Text us your news! Start your message Warrington News and send any photos or videos to 80360
Collecting - buy toys but don't play with them...
ALTHOUGH the festive season is almost upon us, it is no excuse to curb the collecting bug. In fact, among the bright lights and baubles of Christmas, opportunities to add to your collection abound as toy collectors everywhere know only too well.
This has been a fertile area for a long time and gets bigger year by year, from Steiff teddy bears to Star Wars, our fascination with childhood seems to be unending.
And with prices from a few pence to more than a thousand pounds there is something for every collector.
Dolls have enjoyed the attentions of collectors for a very long time and while genuine antique ones usually end up in toy museums or in the collections of those with serious money, there are a number of companies producing ‘collectable dolls’ of a bewildering variety from ‘repro’ Victorian and nursery rhyme characters to Kylie Minogue and Ozzy Osbourne.
But beware – future values always depend on two factors, ‘rarity’ and ‘condition’.
So even if your ‘modern collectable’ remains pristine, boxed and untouched, it is unlikely to gain a great deal in value if large numbers were made.
Conversely however, a 1960s’ Barbie in original boxed condition can sell for hundreds of pounds even though millions were made because most have been played with to destruction.
An interesting specialist area of collecting has recently developed among some buyers with a passion for black dolls, particularly from the 1950s.
The trend has been most noticeable in the United States with dealers finding a ready market there and a brisk trade developing on the Internet.
Boys’ toys also deserve a mention at this point.
Train sets, both clockwork and electric. Dinky, Corgi and Matchbox cars and anything to do with Star Wars or Doctor Who are collectables. But the same rules apply, rarity and condition will always determine value.
A much loved but battered Darth Vader might make a fiver but a boxed Cyberman figure in mint condition could fetch £500.
As always, a word of warning – desirability attracts fakers.
The market is awash with look-alike Dinky toys and Matchbox cars. Fantastic for the kids to play with in the sand pit because they are quite cheap.
But believe me, you will have to keep them for about a thousand years before they are rare enough to attract collectors.
And finally, if you are going to buy toys for the kids this Christmas...do not let them play with them.