Micro Machines hold a special place in the hearts of many who grew up in the 80s and 90s. These characterful miniature toy cars, also called Galoob Micro Machines, were manufactured by the company Galoob between 1987 and 1999.
These detailed little cars are sought after by collectors today in part for their high cultural value. While Micro Machines may not have the enduring popularity of Hot Wheels, there’s still a keen interest in this toy car series which is likely to increase as time goes on, making these items desirable vintage collectibles. While most models fetch somewhere between $20 to $50, some playsets such as those within the Star Wars collection can reach hundreds of dollars. The most rare and valuable items on our list today are the European packs which can sell for thousands of dollars!
Individual Micro Machine toy cars are, as the name suggests, pretty small! This makes them easy to lose and hence increases their rarity and, oftentimes, value. Complete sets of Micro Machines in mint condition, and those in their original packaging can generate a high value on the market.
Today, we’ll take a look at what Micro Machines are, how to identify these miniature cars, and a list of the top 10 rarest and most valuable Micro Machines today. We have also assembled a buying and selling guide to help you with forming a collection of your own or selling your collection to those who will appreciate them.
Rare Micro Machines: Round-Up List
The rarest and most valuable Micro Machines we will be featuring today along with their average values and some auction records include:
- Micro Machines European Pack: $50-100 (auction record $2,131)
- Micro Machines Stock Car SuperStars: $20-$50 (auction record $880)
- Micro Machines Star Wars Millenium Falcon Playset: $50-$100
- Micro Machines Auto Transporter and Boat Show Hauler Semi Trucks (auction record $750)
- Micro Machines Star Wars Ep. I Theed Palace Assault Playset: $50-$100
- Micro Machines Star Wars Epic Collection Dark Force Rising: $50-$100 (auction record $545)
- Micro Machines Star Trek Limited Collector’s Edition: $50-100 (auction record $118)
- Micro Machines Space Shuttle and Launch Pad Set (auction record $500)
Micro Machines: Background
First, a little bit of history to get us started. Galoob, a company which is perhaps best known for the creation of the Game Genie, created the first Micro Machines in 1987. The first 11 collections included several classic models which were released only in the USA such as hot rods, boats and fire trucks. Production picked up as the years went on, and the later models were also introduced to the European market.
They gained popularity quickly and were particularly desirable for their high level of detail, ease of collection, and the satisfaction of display. A great range of individual cars were on offer, everything from bikes, trains, buses and aircraft to police, military and construction vehicles. Playsets featuring real-world locations and situations were particularly popular, such as gas stations and airports.
Galoob finished manufacturing Micro Machines in 1999 when Hasbro purchased the company. A waning interest in Micro Machines was blamed on the “overly cute” direction the models began to follow, featuring for example extravagent paint jobs, alligators and charks.
Building on the success of these multi-part playsets, Hasbro began to release themed playsets based on movies and TV shows including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Spider-man and The A-Team. Some of their Speciality Series included Color Changers, Galaxy Voyagers, and Silver Limited Editions sets. However, the original Galoob products with their iconic logo are the most valuable amongst collectors today.
How To Identify Micro Machines
Positively identifying a genuine Micro Machine is an easy task and can be done in a couple of steps:
1. Galoob logo
The iconic, red Galoob logo was always prominently displayed on the packaging and on the cars themselves. Quite simply, if you can’t find the logo, you don’t have a genuine Galoob micro machine.
Micro Machines cars and playsets are generally quite small, with most cars measuring between 1 and 2 inches in length. However, this is not a hard and fast rule as some of the Speciality Series featured larger models.
Another way to identify Micro Machines is to look for the level of detail on the toys. Many Micro Machines sets and cars feature a high level of detail, including intricate paint jobs and small moving parts.
4. Find the model
Take a look at the online database the Micro Machines Museum for a complete list and gallery of all cars and sets released by Galoob. Compare your Micro Machine car or set to the images displayed here for easy positive identification. You can also purchase a guide book such as the Micro But Many: An Unofficial Micro Machines Collection book – find out more here.
Top 8 Rarest Micro Machines (Average Value & Auction Record)
Now the bit we’ve all be waiting for – the most rare and hence most valuable Micro Machines in nor particular order. Please note that values are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change according to supply and demand and market fluctuations. Value can vary greatly due to condition, rarity and age – but a good general rule is the better condition, rarer, and older models will be the most valuable.
1. Micro Machines European Pack
Galoob Micro Machines European Packs were a line of Micro Machines sets that were released exclusively in Europe around the early 90s. They featured a variety of European-themed sets, such as a European cityscape, a European police station, and a European airport. These sets were highly sought after by collectors due to their unique themes and the fact that they were only available in Europe.
The average value of Galoob Micro Machines European Packs can vary depending on the specific set and its condition. Some of the more popular sets, such as the European cityscape and the European police station, can fetch prices of around $50 to $100 in good condition. In general, these sets are considered to be more valuable than the US released Micro Machines sets.
European pack in original sealed boxes are incredibly rare – this double European pack from 1990 sold for $2,131 in December 2022!
2. Micro Machines Stock Car SuperStars
Micro Machines Stock Car SuperStars were a line of Micro Machines sets that were released in the 1990s and featured miniature versions of popular NASCAR race cars and tracks. These sets were popular among fans of NASCAR and Micro Machines, and they featured detailed replicas of cars driven by NASCAR legends such as Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and Bill Elliott.
The average value of Micro Machines Stock Car SuperStars can vary depending on the specific set and its condition. Some of the more popular sets, such as the Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Gordon sets, can fetch prices of around $20 to $50 in good condition. The value of these sets can be affected by the year of release, packaging and the rarity of the set.
3. Star Wars Micro Machines Millennium Falcon Playset
This playset was released in the 1990s as part of the Star Wars Micro Machines toy line. The playset featured a miniature replica of the iconic Millennium Falcon spaceship from the Star Wars franchise, along with various mini figures and accessories. The playset was popular among both Star Wars and Micro Machines fans, and it was highly sought after for its detailed design and accurate representation of the Millennium Falcon.
The average value of the Star Wars Micro Machines Millennium Falcon Playset can vary depending on the condition of the set, as well as the specific variant. In general, these playsets are considered to be more valuable than the other Micro Machines sets. In good condition, the set can fetch prices of around $50 to $100. This mint condition set fetched around $80 in November 2022.
4. Micro Machines Auto Transporter And Boat Show Hauler Semi Trucks
The Micro Machines Auto Transporter And Boat Show Hauler Semi Trucks set featured a semi-truck that could transform into an auto transporter and boat hauler. The semi-truck was equipped with a detachable trailer that could be used to transport cars and boats. The set also included various mini vehicles and accessories that could be loaded onto the trailer.
The average value of Micro Machines Auto Transporter And Boat Show Hauler Semi Trucks can vary depending on the condition of the set. In general, these sets are considered to be relatively common, so they may not be as valuable as some of the more rare Micro Machines sets. However, this brand new sealed set sold for an impressive $750 in November 2022!
5. Star Wars Micro Machines Episode I Theed Palace Assault Playset
Another rare playset in the Star Wars playset series, the Episode I Theed Palace Assault Playset. The set was released in 1999 to coincide with the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. The playset featured a miniature replica of Theed Palace, which was the main location in the movie where the epic final battle took place. The playset also included various mini figures and accessories based on characters and vehicles from the movie.
The average value of the Star Wars Micro Machines Episode I Theed Palace Assault Playset can vary depending on the condition of the set. In general, these playsets are considered to be more valuable than the other Micro Machines sets due to their relation to the Star Wars franchise. In good condition, the set can fetch prices of around $50 to $100. This brand new playset sold for around $77 in November 2022.
6. Star Wars Micro Machines Epic Collection Dark Force Rising
Another Star Wars collection is based on the Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy, which is a series of novels written by Timothy Zahn, which takes place in the Star Wars expanded universe, and it includes several playsets based on locations and vehicles from the novels, such as the Star Destroyer, the Millennium Falcon, and others.
The average price of Micro Machines Star Wars Epic Collection Dark Force Rising can vary depending on the condition of the set, as well as the specific playset. In good condition, the set can fetch prices of around $50 to $100. However, this boxed set fetched $545 in January 2023!
7. Star Trek Limited Collector’s Edition Micro Machines
These playsets were a line of Micro Machines playsets that were released in the 1990s as part of the Micro Machines Star Trek toy line. This collection was released to coincide with the Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and includes several playsets based on locations and vehicles from the series, such as the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D, the U.S.S. Reliant. Each playset includes various mini figures and accessories based on characters and vehicles from the TV series.
The average value of Star Trek Limited Collector’s Edition Micro Machines can vary depending on the condition of the set, as well as the specific playset. In general, these playsets are considered to be more valuable than the other Micro Machines sets due to their relation to the Star Trek franchise. In good condition, the set can fetch prices of around $50 to $100. These 1994 Star Trek Limited Collector’s Edition Micro Machines sets sold for $118 in December 2022.
8. Micro Machines Space Shuttle and Launch Pad Set
The Galoob Micro Machines NASA Space Shuttle and Launch Pad Set features a shuttle and rocket boosters, 3 astronauts, a Boeing 747 plane, a tanker truck, a lunar capsule, lunar module and lunar rover. It was released in 1989 and is widely considered to be one of the rarest and most valuable Micro Machines, with average values reaching up to $500.
Micro Machines: Buying & Selling Guide
When buying Micro Machines, it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for. Make sure you have a good understanding of the different types of sets and individual cars that were produced during the original run of the line. Also bear in mind the condition of the items you’re interested in buying – look for items that are in good condition, ideally with the original packaging.
Once you know exactly which car or set you would like, search through online platforms like eBay, Amazon, Etsy or other specialised vintage toy selling forums to get a gauge for the value of your Micro Machines. Go for listings with plenty of details and images, and a reputable seller. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller for more information if you are interested in buying.
When selling Micro Machines, it’s important to be honest about the condition of the items you’re selling. This includes providing detailed descriptions of any damage or wear, as well as providing close-up photos of the items. Price your items competitively, taking into account the current market values.
We recommend the following sites for buying or selling Micro Machines:
- The Micro Machines section of eBay – here you can filter listings by year, vehicle type, condition, and more.
- Search for Rare Micro Machines on Etsy – a whole host of private sellers are assembled here to sell their cool and unusual vintage items.
- The Vintage Micro Machines page of Collector’s Weekly – here you can keep an eye on the current Micro Machines listings and read about other people’s impressive collections to get inspiration.