What to do with old toys?

As I mentioned in another thread, I’m cleaning out my old home’s closet for the benefit of those still/now living there. One of the class of items taking up the most space are old toys of mine. They, IIRC, consist mostly of old He-Man and Transformers toys, with various other stuff from that era like cars and such. Being as I got them as a kid, they are, of course, opened, played with, and scattered throughout their storage boxes.

It seems like a waste to toss 'em, but now that I think about it, there’s not a lot else I can do with them; I can’t imagine demand out there to be that high, given what I said above. Can anyone think of anything?

Put all the toys in a box together and bring them to goodwill. Or put them on Craigslist or freecycle. A daycare center for kids in the schoolage might be thrilled to have them, as they go through a lot of toys.

Throw away anything broken. Toss out anything you really don’t like. Sort the rest into large Ziploc bags. Pack into a large Rubbermaid container. Label box as “Toys”. Shove into attic. Save for your children.

Thing is, our storage space is at a premium as it is, and my sister has shown reluctance to give anything old (and therefore, possibly dusty) to my nephews. (OTOH, they’re still out of the proper age range for this stuff for a few more years, so who knows what’ll happen.)

Give them to a thirft store. Some children only have toys from thrift stores.

If they’re not broken you can still make some good coin by selling them. People like having some of the trappings of their childhood without having to pay through the nose for it.

Seriously, put everything on eBay or the like and be upfront about the condition and I think you’ll find it’s worth your while.

Depending on how much work you want to do, e-bay them or donate the ones that are still good & have all the parts.

A lot of people collect old toys, even just for nostalgia’s sake, and it could make you a few bucks.

The toys you described also aren’t so out-dated that Goodwill or a similar place wouldn’t want them. Toy cars are always played with, plus the Transformers are still popular now, especially with the movies.

Unfortunately, this may no longer be an option due to an unbelievably poorly thought out law. Some thrift stores, to guard against prosecution, have had to pull all used children’s clothing and toys from the racks and are no longer accepting donations of these items.


My kids love my old transformers. They also sell for a pretty penny, even broken, on ebay. I’ve been trying to find a broken megatron to repair MY broken megatron, and I’ve yet to see one go for under $30 - for a broken, pieces missing toy!

I volunteer at a nonprofit foodbank/community cupboard that gives away donated food, clothing and household goods, including toys, to families in need. All of the toys are screened before they are given away. It’s my impression that, for some of the families served, these are the only the toys the children may get. If you don’t need the money, consider donating to an organization like this. I support Goodwill, too, but they sell the items and I know that the toys are sometimes bought by middle class families who are trying to stretch their dollars.

ETA: The place where I volunteer is suburban foodbank. Until I started there, I didn’t know that they handled items other than food. So it may be worth checking with your local foodbank.

Just put an ad on Craigslist, box of toys to the first caller, FREE. Pick up only.

Then put a list of toys. Someone will grab it. Of course they’ll probably sell them on eBay but if you don’t care :slight_smile:

Wow. As if being poor in this country didn’t suck enough already.

Leaper, can you wash the toys for your nephews so they are not dusty?

Watch a few episodes of “Hoarders.” You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to get rid of stuff after watching that show.

The problem with using Ebay is that I don’t know the names of most of my toys. They also tend to be missing pieces. I think I’m going to separate out the Transformers, though, and sell those as a lot since I don’t know the names of the individual pieces. I think those are more valuable now since they came out with the new Transformers movies.

Try freecycle as well - different from craigslist, the members tend to pass on anything they won’t use - to keep the cycle going.

One easy way to get rid of old toys without having to resort to Ebay is to go to one of the specialty websites for collectors of those toys. I know Transformers have several websites, I like www.tfw2005.com. Masters of the Universe have several as well.

The sites have areas where you can buy and sell toys, or if you would just like to post a photo of what you have, the collectors there will tell you what you have and give you a dollar value of what it is worth.

I wouldn’t give away decent condition toys from the 80’s - there’s a high demand for these for collectors, and you could make some decent money from them.

“toy geek”

I agree with the posters suggesting donation. Goodwill (by us at least) still takes donations of children’s toys. Most of the other places have stopped accepting toys, and any children’s clothing item that has a zipper or button. I’d suggest take a bit of your time to try and find a church, day care, pre school, or other charity that is still accepting and using those types of donations. Some of them will take the stuff but then turn around and pitch it after you leave. I’ve been poor…and I remember growing up my mom getting stuff for me from these places…it sucks ass that their answer to the issue is to just pull everything off the shelves.

A few months ago my 13 year old daughter went through her toys and put all the ones she didn’t want in a box. We called a nearby transitional shelter for homeless families and asked if they would take them. They said they would be happy to and encouraged my daughter to go herself and distribute the toys to any children staying there.

She did and it was one of the most educational experiences she has ever had. The kids were thrilled to get the toys. One even asked if she was sure she wanted to give away what my daughter was offering. The child could not believe anyone would part with something so valuable.

My daughter learned a valuable lesson that day.

Ex Chemist, that’s a brilliant story. I will keep that in mind next time my kids go through a toy purge.