Part of the fun of estate sales is taking that trip down memory lane with all those old estate sale finds! We love estate sales almost as much as we love picking on Millennials. (Just kidding…kind of). Check out this list we compiled of nostalgic estate sale finds you probably haven’t thought of in years.
1. Solidex VHS Rewinder
Before “Netflix and Chill,” there was “Be Kind. Rewind.” (It was a simpler time). There was nothing worse then settling down on a Friday night to watch the newest Blockbuster flick, only for it to start at the credits because some jerk forgot to rewind.
Forget Pokemon Go. Back in the day, there was Pong. Imagine all that excitement generated by a suspenseful round of two-dimensional table tennis.
3. Slide Viewer
Remember when the next-door neighbors would leave town and to thank you for house-sitting, they’d invite you over for “dinner” ? Only “dinner” turned out to be a front row seat to their three hour Vacation Slide Show? Thank goodness for Facebook’s Hide feature!
4. Cabbage Patch Kid
Before kale, there was cabbage. A baby-doll plucked from a garden and put on the black market might not go over well today. But, hey, it was the 80s. And Cabbage Patch Kids didn’t come cheap. Even a “preemie” could run you upwards of 100 bucks.
5. C.H.I.P.S Action Figure
Four words: Erik Estrada Action Figure. Um, yes please?
6. Commodore Computer
How else are you gonna play Oregon Trail?
7. Royal Doulton Toby Mugs
The 80s could get weird. Think Velcro, Crystal Lite and what I used to call “potable creepy heads” but are actually called Toby mugs. These guys peaked some time during the Cold War. Just like Precious Moments and collectors plates, they’re all over estate sales – but, sadly, not worth much in resale value.
8. Record Player
Back in the day, record players were used to play “albums.” You just can’t beat the sound of music playing on vinyl, something millennials don’t get with digital downloads.
9. Erector Set
Remember when building things didn’t involve a bunch of 1s and 0s? Back in the day, parents gave kids (boys) erector sets in the hopes they’d one day become MIT’s next engineer.
10. Rotary Phone
“Dial it up” isn’t just a figure of speech. In the old days a phone was used to make actual phone calls. While Millennials may think they have it good with their video/camera/flashlight digital swiss army knives, nothing is more fun than fat fingers fumbling through a rotary dial.
11. Card Catalogue Cabinet
Gather round, kids. Once upon a time, when you wanted to check out a book from the library, you had to search for the book’s ID card in one of these scary filing cabinets. Think of it as analog Google.
12. Kodak DIY Darkroom Kit
Before digital cameras, film was developed in a mysterious place called a “dark room.” To inspire future shutterbugs, Kodak put out this DIY darkroom kit.
13. Polaroid Camera
Polaroids were the biggest thing to happen to photography before iPhones and selfies. No one knew how Polaroids worked and no one cared. Nothing was more exciting (and terrifying) than waiting for that cloudy photo to clear up. And yes, shaking it sped up the process.
Perhaps *the* fashion accessory of the 80s and 90s, there wasn’t much you couldn’t do with a scrunchie. They came in all colors and fabrics making it easy to pack on as much flair as a TGIFridays server. They made pretty good wrist accessories too.
15. Sony Walkman
High tops? Check. OP shirt with the collar popped? Check. Sony Walkman loaded up with the latest Van Halen tape? Check and check. It didn’t get much cooler than having your own personal stereo to bop around to. Bonus points for not having to hear your parents yelling to do chores.
16. Portable TV
Battery-operated TVs with a built-in handle you could carry around like a cooler? Genius! These mini TVs worked best in a fort you built yourself, because what else were you supposed to do when you got bored?
17. Ward’s Catalog
Before online shopping was a thing, people ordered from the Ward’s catalog. It pretty much revolutionized commerce, bringing clothes and appliances to the suburbs by way of the mail order catalog. Ward’s still exists today…online.
18. Vintage Massage Roller
Keep your CrossFit. In the days of yore, these machines were found in gyms everywhere for people who preferred a fat rolling massage to cardio. Because the best kind of exercise is the kind you can do sitting down.
19. Robie Junior Toy Robot
Back when Radio Shack was relevant, they got into the toy robot game. Robie Jr. was operated by a remote control and gave 80s kids everywhere the thrill of having their very own R2D2 to pal around with.
What are your favorite nostalgic estate sale finds to come across? Let us know in the comments below or share a photo!