BROOKFIELD — Don't underestimate the value of your old and vintage toys, because they could be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
“I bought somebody’s hot wheel collection. They’re little toy cars just like matchbox and hot wheels - $200,000 I spent on his collection," Joel Magee, 'America's Toy Collector,' said.
He holds vintage toy buying shows across the country, and this week he is in Brookfield and Brown Deer.
“I bought a lunch box collection from a gentleman a couple years ago - a quarter of a million dollars.”
The next available days to go to the buying show are Wednesday and Thursday at the Courtyard Marriot at 5200 W. Brown Deer Rd. It goes from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The most important thing you can take away from this article is that you never know what you might have in your closet. So far, what people have brought for Joel haven’t been as eye popping as $200,000, but still a good amount.
He bought a few action figures for $250 and another set of toys for $60.
Joel knows his stuff too. He has been featured on the hit show Pawn Stars three times as a toy expert.
“I’ll tell ya, the pandemic has created a whole new market. We have tens of thousands of collectors than we had a year ago.”
People have had more time on their hands to get into collecting and search for those specific items. It also means more people are selling because they’ve been cleaning their homes and de-cluttering. Even though more people are getting rid of toys, that doesn't mean prices are dropping. In fact, Joel said he sees prices raising and different items becoming more and more valuable.
Just to give you an idea of how simple it can be to stumble upon a valuable item: Joel found a $100,000 Hot Wheels car while at a flea market.
“They have a Volkswagen bus that they valued at $85,000, and I’ve already been offered $85,000," Joe said.
But he turned that offer down. He is holding onto it for a little while longer.
There are a few qualifications for Joel to consider your vintage toys. Most importantly, he focuses on toys made before 1990. That means no Beanie Babies or Cabbage Patch Kids.
For Joel, this is a lot more than just collecting toys. It's preserving history.
"I'm a caretaker of history. I’m just a portal, but I love it, and I'm really glad that I'm able to do that."