Your favorite toys and items from your childhood may be sitting in an attic or buried in a storage unit. Many little boys collected Matchbox cars, action figures, and baseball cards. Girls often had elaborate collections of Barbie dolls, her friends, and their clothing and furniture. If you loved those things and still enjoy having them, bring them out and show them off.

Baseball Cards

Your baseball cards may be of value only to you or you may have a treasure that could bring you a lot of cash. For the cards that you’re especially proud of, frame them. You can create a framed array of cards in a simple portrait gallery or a shadow box to show off the ones that bring forth the best memories.


To show off your Barbie collection, you will likely need a display cabinet and stands to keep the dolls upright. In addition to displaying the dolls, consider creating a display around each doll with a couple of changes of clothes. The Barbie carrying cases of old that could fold out into a wardrobe would be an ideal option for showing off the workmanship of Barbie garments.

Lunch Boxes

The old tin lunch boxes and beverage containers of years past can be shown to great effect in your kitchen and dining area. Just pick a high shelf or space on top of a cupboard to show off these interesting items. Collectible lunchboxes have vintage cartoon characters, movie stars, or bands that are likely to spark conversation. If you notice any corrosion on the lunch box that could mar the art, carefully clean it with a bit of fine steel wool and coat the rust patch with a little Vaseline to stop the spread of rust.

Sports Gear

Whether you have a large collection or just a few pieces that you used yourself, showing off sports gear is popular and a great conversation starter. A quality shadow box with a mounting board at the back would be a great spot for your old baseball glove, a ball, and a baseball cap. If you were a skater, consider getting one skate bronzed for perpetuity. If you have awards from your own activities, they may be good to display with your equipment.

PEZ Dispensers

Maybe you just like the candy when you were a kid, or maybe your liked the creative dispensers. Either way, if you’ve got a handful of these still stored away, you could have a treasure trove. These joyful pieces may now be worth some money, or they might just be fun to show off. You can create very shallow shelving in a small place in your home and mount these items with foam tape adhesive. Consider painting the back of the shelving white so the bright colors on these little gems really shine.

Just because you don’t use it or play with it anymore doesn’t mean you don’t still enjoy owning it. Show off your treasured childhood collections. If there were items that you always wanted but never seemed to get, buy one now and display it. You’ve earned it.