Toy collecting can become somewhat of an addictive hobby and with the right collection it is a hobby with the potential to be a lucrative one too!
This market has taken off in such a way in recent years that a number of serious collectors have been able to put together collections of a significant value as a future investment.
This hobby suits anyone with a real passion for toys, (age is no restriction!) or anyone who loves antiques. Toy collecting can be great fun for nostalgic adults and can be an incredibly appealing and rewarding hobby for youngsters of all ages too! Some people collect for their own satisfaction and enjoyment whilst others focus on collecting for profit.
WHAT TO COLLECT?
Choose a category of toy that appeals to you and gives you pleasure, after all toys are meant to be enjoyed, right!?
Collectable toys don’t necessarily have to be old or vintage in order to have value and you will find that toys that are as little as twenty years old can be desirable enough to be worth a bit of money now.
Examples of popular collectable toys include;
- ACTION FIGURES – Superheroes like Superman, Batman and Spiderman, G.I Joe and Marvel figures, figures from Star Wars, The A Team and Transformers, all have great appeal to collectors and prices have a tendency to peak when new films are released.
- WOODEN TOYS – Rocking horses, spinning tops, wooden train sets and all the popular old classics have a timeless appeal to a broad audience.
- VINTAGE TIN TOYS – Japanese tin windups, cars, buses, aircraft and motorcycles, Marx trucks and cars and high quality early German tin toys are popular items to collect.
- DIE CAST – Model trucks and cars are another popular classic with great staying power in the collectable toy market.
- DOLLS – Vintage dolls, dolls houses and accessories, good examples of Antique French and English miniatures can command some impressive prices in the right condition!
TIP TOP CONDITION
Generally speaking, the toys that have the most value are:
- IN MINT CONDITION
- POPULAR THEN AND DESIRABLE NOW!
Generally the better the condition the more the toy will be worth. It is always worth hanging onto packaging regardless of its condition as it is desirable to collectors and holds a great deal of useful information too.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR TOY COLLECTION
It is important to keep your toy collection clean to keep it in shape but overzealous cleaning can damage fragile packaging and delicate finishes, so it is important to take care, or you may do more harm than good.
Sunlight, humidity and extreme temperatures can destroy and discolour toys and packaging so take care to consider your storage options for your toy collection carefully.
Although attics are exactly the type of place where collectible toys lay forgotten for decades, this is often not the best place to store valuable items due to the usual fluctuation in temperature and humidity.
THE EXTRA MILE
The internet has opened up the market and made it far easier for collectors to ‘go the extra mile’ to find the toys they are hunting for and access useful information.
Toy collector forums are a great place to interact with fellow collectors and share information and online businesses and auctions enable you to collect toys from anywhere in the world without even touching your passport!
Closer to home, auction houses, toy conventions, car boot sales and junk shops are the ideal hunting ground for that hidden gem.