46th National Farm Toy Show steeped in history
DYERSVILLE, Iowa — The 46th National Farm Toy Show was held in Dyersville, Iowa, in November. This grand event is steeped in history. An enterprising engineer by the name of Fred Ertl, Sr. began building scale model toy tractors in the basement of his Dubuque, Iowa, home in 1946. The business would then move from Ertl’s basement to Dyersville, where it flourished with great success.
The popularity of these toys has supported two annual farm toy shows in Dyersville. There is a summer show, with the second being the National Farm Toy Show in the fall. Toy Farmer, which began publication in January 1978, sponsored the first of these shows in November 1978. The National Farm Toy Show is considered one of the largest of its kind.
Dyersville is also home to the National Farm Toy Museum. The combination of Ertl’s history, the toy shows and the toy museum has resulted in Dyersville becoming known as the “Farm Toy Capital of the World.”
Hobbyists from throughout the United States and several foreign countries gathered for this annual event.
“We were thrilled to sponsor the 46th National Farm Toy Show again this year. The enthusiastic crowds gathered in great numbers throughout the show. And vendors expressed pleasure with the excellent response,” stated Cathy Scheibe, owner of Toy Farmer Publications.
HUNTING FOR GEMS
The farm toy hobby encompasses collectors from all walks of life. Collectors are excited when their hunt results in that next special gem. Attendees also look forward to renewing old relationships, while developing new friends, a cherished facet of the intriguing hobby.
The varied collector interests were met by dealers who offered a wide range of models. A few cast-iron pieces that date back to the late 1800s are still in circulation. Sand-cast models were also available, along with current die-cast replicas. Gifted modelers offered their customized and scratch-built models to fill a growing sector of the hobby.
American farm toy manufacturers displayed their latest and greatest releases at the show.
“The collector market remains strong. We are spending millions of dollars on new tooling and product releases across various scale model sizes. In fact, we have 130-plus new items planned for 2024 that include vintage and modern tractors along with implements,” said Bill Walters, senior vice president of TOMY’s Ertl Division.
The National Farm Toy Show auction is a major draw during the annual show. Cornwell Land & Home Brokers of Aurora, Neb., has managed a successful auction for 31 years.
“The auction consisted of rare vintage toys and collectibles. The highest selling piece was the cast-iron John Deere combine made by Vindex in the early 1900s. The quality, rare model sold for $10,000,” Tom Cornwell said.
Toy Farmer Publications, sponsor of the National Farm Toy Show, publishes two informative collector magazines. Toy Farmer is the iconic publication for the farm toy hobby. Toy Trucker & Contractor is the principal connection for the truck and construction equipment hobbyist. To learn more about these quality publications, visit http://www.toyfarmer.com or http://www.toytrucker.com or phone toll free (800) 533-8293.