Collectibles From the '70s That Are Now Worth a Fortune

Star Wars Luke Skywalker action figure

Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

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Star Wars Luke Skywalker action figure
Debra L Rothenberg/Getty Images

Lost Treasure

It always feels great to discard old, unwanted junk and then bask in your newly clutter-free space — until years later, when you're browsing through an antique store or online auction and realize those items you discarded are worth a pretty penny now. Every decade has valuable nuggets to mine and the 1970s are no exception. Here are 7 things you might've owned that are worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars today.

Related: You Won't Believe How Much These Collectibles Fetched at Auction

Smokey Bear Lunchbox


Metal cartoon-character lunchboxes can sell for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Though the King Seeley "Yellow Submarine" lunchbox from 1968, is worth up to $1,300, an original Smokey Bear lunchbox from the early 1970s can go for over $700 on eBay. The most valuable lunchboxes tend to be the ones from the 1950s through 1980s.

Quick Cash Tip: List your collectibles on eBay to see how high the bidding can go.

Related: 25 Rare Collectibles Worth More Than Your House

Bruce Jenner Wheaties box
Amazing Spiderman Comic Book

Comic Books

It's very unlikely you have a copy of Action Comics #1 (featuring the first appearance of Superman) or Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man's debut) — but even more recent comics can have high collector's value, if they're in good condition. Keep an especially sharp eye out for comics featuring the first appearances of popular characters. For example: Amazing Spider-Man #129, from 1974, features the first appearance of The Punisher. A good-condition copy of that issue recently sold for more than $4,000 on eBay.

Quick Cash Tip: If you've already tried selling your comics on eBay with no luck, check out Sell My Comic Books. As the name suggests, it's a website dedicated to buying old comic books. Getting an appraisal on your collection is free and simple. 

Related: Spring Cleaning: 20 Household Items to Sell for Extra Cash

Vintage Star Wars Toy

Luke Skywalker Action Figure (1978)

When "Star Wars" first came out in 1977, the now-defunct toy company Kenner Products produced most of the action figures and other toys. Any Kenner Star Wars toy in its original packaging is likely to have collector's value today, but the most valuable of all is probably the Luke Skywalker figure with double-telescoping lightsaber. In 2015, Sotheby's sold one at auction for $25,000.

Related: Incredibly Fun Toys and Gifts for Adults

Dr. Frankenstein Castle of Freaks VHS

VHS Tapes

Though most well-known VHS tapes have little to no value today, some of the more obscure ones have a high value.  The super-schlocky "Dr. Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks," a 1974 movie released on VHS in 1986, is quite valuable; in 2016, somebody paid $2,100 for a copy on eBay. Any VHS movies that were never re-released on other media have at least the potential to be valuable.

Related: 33 Products We Never Thought Would Be Obsolete

Original 1976 Apple 1 Computer in a briefcase
Original 1976 Apple 1 Computer in a briefcase by Binarysequence (CC BY-SA)
Wayne Gretzky Rookie Card

Sports Trading Cards

There's no need to go back as far as Honus Wagner for big money cards. You gotta know who "The Great One" is, right? Well, in 2016, Sports Illustrated reported that hockey legend Wayne Gretzky's rookie card from 1979 sold for $465,000 at a Goldin Auctions event held as part of the National Sports Collection Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It was a record-setting fee for a hockey trading card.