Barbie doll from 1959 sells for £20,000

Who knows what these Tatty Teddy Grey Bears will be worth in the future?Who knows what these Tatty Teddy Grey Bears will be worth in the future?
Who knows what these Tatty Teddy Grey Bears will be worth in the future?
Our antiques expert Allan Blackburn takes a look at the profits you can make on toys...

Happy Christmas! As many of you are undoubtedly surrounded by the happy, noisy chaos of children playing with the latest toys, it’s the perfect time of year to talk about collectable toys.

Without sounding like Scrooge, to ensure new toys become worthy collectables, they are best not played with at all! I know that defeats the point, but there will be many a collector this Christmas who has taken the gift wrap off a toy or figurine and not got it out of the box!

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Toys always do well in the collectables market, as many people want to recapture their youth by rebuying childhood toys. It’s not always easy to guess which will reward investment, so here are some tips based on past pocket money purchases which turned a pretty profit.

Dolls can suffer the most play damage, but are highly collectable. A mint condition 1959 Bathing Suit Barbie fetched £20,731 at auction last year, a 900,000 per cent increase on its original £2.25 price tag. You could already be in the money: a 1989 Pink Jubilee Barbie is now worth up to £600, worth hunting in the attic!

High-end teddies such as Steiff, Kosen and Merrythought are always going to be good investments. Good condition original Steiff bears dating from the early 1900s now fetch £25,000, with limited editions like the 1912 black Titanic Mourning bear valued at in excess of £90,000.

Modern bears like Care Bears and Charlie Bears are proving very collectable. This gorgeous Care Bear was produced with Swarovski crystal eyes to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

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It is still in its box, in mint condition, and on sale at GB Antiques Centre for just £23. Collectors love movie memorabilia. Star Wars has always sold well, look out for original 1977 models.

With the explosion in action and franchise films, there is too much on the market for current memorabilia to command much resale value, but my tip is to be patient. Mint condition Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Avengers and, of course, Lego memorabilia could eventually be worth a fortune, if you are willing to wait a few decades!

It’s heart warming to realise that even in this age of modern technology, traditional toys can still be enjoyed by both children and their parents alike. To me, that’s the real value of a much loved childhood toy.