Trash or Treasure?

It's said that one man's trash is another's treasure.

And that's right-on in the world or collectibles.

All that stuff cluttering up your closets, attic, and garage -- those little knick-knacks, such as old dolls, baseball cards, comic books or action figures, might be more than just junk.

On The Early Show Saturday Edition, Reyne Haines, a professional appraiser, had tips to help you determine whether all that stuff is trash, or treasure. And she went into detail on numerous types of items:

Barbie dolls

The 1959 original recently sold for a fortune Aside from the originals, Mattel says the big bucks dollars are also paid for any of the Barbies with bubble cut hair. Also look for red haired and iconic Barbies, such as the Malibu Barbie.

Action figures

Any action figure in the original box is worth more than loose ones. And the value can go up or down based on condition, whether the joints (arms/legs) are still tight, and age.
But the real value is in their stories -- for instance -- is it going to be made into a movie?

As for how old it has to be before it goes up in value, usually 20-25 years after it was released, reason being, that's when the eight-year olds who were playing with it are old enough to have disposable income and want to re-buy the toys they grew up with! A good example: Star Trek: had no value during the 1974-77 release, but now those kids want them back, and they aren't made any more.

Comic Books

Like action figures, the real value in comic books is in the stories. If a character is killed off, or comes back tens years later, or is made into movie, the value shoots up. But, like the action figures, condition does matter. They should be clean, un-wrinkled or torn, etc. Many of the comics start going up in value during the same 20-25 year timeline.

Baseball Cards

Again, it's all about the players. You might find a shoe box full of old Topps bubble gum cards, but unless the players became big, the value will be somewhat low. You can get the value of any of the cards online. But if it turns out to be a valuable card, it would be worth the ten bucks or so it will cost to have it appraised for condition at a reputable re-seller.

How can you find out if your items are collectible?

Do a keyword search on Google, or on eBay.

On Google, you can find online collectors' clubs, which are great sources of information.

eBay can help narrow down whether your items are common -- whether there are many of the same thing currently up for sale, or if they're hard to come by or there are only a few or none.

Collectors' guides at your local bookstore, many of which list approximate values, are also helpful.

How would you determine your item's worth?

Visit a local bookstore or library. There are numerous books on collecting that can help you learn more about your item's current market value.

eBay may show what people are bidding for the same item, or similar items.

BARBIE COLLECTING FACTS

The dolls collectors would be most excited to find in someone's attic:

The original (#1) 1959 Barbie doll
, is distinguishable by:
- Arched eyebrows
- White irises
- Heavy black eyeliner
- Pale skin tone
- Holes in feet (for the doll stand)

An original #1 1959 Barbie doll is especially valuable if it's a brunette version, as there was only one brunette doll produced for every two blonde dolls. Hence, they're rarer!

A doll with the first Bubble Cut hairstyle from 1962's value ranges from $120 - $400.

A red-haired doll from 1961 (this was the first year a red hair color was introduced in addition to the existing brunette and blonde styles) - in the 60s this was called "Titian": Value ranges from $100 - $500

The 1967 "Twist n Turn" Barbie doll

Iconic Barbie dolls
(for example, Malibu Barbie, Superstar Barbie and Barbie & the Rockers) often resell for high auction prices due to their popularity

Other Tips:

For early year dolls (1959/60s), look for a "Genuine Barbie by Mattel" label attached to Barbie doll's wrist - this label tells you that each Barbie outfit is the genuine article

Look for dolls that are "Mint" condition and "NFRB" (never removed from box)

General Tips to Start Barbie Collecting:

(1) Think about the things that you love and make then the theme of your collection. Or try several themes! For example (pop culture, designer or vintage
(2) Go Shopping: Grab a friend and find fabulous Barbie Collector dolls together
(3) Have fun: Learn more, see photos of the dolls and meet other collectors just like you at BarbieCollector.com

COMIC BOOKS ON THE SET WERE PRICED BY
St. Mark's Comics
11 St. Mark's Place
NYC, 10003
212-598-9439
In NYC's famous East Village

Adventure Comics #138 1950's, cool Superboy cover $300

Captain America #109 1960's, very telegenic cover featuring an early Silver Age appearance of Cap in his own title $125

Amazing Adventures #11 1970's two copies of this; one in excellent shape and one kinda hurt, to demonstrate what we mean when talk about condition. A lasting transformation of the Beast, a major X-Men character. $200/$50

X-Men #137 1970's Death of Phoenix, major event, price spike from the issues immediately before and after $75

Jonah Hex #1 1970's first issue of his own title; movie deal just announced demonstrates how current events can change price or velocity of an older book $150

Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 1970's great painted cover with oddball appeal; surprising that it's $250, nobody took care of these

X-Men #94 1970's first regular series appearance of the New X-Men

Defenders #1 1970's first issue, $175

Uncanny X-Men #212 1980's Wolverine vs. Sabretooth cover, hot now for movie $30

Incredible Hulk #340 1980's Hulk vs. Wolverine, great cover, name artist, huge price difference from surrounding ish $60

ACTION FIGURES

St. Marks Comics also priced the action fitgures on the set:

Star Wars 12" C-3P0 1977 in box

Mego (legendary 1970's toy company) Star Trek Andorian $275
loose, but very clean -- your toy doesn't have to be perfect -- movie coming

Thundercats Panthro sealed $150
cool, perfect 80's toy, movie coming, kids are now 25-30

Super Powers Dr. Fate 1984 sealed $75
Kids are 25

Buck Rogers 1980's sealed $50
Kids from then are 25, though.

BASEBALL CARDS

THE CARDS ON SET WERE PRICED AND SUPPLIED BY:
Brigandi Coin Co.
60 West 44th Street
New York, N.Y. 10036

THIS IS THE LIST OF CARDS AND PRICES:

HONUS WAGNER 1909 COLGAN'S CHIPS $495.00,
PHIL RIZZUTO 1953 BOWMAN $195.00,
WHITEY FORD 1953 TOPPS ???
CLIFF BLANKENSHIP 1909 RAMLY T204 $995.00
AND AL KALINE 1955 TOPPS ROOKIE CARD $595.00

Also assisting in the segment: Heritage Auction Galleries (www.ha.com).