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Excellence in farm toys

44th National Farm Toy Show was held in early November

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — The 44th National Farm Toy Show was held in Dyersville, Iowa, early in November 2021. This grand event is considered the largest of its kind in the world. Hobbyists from across the country gathered to pursue the next great gem for their collection. “We were thrilled to sponsor the 44th annual National Farm Toy Show again this year. Enthusiastic collectors relished the opportunity to return to Dyersville after the disrupted 2020 show season. The enthusiastic crowds gathered in great numbers throughout the show. And vendors expressed pleasure with the excellent response,” said Cathy Scheibe, owner of Toy Farmer Publications.

The host city of Dyersville has a storied history. It includes the manufacturing of farm toy replicas launched by Fred Ertl in 1945. Dyersville is also home to the National Farm Toy Museum. With these connections, Dyersville is known as the Farm Toy Capital of the World.

Darryl Cox of Lexington, Tenn., placed first in the large-scale Display Contest with this display, Cotton Harvesting Throughout the Years. The display was featured in four sections, from early hand-picked cotton through today’s harvesting, all portrayed with scale model John Deere cotton pickers. Courtesy photo

Revelers experienced the history of farm toys and explored the varied opportunities of the farm toy hobby offered by the exciting show. The farm toy hobby has strong connections to farmers and those associated with agriculture. However, the hobby has great interest from all walks of life. In addition to their focused hunt, collectors looked forward to renewing old acquaintances while developing new friendships. Durable relationships are a cherished part of this intriguing hobby.



Varied collector interests were satisfied by vendors who offered a varied range of models. Cast-iron pieces that date back over a hundred years are still cherished, but difficult to find. Sand-cast models that followed cast-iron replicas, could also be found. As the hobby grew with die-casting, modelers launched an unfilled sector with customized and scratch-built replicas.

LATEST FARM TOY RELEASES



The American farm toy manufacturers displayed their latest releases at the show. Those companies include Tomy International that makes the Ertl brand, SpecCast, Scale Models, and First Gear with their Die-Cast Promotions brand.

Bill Walters, vice president of Tomy International shared the following information about their commitment to the farm toy hobby. He also noted challenges with scheduling and delivery. “Our commitment has not changed. We’re still spending millions of dollars on new tooling. We’re constantly developing product in 1/64, 1/32, and 1/16 scale. And we look at new licenses and product forms to expand our offerings. We have not experienced any significant issue in production of the Ertl models. Product delivery is being delayed due to the container shortages and port issues. We have dozens of items in transit to our warehouses, but delivery times are uncertain.”

This family from Elkhart Lake, Wis., were first-time visitors at the 2021 National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville, Iowa. Brian Drake indicated the boys had an assortment of toys at home but wanted something to mix in with them. On their quest, they located a scale model Farm Country, Grain & Feed Set by Ertl. The family is shown, left to right, Brian Drake with son, Levi and Amy Drake with son, Callen. Courtesy photo

The city of Dyersville welcomes and provides great support for the show activities. The Community Center includes the National Farm Toy Museum. The museum extends this welcome, “Take a small-scale adventure into the history of agriculture. Revel in the museum’s collection of farm toys and unique exhibits on agriculture’s amazing history.” A feature attraction is the history of the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory. The laboratory has been presented through a series of pictures and signage under the guidance of Amanda Schwartz, curator of the National Farm Toy Museum.

Toy Farmer Publications, sponsor of the NFTS, publishes two informative magazines for the toy collector. 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 their Internet website at http://www.toyfarmer.com or http://www.toytrucker.com or phone toll free: 1-800-533-8293.


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