Approximately nine out of every 10 American men over the age of 35 claim they once had two or three boxes full of mint condition sports cards worth at least $20,000. Of course, mom ruined everything by throwing those valuable cards in the trash. But moms apparently didn’t trash everything of value. Just check out all the pop culture collectibles dating from the 1960s and 1970s that are on the market. From old lunchboxes and posters to dolls and miniature cars, baby boomers and members of Generation X are shelling out big money to collect favorite memories from their childhood. Some of these items, selling for thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, are even being hailed as good investments. Here’s a sampling of some interesting items recently listed on eBay.
10. Gilligan’s Island Complete Cast Signed Photo ($1,100)
The obvious question for men: Whose autograph would you rather have — Ginger’s or Mary Ann’s?
9. 1968 Star Trek Lunchbox ($1,195)
This unpopular show was canceled in 1969 after three seasons of poor ratings. Who could have ever predicted it would find new life in reruns and become one of the most lucrative film and TV franchises of all time? Well, someone had the foresight to keep this lunchbox in storage.
8. 1975 Talking G.I. Joe ($5,500)
The Talking G.I. Joe was a favorite with boys everywhere — although not as exciting as the G.I. Joe with the kung fu grip.
7. Autographed Cels With Hanna Barbera Characters ($8,400)
Animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera created some of the most beloved cartoon characters of all time, including The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo, Yogi Bear and The Jetsons. Pictured above are two hand-painted cels of many of these beloved characters, signed by the two men.
6. Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon Signed Program ($8,410)
Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon is one of the seminal albums of the Baby Boom generation. Items featuring autographs of all the members from that period are rare.
5. Microsoft 1.0 Software Signed by Bill Gates ($13,000)
The seller says Gates handed out about 100 copies of his new Microsoft software for industry analysts and journalists at a black-tie affair in Las Vegas in 1985. So far as he knows, this is the only copy Gates signed.
4. Original Signed Script From the Godfather II ($24,995)
An original Godfather II script signed by Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino sounds like it has long-term investment potential. The seller notes that there is “minor soiling on the cover.” We can only presume that is not horse’s blood.
3. Jimi Hendrix Autographs, Tickets, Etc. ($30,000)
What apparently makes this collection of Hendrix memorabilia so valuable is the fact it includes the autographs of Hendrix, and fellow Jimi Hendrix Experience bandmates Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell on one item.
2. Beatles Autographs, Guitar Picks and More ($30,000)
Almost 50 years after their breakup, Beatles memorabilia is still a hot ticket, as witnessed by this rarity. Featuring autographs of all four Beatles, guitar picks, a drum stick, backstage passes and more, the eBay seller notes it’s “a great investment piece that is museum quality.” Where once we talked about rare coins and fine art as investments and museum additions, now we’re talking about a Ringo Starr drumstick. We’re not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing.
1. Unopened Boxes of 1977 Star Wars Cards ($57,250)
Star Wars is the holy grail of collectibles. At any given time, eBay alone has hundreds of Star Wars-related items for sale for $1,000 or more. Pictured above is one of the most unusual — 50 boxes of unopened 1977 Topps Trading Cards. Sure, that lot is priced higher than many luxury cars, but consider this: a single Luke Skywalker mint condition card from that year sold for $2,400 in 2014.