Antique Toys Are One of the Top Five Collectible Items

Antique Toy Truck
Antique Toy Truck

Collecting antique toys can be both a hobby and an investment, it can be both fun and a way to relive childhood memories.

Toy collections really began getting popular in the United States in the mid 1960’s and toys have quickly became one of the top five collectible items in the U.S. today.

In 1988, thirty-six toy collectors spent over $5 million dollars at the Perlman Toy Museum sale in less than 24 hours! Although, toy prices have leveled off somewhat since the 80’s, their value has continued to keep going up and toys remain a steady investment.


For many collectors the value of an antique toy can’t be measured in dollars. The excitement of once again owning one of their favorite childhood toys is priceless. And, for some it’s just the pleasure of finally owning a toy that they always wanted as a child and never got. It’s a way of stepping back in time and recapturing a much more carefree and simple time of their lives.

The vast array of possibilities for toy collections also helps to make the hobby more popular. There are collections of certain toys, such as trains, dolls, board games and teddy bears. But, it goes even further to collections of tin toys, pull toys, paper toys and even collections of toys from a specific company.

Original Teddy Bear 1903
Original Teddy Bear 1903

The first American Teddy Bear was made in 1902 as a gift for Theodore Roosevelt, but overseas productions began around the same time. Many of the original teddy bears were stuffed with saw dust as it was readily available. And, they were made of mohair, wool and even felt. Some of the most favorite collectible bears feature jointed limbs and growlers.

The passion for board games is elevated by the fact that they often featured popular comic book and television characters. A complete board game is a rare find since they contained small pieces that were easily lost. But, some collectors have actually completed an incomplete game set by finding the missing pieces in various places.

Model trains are one of the most popular toys to collect and some collectors have even dedicated entire rooms to their train layouts. And, one collector paid $10,000 for the very first Batman comic book. Since, toys were all originally made to be played with, one that is in mint or even good condition can be quite expensive.

Many collections have began from toys that were handed down through generations and had great sentimental value. Whatever the reason for collecting toys, it’s one of the most fun things that you can collect and a good excuse to be a kid again!

Written by Connie Corder, Copyright 2008