Superman Lunchbox

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

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

You Get What You Pay For

Collectors will pay shockingly high prices for rare versions of otherwise common items. Take, for instance, a signed first edition of J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone," which the British auction house Christie's is putting up for private sale: Offers start at 200,000 pounds ($250,000). And that doesn't even come close to the amount paid for the most valuable book sold at auction. In some cases, a company made a one-of-a-kind item designed to fetch top dollar, but most of these are collectibles that grew in value naturally, from coins and stamps to bobbleheads and Beanie Babies.

Related: Sorry, but These 'Collectibles' Are Actually Worthless Clutter

Dunes Casino Red and Blue decks
Valuable Cereal Box

Most Valuable Cereal: $2,550

Post Ten Variety Pack
Kellogg's and General Mills offer variety packs of different cereals, but what you can't find anymore is the Post Ten pack. One surviving pack from 1961 fetched $2,550 on eBay. Let's hope the buyer didn't eat it. Another sweet item satisfies two sets of collectors: Beatle maniacs and cereal collectors. The Beatles were featured on boxes of Rice Honeys cereal to promote Yellow Submarine. If you saved one of those boxes, they're going for over $1,000. In 2014, someone sold one for $1,430.50 at Heritage Auctions. The 50-year-old cereal was not included, but it did include the prize inside, a set of rub-ons. There were originally eight total, but this collector had six.

Related: Long-Gone Childhood Cereals We Still Miss

Nasty Nick #1A

Most Valuable Garbage Pail Kids Card: $7,856

Nasty Nick #1A
In the '80s, Cabbage Patch Kids were the doll craze that sold out toy stores and made retail history. Now the most valuable of those are worth a mere $995, but the trading cards that spoofed them could be worth exponentially more. Topps continued to release new series of Garbage Pail Kids cards through the 2000s, but one card sold for over seven grand on eBay. It was the first card in the first series, and because of its placement it was often cut in such a way that the centering would be off from left to right, making finding a perfect card incredibly difficult.

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Charles Lindbergh
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Matchbook: $6,000

Charles Lindbergh Matchbook
Many restaurants and bars give away free matchbooks. For those lucky enough to have a matchbook from a Charles Lindbergh celebration dinner in 1927, you could strike it rich, so to speak. One went for $6,000 in 2015, and it was almost complete. Only four matches had been used.

Hidden Mickey Disney Pin

Most Valuable Disney Pin: $12,000

Hidden Mickey 1971
Disney pins from recent years already fetch thousands on eBay, so if you obtained a pin from a long-past limited batch, you could be sitting on a fortune. A Hidden Mickey pin from 1971 with the iconic mouse ears emerging from the top, one of a batch of only five, sold for $12,000 in 2018.

Superman Lunchbox
Beauty and the Beast VHS

Most Valuable VHS Tape: $9,000

"Beauty and the Beast"
Decades after the world moved on to DVD and Blu-ray, some people still collect VHS tapes. Disney's "Black Diamond" editions of their animated films are among the most sought after, and a a pair of "Beauty and the Beast" tapes sold for $9,000 on eBay in 2018. However, before you start rummaging around your closet for old videos, Snopes says much of the buzz about "Black Diamond" videos is because of unrealistic postings — and rarely do videos sell for more than $25.

Related: Popular Products You Never Thought Would Be Obsolete

McDonald's Szechuan Sauce

Most Valuable Dip: $14,700

McDonald's "Mulan" Szechuan Sauce
When "Rick and Morty" made a joke about McDonald's 1998 Szechuan-flavored Chicken McNugget sauce tied to the movie "Mulan," fans became obsessed with tasting it for themselves. So when a packet of sauce from 1998 (said to have been found unopened in a used car) sold on eBay, the final bid was $14,700. If the bidder had just waited, McDonald's ended up producing the sauce again after the "Rick and Morty" publicity.

Hot Pink Beatnik Bandit Hot Wheels Car

Most Valuable Hot Wheels Car: $15,000

1968 Hot Pink Beatnik Bandit
Aside from the 1969 Pink Rear-Loading Volkswagen Beach Bomb, of which only one exists and which was sold for $70,000, the most rare mini car it's possible to find is the 1968 Beatnik Bandit in hot pink. Back in the '60s, boys didn't want to play with pink cars. Now they're so collectible, one sold for $15,000, according to Mental Floss.

Related: Toy Brands That Are Still Made in America

Twenty-sided die (icosahedron) with faces inscribed with Greek letters
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Dice: $17,925

20-Sided Roman Die
The 20-sided die is a necessity for modern role-playing games, but this one is out of the price range of most collectors. Christie's sold it for $17,925 in 2003 for a Maryland professor whose father got it in Egypt in the '20s. It doesn't use regular numbers anyway, so those 20 symbols are probably meaningless when it comes to hit points or dexterity rolls.

A lit 1968 slim model Zippo
A lit 1968 slim model Zippo by David J. Fred (CC BY)

Most Valuable Lighter: $18,000

1933 Zippo
In 2008, Zippo sold one of its original 1933 lighters for 37 grand for the company's 75th anniversary. But for classic lighters you could have actually bid on, another 1933 classic went for $18,000 on eBay.

Gold LEGO Brick

Most Valuable Lego Brick: $19,793

Golden Brick
Lego building bricks seem like they're a dime a dozen. But from 1979 to 1981, Lego gave out 10 golden bricks to its partners and employees of 25 years. In 2017, the auction house Catawiki sold one for almost $20,000. Compare that to the priciest complete set of Legos, the Taj Mahal with 5,922 bricks valued at $2,900, according to Catawiki

Loveless Big Bear Knife

Most Valuable Knife: $20,500

Loveless Delaware Maid
Historic daggers, swords, and other blades can go for millions, especially if previously wielded by historical figures. Bob Loveless was a prestigious blade maker and this classic Loveless fetched over $20,000 (although not the full $30,000 the seller had originally asked). This blade was made in the 1950s during Loveless' time in the Merchant Marine.

Princess Diana Beanie

Most Valuable Beanie Baby: $22,222

Princess Bear
Beanie Babies were the collectible toy craze of the '90s, and their specialized varieties made many collector's believe they would be wise investments. Unfortunately, most Beanie Babies don't sell for much more than you paid in the '90s today. However, one variation of one special collectible reportedly went for $22,222 in 2018. This was the Princess Diana memorial bear from 1997, but if you look on eBay, you'll see not all Princess Bears sell big. Beanie Baby aficionados are looking for the one with PVC pellet stuffing, not PE pellets. The stuffing makes all the difference.

Original Barbie

Most Valuable Barbie Doll: $27,450

Original 1959 Barbie
Most kids are lucky if their Barbie dolls survive with their heads intact. A mint-condition 1959 original once sold for $27,450, according to Mental Floss. Distinctions of the first edition Barbies feature round holes with copper tubes in the feet, and eyes with white irises instead of blue, according to The Richest. Special-edition Barbies with actual diamond jewelry have sold for hundreds of thousands at charity auctions.

Related: 11 Barbie Dolls That Could Become Collector's Items

First Christmas Card
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Christmas Card: $28,158

The First Christmas Card
In 1843, 1,000 of these cards were sold for a shilling apiece. Now only 12 remain, and one was sold for 20,000 pounds in 2001 (or about $28,000). Sir Henry Cole sent this one to his grandmother. John Calcott Horsley drew the pictures of a family enjoying festive drinks and doing good deeds for the poor.

Spaceman Pez Dispenser

Most Valuable Pez Dispenser: $32,205

1982 World's Fair Edition
Who doesn't love Pez, candy dispensers with heads in the shape of your favorite characters? This one may seem generic except for its history. Only two of the astronaut dispensers were made for the 1982 World's Fair making them extremely rare. One sold for over $32,000 in 2006. Now, where's the other one?

Ticket Stub
Heritage Auctions

Most Valuable Ticket Stub: $41,825

1927 World Series
In 2014, Heritage Auctions sold a 1927 World Series ticket for over 41 grand. It was untorn meaning the original owner never even got to see the game! Torn stubs from Mickey Mantle games and others have still gone for thousands. If you prefer concerts to sports, a rare 1964 Beatles ticket once fetched over $16,000, according to What Sells Best. A $3.50 Bob Dylan ticket stub from 1966 went for $1,134.99 on eBay in 2013, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

Related: Sports Collectibles That Scored Big at Auction

Darth Vader Figure

Most Valuable Star Wars Action Figure: $44,994.40

1978 Darth Vader
It can be difficult to assess the record for a Star Wars collectible, since they're often lumped in with actual movie props. This 2018 eBay auction has to be up there, nearly $45,000 for a Darth Vader figure, still in the original box from Kenner's toy line one year after the film became a sensation. A Vinyl Cape Jawa was once listed for $53,000, but didn't sell for that price, although one did sell for 21,000 pounds ($27,244) in 2017, according to BBC News.

Oldest Postcard

Most Valuable Postcard: $45,370.60

Theodore Hook, Esq.
Okay, so the postcards you pick up in gas stations on the road probably won't be worth much. This was reportedly the first postcard ever sent, and Theodore Hook mailed it to himself in 1840. In 2002, Eugene Gomberg bought it at the London Stock Exchange auction for 31,758.75 pounds ($45,370.60) setting a Guinness Record for the postcard sale.

Pikachu Illustrator
Heritage Auctions

Most Valuable Pokemon Card: $54,970

Pikachu Illustrator
If you want to catch 'em all, this one will cost more than many people's annual salary. While each Pokemon card has different values and attributes, this rarity was the prize of a 1998 CoroCoro Comic Illustration Contest. Less than 40 exist, and only 10 are in top condition. This one sold at Heritage Auctions in 2016.

Yankee Bobble Head
Heritage Auctions

Most Valuable Bobblehead: $59,750

New York Yankee 1961-62
Bobbleheads are fairly common tchotchkes in the likenesses of celebrities. Sports bobbleheads even more so, as many are given away as promotions to ticket holders. In 2014, a 1961 Yankee bobble sold for almost $60,000 at Heritage Auctions. It wasn't even a famous player, just a general Yankee. They were bigger then, standing 14 inches tall.

Levi's 501 Jeans

Most Valuable Jeans: $60,000

Original Levi's 501
Most people wear their jeans until the holes in the knees rip all the way up to the thighs. Randy Knight landed a pair of the very first 501 jeans, found in an abandoned silver mine in the Mojave Desert and still wearable. A collector in Japan won the eBay bidding for $60K. Let's hope he doesn't cut them into jean shorts.

Related: The History of American Jeans: From Railroad to Runway

London Bridge

Most Valuable Corkscrew: $62,790

London Bridge Corkscrew
In 2014, a corkscrew sold for 40,000 pounds in an Essex auction, which amounts to more than $62,000. The corkscrew certainly qualifies as vintage. The London Bridge was demolished in 1832, and a piece of it was used to make the corkscrew. Since the bridge was built in 1209, that is a truly antique bar utensil.

Black Lotus Card

Most Valuable ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Card: $87,672

Black Lotus
Pokemon's got nothing on Magic: The Gathering. The Black Lotus came from the very first 1993 printing of Magic: The Gathering. Only 1,100 were released. In 2018, someone paid 87 grand to "add 3 mana of any single color of your choice to your mana pool." Maybe it was more for sentimental value.

Steiff Teddy Girl

Most Valuable Teddy Bear: $171,600

Steiff Teddy Girl
Aside from a Louis Vuitton bear designed to be expensive (sold for $2.1 million at a charity auction), the record for a teddy bear auction still stands from 1994. Prolific teddy bear manufacturer Steiff made the Teddy Girl in 1904. Robert Henderson was the owner from the day he was born and kept it with him as a colonel in World War II, according to Just Collecting. After he passed away in 1990, Yoshihiro Sekiguchi bought it at Christie's for 110,000 pounds ($171,600) and placed in a Tokyo toy museum.

GI Joe
Vincent Black Lightning
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Motorcycle: $929,000

1951 Vincent Black Lightning
Vehicles are always expensive purchases but what makes a motorcycle worth almost a million dollars? Well, in 1951, only 31 Vincent Black Lightnings were ever made. A mint-condition bike with its original paint was always going to be worth six figures. This one was owned by Jack Ehret and it's the one he used to break the land speed record in 1953 (141.509 mph). That kind of history is priceless.

Related: 25 Iconic Motorcycles From the Past 125 Years


Most Valuable Soda Can: $250,000

Coca-Cola Factory Error
Every once in a while, a can of Coke comes off the assembly line empty, but still sealed. Don't open it! These rarities periodically turn up on eBay, and have sold for as much as $250,000 according to BuzzFeed and Nailbuzz.

Related: Fun and Little-Known Facts About Coca-Cola

Old Bottle

Most Valuable Beer: $503,300

A bottle of this rare commodity was sold on eBay in 2016 for $503,300. This bottle was admittedly rare — it was brewed for Sir Arthur Belcher in 1852 to celebrate his Arctic expedition. The unfortunate part is that the bottle was originally bought on eBay for a paltry $304, but because of a misspelling in the listing most people didn't know about the auction. 

A bottle of Romanée-Conti 1975. Note the text "Monopole" on the bottle.
A bottle of Romanée-Conti 1975. Note the text "Monopole" on the bottle. by PRA (CC BY-SA)

Most Valuable Bottle of Wine: $558,000

1945 Romanée-Conti
Wine collecting is a costly hobby as evidenced by the current record holder for most expensive bottle of wine sold at auction. A 1945 bottle of Romanée-Conti, of which only 600 were made, sold for $558,000 in 2018. A second bottle went for $496,000. Who's got the other 598 bottles? At those prices, let's hope they didn't drink the money away!

Related: Foods That Sold for More Than $10K at Auction

Metropolis Poster
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Movie Poster: $690,000

Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" was a landmark science fiction film, conveying a dystopian future in silent format. An international version of the 1927 film's poster, without German text, made it more valuable. You'd have to be a movie star yourself to afford this, and Leonardo DiCaprio was rumored to be the proud owner. But, hey, you can still get an "Inception" poster for under 20 bucks.

Beatles White Album
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Vinyl Record: $790,000

The Beatles' White Album
Collecting vinyl has made a comeback since true audiophiles prefer the physical media to CDs or digital. While first pressings of classic albums can be worth a lot, you really can't beat the very first record of The Beatles' White Album owned by Ringo Starr himself. (A copy of Wu-Tang Clan's "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" sold for $2 million, but there are no other copies of that album.)

The Macallan 1926
The Macallan Distillers Limited, The Macallan

Most Valuable Whiskey: $1.1 Million

Macallan Peter Blake 1926
Now that's a stiff drink. Macallan only made 12 bottles of this Scotch in 1926. When they released it in 1986, Peter Blake designed the label. Blake had previously worked on the Beatles' iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band album cover. When Bonhams put bottle No. 8 up for auction, one wealthy bidder paid $7,962,500 Hong Kong for it, which translates to $1,0167,907.

Super Mario 64 Sold for $1,560,000
Heritage Auctions

Most Valuable Video Game: $1.56 Million

"Super Mario 64"

Just days after a near-pristine copy of the popular retro Nintendo game "The Legend of Zelda" sold for a record $870,000 at auction, a mint 1996 copy of "Super Mario 64" changed hands for almost double that amount. The sealed video game sold for $1.56 million at a Heritage Auctions sale that took place July 11. Prior to these record-smashing sales, the previous highest price paid for a video game was $660,000 for a sealed copy of "Super Mario Bros."

Mark McGwire Baseball
Mark McGwire Baseball by Rick Dikeman (CC BY-SA)

Most Valuable Baseball: $3.05 Million

Mark McGwire 1998 70th Home Run Ball
In 1998, baseball fans were watching every St. Louis Cardinals game to see if Mark McGwire could break the record for most home runs in a season. One of those was "Spawn" creator Todd McFarlane. Lucky for him, he had the $3 million to win the ball and enough to also snag Sammy Sosa's second-place record ball.

Honus Wagner Baseball Card
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Baseball Cards: $3.1 and $2.88 Million

Honus Wagner ($3.1 million)
Mickey Mantle ($2.88 million)
The oversize Wagner card still holds the record at $3.1 million, but Mantle's 1952 card is closing in. In 2018, Heritage Auctions sold a Mint 9 grade card for former Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Evan Mathis. There are apparently three Mint 10 grade Mantles out there.

Action Comics 1

Most Valuable Comic Book: $3.2 Million

Action Comics #1
The debut appearance of Superman was truly a landmark for the comic book industry. In 2014, a copy of this historic issue sold on eBay for over $3 million, topping the previous sale of another copy for $2.1 million. Both were graded a 9.0 out of 10 by the Certified Guaranty Co., which is as close to mint condition as a 1938 comic book is likely to be in nearly a century later.

1933 Double Eagle Coin
Courtesy Sotheby’s

Most Valuable Coin: $18.9 Million

1933 Double Eagle
Inflation is a killer, ain't it? We know the dollar isn't worth what it used to be, especially when the very first U.S. dollar sold for $10 million, and now the $20 double eagle from 1933, which was never released into distribution, has sold for a whopping $18.9 million. Owned by shoe designer Stuart Weitzman (who is donating the proceeds of the sale to charity), this gold coin was pressed in 1933 but never released because President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had banned Americans from owning gold the same year in an attempt to end the nation's banking crisis. Somehow 20 of the coins survived, however, and now are hot items when they come up for auction. 

British Guiana stamp, 1856

Most Valuable Stamp: $9.5 Million

1856 1-Cent Magenta Stamp from British Guiana
Stamp collecting is a popular hobby, the value of such items determined by their scarcity and history. So you don't get much rarer than this. In 1856, a postmaster in British Guiana (now Guyana) ran out of stamps. A local newspaper printed some emergency stamps and this is the only known surviving 1-Cent Magenta today. Add to that its history of changing hands in the ensuing century and a half, and the anonymous Sotheby's buyer ended up with a $9.5 million treasure. In 2021, the stamp's current owner, shoe designer Stuart Weitzman, sold the stamp for $8.3 million (along with four "Inverted Jenny" stamps for $4.9 million) with plans to give the proceeds to charity.

Birds of America
Wikimedia Commons

Most Valuable Book: $10.27 Million

"Birds of America" by James Audubon
While true rarities like Da Vinci's "Codex Leicester," the actual Magna Carta, the first Gutenberg Bible and others are one-of-a-kinds that sell for more, perhaps the most valuable mass-produced book was James Audubon's "Birds of America." First published between 1827 and 1838, Audubon drew over 400 pictures of over 1,000 birds.

License Plate 1
Techa Tungateja/istockphoto

Most Valuable License Plate: $14.3 Million

Abu Dhabi Plate No. 1
In 2008, businessman Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri paid 52.2 dirham ($14.3 million) for a license plate at auction, just so he could have the number 1. Now, did anyone save the U.S. license plate number 1?