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New frontiers with farm toys

Shown is the winning diorama in the Adult Large Scale division of the National Farm Toy Show’s display contest. First place was awarded to Seth Eberhardt of Mediapolis, Iowa. His display featured Stages of Farm Silage. Through his creativity, Eberhardt demonstrated harvesting, storage and silage feeding. Courtesy photo
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45th National Farm Toy Show

DYERSVILLE, Iowa — The 45th National Farm Toy Show was held in Dyersville, Iowa, early in November 2022. This grand event is deemed one of the largest of its kind. Hobbyists from across the country and several foreign lands gathered in pursuit of “new frontiers” for their collections.

“We were excited to sponsor the 45th annual National Farm Toy Show again this year. The attendance was the largest in recent memory. Two factors contributed to the large crowds. Mother Nature provided a blessing of rain which brought farmers out of the field. In addition, the farm toy hobby is alive and well. And vendors expressed pleasure with the wonderful interest. As a result, the show was a grand success by every measurement,” said Cathy Scheibe, owner of Toy Farmer Publications.



The Brad Heck family of Mount Vernon, Ark., attended the National Farm Toy Show for the first time. Their draw was in support of son, Brandon who entered his 1/64 scale layout in the display contest. Family members are Brad and Nikki Heck on the right along with Hugh Williams (Nikki’s father) and Brandon Heck on the left. The family operates a 200 cow-calf farming operation. Brandon is the family’s scale model collector through his display. Courtesy photo
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The well-known mantra, “If you build it, they will come,” was made famous through the movie, “Field of Dreams.” The Dyersville, Iowa, community became well known when the movie set was staged north of town. But Toy Farmer Publications may have made the slogan famous 45 years ago, when it launched the National Farm Toy Show. With the 45th show staged in Dyersville, the crowds are still coming. As host city, Dyersville continues a warm welcome for the National Farm Toy Show.

Show Highlights



Manufacturers of farm equipment models are an important facet of the hobby. Companies represented at the National Show included TOMY International, owner of the Ertl brand, SpecCast, Scale Models, and First Gear with its Die-Cast Promotions brand.  

Availability of models was challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem has improved but shipping and labor shortages continue to slow the process. “New models never slowed down in design or in tooling during the COVID pandemic. Shipments were disrupted as ports closed both in the U.S. and China. Fortunately, we’ve experienced improvement but it’s not back to normal,” said Dave Bell, owner of SpecCast.

The national show’s display contest attracts great interest resulting from intriguing craftsmanship. There are three divisions, Large Scale Adult, Small Scale Adult and Youth. The first-place winner of the Large Scale division was Seth Eberhardt of Mediapolis, Iowa. His display featured stages of farm silage. Through his creativity, Eberhardt demonstrated harvesting, storage and silage feeding.

Shown is the winning diorama in the Adult Large Scale division of the National Farm Toy Show’s display contest. First place was awarded to Seth Eberhardt of Mediapolis, Iowa. His display featured Stages of Farm Silage. Through his creativity, Eberhardt demonstrated harvesting, storage and silage feeding. Courtesy photo
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Another major attraction is the annual National Farm Toy auction. Cornwell Inc. of Aurora, Neb., has managed the successful auction for 30 years. “Extremely rare toys and collectibles were offered through the 2022 auction. The high-selling piece at $18,500 was an Adriance Buckeye mower and reaper salesman’s sample. This rare collectible was designed for salesmen to demonstrate the product to potential customers in the late 1800s,” Tom Cornwell said.

The 2022 National Farm Toy auction held in conjunction with the National Farm Toy Show featured extremely rare toys and collectibles. The high-selling piece at $18,500 was this Adriance Buckeye mower and reaper salesman’s sample. This rare collectible was designed for salesmen to demonstrate the product to potential customers in the late 1800s. The mower and reaper was manufactured by Adriance, Platt & Company of Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Courtesy photo
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Toy Farmer Publications, organizer of the National Farm Toy Show, 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 http://www.toyfarmer.com or http://www.toytrucker.com or call toll free: 1-800-533-8293.

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