More from Elyse on researching your toys
Do you wonder if that doll you've had since childhood has monetary value as well as sentimental value?
Is that toy you picked up at a flea market a vintage collectable? How do you tell the difference between jewels and junk?
For starters, ask yourself the obvious: what condition is it in? Toys and dolls were made to be used and abused, and often end up a dim shadow of their former selves.
Is your toy "animated"? Does it have movable parts? If so, and all the pieces are original, you may have a something of value.
But if one small piece is replaced or repaired, even a wheel, the value plummets.
Next, find out its age. If you're not sure, search for a patent date--but be careful.
A patent will tell you when the toy was first manufactured, but not necessarily when your toy was produced.
If the toy was in production for a long time, it may be a much more recent example, making it far less valuable.
The easiest way to do an appraisal is to find a comparable item, either at a library or on the web.
There are thousands of toys in the marketplace today.
But remember, due to condition and rarity, prices can ranges from thousands of dollars to very little.
Do your homework, know the right price range, and most of all, have fun.
Toys may be made for children, but that doesn't mean adults can't enjoy them as well.