Star Wars Action Figure | Source: Mental Floss

A Trip Down Memory Lane: The Most Valuable Collectables of the ’70s

The start of the Star Wars franchise, the first Atari video game console, grooving to Saturday Night Fever and rocking to David Bowie and Fleetwood Mac – the 1970s was a vibrant decade. The era is attributed with some of the greatest action figures and comic books that not only awaken that inner nostalgia but also incite collectors into action.

While most collectables from the ’70s began life as modestly priced commodities, many have aged like fine wine and are now worth a fortune. Amongst the memorabilia live some vintage treasures prized by collectors. Here’s a look at the most valuable collectables of the 1970s.

Hidden Mickey 1971 Pin

You may not expect something as small and seemingly insignificant as a pin would be one of the most valuable collectables of the 70s. And it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t one bearing the name of Disney’s most famous character Mickey Mouse. Disney pins already fetch thousands from collectors, so it’s no surprise a Hidden Mickey pin from 1971 made as only a batch of five sold for over $16,000 on eBay in 2018.

1976 Stretch Armstrong Doll

The vintage action figure produced from 1976 to 1979 by Kenner was a massive hit amongst children. The retro toy, in the shape of a muscled blond man, was filled with corn syrup giving the toy its stretchy limbs. While the doll was prone to ‘overstretching’ and therefore easily damaged, Kenner still produced 40,000 Stretch Armstrong toys in those three years making over A$65 million. The original ‘unstretched’ version of the toy from 1976 is a rare find with reports they sell for over A$1500.

The Original Sony Walkman

The popularity of the original Sony Walkman from 1979 ensured the name ‘Walkman’ became synonymous with any portable music device of the time. Priced at around A$207 on release, Sony only predicted sales of 5,000 for the first month. In fact, the personal cassette player went on to sell 30,000 in the first two months. Today, refurbished original Walkman’s can fetch up to A$1000.

1978 Luke Skywalker Action Figure

Anything original Star Wars is a must-have for collectors. And nothing more than a fan favourite Luke Skywalker action figure. This key piece of Star Wars memorabilia is a rare two-piece double telescoping lightsaber figure featuring a serial number on the footer indicating it is one of the first toys off the assembly line. There are approximately only 20 confirmed examples of this extremely rare toy with one selling for A$34,000 at a Sotheby’s auction in 2015.

David Bowie’s 1974 Diamond Dogs Pulled Album Art

The legendary glam rocker was known for pushing the boundaries. The original release of his Diamond Dogs LP in 1974 did just that. The album art depicted a cartoonish rendition of Bowie with “dog genitals” that was pulled by his record label before it could make it to market. Later releases featured the offending parts airbrushed out. Therefore an original cover is one of the rarest and most sought after Bowie collectibles. The old vinyl routinely sells for between A$3,000 and A$10,000 depending on condition.

1977 First Star Wars Comic Book

The 1970s were a big decade for Star Wars memorabilia. Costing a mere 30 cents back in 1977, the rare edition of the first Star Wars comic book from 1977 is worth far more today. Marvel only published about 1500 limited edition copies with mint condition originals listed on eBay from A$1000 and a CGC Signature Series by Roy Thomas listed for A$34,000.

1979 Remco Batman Utility Belt

Batman is certainly one of the most well-known superheroes with a large, passionate fanbase. One of the more detailed vintage Batman toys is this Remco Batman Utility Belt from 1979. The retro collectable came with everything to keep children happy; a communicator, decoder glasses, a toy watch, handcuffs, a Gotham City decoder map, a secret identity card, and a secret message. With so many pieces to keep together, it’s no surprise an original complete set sells for almost A$3,980 online.

1979 Xavier Roberts Little People Twins

If you were enjoying childhood in the 1970’s it’s likely you’ll remember the Cabbage Patch Dolls. The popular toy was a massive hit and remain as in demand as ever with the largest collection featuring more than 5,000 pieces. The most valuable Cabbage Patch Dolls come as a set of twins called the “Little People’ twins. A hand-signed by creator Xavier Roberts version of the twins in good condition sold for over A$4,800 in 2018.

1976 Apple Computer 1 Palo Alto

The iPod, iPhone and the Apple Watch, are standard technology devices around the world. Before the Apple brand boom was Steve Jobs’s first foray into the personal computer world, there was Apple 1 computer. Today, these original pieces of technology are some of the most valuable computers sought by collectors. The first personal computer sold with a fully assembled motherboard, the Apple 1 systems were sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor. Only Approximately 200 Apple-1s were built and roughly a quarter of those still exist with one selling for A$491,000 at a Christie’s auction in 2017.

14 Karat Lego Brick

There’s hardly a brand as synonymous with toys as Lego and with such immense popularity comes excited collectors. While most remember a fond time spent building a Lego set, a few Lego employees who clocked 25 years with the company were given 14 Karat golden bricks between 1979 and 1981. The very rare pieces are worth a fair price to collectors with one sold to an American at an online auction for nearly A$27,000 in 2017.

If your favoured decade is the 1990s, the most valuable collectibles of the ’90s is an interesting read or for ’80’s kids, have a look at The Most Valuable Collectibles of the ’80s.

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