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Collect the Colorful Characters from “Sesame Street”

Updated: 8 hours ago

Diverse, fuzzy, and oh-so-cute, the cast of Sesame Street characters that has graced our TV screens for over 50 years has left quite an impact on us all. Whether you have a favorite furry Sesame Street figurine from childhood or are witnessing your children fall in love with the delightful humor and catchy songs in the newest seasons, this educational children’s show isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With over five decades of content comes a wide assortment of vibrant, playful, and vintage Sesame Street collectibles to find at different antique mall locations.

The History of Sesame Street

Between learning the alphabet and teaching morals and kindness through song, both modern and vintage Sesame Street iterations are revered for accessible and fun education. But its origins were more radical and groundbreaking than one may think! 

The show premiered on November 10th, 1969, in a world fraught with civil rights movements and war protests, and PBS TV programmers were looking for a child-friendly way to keep young viewers informed and engaged. Using short skits, adorable songs, cartoon segments, celebrity appearances, and a zany bunch of Sesame Street characters, the show was an immediate hit with parents and kids everywhere. 

Collecting Sesame Street Figurines and Merchandise

If you’re wanting to start a collection rooted in nostalgia, Sesame Street figurines and merchandise are the perfect place to start. Whether you’re looking at antique malls in Indiana or a local yard sale, there’s a high chance you could stumble across vintage merchandise with iconic Sesame Street characters. From small, vintage statues of Elmo produced in the show’s early days to modern stuffed animals and home goods, Sesame Street collectibles feel playful, young, and reminiscent of youth. 

Who Designed the Sesame Street Characters?

Jim Henson, widely known for his Muppet characters, was the pioneer for the design of each Sesame Street character and the heart of the original television program. His creative mind (and voice, in some episodes) was put to work to create the original, diverse bunch of puppets. Sadly, Henson passed in 1990, but his legacy lives on as new Sesame Street characters are added to the original crew. 

The Original Sesame Street Characters

While the show is always expanding, these original Sesame Street characters are the stars of many of the vintage collectibles you may find:  

  • Elmo—famous for his high-pitched voice and bright red fur, Elmo is often considered the star of the show!

  • Cookie Monster—big, blue, fuzzy, and eternally hungry for more cookies; what’s not to love about Cookie Monster?

  • Big Bird—the tallest, brightest yellow bird of the bunch, Big Bird is a fan-favorite at an enormous 8’2”.

  • Oscar the Grouch—who’s that adorable yet perpetually grumpy green creature in the garbage can? Why, it’s Oscar the Grouch!

  • Grover—loveable, blue, and self-described as a “cute, furry little monster,” Grover is many people’s most-beloved character on the show.

  • Bert and Ernie—these roommates are almost always seen together, with Ernie's jokes and Bert’s practical attitude creating a fascinating duo.

  • The Count—Count von Count is a friendly, purple vampire monster obsessed with numbers (and the reason many of us learned how to count).

5 Popular Types of Sesame Street Collectibles

Browse five of the most popular types of modern and vintage Sesame Street merchandise to get your collection started:  

1. Vintage Sesame Street Figurines

Sesame Street figurines have been the most popular choice for collectors since the beginning of the show’s popularity. Figurines are easy to collect and store and even easier to display proudly around your home. 

Different popular toy and figurine brands, such as Diecast cars and Applause collectibles, created some of the earliest Sesame Street character collectibles—if you’re lucky, you can still find them! With a wide range of sizes, poses, and styles, figurines of each character can be found across different online sites and vendor booths worldwide. 

2. Vintage Sesame Street Physical Media

The original TV guides and VHS tapes of episodes are incredibly sought after by die-hard fans of the original programs. With adorable depictions of Sesame Street characters, holding the real, vintage media in their hands is a major attraction for this type of collection. Display the vintage Sesame Street tapes on a shelf for all to admire, or hang your TV guides in a poster frame to show off your love for this timeless show. 

3. Modern Sesame Street Funko Pops

If you’ve ever been curious about Funko Pop, you can invest in their more recently made Sesame Street figurines. With the signature oversized head, cute black button eyes, and the iconic colors and outfits the Sesame Street characters are known for, many collectors search for and sell the Funko Pop figurines. Keep them in the box for pristine condition, or take them out—the choice is yours. 

4. Vintage Sesame Street Home Goods

There are Sesame Street vintage home goods collectibles for every room of your home, from the kitchen to the bathroom and more. When you stop by an antique mall near Chicago, you can find all sorts of home décor options, including:

Cookie cutters


Hand towels


Bed sheets

5. Vintage Sesame Street Memorabilia

Sesame Street started as a children’s show—so there’s no shortage of vintage (and modern, too!) stuffed animals, T-shirts, Pez dispensers, and other memorabilia geared toward children. But there’s no age cap on collecting these items, and celebrating nostalgia with toys is a fun collection option! Search for cuddly creatures and retro clothing options at local flea markets and vendor malls. 

Are Sesame Street Figurines and Collectibles Valuable?

Like any collection, Sesame Street figurines and collectibles have a wide range of value, from a couple of bucks to thousands. When you start your collection, set a comfortable price point that works for you. From there, you can invest in the perfect Sesame Street character items for your collection—and maybe even learn how to sell vintage items in the future.

While Sesame Street may be fiction, our love for the unforgettable characters is real. Attend antique mall events to curate your collection of Sesame Street figurines and embrace timeless nostalgia with every item. 

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