Haul out the bell bottoms, grab the record player, and dust off that classic Bee Gees album. It’s the ’70s, baby, and everything is groovy.
“That seems to be the case for collectible toys of that era, anyway,” said Tom Bartsch, associate editor of Toy Shop magazine.
“The properties of yesterday are becoming the hot toys of today. That goes for the original toys of the ’70s and the latest toys based on three-decades-old television show characters like the Muppets and Thunderbirds.”
Joyce Grant of Time Warp Toys fields many inquiries for ’70s toys.
“I get many requests for the 1970s version of Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots and SSP Racers by Kenner,” said Grant.
She added that the most requested toy is Vertibird, and the most requested game is Battling Tops.
Other toys Grant sees gaining favor are any Evel Knievel toys, Hugo Man of a Thousand Faces, and Kick Clacks, Clackers or Klackers.
“When you think about the major toys of the 1970s, action figures are well represented,” said Bartsch. “From the introduction of the Star Wars toys to Micronauts to superhero figures from Mego, it was a grand time to be a figure fan.
Kenn Reul of the Toy Consortium said the kids of the 1970s liked action and still do.
“The big boom started in the ’90s with the kids of the ’70s rediscovering all the Megos and Star Wars figures that Mom sold off,” Reul said.
For guys, Reul said, Planet of the Apes, Big Jim, Micronauts and the G.I. Joe Adventure Team are standouts.
“The ladies seem to enjoy Dawn dolls and other media-based toys like Charlie’s Angels,” he said.
Toy Shop toy-figure columnist John Marshall echoes the vote for the Adventure Team. He is not alone.
“G.I. Joe has the largest number of items in the high-value, $500 or more, category,” said Marshall.
Toys from the ’70s are starting to hit their stride in terms of monetary value. Mego and G.I. Joe figures lead the pack.
“Some of the most expensive and rare toys come from the Mego series,” Reul said. “There are many of these figures, like the exclusive Montgomery Ward Alter Ego figures that can run more than $1,000 each in mint condition.”
Besides the Mego Alter Egos, Marshall would add any of the 1975-76 G.I. Joe items and early carded Star Wars figures to the list of those that stand out in terms of value.
Will all the newer toys being issued based on old film and television properties hurt the value of the original toys?
“Probably not,” Bartsch said. “If anything, they draw more interest to a particular property, making collectors take the next step to search for the original toys.”
Marshall said only one thing can truly bring down the value of the originals. “If the new toys are actual ‘from-the-original-molds’ reissues, they can destroy the value of the original items.”
Reul’s favorite toy of the era is the 1978 Rage Cage Incredible Hulk by Funstuf Inc.
“That was a fun piece,” he said. “You put the Hulk in a snap-together plastic cage, and with a little help from a hand pump and a tube connected to his back, you could watch him expand and break the cage down.”
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