Looking For The Original Transformers For Sale?
Here's how to find the classic Autobots and Decepticons from the vintage 1980s lineup:
Autobots, roll out!
While the rally call of Autobot leader Optimus Prime set the tone of an entire generation of toys and cartoons in the middle and late 1980s, finding the original "G1" toys of him and his pals - and his enemies - has become increasingly difficult. That's probably because the collector rate of these toys has shot up dramatically since Michael Bay began producing Transformer movies in the late 2000s, but also because the kids who grew up watching these cartoons have increasingly wanted to collect the toys that dominated their childhood play times.
Regardless of if you're a collector of retro toys, an investor, buying them as gifts or simply someone who wants the toys for nastalgic reasons, you've probably noticed that the classic transformers are becoming harder and harder to find. While it seemed like Hasbro was pumping a never-ending supply of toys into the market during the successful run of the original cartoon, they eventually phased them out for subsequent generations of toys and cartoon series when they felt the market was ready for a shift. And at the time, it probably was. But like any cult classic, the popularity often comes surging back long after the "run" is long over.
By now you're probably thinking to yourself: I don't want a history lesson, I want to know...
Where To Buy Old Transformer Toys
Finding these classics isn't easy, but it's not necessarily hard, either. Obviously you can't walk into a toystore and find them scattered amongst the new transformer toys, so you're going to need to do a little searching. But thanks to the Internet, this is easier than ever. Of course the downside is that it's becoming harder to find people unaware of the value of their toys, because they can easily see how much they sell for online. That's not to say that you can't still find a deal, but you'll probably need to look pretty hard.
But I'll give you a few suggestions, both online (which makes it very easy) and offline.
First, let's look at some offline places. The advantage here is that some of these places might not know that these toys can easily sell for more than $100, so you might be able to pick them up for a song.
Thrift Shops. You'd be surprised at what turns up at these "used" stores. Most people simply bag up all their old stuff and drop it off for a tax donation without ever really researching the value of what they have. I've seen several vintage transformers show up on thrift store shelves, often selling for as little as one dollar! If you live in an area with a Salvation Army, Youth Ranch, Deseret Industries or similar shop, definitely check it out.
Garage Sales. Like Thrift Shops, sometimes people just want to get rid of their junk, and don't take the time to find out what it's worth. This is to your advantage! A friend of mine bought a G1 Optimus Prime with the trailer for $3 at a local garage sale, and even had the people throw in a couple of lesser-known transformer toys as well. You can usually even haggle prices, if you're into negotiating even better deals.
Pawn Shops. I'm hesitant to mention this because most pawn shops are relatively savvy and know the value of everything that enters their door. That said, you might be able to find some improperly priced toys thanks to unfocused employees.
Collector Shows. The odds of finding a good deal at a show are next to nill, but if price is no object than this is your best bet. Many cities have collector shows from time to time, and many of the people who bring in their prized possessions are willing to part with them for the right price. So if you've had your heart set on a particular old Transformer and haven't been able to find it, this might be your best option.
Buy Old Transformer Toys Online
Now let's examine some of the most popular places to find old 80's Transformers on the Internet.
Amazon. I love Amazon, it has everything! And now that the company allows third-party vendors to sell through the Amazon system, the selection has gotten even bigger - but it's still backed by Amazon's guarantees, so you can shop with confidence (more so than some of the other online retailers, that's for sure). You can Check Out The G1 Transformers On Amazon and see what they've got. I've found some incredible deals on old Transformers this way, and highly recommend it as the "first stop" for anyone looking to buy one of these retro toys.
Ebay. Some say the days of finding diamonds in the rough on eBay are long over, and I'd agree to a certain extent. Gone are the days when people would simply list their junk for basement bottom prices, because the site seems dominated by professional buyers/sellers who are well aware of what they have and the value of such items. I used to find classic transformer toys for sale at very low prices here, but now it usually costs more than Amazon. The upside is that there is always a huge supply, so you should be able to find what you want, just be prepared to bid against retro collectors with very deep pockets.
Boutique Shops. Some collectors run their own buying/selling operations either out of their home or even warehouses, and are constantly hunting for low-priced old transformer toys so they can turn around and sell them for a profit on their own websites. The prices are usually on the high side, so be prepared (also know that these are the kind of people you'll be bidding against on eBay). With a little web searching you should be able to find them - I'm hesitant to list them here simply because I don't want people to think I'm affiliated with any private seller.
Original Transformers Are Awesome!
Obviously, I'm a fan of these old toys, and I'm guess that if you've read this far, you are, too. And now that you know my "secrets" for finding these, you should be able to find the old transformer toys for sale that you've been wanting - good luck!