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Toys, Bears & Dolls - General

The toys, bears, and dolls auction market is first and foremost driven by demand and popularity. After collecting in all three categories heightened in the 1990s, today, dollar volume has leveled. However, overall, the price of a toy, doll, or bear is determined by timing, general desire, the economic climate, and the media.

In 2014, mechanical banks, transportation-related toys like trains and cars, and tin windup toys were highly sought after, while vintage board games made a comeback in 2015, especially those tied to a popular movie or TV show. Mid-century toys also saw a spike in popularity in 2015, including hot brands like Smith-Miller and Structo.

Some antique dolls were made to be toys, while others have always been considered collector’s items. Today, doll collectors gravitate toward fine French and German character dolls. Antique dolls and toys are appealing as investments to some, yet the market tends to be more saturated with collectors motivated by nostalgia and personal interest. More frequently, people buy what they love or what they wished for as a child. With experience and time, however, there is an opportunity for collectors to see a great return.

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