22 Things You Owned in the ‘80s That Could Be Worth a Fortune Now

 Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images
Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

If you sold your vast collection of Transformers, American Girl Dolls, and Garbage Pail Kids cards for a few bucks at your mom's garage sale a couple of decades ago, you might be kicking yourself now: These 22 blast-from-the-past ‘80s toys could pay for a new DeLorean.

1. THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS FIREHOUSE HEADQUARTERS: $600

The Ghostbusters firehouse is one of the coolest workplaces ever, so it makes sense that people wanted the playset—and still do. A firehouse with box goes for $100-$200, but a toy in superb condition could fetch up to $600. Nothing spooky about that.

2. TRANSFORMERS: OPTIMUS PRIME: $1000

If, as a child, you had an Optimus Prime that could really transform into a cab and tractor trailer, you probably thought you were pretty cool. But it would be even cooler if you had left this particular series 1 Autobot sealed in the box—in MISB (mint in sealed box) condition it's worth up to a grand.

3. FIREBALL ISLAND BOARD GAME: $250

Cardboard adventure seekers no doubt loved Fireball Island, a board game packed with volcanoes, Tiki gods, and marble "fireballs" that could knock players' pawns from the board. These days, a complete or near-complete set of the 1986 Milton Bradley game is worth at least a couple hundred to board game collectors.

4. THUNDERCATS LION-O ACTION FIGURE: $2783

In 2015, a Lion-O action figure still on the card was purchased for a cool $2783 by a particularly enthusiastic ThunderCats fan. Even if yours aren't mint, you can make some scratch: This lot sold for more than $200.

5. JUMANJI and POLAR EXPRESS FIRST EDITIONS

You're in luck if you've got these fantastical Chris Van Allsburg classics in your library. A "fine" copy of Polar Express (1985) is worth a cool $800, while a copy of Jumanji (1981) in the same condition is worth $600.

6. G.I. JOE MOTORIZED BATTLE TANK: $950

G.I. Joe toys can command a small fortune, especially if you've got the original 1963 prototype—it sold for a mind-boggling $200,000 in 2003. But you may be able to cash in even if you don't have that ultra-rare figure. The 1982 series motorized battle tank can bring in $950 in a sealed box or $150-$175 in a non-sealed box.

7. AIR JORDANS: UP TO $25,000

Basketball isn't the only thing that benefits from Michael Jordan's touch; His Airness's sneakers have also done quite well over the years. A pair of black Jordans with gold accents that were originally released in 1985 can go for $25,000 because only 12 of them were ever produced. But the not-so-rare (air) models also do pretty well on the secondary market: Air Jordan III's can also go for thousands.

8. C-3PO’S CEREAL BOX: $200

If you were the type of kid who saved anything and everything Star Wars, you’d better check your collection. A cereal box that held “crunchy honey-sweetened oat, wheat & corn cereal” could make you a couple of hundred bucks richer. The value depends on the mask that came with the cereal—Darth Vader, of course, makes it worth the most, while a Stormtrooper mask is merely worth about $50. But where’s the blue milk?

9. STAR WARS EWOK COMBAT PLAYPACK: $5998.98

Speaking of Star Wars, If you shelled out $17 for this in 1984 and then shoved it away in a closet, you may want to dig it back out. Because the set was popular with kids, it's hard to find one that hasn't been opened. A sealed-in-box copy once sold for nearly $6000.

10. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE ETERNIA PLAYSET: $1900

Known as the "Holy Grail" of Masters of the Universe collecting, the three-towered plastic behemoth of a playset had a ton of little accessory pieces that were easy to lose. This makes a complete set hard to find—so when collectors find one, they're willing to pay a pretty penny for it.

See Also: 22 Things You Owned in the ‘90s That Are Worth a Fortune Today

11. GARBAGE PAIL KIDS CARDS: $4250

Though an Adam Bomb card was going for more than $4000 on eBay a few years ago, according to the people behind gpkworld.com, the value may have been slightly inflated. However, your old GPK collection can still earn you a tidy sum: A 1985 original series 1 set of Adam Bomb and Blasted Billy was listed for $120 on the auction site.

12. “ASTRONAUT B” PEZ DISPENSER: $32,000

The price may seem out-of-this-world, but this 1982 candy dispenser is exceedingly rare—only two were made. Created to promote the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, one of the dispensers has a blue stem with the head of an astronaut sporting a blue helmet, while the other has a white helmet and green stem. The green and white guy sold for $32,000 in 2006.

13. DAREDEVIL COMIC BOOK #168: $1000

This 1981 comic book contains the first appearance of Elektra, so fans are willing to pony up a shocking price: up to $1000 for a copy in mint condition.

14. AMERICAN GIRL DOLLS: $4200

First-edition American Girl Dolls from when the first three girls hit the market in 1986 can be worth a large chunk of change if you have the accompanying accessories and playsets. In 2015, an original Samantha doll was selling on eBay for $4200. Seem high? This one's a comparative steal for just $2850.

15. U2 "ALL I WANT IS YOU" PURPLE VINYL ALBUM BOXED SET: $3483.64

The next time you're at a vintage store, take a moment to flip through its record selection. This rare 1989 Australian release is worth thousands—but that's not the only U2 album that's worth a fat stack.

16. LASER LIGHT SKELETOR: $11,285

Masters of the Universe was in decline when this fancy-pants Skeletor was released in 1988. In fact, sales had become so lackluster that Mattel released Laser Light Skeletor only in Italy and Spain under the names Skeletor Occhi di Fuoco and Skeletor Ojos de Fuego, respectively. If you have an original (there are reproductions floating around out there), it's allegedly worth more than $10K.

17. TEDDY RUXPIN: UP TO $1000

Teddy Ruxpin, the teddy bear that could read stories to rapt children, was all the rage when he came out in 1985—and he still is, to some collectors. It's reported that mint condition Teddy Ruxpins and working tapes have sold for up to $1000. This one on Etsy is up for $699. But if you're looking for lower-priced nostalgia, Teddy Ruxpins in not-so-stellar condition are going for much cheaper. Or you can just buy a brand new one.

18. THE KNIGHT RIDER KNIGHT 2000 VOICE CAR: $200

A genuine talking KITT still in the box could bring in $200—and there's currently one talking Trans Am for sale for nearly $900.

19. “POWER DRENCHER” SUPER SOAKERS: $600

When these water-guns-on-steroids came out during the summer of 1989, they were labeled "Power Drenchers." Though they may not be as high-powered as today's toys, Power Drenchers are highly collectible, selling for up to $600.

20. HORROR MOVIE VHS TAPES: UP TO $700

The rumors you heard a few years ago about movies from Disney's "Black Diamond" VHS collection being worth a fortune was all false—but if you've got some campy '80s horror movies, you might be in luck. Unlike other collectibles, the tapes don't even have to be in good condition to be worth some cash. One of the most valuable VHS is a limited-release cult classic called Tales from the Quadead Zone, which sold for $700 in 2011.

21. AIR RAID ATARI GAME: $31,600

Released in 1982, this game in which you protect a city from alien invaders is worth more than many cars—if it comes with a box, that is. Only two copies of the boxed game are known to exist, so if you've got one, consider yourself flush. If the box disappeared long ago, don't despair: You could rake in $3000 for the cartridge alone. Better go check your attic ASAP.

22. STADIUM EVENTS NINTENDO GAME: $1000

If you were more of a Nintendo person than Atari, you could be sitting on a goldmine, too. In 1987, a Bandai Nintendo game called Stadium Events was recalled because it came with an interactive accessory called the "Bandai Family Fun Fitness" floor pad; Nintendo wanted to rebrand it as the Power Pad. If you've got the original, you're in luck.

See Also: 22 Things You Owned in the ‘90s That Are Worth a Fortune Today

15 Facts About Rushmore On Its 20th Anniversary

The Criterion Collection
The Criterion Collection

On December 11, 1998, Wes Anderson introduced the world to his unique brand of whimsical comedy with Rushmore. Though it wasn't his feature directorial debut—he had released Bottle Rocket, which he adapted from a short, in 1996—it was his first major Hollywood movie. And kicked off his still-ongoing collaborations with a stable of talented actors that includes Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. It was also the second film Anderson co-wrote with Owen Wilson.

To celebrate the quirky comedy's 20th anniversary, here are some things you might not know about Rushmore.

1. Rushmore Academy was the director's Alma Mater.

Wes Anderson sent location scouts across the United States and Canada to find the perfect high school to shoot the movie. He was having a tough time trying to find the school, until his mother sent him a picture of his old high school in Houston, Texas: St. John's School. Anderson thought it was the perfect location to make the movie.

2. Bill Murray wanted to make Rushmore for free.

Bill Murray in Rushmore (1998)
The Criterion Collection

Once Bill Murray read the screenplay, he wanted to be in the movie so badly that he considered appearing in it for free. Murray ended up working on Rushmore at scale with the Screen Actors Guild day rate minimum for smaller indie film projects. Anderson estimated that Murray made about $9000 for his work on the film.

3. Film critic Pauline Kael had a private screening.

Pauline Kael’s film criticism was a major influence on Anderson’s view of cinema. “Your thoughts and writing about the movies [have] been a very important source of inspiration for me and my movies, and I hope you don't regret that," he once wrote to her.

Kael retired from The New Yorker in 1991, so Anderson arranged for her to have a private screening of Rushmore before the film came out in 1998. He wrote about the screening in the introduction to the published version of the screenplay, and shared what Kael told him about the film: "I genuinely don't know what to make of this movie."

4. It was Jason Schwartzman’s first film role.

Casting directors searched throughout the United States, Canada, and England to find a young actor to play the lead role of Max Fischer. Australian actor Noah Taylor was the frontrunner for the part when, on the last day of casting in Los Angeles, Jason Schwartzman auditioned. He was wearing a prep school blazer with a Rushmore Academy patch that he made himself.

5. Owen Wilson's private school experiences inspired some of the movie's plot points.

As a sophomore at St. Mark High School in Dallas, Texas, Rushmore co-writer Owen Wilson was expelled for stealing his geometry teacher's textbook (the one that contained all the answers); he went to Thomas Jefferson High School to complete 10th grade. This was the inspiration for when Max is expelled from Rushmore Academy and is forced to attend Grover Cleveland High School.

Although Wilson doesn’t have a credited role in Rushmore, he does appear as Ms. Cross’s deceased husband, Edward Appleby, in a photo in Appleby’s childhood bedroom.

6. Wilson's Dad Inspired a Moment in the Movie.

Wilson’s father, Robert Wilson, was the inspiration for Herman Blume’s speech about privilege at the beginning of Rushmore.

7. Alexis Bledel was an extra in the film.


Getty Images

Before she starred as Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls, actress Alexis Bledel was an uncredited extra—she played a Grover Cleveland High School student—in Rushmore. You can see her in the background in various scenes, including dancing with the character Magnus Buchan (Stephen McCole) at the end of the film.

8. Both Anderson and Wilson's brothers had parts in the movie.

Owen and Luke Wilson’s older brother Andrew plays Rushmore Academy’s baseball coach, Coach Beck. He also appeared in Anderson’s directorial debut, Bottle Rocket, playing the bully John Mapplethorpe.

Eric Chase Anderson, Wes's brother, plays the architect who designs Max’s aquarium.

9. The Movie's Editor Made a Cameo.

Rushmore editor David Moritz plays the Dynamite Salesman; he sells Max the dynamite and explosives for his stage play Heaven and Hell at the end of the film.

10. Producers Made a Deal to get a Bentley.

Producers needed a Bentley for Murray's character, Herman Blume, but Rushmore’s production budget was only $20 million and they couldn’t afford to rent one. A Houston resident was willing to lend them his Bentley if they gave his daughter a role in the film. Producers agreed; the man's daughter plays an usher who seats Miss Cross at Max’s play at the end of the movie.

11. Mason Gamble's role in Dennis the Menace almost cost him the part of Dirk Calloway in Rushmore.

Mason Gamble in Rushmore (1998)
The Criterion Collection

Wilson referred to the character of Dirk Calloway, played by Mason Gamble, as the conscience of the film. Originally, Anderson didn’t want to cast Gamble in the part because of the actor’s previous—and very recognizable—role as Dennis Mitchell in the 1993 live-action movie Dennis the Menace.

12. Rushmore Upset Francis Ford Coppola.

Director Francis Ford Coppola owns a winery, and when he first saw Rushmore, he was upset with Anderson because he used Coppola’s chief Napa Valley wine rival during Max's post-play celebration. (It probably didn't help matters that Coppola is Schwartzman's uncle.)

13. Anderson's Brother Did the Movie's Criterion Collection Artwork.

The Criterion Collection edition of 'Rushmore' (1998)
The Criterion Collection

Eric Chase Anderson did the artwork for the Criterion Collection DVD cover, an interoperation of a shot from the montage of Max’s extracurricular activities at the beginning of the movie. The Yankee Racer shot is itself a recreation of a photo from French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue, taken in 1909 when he was only 15.

14. Schwartzman waxed his chest to play Max.

Although Max only shows his chest once in the film (during the high school wrestling match), Anderson made Schwartzman wax his chest for the duration of Rushmore's filming.

15. The Max Fischer Players Appeared on MTV.

During the 1999 MTV Movie Awards, the Max Fischer Players recreated the year's hit movies—The Truman Show, Armageddon, and Out of Sight—as stage plays.

An earlier version of this article ran in 2014.

8 Tips for Overcoming Social Anxiety Disorder

iStock.com/fizkes
iStock.com/fizkes

If the thought of having to attend a networking event, office holiday party, or family reunion with your uppity out-of-state cousins fills you with dread, then you might have social anxiety disorder. Also known as social phobia, the pervasive fear of being judged by one’s peers affects an estimated 15 million Americans. If you think you might be one of them, a physician can recommend the best course of treatment for you, but there are a few tactics you can try in the meantime. Here are some tips for coping with social anxiety disorder.

1. Ease into social situations.

Everything gets easier with practice, and the same concept applies to socializing. Avoiding parties and large gatherings may provide temporary relief of social phobia, but it isn't a long-term fix. To get started on your road to overcoming anxiety, the Mayo Clinic outlines a few steps that can be found in most cognitive behavioral therapy regimens. This form of psychotherapy challenges people's negative thoughts about social situations to help alleviate anxiety. One such step is to set small, manageable goals for yourself, like giving a stranger a compliment or asking an employee in a store for help finding something. Keep doing little tasks like these until you start to build confidence. Once you’ve mastered these social skills, you can more on to more challenging scenarios.

2. Prepare talking points to combat social anxiety disorder before an event.

We’re not saying you should memorize your lines, but it will ease some of the tension if you come to a party or networking event with a few conversation starters in mind. If possible, do some snooping to find out what some of the other guests are into, or check the news for interesting ice breakers. Just take it from author, life coach, and self-proclaimed “party-impaired individual” Martha Beck: “When you find yourself standing at the bar or reaching a dead end in a conversation, news of a sighting of Bessie, the Lake Erie monster, or some other tidbit that caught your attention will make it that much easier to mingle.”

3. Lay off the caffeine.

You may think that a cup of joe will perk you up and make it easier to conquer your fears, but it may end up making your social phobia worse. Coffee, chocolate, and soda are best avoided because stimulants such as these can elevate your levels of anxiety.

4. Get plenty of sleep.

In a similar vein, make sure you get plenty of sleep before your next big event. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends that you get at least eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re sleep-deprived, you may notice that it’s harder to immerse yourself in social situations.

5. Identify your negative thinking patterns.

Think back to the last time you felt anxious. What kinds of thoughts were you having in that moment? Did any of them make you feel worse? If so, you might be getting swept up in negative self-talk, which can fuel social phobia and make you feel more anxious. Identifying these thoughts when they pop up is the first step to confronting and changing them, according to the Social Anxiety Institute.

6. Imagine what would happen if your worst fears came true.

It may seem counterproductive, but asking yourself “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” is a good way to confront your “inner critic,” according to author and clinical psychologist Ellen Hendriksen. Avoid words like “always,” “never, “everybody,” and “nobody”—they’re vague and tend to overstate the risks you face. Instead, think about your specific fears of any given situation, and you will probably realize that “failure”—whether it’s tripping on stage or sounding awkward—isn’t as bad as it seems. The more you rationalize it, the more “‘Everyone will think I’m a freak’ turns into ‘The five or six people I talk to at the party might notice my hands shaking and think something is wrong with me,’” Hendriksen writes in her book How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety. If you do this enough, social situations won’t seem quite as scary.

7. Focus on someone else.

When you’re talking to someone, really make a concerted effort to listen to what they’re saying. This will help shift your focus away from your own insecurities. “The trick is to focus on anything except yourself, and that magically frees up a lot of bandwidth,” Hendriksen tells Vox. “When we’re able to do this, we come across as much more authentic and open and the anxiety disappears.”

8. Be proud that you put yourself out there.

Instead of scrutinizing every little thing you said or did after a social event, give yourself credit for simply doing something you find challenging—and living to tell the tale. Establishing a system of “self-reward” will help decrease your anxiety in the future, according to Robert L. Leahy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy in New York City. “Who deserves more congratulation than you for trying hard to confront what is difficult?” Leahy writes in Psychology Today. “Just trying, just going, just staying in, and just tolerating the discomfort are reasons for reward. Each time you face your fear, you win and your fear loses.”

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