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PLAYING FOR REAL! Those old toys hidden in the attics could be worth a fortune.

THEY are the childhood memories we cannot bear to throw away. But it seems more likely there is another reason why some childhood toys have lain hidden for years at the back of many a cupboard or loft in Huddersfield.

Good old Yorkshire thrift suggests that if we hang on to them, those toys may be worth a bob or two in the future. We may not be wrong: a new survey out today suggests toys such as Barbie dolls, Dinky cars or children's annuals could be worth a fortune.

If there's a sure-fire way to evoke great memories of childhood it's to think about your favourite toy.

However, for many of us reminiscing about our Barbie dolls, My Little Ponies, Transformers and LEGO sets can also cause great pain.

Over half of us admit we no longer have any of the toys which we once couldn't bear to be without.

But it's not just sentiment - we also think about the value.

The new research has found that 48% of us in West Yorkshire have still clung on to one or more of our old toys.

More than a third of us regret having thrown out our toys. And while many of us have only got ourselves to blame for binning our toys, it seems a fair few adults are still holding grudges against their parents for getting rid of their precious playthings.

According to the research conducted by LEGO UK, over half of those surveyed say their mum and dad made the unpopular decision to do away with their childhood favourites. So even as grownups, why are we still so attached? Well, 55% think they could have made a quick quid or two out of their old retro toys, and they're right.

The research shows that famous toys like a first issue Action Man have been sold on for an average of pounds 8, but in fact if it's in good condition that old toy could be worth pounds 200 - pounds 300.

Model cars, particularly those made by the Dinky company, are particularly prized.

The first Dinky Toys cars came on the market in December of 1933, but they were not called Dinky Toys until April of 1934.

Until then they were Modelled Miniatures, sold under the name of their original manufacturers, the Frank Hornby firm best known for its electric trains. Those early train sets, too, are very valuable and have been known to sell for thousands at auctions.

Other retro toys which were revealed to have been undersold include:. Barbie Dolls sold for an average of pounds 8, but respondents may well have let an ultra valuable Barbie Doll Number One through the net - and in mint condition with box, she's worth pounds 2,000-3,000. Luke Skywalker Figure (1978) sold for an 9.70 but could be worth average of pounds 9.70 but could be worth pounds 750-pounds 1,000. James Bond Aston Martin DB5 (1965) sold for an average of pounds 48 but could be worth pounds 300-pounds 400. A recent lot of every Star Wars figure invited bids starting at pounds 595 Jamie Breese, antiques and collectables expert, said: "These results are fascinating to read from an experts' viewpoint. "I always believed it was the men who would be clinging for dear life to their childhood toys. This explains perhaps why it is men, today, who are the ones most avidly collecting and seeking out these little lost treasures. "Condition is everything with these gems and collectors will pay a premium for the very best examples. However, toys by their very nature are there to be played with of course. "It's difficult to buy a toy and then tell a child that he or she cannot play with, because it may make mummy or daddy a few hundred pounds later on.

"Another reason why there will be a glut of toys stored in attics and cupboards in Huddersfield and other towns are the daytime TV programmes. "I co-presented one called Everything Must Go some years ago and now there are others, such as Cash in The Attic.

"People realise that the toys we played with in our generation could be worth something in just a few years' time. "Toys made to commemorate film or TV programmes, such as Chitty Chitty Ban Bag and Dr Who, are highly collectable and highly valued. "And if you were one of the lucky 300 who managed to get a first edition of the first Harry Potter book, then you are sitting on a goldmine".


* OLD: Action Man has his fans -and a dedicated website - but Dr Who and that old favourite Dinky are still capable of attracting collectors' interest * THE TOY MAN: Expert Jamie Breese says there's money to be made from toys from the past - like the Dinky Anglia (bottom right) but modern toys like Transformers and Barbie dolls can be worth a mint - if their condition is good
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Aug 18, 2010
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