Have you ever poked around an old attic and found something that triggers those all-too-familiar nostalgia pangs? Maybe it's a box of old LEGOs or your old Happy Meal toy collection. These sentimental finds can be great for your youthful soul, but you know what's even better than feeling good? Cold hard cash.
So the next time you're rummaging around a basement, garage, or attic, keep your eyes peeled for the items on this list. They could be worth thousands -- even millions -- of dollars.
So most people don't keep old boxes of cereal up in their attics, but hey, you never know! Maybe your parents knew that one day vintage cereal (sometimes just the box) would be worth thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars, as is shockingly the case today.
First editions of legendary books are some of the most common attic finds that net big profits. And, as you can see, if you find a heavy hitter like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Sound and the Fury, or The Wizard of Oz, you'll be fighting off collectors that want to make you rich.
Some say Furby was the first step in the inevitable rise of our robot overlords. Others think it's a glorified Tamagotchi (more on that in a sec). At any rate, these things got stupid-popular during the holiday season of '98, and if you have one of the original guys (especially if it's unopened), it could be worth upwards of 900 bones.
The battery might be dead and it might be covered in whatever's stuck in the back of your childhood bedside drawer, but if you were neurotic enough to keep your digi-pet boxed up, then you've got a nugget of gold on your hands. The rare models can get you thousands of dollars, but the majority run for a couple hundo.
Happy Meal toys
These cheap plastic throwaways certainly accrue value for something that a fast-food chain literally gives away -- complete sets easily go for $500+ on eBay. If only I could find my mom's old minivan, where there was an eternal supply of these things rolling around the backseat floor, soaked in BBQ sauce.
Imagine you bought a vintage LEGO set, one you've always wanted, and after spending weeks or even months putting it all together, you find out you are missing one stupid little brick. You'd probably be willing to drop a lot of dough, right? That's where sites like BrickLink come in. They sell people's individual bricks for hundreds.
The original Game Boy
Everyone has an old Game Boy -- but don't get too excited. The real value comes with the original 1992 version of the portable gaming device, especially the iteration bundled with Tetris. Lightly used models can land you a few hundred dollars, while mint-condition editions can fetch upwards of $1,500. But honestly, what monster would buy a Game Boy and leave it unopened?
You almost definitely have a mountain of VHS tapes littering your basement floor, and most of them aren't worth more than the rewind fee at the store that was once your local Blockbuster. However, there are some examples of rare tapes that are worth thousands upon thousands of dollars. These coveted titles range from cult classics to first editions of classic films like Star Wars, King Kong, and Beauty and the Beast.
Certain pressings your parents probably owned at one point, like the Beatles' Please Please Me (second edition), a first pressing of the White Album, rare singles from bands like Queen, and even the decidedly anti-capitalist Sex Pistols who would NOT approve of this philandering, can score five-digit payouts.
The increasing value on the antique market for those early, gargantuan cellphones may surprise you, but there's a serious market out there. For models like the Modar Pulsar, your bounty may be $1k+, and for vintage Motorolas, you can land yourself at least a few hundred, if not thousands, of shekels.
Finding a holographic Charizard as a kid pretty much was a find to make your entire year. And for the kids who were prudent enough to NOT trade their Pokémon cards for weed when they hit middle school (don't give me that look), their first editions net thousands of dollars.
The works of Marvel, DC, and... uh, whoever else makes comics have become our modern American mythology. With the popularity of superheroes skyrocketing, it's no surprise that vintage, elusive comics are worth boatloads of Cheddar. However, it is surprising just how much you can make. We're talking millions for some editions of Superman and Batman.
Your grandpa's guitar
Every guitar player's dream is to lift a few boxes in their grandparents' attic, only to find a vintage Gibson or Fender chilling out in mint condition inside its original case. Well, it happens. And for those crazy enough to sell these beautiful instruments, they can score well into the hundreds of thousands. Or you could just play it. Even if you suck, you'll suck with impeccable class.
Homemade quilts are one of the most sought-after items by antique appraisers. In the 19th century, quilt-making was a common hobby for many women, and works from this period can be valued well into the $5,000 tier. You'd normally have to take your quilt to an expert to be sure, but many are kept and passed down within families who never really know how valuable they are.
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Wil Fulton is a senior writer at Thrillist. He doesn't have a basement, but thanks for asking. Follow him @WilFulton