Adulthood is the era of gift cards and "Seriously, Mom, I just want cash." While it's necessary (seriously, Mom, I just want cash), we often miss the fun of our childhood Christmas wish lists. Since the holidays are a time for reflection, we decided to look back in the Toys of Yore to see that they are selling for now.
Tickle Me Elmo
The Tickle Me Elmo is the closest thing I've ever experience to real-life Jingle All the Way Christmas toy pandemonium (remember that time that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad classic?). In 1996 the doll was $28 and impossible to get your hands on. When Tickle Me Elmo was at it's peak, it inspired long lines and parent-on-parent fights. If you could get a Tickle Me Elmo (as my aunt miraculously managed to do), you were considered a hero. Now you can snag the giggling Elmo without even leaving your desk. Elmo's price can vary. Some have sold for $20 or less, while others are going for as much as $100.
Before the Game Boy came along, your options for handheld games were limited to the get the hoop on the peg bubbles game or thumb wrestling. Critics said it would never last. True Game Boys and Girls new otherwise. Years ago, getting a Game Boy required $109 and hours, days, weeks, and months of begging your parents. Now it only requires $64.99 of your hard earned cash. Yes, that's right. For $64.99, this completely refurbished Game Boy can be yours. All the buttons and the screen have been repaired and replaced. That's nostalgia with staying power.
Samantha, The American Girl Doll
Okay, you caught us. We're big fans of The American Girl Dolls over here, and no doll can beat Samantha for style (and the envy of every girl in your class). Unfortunately, Samantha has entered the retirement cycle— they do bring her back every once in awhile, but it's rare. She's been updated to appeal to the youth, but it is not the same. An "original" Samantha, in the box with the Meet Samantha accessories pack and the Meet Samantha book is listed at $179.99, which isn't too bad given that it originally cost $114 (Yes, we remember exactly what it cost because it was at the top of our lists).
Kids these days will never know the job of scraping your ankles to hell and back with this awesome toy. Skip-its were a great toy that kept you active and were way more fun than they should have been…until they inevitably broke, but what did you expect for $8? We don't know why they stopped being produced because they're so awesome, but luckily you can pick up one of these vintage toys on the cheap. They're all around $10 on eBay.
Tabasco, Beanie Babie
One of my favorite things to do is to search listings for Tabasco, one of the original (and most coveted) Beanie Babies of the Beanie Baby craze, on eBay every now and again because they are really all over the place. Originally sold at $4.95, they were an accessible option for people who wanted to buy into the madness. Some are now listed as low as $0.99, and one is listed at a whopping $2,500. Now, your first reaction to that might be: one of these sellers has misguided expectations. However, the $2,500 listing isn't for just any beanie baby. As the seller explains, it features all caps lettering on the swing tag. If that means something to you, you might be shelling out some serious dough. If it doesn't, then Tabasco is a pretty affordable throwback gift.
Furbies rose to popularity on that fine line between creepy and adorable. At $35 each, lots of people were willing to roll the dice -- including Bret Eason Ellis. Still not sure where you stand on them years later? You can treat yourself this holiday season to a Furby friend. Go for the truly authentic experience and get one that's still in the box for $29.99.
So many of our childhood toys were so painful, including these super sharp metal accessories that are meant to be slapped on your bony little pre-teen wrist. Originally selling for $2.50 each, you can pick up this sassy accessory for next to nothing. A pack of 25 costs just $6.99. Take that, middle-school principals!
At just $18, Tamagotchi was a game changer for kids whose parents wouldn't let them get a pet. You could care for your Tamagotchi, feed it, and play with it, until it eventually died — or you lost it. If you're still living a freewheeling life (or if your landlord won't allow for pets) you can give Tamagotchi a second go. An original 1997 model is $28.