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Most Valuable Collectors’ Items In Existence



In the world of Americana, decades of popular franchises and iconic brands have culminated into some of the most irresistibly collectible memorabilia, and true fanatics are willing to spend superfluous amounts on the items they’re most passionate about. But which types of items are worth the most?
Well, between sports, toys, movies, music, and everything in between, there’s something for just about everyone when it comes to collectibles. And that range certainly depends on rarity and demand, among other often hyper-specific and timely details that make originals and one-of-a-kind items not only invaluable, but irreplaceable. Here are the most sought-after and most demanded collectors pieces of all time…

1959 Original Barbie

Manufactured By: Mattel
Original Price: ~$3
Today’s Value: ~$27,450
Barbie Dolls changed the way toys were marketed, as they were the first to be advertised to children, which was obviously controversial at the time considering the lack of diversity initially. The original with the black and white bathing suit that hit the shelves in 1959 is still worth upwards of $25k if you still have it in the box and in good condition.

1927 World Series Ticket Stub

Manufactured By: Major League Baseball
Original Price: ~$1
Today’s Value: ~$41,825
This particular World Series ticket fetches an incredible return because of the nature of the 1927 Yankees team, which featured Babe Ruth and Lou Gherig, and was widely considered the best team in baseball history. They won 110 games that year and sported a 19-game lead in their division before winning it all, and this token piece of sporting history is worth what it would’ve meant to be there to witness greatness in person, despite the $1 value originally.

Elvis Presley Board Game

Manufactured By: Teen-Age Games, Inc.
Original Price: ~$1.50
Today’s Value: ~$2,150
The Elvis Presley game probably isn’t what you’re thinking. It was actually a love-predicting simulator, which would help players find out who would “love” and “go steady” with them, or who they’d “marry” or “elope” with. And while it certainly increased in value after his death, the main reason it’s worth north of $2k is because there’s only thought to be 6 or less left in existence.

1962-’62 Yankees Bobblehead

Manufactured By: New York Yankees
Original Price: Unknown
Today’s Value: ~$59,750
Bobbleheads are often collected, given away, and used as promotional materials for teams and fans alike, but this particular one is unlike any others. Only two were ever made, and the ceramic and paper-mache is hand-painted and now can earn you over $60k assuming it’s still in good condition. It’s unknown where they originated, but Yankee fans and baseball collectors have had their eyes on these guys ever since.

Pyrex Casserole Dish (1959)

Manufactured By: Pyrex
Original Price: ~$15
Today’s Value: ~$4,000
Vintage Pyrex has become many collectors favorite brand of classic dishware, and these ‘50s styles that first transitioned from the classic clear design to patterns are worth their weight today. This particular aesthetic is from the “Lucky in Love” line, which Pyrex even brought back for nostalgia in 2018. However, you’d need the original corningware with the grass, four leaf clovers and hearts to make a nice profit.

First Edition Boy Scout Handbook

Manufactured By: Boy Scouts of America
Original Price: Free to Boy Scouts
Today’s Value: ~$2,200
Written by Boy Scout founder Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell and originally called Scouting for Boys, the Boy Scouts Handbook was reformatted in 1910, making the first edition shown here worth no less than $2,200, with some going for thousands more. First editions are always worth a lot more, and considering this organization has historical value, any scout who’s able to get their hands on one of these would be lucky.

Action Comics No.1 Comic Book

Manufactured By: Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster
Original Price: 10c
Today’s Value: ~$3.2 Million
If you know anything about comics, you’ll know that Action Comics No. 1 is the most valuable comic book in the world, and that’s because not only was it the first superhero comic, but the first appearance of Superman. While it only cost a mere 10¢, the original 200,000 copies sold quickly and now are worth upwards of $3 million. That’s a pretty super return on investment.

Magenta Stamp from British Guiana

Manufactured By: British Guiana
Original Price: 1c
Today’s Value: ~$9.5 Million
Stamps are one of the few commodities that became unlikely collectors pieces because of their purposeful, and monetary value. This 1¢ stamp from British Guyana dating back to 1856 is the only one of its kind known, and has been the highest selling stamp in each of the four times it was sold. A young schoolboy first found it in Scotland while digging in his uncle’s stamp collection, and at last auction, it sold for nearly $10 million.

Luka Doncic Rookie Card

Manufactured By: Rookie Card
Original Price: ~$16.99
Today’s Value: ~$4.6 Million
Luka Doncic is one of the hottest young stars in the NBA, and rookie cards for promising professional athletes always get valued at a pretty penny. LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo both had theirs sold for $1.8 million, but Doncic blew that outta the water when one of his went for $4.6 million, which is crazy considering his own net worth is $5 million.

”Birds of America” by James Audubon

Manufactured By: John James Audubon
Original Price: ~$126
Today’s Value: ~$10.27 Million
James Audubon’s four volume collection of 435 hand-painted watercolor birds only ever had four copies created, and for that reason, the artist’s collection is very rare. In 2018, Carl W. Knoblock Jr. purchased the book in an auction for $10 million, and then donated it to his family’s foundation, with the hopes that all proceeds going forward are donated to conservation and environmental causes, which is a fitting cause Audubon would be proud of.

Ringo Star’s Copy of The Beatles’ White Album

Manufactured By: Apple Records
Original Price: ~$11.28
Today’s Value: ~$790,000
While famous and rare records are sure to bring in some serious cash if you sit on it long enough, nothing will ever top a copy from the artist themself. Take this copy of The Beatles White Album that was drummer Ringo Star’s personal press, which sold for close to $800k more than 50 years after its release. Not only did it come with his prints on the vinyl, but it was also the very first pressing, numbered No.0000001. Beatles memorabilia really rakes it in.

Where The Wild Things Are First Edition

Manufactured By: Harper & Row
Original Price: ~$1.99
Today’s Value: ~$20,000
Author and illustrator Maurice Sendak is most famous for his children’s book Where The Wild Things Are, which has been a smash hit for years and has since been turned into a featured film. But of course, if you own the first edition of this mischievous and lesson-learning tale, you’re capable of earning over $20k in return, as a signed copy sold the year he died in 2012 was sold for $25k.

Nike Air Jordan 1s

Manufactured By: Nike
Original Price: ~$65
Today’s Value: ~$560,000
To this day, Air Jordan sneakers are highly sought after and sell out within minutes of release online, so just imagine what owning a pair of the first editions will get you. They were just $65 when initially debuting, but since Michael Jordan was in his prime for the Chicago Bulls at the time, you start to understand the value. The original 1s are now consistently sold for over $500k.

Original G.I. Joe Action Figure

Manufactured By: Hasbro
Original Price: ~$4
Today’s Value: ~$200,000
Believe it or not, although the original G.I. Joe action figure released in 1964 was an initial hit, Hasbro unfortunately had to stop making it due to high production costs. They came back with a narrative that included his military service and heroism, which began to add to the lore associated with his character. Since then, the toy’s legacy has lived on, and original figures are now worth more than those who purchased the first one ever could’ve imagined.

Mark McGuire’s 70th Home Run Ball

Manufactured By: Unknown
Original Price: ~$6
Today’s Value: ~$3 Million
Though Mark McGuire may have a tainted legacy in the scope of baseball nowadays, that doesn’t diminish the value of his 70th home run ball, a marveled feat at the time. It may not be broken again, and certainly the fact that his 70th was the final of that season increases the value, but considering the opinion on PEDs today, the fact you have it at all makes is priceless.

Metropolis Poster

Manufactured By: Heinz Schulz-Neudamm
Original Price: Unknown
Today’s Value: ~$690,000
The German film Metropolis was directed by Fritz Lang and this poster was designed by artist Heinz Schulz-Neudamm. Premiering in 1927, it was a science fiction expressionist film that was also the most expensive silent film of its time. However, there were only four of these posters ever created – located in the Museum of Modern Art, a German museum, and a private collection. In 2005, the lone remaining poster sold for $690k, and is potentially worth more now.

Princess Diana Beanie Baby

Manufactured By: Ty
Original Price: ~$5-~$7
Today’s Value: ~$22,222
Almost anything associated with Princess Diana is something her super collectors are looking for, but these Beanie Babies were exceptionally popular, notably due to the timing with the small plush figures booming in sales. While they didn’t cost much at the time, all the proceeds were donated to the Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, so they went quickly. However, if you have the first edition with PVC pellets inside, they could be worth hundreds of thousands. Otherwise most are worth tens of thousands based on the collector and condition.

Nintendo’s Stadium Events Game

Manufactured By: Nintendo
Original Price: ~$Unknown
Today’s Value: ~$41,300
Certain video games are worth more than any skeptical parent would ever understand, but this particular Nintendo game is the most rare of all U.S. licensed games for the console. That’s because only 200 copies were ever produced in 1987, with only 10-11 known American versions left in existence. Stadium Events also came with a mat so players could exercise while playing, predating the likes of Wii Fit and other interactive games. A new, unopened copy recently sold for over $40k.

Beauty and the Beast VHS

Manufactured By: VHS
Original Price: ~$50
Today’s Value: ~$14,500
While you probably wouldn’t think it, some VHS are pretty valuable considering their outdated formatting in today’s digital world. Mainly we’re talking about the Disney Classics, which have been known to earn tens of thousands depending on the title. For example, Beauty and the Beast in addition to Dumbo sold for $14.5k each, and others have sold for more. If you’re able to find some you’ve been too hesitant to get rid of, they could be worth a considerable amount.

Superman Lunchbox (1953)

Manufactured By: Universal
Original Price: ~$2.39
Today’s Value: ~$13,225
Tin lunch boxes were a popular accessory for school kids for many decades, and when the pop culture boom took off in the age of television, more novelty ones kept popping up. This one featuring Superman fighting a robot is from 1953, and has been sold for around $13k on multiple occasions. Superhero collectors aren’t playing around, and if you managed to keep it in decent condition, you could be in luck.

1951 Vincent Black Lightning Motorcycle

Manufactured By: Vincent in Stevenage, England
Original Price: Unknown
Today’s Value: ~$929,000
This brand of Vincent Motorcycles had 33 original bikes produced on the line, of which 19 are still known to exist today. It was developed in Stevenage, England by Vincent after Australian Tony McAlpine ordered it to set the Australian land speed record, among many others. It was sold for $1 million in Las Vegas back in 2018, which is twice as high as the next valued motorcycle model. Always impressive when a bike is worth more than a luxury or classic car.

McDonald’s “Mulan” Szechuan Sauce

Manufactured By: McDonald’s
Original Price: free
Today’s Value: ~$14,700
McDonald’s legacy in americana and collectors rings is well-documented, as there’s just something about the country’s most popular fast food chain that has people fiending. And in one of the more bizarre events – a rediscovered Szechuan Sauce from the days of the Mulan movie, paired with the creators of Rick and Morty petitioning to bring it back – resulted in someone buying it on eBay for almost $15k. While it puzzled many, it’s the allure that counts, right?

Original Levi’s 501 Jeans

Manufactured By: Levi’s
Original Price: ~$3
Today’s Value: ~$60,000
Levi’s has been a leader in jeans since the mid-1800s, and despite them gaining mainstream popularity almost a century later, the original 501 models from the 19th century are now worth more than you could ever believe. Levi’s themselves bought back a pair for $46,000, and lately, more pairs that turn up have upsold to more than $50-60k, that is if you can keep them that long.

Steiff Teddy Girl

Manufactured By: Steiff
Original Price: Unknown
Today’s Value: ~$171,600
Steiff teddy bears were known for their mohair coats and stiff joints, and are considered some of the most valuable antique bears in the world. The particular bear, owned by British Army Colonel Bob Henderson, is the most expensive teddy bear in the world, and that’s because it not only survived the D-Day landings with him, but Henderson also went on to found Good Bears of the World, which provided the stuffed creatures to children. However, Steiff bears are still top of their class.

Coca-Cola Error Can

Manufactured By: Coca Cola
Original Price: ~$1.19
Today’s Value: ~$250,000
Coca-Cola is another iconic American brand that’s had collectors buzzing for their rare and quirky products for decades now. And one of their most peculiar and subsequently valuable items ever produced is actually an accident. The Coca-Cola “error can” is when both sides are bottoms, with no way to actually open and drink the Coke. For some reason, Coca-Cola fanatics love this, and you can earn nearly a quarter million if you get lucky enough to buy one accidentally.

First Silver-Copper Dollar

Manufactured By: US Mint
Original Price: ~$1
Today’s Value: ~$10 Million
If you ever wondered what the first-ever silver dollar looked like, this coin of a woman with flowing hair and an eagle on the other side is it. It’s believed to be the original mode from the US Mint, with unique features that rare-coin firm Legend Numismatics say cannot be replicated, even in any pieces from museums. The firm also said they would’ve bid higher if necessary, but for now this is the only $10 million version in mint.

Charles Lindbergh Matchbook

Manufactured By: Lion Match Co.
Original Price: Free
Today’s Value: ~$6,000
People have been fascinated by Charles Lindbergh for decades since his amazing flight, then tragic family incident. However, the pilot was also a decorated armed forces contributor and acclaimed author, making his namesake alone incredibly popular. And this matchbook handed out to 200 guests at an event attended by Lindbergh in 1927 at the Astor Hotel in New York City is now officially Guinness’ most expensive matchbook, most recently selling for $6,000.

Abu Dhabi License Plate #1

Manufactured By: Public Authorities
Original Price: Purchased new at auction
Today’s Value: ~$14.3 Million
The story behind the single digit license plates in the middle east is usually associated with status, considering there’s only nine of those plates in the first place. However, the man who originally bid $14.3 million at an auction to earn the rights actually had his check bounce, which caused him to serve three years in jail. However, the plate is still worth millions, and now the lucky owner, while having it for presumably less, should be able to sell it for considerably more.

Honus Wagner Baseball Card

Manufactured By: Factory 25
Original Price: ~$50
Today’s Value: ~$6.6 Million
Baseball cards are the origin of sports memorabilia collecting as we know it, and everyone knows there are some cards that will always be at the top of every fanatic’s list. Like this Honus Wagner T206, which sold for a whopping $6.6 million in 2021. Perhaps that was for the one in best condition, but only 50 were ever made after Wagner himself asked for production to be stopped, either to discourage them from selling cigarettes to minors, or for use of likeness. This certainly contributed to this particular card’s value.

1933 Zippo Lighter

Manufactured By: Zippo
Original Price: ~$0.74
Today’s Value: ~$18,000
Zippo burst onto the scene in 1933 by becoming the luxury version of a lighter in a time when many just used matchbooks. While they cost less than $1 back then, the varieties and quality condition can garner quite the value, as Tall, Gunmetal, Brass, and Chrome editions have all earned upwards of $18k in auctions. There weren’t a ton produced back then, so having the original year and a unique model certainly adds value.

Pikachu Illustrator Pokemon Card

Manufactured By: Nintendo
Original Price: Free
Today’s Value: ~$54,970
Would you believe the most expensive Pokemon card in the world didn’t cost anything at all?! Well that’s because the Pikachu Illustrator card was created as a part of a competition which challenged artists to come up with the best Pokemon fan art. The text reads a congratulatory message sent to the winners, and because only a couple dozen were ever printed, it’s value has only increased due to the ongoing popularity of the franchise.

Lego Golden Brick

Manufactured By: Legoland
Original Price: Free
Today’s Value: ~$19,793
If you have the 2×4” golden Lego brick, you certainly did something right. That’s because the only way Lego gave them out is if you were an exceptional employee, like the German man selling this one was. He improved the software that helped sell Legos, and they gifted him this larger-than-normal brick made of $205 worth of 14K gold, making it the biggest and most valuable piece in production history. Safe to say it’s worth the nearly $20k price tag.

1982 World’s Fair Pez Dispenser

Manufactured By: Haas
Original Price: ~$2
Today’s Value: ~$32,205
Unless you attended the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, you probably wouldn’t have ever had the ability to buy this Pez dispenser. That’s because it was produced exclusively for this event, featuring the head in the helmet and a teal-ish green stem. While it only cost a few bucks at the fair, it sold for over $30k in 2006, meaning if anymore are out there, you could be sitting on a hefty sum of money.

Darth Vader Action Figure (1982)

Manufactured By: Kenner
Original Price: ~$4.99
Today’s Value: ~$44,994.40
Star Wars is without a doubt one of the most popular movie franchises to ever grace our screens, and with it came a billion dollar market of toys, licensing, and memorabilia that inevitably became more successful as the years went on. But if you own any of the original toys, you’re in luck, because they’re the most valuable. Take this Darth Vader action figure from 1978, which featured the “double telescoping” label that was used by producer Kenner, indicating immediately that it was worth tens of thousands.

Teresa Ann Cabbage Patch Doll (1985)

Manufactured By: Coleco Industries
Original Price: ~$25
Today’s Value: ~$2,000
Cabbage Patch Dolls, despite their odd look, became one of the best selling dolls at the time, and people became obsessed with their different color and style variations. There was something for everyone, but if you own one of the first few years’ dolls from the ‘80s, it’s likely they have appreciated in value greatly. Many are worth at least a few thousand, including Teresa Ann here, who has a green and pink dress, red hair, and the #3 head mold.

The Great Gatsby First Edition

Manufactured By: Charles Scribner’s
Original Price: ~$2
Today’s Value: ~$400,000
If you own a first copy of The Great Gatsby, you likely already have a good understanding of its worth. Not only was its $2 price tag cheap at the time, but this special debut edition with original cover art also came with an error on the dust cover, which forgot to capitalize “jay Gatsby” in the description. There are very few copies that’ve survived the century since it was released in good condition, so it’s worth checking any old collections you might have.

Black Lotus ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Card

Manufactured By: Wizards of the Coast
Original Price: ~$25
Today’s Value: ~$87,672-~$511,100
If you’re a dedicated Magic: The Gathering player, you may be crazy enough to fork over the hundreds of thousands you’ll need to buy a Black Lotus card. This “alpha” card adds three mana to your lineup, and is able to be played quickly and strongly. And despite there being thousands of them out there, Magic has printed more than 30 billion cards in the last decade and a half, so they’re still pretty rare.

Dunes Casino Red & Blue Decks

Manufactured By: Dunes Hotel
Original Price: ~$1-~$2
Today’s Value: ~$1,250
If you don’t know the Dunes Casino in Las Vegas, that’s because it’s since been replaced by the Bellagio. Dunes operated from 1955 to 1993, and their playing cards were obviously iconic, as they featured the famous logo and likely passed through the hands of many famous and ambitious gamblers alike. Nowadays, people who enjoy the nostalgia or may have visited in the past are willing to shovel over thousands of dollars just to have a deck in their own home.

Garbage Pail Kid Nasty Nick #1A

Manufactured By: The Topps Company
Original Price: ~$9.98/pack
Today’s Value: ~$7,856
If you can’t tell by the name, Garbage Pail Kids were a play on Cabbage Patch Dolls, but they were actually sticker trading cards made by Topps. Nasty Nick was the rarest of all characters, and since he was usually the top of the deck if you were to get him, his printing was usually off-centered. But if you sold it in GEM MT 10 condition, you could certainly fetch thousands of dollars.

Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Watch

Manufactured By: Patek Philippe
Original Price: N/A (Created For Auction)
Today’s Value: ~$31.19 million
This might be the most unique watch in the world, as the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime watch takes 100,000 hours to build. It was twenty complications, two dials, a reversible case, and six innovations inside that themselves are patented. Only seven have ever been produced, and one sits in Philippe’s own museum in Switzerland. This complex timepiece is easily worth tens of millions of dollars, and is probably tough to convince someone to sell in the first place.

”Inverted Jenny” Stamp

Manufactured By: USPS
Original Price: ~$0.24
Today’s Value: ~$1.593 million
The “inverted Jenny” stamp was obviously a mistake stamp that began to take on value thanks to its rarity. Issued in 1918 for 24¢, the stamp features a Curtiss JN-4 airplane, and only one pane of these inverts was ever found. That’s culminated in the latest sale of the infamous stamp being valued at over $1.5 million, making it one of the most sought after rare stamps in collector’s history.

Mickey Mantle Baseball Card

Manufactured By: Topps
Original Price: ~$1
Today’s Value: ~$5.22 million
Mickey Mantle is without a doubt one of the most famous New York Yankees to ever play, and he’s even more revered for the fact that he played his whole career for one team. That means his baseball cards were some of the most valuable, and one from 1952 just sold in mint condition for $5.2 million, meaning these fanatics are not messing around. The purchaser, Rob Gough, had apparently been searching for it in this sort of condition for years.

Post Ten Variety Cereal Pack

Manufactured By: Post
Original Price: ~$0.20-~$0.40
Today’s Value: ~$2,550
The fact that Post cereals came up with Post Tens as not only a way to make individual cereal servings more convenient wherever you go, they also combined the idea by including limited edition baseball cards. The boxes were able to be cut into bowls, and the trays held the rest while also sporting the baseball cards on the bottom. Finding a complete set of these cereals today could earn you some easy cash.

1947 World Jamboree French Maitresse Boy Scout Patch

Manufactured By: Stadri Emblems
Original Price: Free
Today’s Value: ~$71,000
In another tale of incredibly rare and valuable Boy Scout items, this French Maitresse Boy Scout patch was only given out at the sixth World Scout Jamboree to attendees, which took place in Moisson, France. It also doubles as a 50¢ Scout stamp and 50¢ Scout coin, adding versatile value. Only 24,000 Scouts attended, and it was the first Jamboree to take place after Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell passed away.

1971 Hidden Mickey Pin

Manufactured By: Disney
Original Price: ~$5.99
Today’s Value: ~$12,000
Like many Disney collectibles, the ones associated with Mickey are the top of the echelon. This pin given to Disney cast members was the first from 1971, when the Imagineers first built Epcot. Employees would receive pins twice a year, but the only way for them to attain unique ones was to trade them with each other. The “Hidden Mickey” featured the little hat on top, and is still the most valuable one today.

1894-S Barber Coin

Manufactured By: U.S. Mint
Original Price: ~$0.10
Today’s Value: ~$1.99 million
The 1894 S-Barber coin is one of the most rare ever printed by the US Mint, as it is one of only 24 dimes to ever be produced. Nine are only known to be in existence today, seven of which are proofs, while the remaining two are valued at just about $2 million apiece, making them a top-5 most valuable coin in United States history.

1986 Samantha American Girl Doll

Manufactured By: American Girl
Original Price: ~$89
Today’s Value: ~$4,200
American Girl dolls are some of the most sophisticated toys to ever hit the market, and when they released their first-ever historical collection in 1986, Samantha Parkington became one everyone wanted. Discontinued in 2009, this doll is now worth thousands, and her entire Victorian getup and brown hair and eyes made her stand out from the crowd.

Masters of the Universe Eternia Playset

Manufactured By: Mattel
Original Price: ~$19.99
Today’s Value: ~$9,999
Masters of the Universe, before becoming a TV franchise, was a toy phenomenon that popularized the character He-Man and all of the lore that came after. The Eternia playset released in 1986, however, was one of the first and biggest sets ever released, and is now considered the “holy grail” of the collection. Not only did it cost a lot at the time, but it was also difficult to build, making it something many life-long fans want to get their hands on.

Xero – Xero Cassette (1997)

Manufactured By: Xero (Now Called Linkin Park)
Original Price: ~$7-$9
Today’s Value: ~$4,500
If you don’t recognize the band Xero, you may be more familiar with what they changed their name to later – Linkin Park. That’s right, the rap/rock crossover outfit went under this moniker when releasing their self-titled demo cassette tape in 1997, and it was produced by original member Mike Shinoda. Though Xero’s quality was low and the sales initially struggled, the value shot up after Linkin Park became a smash hit in 2000.

David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs Vinyl (1974)

Manufactured By: RCA Victor
Original Price: ~$6.50
Today’s Value: ~$3,550
As you can see, popular musical artists with unique releases can really earn you some money if you’re an early fan. Take David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs for example, which was already hard to find, but did you know there was a special edition with special cover art? That’s right, 10 of the RCA Victor records released in 1974 stand out because the cover is not airbrushed, meaning it’s worth thousands more, especially now that the rock legend has passed.