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The 90s toys that'll make you rich.

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October 10, 2023

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      Your 1999 holographic Charizard card may live in a binder sleeve at the Staten Island garbage dump, but don't worry, you can just buy another one for $250,000.

      With the holidays upon us, we're getting nostalgic for the toys of our youth. The Tamagotchis, Furbies, Garbage Pail Kids, and Hot Wheels cars. Or maybe you were the Calico Critters and My Little Pony type.

      Could these knick knacks be the key to your early retirement? Is it time to rummage around mom's creepy attic? Let's find out.


      Beanie Babies to the moon!

      If you were a kid in the 90s, you probably witnessed the Beanie Baby world takeover. From 1993-1998, those bean-filled stuffed animal saw annual sales rise to over $1.3 billion. Eager shoppers fought, clawed, robbed, and killed to get their hands on the next misprinted Hippity the Rabbit.

      “During several Beanie Baby quests, my son was trampled by a herd of women racing to the shelves to capture an endangered animal — the last Ziggy the Zebra, perhaps."

      -The Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 1998

      Could your Beanie Baby collection be worth a fortune? Today, there are over 300,000 active Beanie Baby listings on Ebay, so it seems the beanie bubble has burst.

      Gotta Catch Em All.  

      In the world of vintage toy reselling, huge home runs are few and far between. For every Pokemon millionaire, there's probably 10,000 basements filled with plastic tubs of Crazy Bones and unblinking Playmobil heads.

      But, we all love a good story. So here are some of the biggest resale wins.

      • 1st Edition Shadowless Charizard — $399,750
      • Millennium Edition Furby — $4,550
      • Princess Repunzel My Little Pony — $1,550
      • Matchbox Toy Car Collection — $371,496
      • Polly Pocket Assorted Collection — $1,275
      • Deviltchi Devilgotchi Tamagotchi — $699
      • Limited Edition Troll Doll —  $700
      • Legend of Zelda Game Boy Advance — $20,000

      The Playbook take

      For most people, these 90s novelties are practically worthless. And like nearly any investment, the competitive vintage toy market comes with no guarantees.

      Chris Robinson (Dr. Rick Webber on “General Hospital") invested about $100,000 in Beanie Babies to pay for his kids’ college education. He lost every penny. And we won't soon forget this couple dividing their Beanie Baby collection in divorce court. That collection would be worth under $100 today.

      In the mood to catch 'em all? Start by capturing your 2022 tax advantages before the year end. If your savings allows, max out your employer 401(k) match, your IRA, and your other tax advantaged accounts.

      And if you have some left over? Sure, buy that limited edition Easy Bake Oven. If nothing else, you can make a tiny birthday cake and take a trip down memory lane.

      To financial freedom and beyond,

      Playbook

      The app for growing your money.

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