Using the internet to help value toys.
Some answers to questions I get thru emails on toys.
by Richard Mueller, Jr. updated 1-26-14
Step One: Google is a good place to start
I often get asked a question like:
“I have a stuffed ape that is a purple/red color. It is a Knickerbocker Animals of Distinction collection. I have looked everywhere and can't find any thing on it. If you could give me any information on it I would greatly appreciate it.”
Here was my answer:
"I used Google and put in your words: Knickerbocker Animals of Distinction. I got a ton of hits and the one I think has the information is listed below: http://www.blueribbonbears.com/knickerbocker.htm. Attached is the information that I share on toy values and toy research. Hope this helps. Richard
Try Google with the facts you know about the company. It is surprising what is on the internet.
Here is a link that was shared with my by Jim Sneed. It is how to search Google like an expert:
There are two active websites that are available on the internet which can be used by the public to help determine the value of toys. Expensive toys with a value of over $100 have usually been sold by an auction house sometime within the past 10 years. The auction house usually has the toy in the best condition, the best photos, and usually sets the top price for the toy.
Liveauctioneers.com website states,
“LiveAuctioneers.com is the premier gateway linking bidders to traditional auction events broadcast in real time via the Internet. The Manhattan-based company’s technology and services suite connects auction houses with a global contingent of bidders who might not otherwise be able to participate in remote auctions. LiveAuctioneers.com provides bidders with unprecedented levels of access to hundreds of auctions and saleroom floors the world over. “
To determine a toy value, liveauctioneers.com has a service which shows many completed auctions over the past 10 years. Searching this website under “toy”, one can find the priceand photos of over 105,000 toy lots sold over the past 10 years.
I personally like toys made by the Performo toy company. Books have been written about a black faced character named “Micky” made by Performo. When I click onto the web site under completed auctions and put in “toy” I get details on over 105,000 completed toy auction prices. When I narrow the search to “toy Performo”, I find 9 different Performo toys sold over the past 10 years. If I instead use the word, “toy Micky” I will get a similar number of sold toys.
EBay.com is a buying and selling web site. EBay.com has created the world’s largest garage sale. EBay lists over 55,000 vintage toy listings every 10 days. Most auctions average 10 days so one would expect a total of 150,000 listings each month.
A service that is available on eBay is the completed auctions list. Enter the category, “Vintage toys” click the box “completed auctions”, and then put in the search part of the listing the key word for the toy you want to value. I believe that eBay will let you go back 60 days in the search. So, I believe that there would be data on near 300,000 completed “vintage toys” auctions.
When I entered the category “vintage toys” and then clicked onto “Micky” there were 1363 completed auctions. Not everyone can spell Mickey Mouse. Go figure. When I entered the category “vintage toys” and then clicked onto “Performo”, I got one completed auction from March 7th for a “Micky” character toy sold for $93.87. This price is somewhat less than an auction house selling price of $125.
I got an email with the following question:
"I have a question please. I have a life size power ranger about 10-13 years old. He is the first red ranger and in the middle of his chest there is a voice box where he talks. Should I hold onto this for my son?"
Here is my answer:
"Most people would not hold onto their children's toys. If you have a friend or relative that would enjoy the toy, then I would gift it to them."
My wife did save many toys for my children and they now have fun looking at them today with their children. Star Wars stuff and hot wheels. My kids are ages 32 to 40. The toys are played with so do not have a lot of value. If you have the attic space and do not intend to move for 30 years, then go ahead and save the toy if you like. Collectors collect toys in mint condition or very fine. To keep a toy in top condition, save the box and all of the parts.
I got an email and a single iphone photo of the toy was attached.
“Good afternoon we are looking for the value of this fire truck.”
Here is my answer:
"Attached is what I share on toy values. It is good reading. I did take your photo and edit it and have attached it to this email. I was hoping you would let us put this photo on the “All About Old Toys” web site at oldwoodtoys.com. Jim Sneed loves posting photos of interesting toys on his web site."
I would need to see more photos and see if there is a maker’s name on the toy. An enlargement on the logo on the door of the fire truck, or look at the underside, or the front hood area and there may be a maker’s mark. The more information I get the better I can do to narrow down my estimate of value. With what information I have, here is an answer.
"I am not an expert on this toy. In general, a fire truck toy that looks like yours would have a value in very fine to mint condition of about $400-$800 depending on the day. Your toy looks to be in very good to fine shape so has a value of $200-$400 in my opinion. Again, I do not collect this type of toy so would have no interest in purchasing. My best estimate. If you do further research, you may find I am off. If listing on eBay, I would make the starting bid of $200 and let the market set the price. Do a 10 day auction with a lot of photos."
On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 3:39 AM, Richard Mueller <> wrote:
I received this email with photo with the following question:
Subject: Searching for a monkey
"Hello Richard, I am trying to locate this toy for a dear friend of mine. They lost it and it was their favorite childhood toy. They don't remember any information about it and I've looked but haven't found the exact match. I was wondering if you would know the name of the toy and where I might be able to find it."
Here is my first answer:
"Attached is what I share on doing toy research. I think it will help you in your quest. You may also ask the ATCA (Antique Toy Collectors of America) and their web site is: http://atca-club.org/ Hope this information is helpful." Richard Mueller
Here is my second answer:
"When searching for a specific toy, one of the best methods is to advertise in the Antique Toy World publication. Your ad needs to include a photo of the toy, that you are interested in getting more information about the toy, and your interest in purchasing the toy if there is one for sale. 1-773-725-0633 website: http://www.antiquetoyworld.com/""