The 10 Most Expensive Toys of All Time and Why


The-10-Most-Expensive-Toys-of-All-Time

Once upon a time, the concept of “the most expensive toy in the world” didn’t exist.

Toys as we understand them didn’t even come to exist until the Victorian era! Before the 1830s, children were not considered fully-realized people with developmental needs, so products were not made just for them. It wasn’t until society began to value childhood that companies and artisans began crafting objects intended for play.

Today, toys are at the center of a multi-billion dollar industry. While the toy store is a dying concept, online shopping has made it even easier to shop for the world’s most enticing playthings. Little children who open toys on YouTube can become overnight millionaires.

Now toys are just as likely as anything to become high-end luxury items with exorbitant price tags. How else would those kindergarten millionaires spend their social media money? Many factors go into determining a product’s price tag, from rarity to materials to scale.

Here are the Top 10 Most Expensive Toys in the World:

  1. Jeff Koons’ Rabbit
  2. The Astolat Dollhouse Castle
  3. The Gold Lamborghini Aventador Model Car
  4. L’Oiseleur Automated Doll
  5. Madame Alexander Eloise Doll
  6. Shimansky Soccer Ball
  7. The Masterpiece Cube Rubik’s Cube
  8. The Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear
  9. The Sidney Mobell Golden Monopoly Game
  10. Ginza Tanaka Gold Rocking Horse

10. Ginza Tanaka Gold Rocking Horse – $600,000

Ginza-Tanaka-Gold-Rocking-Horse
photo source: Times Live

The tenth most expensive toy in the world is the Ginza Tanaka Gold Rocking Horse. Tanaka constructed the 80-pound toy from 24-carat gold. It was a gift to celebrate the birth of Japanese Prince Hisahito in 2006.

Why It’s Expensive

The materials alone make this hefty horsey an expensive buy! The master jeweler made the original royal horse himself. Tanaka used valuable, precious 24-carat gold to cast the piece rather than plating it.

While the horse’s royal status didn’t attract attention, this toy found its way to the spotlight when American pop culture royals Jay-Z and Beyonce acquired one. The horse was a gift for their daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, in 2012.

The toy is certainly rare and might even be bespoke. It’s unclear if more than two such rocking horses exist in the world. This exclusivity adds to the toy’s inherent allure.

9. The Sidney Mobell Golden Monopoly Game – $2 Million

The-Sidney-Mobell-Golden-Monopoly-Game
photo source: InsideHook

The ninth most expensive toy in the world is the Sidney Mobell Golden Monopoly game. This 18-carat gold gameboard is the costliest iteration of the board game at $2 million. Sidney Mobell hand-crafted each piece to include as much gold as possible.

Why It’s Expensive

Monopoly is a board game all about striking it rich by gambling, investing, and taking advantage of opportunities. You would have to be pretty skilled at these tasks if you hoped to own the most expensive Monopoly game in the world! Unfortunately for those real-life Monopoly masters, the piece belongs to the Smithsonian museum and is not for sale.

The game itself features a 23-carat gold-plated game board, 18-carat gold game pieces, and two golden dice. Mobell created the dots on each die using full-cut diamonds. The dice alone are worth $10,000!

Each property on the gameboard gets its color from rare, brilliantly colored gemstones. There are a total of 165 precious gems on the gameboard.

Best of all, the game is fully playable! Be careful not to misplace a single, priceless piece! Even the cards and money are gold!

8. The Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy Bear – $2.1 Million

The-Steiff-Louis-Vuitton-Teddy-Bear
photo source: Luxury Topics

The eigth most expensive toy in the world is the Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy bear, which sold at auction for $2.1 million in 2000. Steiff is the brand behind some of the world’s highest-end luxury Teddy Bears. Louis Vuitton is one of the most iconic luxury fashion houses on earth.

Why It’s Expensive

The Steiff Louis Vuitton Teddy bear holds the world record for the Most Expensive Teddy bear. The Steiff company already had a reputation for using the highest-quality materials to craft heirloom quality teddy bears and stuffed animals. When they paired up with the international fashion brand to outfit this teddy, it was a lucrative combination.

The little bear wears an authentic Louis Vuitton coat and hat and carries miniature Louis Vuitton luggage. Precious details include gold, diamonds, and sapphires. You can visit this classy bear at the Jeju Island Teddy Bear Museum in South Korea.

7. The Masterpiece Cube Rubik’s Cube – $2.5 Million

The-Masterpiece-Cube-Rubik’s-Cube
photo source: One Million Pound

The seventh most expensive toy in the world is the Masterpiece Cube Rubik’s Cube, a $2.5 million functional Rubik’s cube covered in precious gemstones. The artist crafted the piece to celebrate the puzzle’s 15th anniversary.

Why It’s Expensive

A standard Rubik’s cube is a six-sided puzzle made up of multicolored squares. The goal is to arrange the squares so that each face of the cube displays squares of the same color. On a normal, store-bought Rubik’s cube, the squares get their color from adhesive paper stickers.

The Masterpiece Cube gets its color from 185-carats worth of precious colored gemstones set into an 18-carat gold face. The colored squares include ultrarare rubies, emeralds, and amethysts. The materials alone lend the upscale puzzle immense material value.

6. Shimansky Soccer Ball – $2.59 Million

Shimansky-Soccer-Ball
photo source: LuxuryLaunches

The sixth most expensive toy in the world is the Shimansky Soccer Ball, a diamond-encrusted soccer ball. The South African jeweler Yair Shimansky created the piece to commemorate the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Why It’s Expensive

The Shimansky Soccer Ball is completely covered in 3500-carats worth of South African gem-quality diamonds. In total, it contains 6620 white diamonds and 2640 black diamonds. The precious gems themselves lend exorbitant value to the ball, which is a work of art.

It took the master jeweler over three months to place each individual diamond. The World Cup was held in South Africa that year, and Shimansky hoped that the marvel would draw spectators to his shops. He auctioned off several replicas of the ball, with those proceeds going to charity.

5. Madame Alexander Eloise Doll – $5 Million

Madame-Alexander-Eloise-Doll
photo source: Pinterest

The fifth most expensive toy in the world is the Madame Alexander Eloise Doll, a limited edition collectible valued at $5 million. The company created the special edition doll for an exclusive charity auction in 2000. Only five models were ever made, making the dolls toys worth collecting.

Why It’s Expensive

The Madame Alexander company has been crafting one-of-a-kind doe-eyed dolls since 1923. Ironically, one of Madame Alexander’s goals for the company was to create dolls that weren’t delicate like porcelain. She wanted girls to be able to play with her creations.

The Eloise doll is an exception to that mission. The doll was a collaboration between many of the world’s highest-end designers. Collaborators include Christian Dior, Katherine Baumann, and Oscar de la Renta.

A host of diamonds and Swarovski crystals cover the doll from head to toe. Her outfit consists of real fur. These precious materials themselves add to the toy’s value.

4. L’Oiseleur Automated Doll – $6.25 Million

LOiseleur-Automated-Doll
photo source: Oak Tree Dolls House Miniatures

The fourth most expensive toy in the world is the L’Oiseleur Automated doll, a $6.25 million doll that holds the record for the most expensive doll on earth. “L’Oiseleur” means “The Bird Trainer.” The doll is a contemporary automaton inspired by early feats of robotics from the 19th century.

Why It’s Expensive

While you may have heard of old toys worth millions, new toys inspired by old toys can fetch an even higher price! This four-foot-tall automaton contains 2,340 individual moving parts. It took designer Christian Bailly 15,000 hours to engineer the toy to move autonomously without the aid of any motors or batteries.

When you wind a key, the doll comes to life, playing a melody on the flute. The detail extends to the doll’s fingers, which move blithely over the instrument. As he plays, a series of carefully crafted birds come to life.

The materials Bailly used are of the highest quality. The automaton’s base includes priceless jade and mother-of-pearl. The materials alone cost the toymaker well over $400,000.

3. The Gold Lamborghini Aventador Model Car – $7.5 Million

The-Gold-Lamborghini-Aventador-Model-Car
photo source: CNBC

The third most expensive toy in the world is the gold Lamborghini Aventador model car. Robert Gülpen designed this model car in an attempt to craft one of the most valuable toys on earth. He succeeded when the model sold at auction for $7.5 million in 2013.

Why It’s Expensive

A 2022 Lamborghini Aventador will cost you just over $500,000. You could own fifteen full-sized, functional Lamborghinis for the price of this toy! It’s probably because the model has a precious gold exterior studded with hundreds of gem-quality diamonds and precious stones.

Gülpen, the toy’s creator, is an engineer by profession and crafted the toy at a perfect 1/8th scale. From start to finish, it took him 500 solid hours to create one of the most expensive toys ever sold. The price was also higher than it might have been ordinarily because Gülpen donated some of the proceeds to charity.

2. The Astolat Dollhouse Castle – $8.5 Million

The-Astolat-Dollhouse-Castle
photo source: Wikimedia Commons

The second most expensive toy in the world is the Astolat Dollhouse Castle, an $8.5 million luxury dollhouse considered the second rarest toy on earth. World-famous miniaturist Elaine Diehl crafted the artisanal toy over thirteen years. The dollhouse gets its name from the Lady of Shallot, a figure in a famous Alfred Lord Tennyson poem.

Why It’s Expensive

The Astolat Dollhouse Castle belongs to collector L. Freeman and is currently housed at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Long Island, New York. For comparison, the median home price for homes in Nassau County is $600,000. You could theoretically own fourteen Long Island homes for the price of this dollhouse.

The piece is expensive because it’s a handcrafted, bespoke piece of art. The 29-room miniature mansion has 100,000 individually crafted pieces. Everything in the dollhouse, from the pool to the library, is to scale, making it a remarkable feat of mathematics, artistry, and engineering that you must see to believe.

When all of the pieces are in place, the dollhouse weighs 890 pounds. Even so, its generous owner doesn’t mind moving it from place to place on occasion. If you want to see it yourself, you’ll need to attend a special event and make a donation to a children’s charity.

1. Jeff Koons’ Rabbit – $91.1 Million

Jeff-Koons'-Rabbit
photo source: Christie’s

The most expensive toy in the world is Jeff Koons’ iconic art toy, Rabbit, which sold at auction for $91.1 million. This “balloon that isn’t a balloon” is the holy grail among art collectors and toy lovers alike. Only three such art toys exist on earth, not counting the artist’s proof.

Why It’s Expensive

Jeff Koons is not a pedestrian toy designer, but a highly revered fine artist whose work is on display in some of the most famous contemporary art museums on the planet. Another version of this very sculpture is in the permanent collection at the Ashmolean Museum! What sets this piece apart is its inherent child-like quality, which encourages playfulness in ways that even “real” toys cannot.

The piece sparked the imagination to such an extent that designers transformed it into a giant balloon in the 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! The actual art toy is three and a half feet high and made entirely of steel. Part of the piece’s appeal to collectors is its originality—what other works of fine art would fit in seamlessly with the Snoopy float?

Ultimately, the art toy might be expensive because it’s an investment. Jeff Koons may be a living artist today, but he’s 67 years old. One day he might pass away, and this cheerful toy will gain value even beyond those incredible eight figures!

While this toy can’t necessarily “do” anything, there is no doubt that it’s a rich collector’s plaything!

The Most Expensive Toy in the World

There was a time before human beings valued toys. We’ve come a long way from Victorian-era wooden models slathered in layers of lead paint! While most adults have a cherished toy that they consider priceless, the most expensive toy goes above and beyond!

Learning about the most expensive objects on earth isn’t child’s play! Why not explore the rest of the blog and become an expert on all things luxury? If you like cool expensive toys, start with this post about the reasons why Switch games are so expensive.

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

Recent Posts