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Nostalgia at an Estate Sale: Vintage Toys You May Find

Toys give you permission to play. For adults, there are iconic toys that bring back feelings of nostalgia and fond memories from when they were younger. Though considered to be vintage, toys from decades ago never truly get old. If you’re on the hunt for a toy that brings a smile to your face when you remember playing as a child, an estate sale may be just the place to find it.

Estate sales offer wondrous treasures to all who attend, including vintage toys—sometimes in pristine condition. In order to find original toys from the decades you love, it may take time, patience, and determination, but at Blue Moon Estate Sales, our homeowners are frequently avid collectors so the chances are high that you will find some oldies but goodies. Let’s take a look at some toys of the decades and discuss a few tips and tricks to identify the originals.

Toys of the Decades

As the years have passed, toys have become more advanced, more complicated, more electronic. Some of us still long for “back in my day” stories. Thankfully, estate sales have the power to bring back those lost memories with vintage toys from the ages. Blue Moon sales not only help preserve memories, but they can also satisfy feelings of wistfulness. Here are a few toys from past eras that will have you racing to join the hunt.

40s Toys

In the 1940s, toys were starting to become more advanced but a majority of them had a war theme to them. Little boys ran around playing with toy guns and pretended to impersonate their fathers on the front lines while little girls played house, feeding their baby dolls and preparing fake meals in the kitchen. Though war-driven, games and toys in the 40s created a sense of hope and reassurance during times of concern and fear. Some toys you may find from this era at an estate sale include:

  • Magic 8 Ball
  • World War II model plane kits
  • Pull-along walking dogs
  • Farmyard sets
  • Parcheesi board game

50s Toys

Considered to be the golden age of toys, the 1950s was a decade that saw some of the most enduring toys on the market. These simple treasures brought fun and excitement to the world of toys, offering more laughter and enjoyment within each home. Children played outside and started to have a new wonder for the world around them. Some of these toys included:

  • Hula hoops
  • Matchbox cars
  • Barbies
  • Slinky
  • View-Master

60s Toys

With larger families and more disposable income, the 1960s toy industry started to see an influx of cash. Toys were starting to become “electric,” which simply meant they either lit up or made a sound of some sort. Additionally, licensing became a large factor in the toy industry—reaching new markets. Toys from the 60s include: 

  • Etch A Sketch
  • Lite-Brite
  • Rock'em Sock'em Robots
  • Popcorn makers
  • Dial telephones

70s & 80s Toys

Stone wash jeans, Saturday morning cartoons, and a floor full of toys are just a few of the nostalgic memories that may flash through your mind when you think of the 1970s and 80s. Easy Bake Ovens and collectables surfaced and were found in almost every household. Children began expanding their game play and enjoying a carefree era. These toys included:

  • Rubik's Cube
  • Cabbage Patch Kids doll
  • Furby
  • Beanie Babies
  • Waterfall ring toss
  • Nintendo GameBoy

Shop Diligently

When sifting through memorabilia at estate sales, it’s important to keep in mind what you’re shopping for. Be sure to narrow your focus and pay attention to the details. Searching for unique and vintage toys can be exhilarating and also challenging. You’ll want to do your research before going on the hunt for that specific childhood toy. In doing research, you’ll be able to know exactly what the toy should look like and a rough estimate of how it should be priced. Additionally, you should always double-check the quality of each toy you find—it may bring back memories, but could possibly be too far gone to repair and make new. 

Vintage or Reproduction?

Vintage toys have a way of making themselves known among the crowd. Many vintage toys that have been kept in pristine condition will have their original paperwork and packaging attached or nearby. This serves as proof that the toy is in fact authentic and has been well cared for.

If you’re ever in search of a vintage toy and find yourself wondering if it’s a replica, the quickest thing you can do is check the screws—Phillips-head screws may be a fast indication that the toy is in fact a replica. Additionally, classic and vintage toys often have a specific marking located somewhere discreet, proving where they were made. This could also be helpful if you have done your research and know exactly where it originated.

Vintage Toy Shopping With Blue Moon Estate Sales

Whether you’re in search of a toy that reminds you of a happy time from your childhood or are looking to surprise a loved one with memorabilia they’ve forgotten, shopping at Blue Moon Estate Sales could be your solution. Though the items you’ll find when perusing one of our estate sales are quite unpredictable, we are sure you’ll have a great time searching.


Vintage toys are a great blast from the past and allow us to think of simpler times. Blue Moon Estate Sales is proud to be part of that journey—bringing joy into other’s lives one estate sale at a time. To find a Blue Moon Estate Sale in your area, visit our website today.

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