Farm Toys. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
Every year at the annual farm broadcasters’ convention one of the most prized items at the charity auction is a replica toy tractor. When my son was little we spent a good deal of time and money collecting certain toys. The farm toy market is a very aggressive and popular one with a long history according to Leslie McManus, editor of Farm Collector magazine.
McMANUS: The farm niche of toys in general was particularly slow to develop and it may have been just because the market was a harder sell for non-essential items but it was really into the 1920’s before farm toys began to appear in the mainstream market.
Prior to that most of the toys especially in the rural areas were made by hand and not manufactured. McManus says the market for farm toys is nostalgia driven.
McMANUS: The same as many collectibles it’s really the nostalgia. It’s a way for folks to get a real tangible recollection of things they grew up with. And for a lot of people collecting tractors is not possible. They either don’t have the funds or they don’t have the storage space or don’t have the knowhow but they can sure put a shelf up in the house and stack it up with tractors like those they grew up on the farm with.
McManus is talking about people who do collect full-size, real tractors and farm machinery. And the toys are very authentic today.
McMANUS: They’re just breathtakingly precise now, just tiny marvels that are stunningly scaled to the full sized tractor. The earliest toys were of course more primitive, a bit more crude, not as detailed, not as intricately painted but now of course with the modern technology available to the manufacturers they are just almost microscopically perfect.
Farm Collector magazine focuses more on the actual farm implements but McManus does touch on the topic from time to time. She says for those wanting more detailed information on collecting toys that there are other publications out there and one good place to start is with local toy shows.
McMANUS: Well there are farm toy shows in all parts of the country and certainly in northern climes there are many that held in the winter. The leading farm toy show in the country is probably at Dyersville, the Field of Dreams,
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.