Inour pickers were tasked with finding toys to take to auction. Picker shares her tips on buying and collecting toys:
1. Consider condition
Condition, maker, and provenance are all key when it comes to building a toy collection. Condition is the top consideration, especially if you plan to trade up or resell, so try to collect toys in the best condition that you can afford. For each type of toy, there is typically a primary condition issue to be mindful of — for example, with tin lithograph cars look for color, scratches, and dents, while with bisque dolls, look for cracks or chips in the head, especially around the eyes.
2. Save the box/packaging
Sometimes the box is worth more than the toy it once held! The reason why is simple: boxes are usually discarded. That makes them rare and therefore valuable.
3. Keep sets together
I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep a set together. An intact set always sells for more money, so if you plan to resell, the set should stay together.
As collectors, we strive to build authentic collections, and gather information about what our collection should contain. It’s easy to get carried away at when you see an item that might be perfect for your collection. The key is to take a minute, gather your thoughts, and make sure you are getting what you’re supposed to get. Does the Marx car you just spotted have the correct tires? Is that doll wearing the original dress and matching shoes? Parts of a toy that can be easily lost (i.e. doll shoes) often do get lost. Without the original items, the authenticity and value of a toy decreases.
5. Join collector clubs
I think the best part of building a nice collection is researching and learning more about the items. A great way to get started is with online collecting clubs and newsgroups. You can also look into toy and doll shows. Check out a show’s website to learn which dealers will have items that appeal to you. Once you arrive at a show, identify the dealers you want to meet and go have a conversation! Most dealers are also collectors and will be happy to talk with you about their passions. I have learned so much from conversations with dealers, and they have helped me focus my collecting.
Finally, don't forget to enjoy your collection!