Would you trade your childhood for a small fortune? ...

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by David Craig posted 11-05-2012 04:23 AM 1687 views 0 times favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3307 days

11-05-2012 04:23 AM

Topic tags/keywords: childhood question value toys

I had a pretty large collection of toys when I was a kid, action figures (never say dolls :), smash up derby cars, racing cars on tracks that actually fit together, matchbox collections, the whole 9. I priced a number of these items in collector catalogs before. If I had not played with them, kept them in their boxes, and had them today, I would have virtually no financial troubles to worry about.

So the question is, if you could go back in time and take away those aspects of your childhood for financial freedom today, would you? I know I wouldn’t. My stuff went through hell as a kid but that free use of imagination is a gift I still hold on to.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

37 replies so far

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2410 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 04:38 AM

Toys were meant to be played with. I had one of those horses that as you ride it the feet actually move you forward. I have seen the identical one sell on eBay for about $1500.. don’t remember exactly, but it was around that much. Sure, I wish I had it today and probably would have sold it. But looking back, I can’t say I have any regrets. The fun I had with that horse is priceless. Same with GI Joe, plastic model cars and planes, and all the other toys I pretty much destroyed when I was little. I’m glad I didn’t know what they would be worth at some time in the future, because that would have taken all the fun out of it.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


19706 posts in 2874 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 04:44 AM

I couldn’t ever trade my childhood…....

@ 50 years young, I’m still living it!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2410 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 04:47 AM

Did you guys ever see the Seinfeld episode where he was dating this girl who collected toys. He got her drunk and passed out so he could play with the toys.. LOL.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View oldnovice's profile


7325 posts in 3566 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 06:20 AM

A friend and former colleague bought all the Star Wars toys he could afford … never opened them, never let the kids know he had them with the hope that some day they would be collectors items. According to my son, who knows about collector items says they have actually increased dramatically in value but no one ever enjoyed playing with them.

The only things I wish I did not mutilate and/or lost were some very old comic books! I know one I had is now worth about $5,000 and I paid 10¢!

Other than that, I enjoyed playing with my toys when I had them and my children enjoyed them, what was left of them, and hindsight is always 20/20!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3307 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 06:32 AM

They re-released the old Hasbro GI Joes as colllector items. Over the years, I bought a few, more to have in my office as childhood reminders. My youngest would always want me to pull the boxes down so he could look at them. One day I was seeing the want in his face and realized I had a choice between making a really special childhood memory or giving him something he can try and sell at a collector’s market when he is a man. I took a number of them down, ones with replicas of the old accessories and guns, and told him to have at them.

Some will get broken eventually, the stuff will be lost, the boxes went in the trash. At the same time, I can’t think of any sum of money we could have gained that would replace the look on his face and the day we had playing with them.

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3121 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 11:14 AM

I had a girl friend that had(has) an original Howdy Doll Puppet, still in the box! It’s worth big bucks.
Was the only toy her parents ever bought her.

-- Life is good.

View americanwoodworker's profile


185 posts in 2572 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 11:53 AM

If I could go back and keep old toys pristine, in the original box without playing with them it would not have mattered. I continually lost everything moving from house to house and being homeless for many years. The best times I had was building little cities out of mud and dirt complete with miniature lakes, roads, bridges, tunnels and rivers so I could drive my matchbox cars through the maze. I could do that for hours.

Might explain why I love to cruse around and sight see now that I am older.

-- Your freedom to be you, includes my freedom to be free from you.

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3003 days

#8 posted 11-05-2012 12:42 PM

I feel the same way as you David. I wouldn’t change anything about my childhood life. Toys helped make us who we are. We had imaginations. Kids today, well, a lot of them, they just push a button. They don’t have a clue. Now from 18 to, well, I mighta done things different.. lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3690 posts in 2450 days

#9 posted 11-05-2012 01:24 PM

Some of my favorite playthings were refrigerator boxes, a pile of dirt, an old tire or some other odd things. I had four brothers with lots of energy so we didn’t really need “official” toys—we made or imagined our own. I remember my Dad making some wooden crates and planks for us to play on and with. We loved those things! I made some for my own children when they were small, and they and their friends also played with them. My brothers and I also made a Flinstone car out of logs—that was cool but not very practical as a mode of transportation (too heavy).

I do still have a near-complete set of Spirograph that I played with as a child. I wouldn’t have sold it back then knowing the joy it brought to me, and of the numerous refrigerator hangings it produced for Mom.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Bieser's profile


176 posts in 2233 days

#10 posted 11-05-2012 01:48 PM

The toys I played the most with were my dads hammers nails and such building tree houses. Guess thats where I got my start! Funny thing is my dad still finds hammers laying around out in the tree row.

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2447 days

#11 posted 11-05-2012 01:59 PM

I would play with them. I actually hate this mentality that is becoming very pervasive. Are you buying “toys”, or investments? If you set out with the intent that “this will be worth a lot of money some day”, that is a different story. If you are buying a child a toy, expect it to be played with to the brink of destruction.

[rant] All of these stupid reality TV shows are putting the wrong message out. On a somewhat related tone, I also hate the “don’t refinish that old piece of furniture! you will destroy the value” message conveyed by a lot of TV shows. This applies to an extremely small percentage of furniture on the market. The chances of you having an original piece from a historically important artisan are pretty slim. By not refinishing/restoring that old piece, all you are doing is allowing beautifully crafted pieces from a time where craftsmanship still meant something rot away to sawdust. Aside for the proud few woodworkers producing wonderful pieces, future generations will not really know what craftsmanship looks like (unless they have a ton of money or make something themselves). Today’s pressboard massed produced garbage (hopefully) won’t last many generations as the solid wood, expertly crafted pieces of past generations will. I’m not just talking about Ikea, next time you are in a crate and barrel or pottery barn, look at how their pieces are actually assembled and finished. Your great grandfathers old bedroom set that is in your basement is very likely not worth tens of thousands of dollars. Make some repairs, sand it down, refinish it and let it live again.


View chrisstef's profile


17761 posts in 3205 days

#12 posted 11-05-2012 01:59 PM

Just like old tools these things were meant to be used. IMO money comes and money goes. Memories are somehting that cant be sold but are worth much more than money. I can remember loading up the old metal Tonka truck with rocks and bricks sending it screaming down the driveway and off the rock wall at my grandparents house. Id rather have that old beat up yellow dump truck than one thats all pristine and shiny. Just not for me. I wouldnt change it, those are the things that made me who i am today.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View SteveMI's profile


1124 posts in 3493 days

#13 posted 11-05-2012 03:00 PM

When I was 5 there are pictures of me at Christmas with my new Lionel Train set. Actually I am off to the side with my mom, my dad and grandfather were beaming ear to ear running it. Each year it came out to go around the tree and must have ran for hundreds of hours. Not sure what age that I was able to “run” it, but there are good memories of it.

Fast forward to me being 14 and come home to see my brothers (I was oldest) and seeing my brothers rolling the train cars up and down the driveway trying to crash them into each other. They were laughing and having a great time, fitting end to the “collectible.”

Never had any “action figures” that I can remember. Lincoln Logs, Erector Set, basic Lego and board games were common. I bought a grandson an Erector Set and someone else bought him a Transformer, Erector lost. We did bond later on a monster set of the newer Lego with all kind of cool shapes.


View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3776 days

#14 posted 11-05-2012 03:31 PM

Some things we own have have great value as to the memory s attached to them,but if there financial value is something we need to cash in on, they are only material possessions and if we have a immediate need for funds then I say use them to pay for your need. If you want to trade those memory’s in for another material possession that’s not a real need that’s something each of us have to evaluate for ourselves . Over the years as the bread winner of my family I have had to make these kind of choices and could not justify owning something of value while my family had a financial need. Would I like to have some of the items I had to sell back ? Sure! but in my book I feel I made the right choices and would sell these items all over again if I had it to do over again.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View oldnovice's profile


7325 posts in 3566 days

#15 posted 11-05-2012 04:30 PM

lumberjoe your assessment of the pervasiveness of this investment mentality is absolutely right! Everyone watches these reality programs like storage wars and thinks they can cash in too and share in the wealth in place of joy or happiness.

To me seeing the smile on a kids face is priceless!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

showing 1 through 15 of 37 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics