How to Get Rich Off Your Junk

Dusty old toys and vintage computers can bring in big bucks on the collector's market: Here, people's "trash" that turned out to be treasure.

By Alison Caporimo from Reader's Digest Magazine | July/August 2012
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First Apple Computer

Today’s value: One model sold for $212,000 at Christie’s in London.

Introduced in July 1976 and originally worth $666.66, the Apple I computer “guts” were hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Supply your own wooden-body keyboard and a small screen to build it yourself. First-generation iPods have also turned into trendy collectibles.

Steiff Disney Mickey Mouse Doll

Today’s value: $500 to $800&

Made from 1931 to 1936, these German plush toys became the pièce de résistance of the auction world in 2012. Look for the yellow Steiff tag riveted into the left ear, and tack on some extra bucks if you have the original packaging.

Lionel Toy Trains

Today’s value: $1,700 to $1,800

If you have a blue and yellow O-Gauge Virginia diesel freight locomotive in your toy station, you’re in luck. Built around 1958, these engines are part of the last Lionel Train Master diesel freight set of the postwar era—a big hit with toy collectors.

The Beatles LP Records

Today’s value: $800 to $1,200

Music to your ears: A boxed set of 14 vinyl remastered records by the Beatles circa 1982 is a favorite among record enthusiasts. The original box is an added bonus. 

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