can fetch staggering prices.
Since there are so many Hot Wheels, it depends on condition and rarity. One car can be worth ten dollars in the most popular color scheme, but over $300 in a rare color sold outside the United States. In general, early cars with redline tires are among the most valuable; the most desirable ones can cost thousands of dollars. One of the most valuable is the VW “Beach Bomb” prototype from 1969, valued at over $70,000. There are quite a few models from the 70s of some value. For example, the 1977 “Staff Car” was only released in a military-themed set and may have been worth nearly $800. Similarly, a rare “Gold Chrome” version of a Porsche 911 from 1975, 1976 or 1977 can make its owner a fortune. So take a look around your collection – there may be hidden treasure there.
Was one of the first television shows to start marketing toys on a large scale. In the 1970s, toy manufacturers produced a staggering number of branded products. From watches to sneakers to big-wheel bicycles to walkie-talkies, virtually anything a child could wear, ride, or play had a
Version. Items that seem to be making big bucks these days come from Me. Mego made not only the figures, but also the full range of cars from the show. Of course, General Lee’s 1969 Dodge Charger Dukes were on most kids’ 1981 Christmas lists. And it was cute, with a roof hatch for Bo and Luke Duke to hop through on their next adventure. Because as everyone knows, General Lee’s door was welded shut.
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Cruise Ebay and the prices of these cars (including action figures) are staggering. This Mego General Lees, including the original box in very good condition, seems to be on sale for $400 to $600. If you happen to have a Mego manufactured Cadillac Boss Hogg taking up space in your basement, you’d better take a seat. The deals on eBay for these toys are crazy. We saw an open play Cadillac for just under $500 and two excellent inside
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