When 90s kids hear the names Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael, they don't think of the legendary artists, but rather the mutant, crime-fighting sewer turtles. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a massive success, and its 80s/90s merch is so nostalgic that it has become precious today. We hope you can scream "cowabunga" at finding some of these valuable Ninja Turtles toys from the 80s and 90s in boxes of your childhood treasures.
The Most Valuable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Toys From Your Childhood
|Most Valuable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Toys||Recent Sales Prices|
|1992 TMNT Mona Lisa Action Figure||$130|
|TMNT Movie Star Series Action Figures||$180|
|1989 TMNT Sewer Playset||$250|
|1989 TMNT Retrocatapult||$250|
|1994 Playmates Universal Studios Monsters TMNT Action Figures||$425|
|1988 TMNT Action Figure Collection||$1,750|
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles might have started out as a comic book series, but it was the cartoon and live-action films from the 1990s that catapulted the mutant crime fighters into the zeitgeist. Just like everyone had a favorite Spice Girl, everyone had a favorite turtle. These allegiances led to a prolific amount of kids' merch. Today, these vintage Ninja Turtle toys from the 90s are worth more than you could've ever expected.
1992 TMNT Mona Lisa Action Figure
Only serious Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans would remember side characters like Mona Lisa. She was a lizard-like mutant, in the same vein as the turtles, and was just as dangerous. Playmates Toys, Inc. manufactured a ton of Ninja Turtle toys in the 1990s, and this 1992 Mona Lisa action figure is the most valuable when it's still in the blister pack. For example, one is currently listed at the Dallas Vintage Toys' website for around $130.
TMNT Movie Star Series Action Figures
Playmates was a huge manufacturer of old Ninja Turtle toys in the 1990s, and one of their most basic packs was the Movie Star series, which came with action figures of the main characters and their respective weapons. You don't have to find a sealed collection to have a few toys worth something.
Collectors are really looking for complete or near-complete vintage playsets and will pay a good amount for even unboxed ones. But they won't turn their noses up at unopened action figures from the series. For example, one unpunched and sealed foot soldier sold for $179.99 on eBay.
1989 TMNT Sewer Playset
The TMNT Sewer Playset made by Toyline circa 1989 consistently sells well on the vintage toy market. It could be because of how the playset replicates the entire sewer training system the turtles lived and practiced in, and the nostalgia for such an iconic location is driving demand higher. Typically, these sets are worth the most when they're completely unopened and can sell for upwards of $300. One unboxed playset is currently listed for $250 online.
1989 TMNT Retrocatapult
Another iconic Playmate playset to come out of the early licensed years is the Retrocatapult. Just like the Easy Bake Oven, this TMNT toy included pieces they swore couldn't stain clothes or carpets (but we know the truth). Vintage playsets like this are highly valuable when they've never been played with. Depending on their condition, they can sell anywhere between $250-$500. One factory-sealed box recently sold for $249.99 on eBay.
1994 Playmates Universal Studios Monsters TMNT Action Figures
As you familiarize yourself with the vintage Ninja Turtle toys to snatch up, don't forget about the toys made under specialty partnerships. These are usually made in limited quantities, can only be bought at one time, and are hard for collectors to find.
One of these rare mashups was between Universal Studios and the Turtles. What resulted were unrecognizable monster versions of everyone's favorite crime-fighting amphibians. One opened Raphael action figure that still has the original packaging with it is currently listed for $425.
1988 TMNT Action Figures
It wasn't until 1987 that the TMNT creators licensed out their characters to Playmate Toys, Inc. So, the very first batch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles merchandise came out in 1988. Being the inaugural bunch makes TMNT toys from 1988 particularly collectible.
On top of that, things like being in the original packaging, never having been opened, or never having been punched with a hole to hang the toy packaging up with all contribute to higher values. In mint condition, these action figures can sell for about $250-$500 a piece. One unopened collection of the TMNT characters sold for $1,750 online.
Things That Make Old Ninja Turtle Toys Worth Money
Out of all the animated shows from the 90s to have a cult following 30 years later, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is by the far the most collectible. Toys you or your kids played with many years ago are now selling for hundreds of dollars online. Little TMNT fans turned into collectors with cash to burn, and they're more than willing to pay for the best toys they can find.
When you're browsing through thrift store bins or boxes of your childhood stuff, look for these things that set valuable TMNT toys a part from the average ones.
- Find action figures and play sets in their original packaging. The most valuable vintage Ninja Turtle toys are completely unopened and factory sealed, but ones with the original packing (even if they're opened) are still worth much more than loose toys are.
- Look for complete sets. Collectors want a complete set, and they'd rather spend a lump sum on an entire collection than they would small amounts on purchases over a few years.
- Don't overlook the weird stuff. You're probably more likely to pick up a pristine-looking Leonardo action figure than you are a weird side character you've never heard of. Yet, these less publicized ones can be the holy grail for some collectors and end up being worth so much more.
Pretty Good Prices for Sewer Turtles
Despite TMNT cartoons still being made, it's undeniable that the concept's heyday has passed us by. Yet, collectors are commemorating its popularity by buying up the best preserved ninja toys from the '80s and '90s. If anything, these valuable toys are a reminder that the things you never think will be worth something in the future just might surprise you.