Quick guide to collecting vintage toys
Collecting vintage toys is a matter of preference. Not all toy collectors are looking for the same items. Most have their own preferred brand, genre or style of toy. When buying any type of vintage toys, collectors should be armed with information so they know what they are buying, what it is worth and how to tell if it is authentic. Before visiting your local vintage or antique shop to purchase toys, collectors should decide which type of toy to buy, do their research, consider the condition and check pricing guides.
Deciding what to collect
Collectors sometimes buy vintage toys that mean something to them, bring back good memories from the past or those that were popular during their childhood. Some collectors will collect solely for the purpose of investing or selling for a profit.
Whatever reason a collector has for buying, it is a good idea to start with a specific area. It is impossible for a collector to know everything about each type of toy from the past so a specialized area makes it easier to stay on target. There are hundreds of categories to choose from but some of the most popular offer the most toy options on the market such as tin toys, dolls or mechanical toys for instance.
New collectors should take the time to research the type of toys they are looking to collect. Learn which symbols to look for on certain toys and how to identify them by brand. Study the manufacturers by learning the production process and the identifying marks used. Know what year each company produced the toys collected and have a solid knowledge of the toy’s history as well as the company history.
Condition of the toy
It is important to take note of a toy’s condition when you are considering purchasing it. Toy items that are in mint condition do come with higher price tags but are much more collectible. Some vintage toys restore easily while others do not so consider the restoration process when deciding to purchase.
Pricing guides offer an easy-to-use system for knowing what to expect to pay for any vintage toy. The guides come in specialized areas so pricing is simple. The guides do not list some toys, including rare ones, so sellers base the price on the desirability of the toy. Extremely rare items always come with higher price tags. If an item is hard to find or is in mint condition they will fetch a higher price. Pricing guides are only a basis and not a final selling point. Some collectors will pay double or triple for an item that will finish their collection.
When it comes to collecting vintage toys, the rule is, buy what you love and what interests you. Toys, as with anything, fluctuate in value. When you are scouring antique shops, know what you are looking for and go with a specific genre in mind.