The 11 Rarest Collectible Toys from the 20th Century

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Collectible toys from the 20th century hold a special place in the hearts of enthusiasts and collectors alike. These rare items often carry significant historical value and nostalgic appeal, making them highly sought after. From action figures and dolls to comic books and vintage games, each piece tells a unique story. The rarity and condition of these toys greatly influence their desirability and worth. Here, we explore some of the rarest and most collectible toys from the last century, highlighting what makes each one special.

1969 Hot Wheels VW Beach Bomb

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The 1969 Hot Wheels VW Beach Bomb is a highly sought-after collectible due to its unique design and limited production. Its pink color variant is particularly rare, fetching high prices at auctions. This toy features a surfboard sticking out of the back window, making it distinct from later versions. The prototype was deemed too narrow for the Hot Wheels Super Charger track, leading to its redesign. Today, only a few of these original models are known to exist.

1959 Barbie No. 1

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The 1959 Barbie No. 1, introduced by Mattel, marked the debut of the now-iconic Barbie doll. Featuring platinum blonde hair, black and white zebra-striped swimsuit, and distinctive arched eyebrows, this doll set the standard for future Barbies. With only a few in mint condition remaining, it is a prized possession among collectors. The packaging, complete with the original accessories, significantly increases its value. Early versions of Barbie dolls also came with a rare stand and a pair of sunglasses.

1938 Action Comics No. 1

Action Comics #1
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Action Comics No. 1 is renowned for introducing Superman to the world, becoming a cornerstone of superhero culture. Published in 1938, this comic book is one of the most coveted items among collectors. Its cover features Superman lifting a car, a scene that has become iconic in comic book history. Only a few copies are in good condition, making them extremely valuable. The story and art laid the foundation for future comic book heroes and narratives.

1978 Star Wars Boba Fett with Rocket Firing Mechanism
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The 1978 Star Wars Boba Fett figure with a rocket-firing mechanism is a legendary piece among Star Wars collectibles. Originally intended to launch a small projectile, this feature was quickly deemed a safety hazard. Consequently, very few of these figures were produced and distributed. Those that remain intact are highly prized and command high prices at auctions. The detailed design and connection to the beloved Star Wars franchise enhance its allure.

1972 Blythe Doll

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Produced in 1972, the Blythe doll is known for its oversized head and color-changing eyes, which made it stand out from other dolls of its era. Initially unpopular due to its eerie appearance, it was discontinued after only a year of production. This limited availability has turned the Blythe doll into a highly collectible item. Its unique design and quirky charm have since gained a cult following. Original dolls in good condition are particularly valuable.

1984 Transformers Optimus Prime

1984 Transformers Optimus Prime
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The 1984 Optimus Prime toy is a cornerstone of the Transformers franchise, combining a detailed robot and a realistic truck in one figure. Its complex transformation process and iconic character status make it highly desirable among collectors. Early versions with intact packaging and all accessories are especially sought after. The toy’s robust construction and enduring popularity add to its collectible value. Optimus Prime remains a symbol of the 1980s toy era.

1963 Easy-Bake Oven

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Introduced in 1963 by Kenner Products, the Easy-Bake Oven was a revolutionary toy that allowed children to bake real cakes using a light bulb as a heat source. Its initial turquoise model is particularly rare today. Complete sets with original boxes and accessories are highly valued by collectors. This toy not only sparked culinary creativity but also holds nostalgic value for many. The Easy-Bake Oven remains a beloved piece of toy history.

1982 Masters of the Universe He-Man

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He-Man from the 1982 Masters of the Universe line by Mattel is one of the most iconic action figures of the 1980s. Its muscular design and heroic persona captivated children and collectors alike. Early versions with original packaging and accessories are highly collectible. He-Man’s enduring popularity and nostalgic value contribute to its desirability. The figure represents a golden age of action figures and animated series.

1950s Dinky Toys Pre-War Models

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Dinky Toys’ pre-war models from the 1950s are highly prized due to their detailed craftsmanship and historical significance. These die-cast miniature vehicles were among the first of their kind, setting a standard for quality in toy manufacturing. Collectors seek out these toys for their rarity and vintage appeal. Complete sets with original packaging are particularly valuable. Dinky Toys are a testament to the evolution of toy production and design.

1978 Kenner Star Wars Blue Snaggletooth

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The 1978 Kenner Star Wars Blue Snaggletooth is an error variant that became a rare collectible. Originally released in a Sears exclusive Cantina Adventure Set, it featured a taller figure in blue instead of the correct shorter red version. This mistake was corrected in later releases, making the blue version highly sought after. Collectors value it for its uniqueness and connection to Star Wars lore. Figures in mint condition with original packaging are especially prized.

1950s Steiff Teddy Bears

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Steiff teddy bears from the 1950s are renowned for their quality and craftsmanship, making them highly collectible. The German company Steiff, known for its high standards, produced these bears with jointed limbs and mohair fur. Bears in good condition with original tags are especially prized. Their historical significance and charming designs contribute to their desirability. Steiff bears remain a symbol of quality in the world of collectible toys.

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