It shouldn't come as much of a surprise these days, but those toys we all played with back in the 80 are worth a lot of money now. Granted, you can't just pull out a Barbie without its head and expect to rake in the cash, but the items that were played with and remain in good condition are still collectible. Get them to the right buyer, and you might just find your valuable keepsakes from yesteryear are worth some cold hard cash these days. One of the franchises that fit this bill is the Transformers line of toys. Back in the 80s, Hasbro launched their first generation (G1) of Transformers toys alongside a comic book series and animated show. The popularity of the latter drove the sale of toys, and most kids had at least one in their collection.
Odds are, you got rid of yours long ago (or your mom did when she cleaned out your closet), but there are still plenty on the market. What is rare and worth some money isn't necessarily the Optimus Prime you played with, it's the one nobody did. The toys remaining in their boxes, especially the ones in pristine condition, are worth more than you might know. Those rare gems are hard to find, which is why they go for tons of cash when they finally do find their way onto an online auction. You might want to rummage through your attic and see what's in there because if you have any of these G1 Transformers, you might be sitting on a mountain of cash.
*Values are based on recently sold auctions and price guides but are subject to change.
26 Hot Spot Protectbot: $1,100
The Protectobots were once members of a failed colony who succumbed to stasis lock. They were found and freed by Omega Supreme who brought them to Earth. They received the added ability to combine into a single, large bot consisting of all five members. Hot Spot was the leader of the gang who took his cues from Optimus Prime as he protected Central City.
There are several versions of Hot Spot on the market, but the 1986 Takara/Hasbro diecast chest version (NIB) is the one you want. These sell for around $1,100 when they pop up online, which is not something that happens often.
25 Swoop: $1,700
Kids love robots, and they love dinosaurs, which is probably what the folks at Hasbro were thinking when they came up with the Dinobots back in 1985. Combining the two made for epic sales and collectors absolutely loved them. Swoop was the group's scout who could turn into a Pteranodon, which ironically isn't a dinosaur.
Fortunately, Swoop isn't the most difficult Transformer to find in the world, but locating one that is new-in-box (NIB) will prove difficult. If that box is in mint condition, expect to pay as much as $1,700 for one! Out of the box, they are only worth around $15.
24 Blaster: $2,000
This toy may look strange to folks born in the 90s, but back in the day, we called this a boom box! The original Blaster wasn't a functioning radio/tape player, but the second release was. This was due to it being a remold of a Japanese version, which is why the second release is the one collectors (as well as kids at the time) wanted.
Blaster is highly collectible due to the uniqueness of the toy. While other Transformers turned into fun vehicles, this was actually something you could use. If you happen to still have one in the box, you can expect to snag as much as $2,000 in an online auction.
23 Omega Supreme: $2,000
Omega Supreme was originally a toy made by ToyBox, and wasn't a part of the Transformers line. Hasbro bought the rights to it when their line of licensed figures ran out from Takara. Since Transformers were selling so well, they picked up Omega Supreme, slapped the Transformers logo on the box, and called it a day.
Unlike most Transformers, Omega Supreme didn't transform into a vehicle, but rather, a base. Not only did it feature a track, it also had a rocket. If you happen to have one that you never played with NIB, you can probably get up to $2,000 if you're ready to part with it.
22 Trypticon: $2,000
It started with robots who could transform, then the brand went into robots that formed together and finally, toys began releasing that could transform into buildings. When that got old, the toys evolved into small cities! Trypticon was a Decepticon city, which could transform into a dinosaur that actually walked (with some batteries).
Kids could attach smaller robots onto him to make larger structures. This item sold more in Japan than it did in the States, but that doesn't mean collectors aren't on the hunt for NIB copies. If you have one, it's worth around $2,000 to the right buyer.
21 Grimlock: $2,000
Of the five original G1 Dinobots, Grimlock was easily the most popular. Not only was he the leader of the Dinobots, but he was also a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and what kid didn't want to play with a robot who could transform into the most popular dinosaur among children? He was also a fan favorite from the cartoon, which helped his sales.
Grimlock figures sold well, which means there are tons of them on the market. That being said, there aren't a lot that didn't get played with, which is why a Grimlock that is NIB will fetch as much as $2,000 in an online auction.
20 Galvatron: $2,000
Back when The Transformers Movie was released (the original, not the live-action one), nobody knew who Galvatron was. Not to spoil a film that's more than 30 years old, but it was an evolved, souped-up version of Megatron and the character became immensely popular.
Kids like to play with fake weapons and the ones that look like futuristic alien blasters are especially appealing. Because of this, not many copies of Galvatron remained within their cardboard and plastic prisons. A NIB Galvatron will net you around $2,000 if you're ready to part with it.
19 Motormaster: $2,000
Motormaster was a member of the Stunticons, which were a Decepticon group who could transform into stunt cars. When they got together, they could be combined into Menasor, which was little more than an evil version of Optimus Prime with smaller robots attached about his body.
When he hit the market, Motormaster was a hit--we guess kids like playing with sinister versions of their favorite characters. These are highly collectible but aren't especially difficult to find. Regardless, they fetch a high price of around $2,000 when they are in mint condition, NIB.
18 Jetfire: $2,000
Jetfire is another example of a toy brought from Japan into the Hasbro Transformers line outside of Takara's control. It came from Takatoku Toys as a sort of homage to their existing line of Macross toys. Jetfire was an Autobot who transformed into a VF-1S Super Valkyrie, which was derived from Macross.
Later versions transformed into an F-14 Tomcat, but call it what you will, it was still a robot that turned into a jet fighter, and the kids loved him. If you can find one in mint condition that's still NIB, it's going to run you $2,000 to add it to your collection.
17 Starscream: $2,000
One of the most popular figures in the Decepticon line was Starscream, Megatron's second-in-command who could transform into an F-15 Eagle. Not only was this a well-crafted robot with a great backstory, but it was also an exceptionally well-designed fighter jet, which made having one of these a must for any kid/collector.
Starscream is another of those toys few kids could resist from tearing out of the box. Because of that, you won't have trouble unloading a copy of him that's still NIB. Expect to pull in around $2,000 if you sill have one. Loose copies sell for less due to them often missing various parts.
16 Soundwave: $2,000
Soundwave is essentially a cooler, sleeker version of Blaster, but one who works for the side of evil! He's a Decepticon, but more than that, he's a working Walkman. A Walkman was basically what 80s kids had instead of an iPod, and it played cassette tapes, which could be switched out. That worked perfectly for Soundwave as his tapes were actually small Transformers themselves.
Originally, he was made for the Microman series, but got a new paint job and came over to the Transformers where he became incredibly popular. They regularly go for around $2,000 if they are NIB.
15 Reflector: $2,000
Reflector was actually three separate characters who combined into a single, useful device. Viewfinder, Spectro, and Spyglass combined to form Reflector, which was a 1981 Kodak Camera. The only way to get one of these was to clip "Robot Points" from other packages and send those in with some cash as a special mail-order item.
When it was released, Reflector wasn't the most popular Transformer, and many people disliked it for a variety of reasons. Despite the original disdain, they are collectible these days and can fetch as much as two grand in an online auction.
14 Devastator (Gift Set): $2,100
Devastator was the result of combining all six Constructicons: Scrapper, Hook, Bonecrusher, Long Haul, Mixmaster, and Scavenger into a single entity. Typically, people used to buy each of these characters individually and they are worth some decent cash on their own, but if you happened to have the Gift Set of all six, you were a lucky kid.
Gift Sets are generally pretty pricey, especially if they are still intact and NIB. The Devastator Gift Set is no exception, which is why you can expect to sell one for as much as $2,100 in an online auction.
13 Bumblebee (Red): $3,000
We all know the original Bumblebee was a yellow bug, but not all of his toys came out that way. Back when Hasbro released their mini-figures, they opted to change his coloration from yellow to red, and it ended up being quite rare. This wasn't a mistake, but rather, an intentional change to the character.
Eventually, he returned to his classic yellow look, which may be one of the reasons finding a red mini-figure of Bumblebee is so difficult. A graded one that is still NIB will net you around $3,000 if you're up for parting with it.
12 Hot Rod: $3,000
Most of the G1 Transformers were imported from Japan by Hasbro from one company or another, but Hot Rod represents the first that was designed in-house for the Western market. This makes him the first Transformer that wasn't an import of any kind. Even better than all that, he turned into a sports car!
Hot Rod was immediately popular with fans who enjoyed playing with him in his transformed state. Because of this, there are many on the market, but like the rest on this list, not so many in mint or NIB condition. If you have one, it's worth around $3,000.
11 Defensor: $3,000
We already mentioned how Hot Spot could combine with other Protectobots to form Defensor, but collecting all five robots could be expensive. Fortunately, Hasbro bundled them into a Gift Set, which combined all five robots into one box. The Defensor Gift Box is one of the more expensive of all the Gift Boxes due to its conductibility.
Like others, finding one that is still intact and NIB is no easy task. If for some reason, you got one as a kid and never opened it, it might be time to let it go. You can expect to sell one for around $3,000 if the condition is mint and graded.
10 Predaking (Gift Set): $3,100
The Predacons were based on animals and could be combined into a single, giant robot called Predaking! He was made up of Razorclaw (Lion), Divebomb (Eagle), Headstrong (Rhino), Rampage (Tiger), and Tantrum (Bull). Fitting them all together produced the combiner Predaking which was a fan-favorite when it was released.
People enjoy collecting the Predacons due to how different they were from other Transformers. They are relatively rare, but a Predaking Gift Set that's still mint and NIB is incredibly hard to find. They regularly sell for around $3,100 in online auctions.
9 Superion (Gift Set) - $3,200
One of the best types of Transformers kids could get their hands on were Aerialbots who could transform into various types of jets. Even more fun than those was what they combined into. Putting together all of the Aerialbots into their combiner produced Superion, which was made up of Silverbolt, Fireflight, Slingshot, Air Raid, and Skydive.
Like the other Gift Sets on this list, they rarely remained intact and were most often ripped open to get to the toys inside. If you happen to still have one that's NIB and graded, you can expect to get around $3,200 in an online auction for it.
8 Computron (Gift Set): $5,000
The Technobots were a group of Autobots consisting of Afterburner, Lightspeed, Nosecone, Scattershot, and Strafe. They could be combined into the single entity known as Computron, which featured two blasters and hours of fun! Technobots are highly collectible, but the Gift Set... even more so.
If you can find a graded and NIB copy of the Computron Gift Set, odds are, it's going to cost around $5,000. Trying to buy or sell one that's NIB, but not graded can result in the price dropping significantly so make sure the Action Figure Authority (AFA) gives it a once-over before listing it for sale.
7 Optimus Prime (Pepsi Co. Variant): $5,500
Optimus Prime is one of the best-known members of the Transformers seeing as he is the charismatic leader of the Autobots. He famously transforms into a semi-tractor/trailer, which could open up to reveal numerous pieces and parts inside. More importantly, the trailer could be used for whatever Hasbro wanted to print on the side.
Typically, this was the place for an Autobot logo and some stripes, but then there's the Pepsi Co.Variant edition featuring an enlarged Pepsi logo. If you wanted one, you had to mail away for it, but if you need it for your collection, it's going to cost you around $3,700.
6 Sky Lynx: $6,000
We don't have them any longer, but back in the 20th century, NASA got around using a reusable spacecraft called the Space Shuttle. To capitalize on its popularity, Hasbro released Sky Lynx, which is comprised of two separate components: a space shuttle and a group transport vehicle. The shuttle transformed into a bird-like creature while the transport vehicle could become a lynx.
These were somewhat rare when they were released and not many people had them in their collections. As a result, they are even rarer these days. If you happen to have one that's graded and NIB, it's worth around $6,000 to the right collector.
5 Metroplex: $7,000
Metroplex is the largest of the Autobots who can transform into either a battle station or giant robot. He is made up of three smaller Autobots: Six-Gun, Scamper, and Slammer. For the Autobots, Metroplex represents their last line of defense and spends most of his time in "city mode" but can switch it up to becoming a battle station whenever necessary.
Metroplex isn't the hardest Transformer to find, but getting one with a grading higher than AFA 80 is no easy task. The cost goes up exponentially, which is why a graded NIB copy can go from between $2,000 to as much as $7,000! Like anything, the higher the grade, the more it's worth.
4 Megatron: $10,000
Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons, but more than that, he was able to transform into a Walther P-38 handgun. This made him the most controversial Transformer, and quite possibly, the most controversial action figure released in the 20th century. Many kids wanted them, but not every parent would buy them for their kids.
Because of this, adults covet the toy they weren't able to add to their collection as kids. Megatron was mass-produced, but few were left in their boxes, which is how you want yours to be: NIB. A highly-graded one can fetch as much as $10,000 in an online auction.
3 Optimus Prime: $25,000
Optimus Prime is one of the most popular characters in the television series, comic books, video games, feature films, and of course, line of toys. For some kids, he wasn't as much fun to play with as a fighter jet or other interesting vehicle, but you couldn't command your squad of Autobots without him!
There are several versions of Prime collectors are always on the lookout for, but the original G1 Transformers version from Hasbro tops the charts in terms of value. He's easy to find loose, but if you happen to have one that's graded 90+ and NIB, you can expect to sell it for as much as $25,000 if the right buyer comes along.
2 Fortress Maximus: $30,000
Back in the 80s, it seemed every toy line had its mega-playset. G.I. Joe had a massive aircraft carrier parents refused to buy for their children, and Transformers had Fortress Maximus. This guy sold for a whopping $100 when it was released, which equates to around $300 bucks in today's money. He was huge, expensive, and hard to come by.
Seeing as the toy was so expensive, not many sold, which makes them particularly rare. Collectors are willing to shell out thousands to own one, which is why a graded NIB copy recently sold for $30,000. Make sure you get yours graded before listing because these are worth a pretty penny!
1 BONUS: Largest Single Collection: $1,000,000
Most people are content to hang onto one or two mint-condition boxed G1 Transformers if at all possible, but that's not how one collector worked. Back in 2007, a collection of 275 items including 101 Autobots, 81 Decepticons, and 92 other licensed products sold for a whopping $1,000,000 on eBay!
Many of the items were never removed from the box, but the level of care that went into them is amazing. Looking through the pictures shows boxed figures that look like they were just taken from the factory. The boxes are beyond mint, which may be why this collection sold for so much.