With the holidays fast approaching, I’ve begun looking through my items and different collections for things I can part with. I plan to use my downsizing efforts to fund the presents I will buy for family friends (a great idea if you’re strapped for cash this year!). When I was looking through my items this past weekend, I came across an antique wind up race car tucked away in a cupboard. I took the key, wound it up and let the toy shoot across my desk. I was instantly reminded of all of my favorite childhood toys.
No, I’m not quite old enough to have played with tin toys as a child, but I did have a few great toys when I was a child, and that race car reminded me of all of them. That’s the beauty of a these kinds of antiques. Not only are they rare, and thus collectible, but they also carry a nostalgic quality that we all enjoy, making them even more desirable. The joy of receiving a quality toy that provides countless hours of entertainment and happiness can’t be rivaled.
That having been said, this particular toy also reminded me just how amazing the wind up tin toys from the early 20th century actually are. They were made in so many different varieties: race cars, submarines, boats and even helicopters. There truly was a toy for everyone. And to top it off they were built so well that, so long as they were properly cared for, they can still function today. This means that I can wind up this car any time I wish and be magically transported back to a simpler time in my life; a generation of toys that I’m just now beginning to truly appreciate. These toys are the kind that make you want to put up your video games and instantly slow down your life.
Antique tin toys make excellent holiday gifts for the nostalgic collector in your life. In excellent condition they can range in price anywhere from about $40 to $2500. If you’re looking for something a little less expensive, my book is a great gift for collectors of all ages!
Tips for buying and selling tin toys:
These toys really did come in all different types, and each one has its own price tag. Do your research before spending a great deal of money.
As with all vintage items, be mindful of fakes and replicas. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The key to a wind up toy can easily be lost, but without it, the toy will not work. When buying, make sure you ask for the key. If it’s missing, it’s most likely not worth your money.
Check to see if the toy works. If it doesn’t, the value should be lowered significantly.
Original packaging is a definite bonus, but it’s not a deal breaker.
Rust is very common with tin toys and will definitely reduce the value of the toy.
Overall condition is huge, so be sure to inspect before buying. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re selling, be sure to provide lots of photographs.
Good luck, and happy hunting!