It started out innocently enough. My mom pulled a Playskool puzzle out of storage and showed it to my son. She taught him how the puzzle fit together, and within a day or two, he figured out where most of the pieces belonged.
He was sixteen months old at the time, though the recommended age is three to six. He needed help to complete the puzzle the first few times, but he was dumping out the pieces and putting them back in their respective places in no time.
After playing with that Playskool puzzle, his early Melissa and Doug puzzles no longer amused him. Matching the shapes, animals, letters, and numbers wasn’t a challenge. He still enjoys putting his old puzzles together, but he prefers puzzles with lots of pieces or various puzzles in one box like Who Am I.
Unlike a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces look relatively similar in shape and size, the shape of each Playskool puzzle is unique. As a result, it’s much easier to figure out how to rotate the pieces to fit on the board.
I’ve fallen in love with these old puzzles from the 1970s and scoured the Internet in search of a few that my son might like. If you search for vintage Playskool puzzles, you’ll find pages of results.
I decided to buy my son a couple. Yes, I know I just posted about buying only one gift for my son’s birthday. I thought about asking the relatives to buy some for his birthday, but I had a feeling they would have trouble finding ones that met my requirements.
I searched for vintage wooden puzzles containing at least ten pieces with cute and colorful designs. You have to look carefully at these auctions as some puzzles are in bad shape after 30+ years. Since these are second-hand, I also didn’t want to spend a fortune on them.
The Value of Old Playskool Wooden Puzzles
The value of old Playskool wooden puzzles varies, but most only sell for a few dollars on eBay and other online auction sites. The average price falls between $4 to $10.
After watching several different auctions, I realized I could get more bang for my buck if I bought several puzzles all at once. Unfortunately, the puzzles are heavy, and shipping costs can add up quickly.
I ultimately won eight puzzles in one auction and purchased three others as buy-it-now options. The three individual puzzles were all ordered from the same seller, and I asked for combined shipping.
Honestly, I overpaid for the three different puzzles. I purchased the three puzzles one night and then won an auction two night’s later for the other eight.
If I had known I’d win the second auction; I surely wouldn’t have purchased the first three. But, eh, live and learn. In total, I paid roughly $45 for all eleven, which included the cost of shipping.
Playskool Wooden Puzzle’s Value
All told, that amounts to just over $4 per puzzle, which beats almost any price I could find in-store or online. $45 seems like a ton of money to spend on used puzzles, but hopefully, my son will get a lot of use for them, and when he’s finished, I can always try reselling them on eBay.
I don’t regret buying them, but when I completed the PayPal checkout, I was shocked by the final tally. $4 per puzzle seems like a great price, but $45 for used puzzles seems like a lot of money.
One thing to note: A Playskool wooden puzzle’s value depends primarily on its age and condition. These are very old puzzles, and many of them are chipped or damaged. Look closely at any auctions if you plan to bid and ask for close-up photographs if you aren’t sure of an item’s condition.
Playskool Wooden Puzzles Lead Paint
Why does the condition matter so much? Because many vintage Playskool puzzles contain lead paint. If your child is actively chewing on toys, you should refrain from using any toy that has lead paint or materials.
Even if your child is not biting on things, you must decide whether playing with these toys is worth the risk. If you choose to give them to your child, make sure the toys are in good condition without flaking or chipping lead paint.
If you are uncertain or concerned, lead test kits are available for testing.