Nowadays, children seem to want electronic gadgets, but I was perfectly happy with simple Matchbox cars and action figures. I would spend hours imagining stories. Any little object became a prop in my fictional adventures. A coffee table top or a sofa pillow became my landscape.
I would toss my toys against walls, smash them up against rocks, bash them to a pulp -- all in the service of whichever story was in my mind that day -- until they were worn out beyond recognition, but I would never throw them away (much to my Mom's dismay). See-Threepio from Star Wars lost his golden luster, and Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica lost his arms, but those disfigurements just became part of the storyline for my epic tales.
Those simple little toys sparked my creativity. When one of my sisters painted my blue Mustang Matchbox car with bright red nailpolish, sure I was angry. But then I just scraped off the paint, and the original blue color with it, and the car became my new favorite metallic gray vehicle of choice.
Some people collect toys and never take them out of their packaging, treating them like valuable investments. I saw a different kind of value and played with my toys until they were so beaten up people would have mistaken them for fragmented junk.
But I loved those toys and would not have traded them for a bunch of brand new shiny gizmos with flashing lights and super sound effects. Sometimes, it's the simple toys that kids cherish the most and in many ways that makes them more valuable than any mint-condition collectible could ever be.