Look in your attic: some 'junk' toys bring in big bucks

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by Marcelino Benito / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Updated Thursday, Mar 27 at 11:20 AM

It's a child's dream world. A perfect symphony of toys. But all the toys inside this small northwest Harris County home don't belong to a child. It belongs to Ramy Ghassemi.

"I think it'll blow their minds," said Ghassemi. "This is what they go to garage sales and outdoor markets to find."

So there's a good chance at one point, a lot of the toys belonged to you, except you never realized that silly toy was actually a tiny treasure.

"They think it's just a 30-year-old junk toy," said Ghassemi. "But it’s worth a lot more than that."

And we're talking lots of money here. Toys on just one of Ghassemi's shelves are worth thousands of dollars and you may not know how much it's worth and toy collectors are betting on that.

That Ninja Turtle your kid played with, the one that cost you four bucks, now sells for about $60. And that's on the low end. GI Joes can net you even more.

"I paid ten bucks for it," Ghassemi. "It's worth $300."

Toy sellers at Pop Culture Company know why it's worth so much. Rober Quijano says it comes down to condition.

"The nearer to perfection the better," said Quijano.

And if you think there's no one willing to buy that decades old toy buried in your garage, Quijano says you'd be wrong."

"I've seen guys that come in, and it's a choice," said Quijano. "Do they pay rent or buy that GI Joe that they've been looking for for 10 years."

One of those guys is Luis Martinez. He says he's always looking. His friends call him Houston's toy hunter.

"It's kind of like a treasure hunt, except you don't get a map," said Martinez. "You have to find it on your own."

Toy guys are targeting toys popular in the 80s and 90s. Transformers tops that list. A skyling toy originally cost $30. Now that price tag swelled to $600.

"I think parents will be blown away," said Ghassemi.

Then there's Star Wars, more popular now than ever before. A complete collection can bring you in an astronomical amount, more than a $1000. That's plenty of reason to dig out those old toys.

"Who knows what's in your attic," said Martinez. "If you haven't been up there in a while."

So take a look and cash in on the treasure you never knew you had sitting around.

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