Toy show returns

Some toys you never outgrow.

That’s the case with the model farm and construction equipment that hobbyists will be displaying and selling at the Triple “T” Toy show in Minot this weekend.

The sixth annual toy show runs Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the old armory portion of the Minot Municipal Auditorium. Admission is $2 with children younger than 9 admitted free.

The Triple “T” stands for toys, trades and talk because that’s what people will find at the show, said Pete Thorp, a show coordinator along with Kirk Norlin. One of the fun parts of the show is just talking toys with other collectors and people who enjoy seeing the toys, Thorp said.

Vendors will be setting up more than 80 tables of displays.

“Last year we sold out of tables,” Norlin said. “We couldn’t pack any more in. it looks like we are on a pace for that this year.”

Thorp and Norlin, both employees at Gooseneck Implement, began working with the Minot show in 2005 after it had been on hiatus for a few years. Ray Olson started the first show in 1983 and continued it from 1985 to 1988. Steve Weber later took on the project and ran shows for a few years.

Toy collecting in North Dakota gets a boost because Toy Farmer, the national toy magazine that started in 1978, is published in LaMoure. it has about 20,000 subscribers around the world.

“That’s been a big help in perpetuating this hobby,” said Harley Austin, another Minot collector and Gooseneck employee.

The concept of toys as marketing tools for equipment manufacturers started in the 1930s, Austin said. Back then, toys were cast-iron. during the Depression, toys never really caught on. Interest picked up after World War II.

Implement dealers started giving the toys as gifts to children when parents bought equipment. the toys didn’t have model numbers so they would be generic enough to match whatever equipment that the parent bought.

Norlin said there are fathers who still buy the toy model for a child when purchasing a piece of equipment.

The toy-collecting hobby has brought value to items made originally for kids to play with. Some of the older toys now have more value than the original equipment can bring as scrap, Austin said.

“When you see the value appreciate, it adds to the satisfaction and excitement. most of the items appreciate in value, especially the older and custom items,” Austin said.

The boxes alone can bring a fair price in some instances. the latest collecting interest is in the brochures that came out with new pieces of the regular equipment that match the toys.

Another collecting craze is to look for the “muddies.” Within batches of models, certain ones may be painted to look mud-splattered, as if they’d been in the field. These are considered prize items that collectors “chase.” another “chase” is under way for specially marked tractors that are part of United States series. Tractors are detailed for each state, but only certain tractors in the series include the capital city of the state.

Collectors also go after commemorative models, such as the newer Elvis Presley tractor made in the likeness of the John Deere 410 used at Graceland.

Triple “T” Toy show sells a commemorative show tractor. Norlin and Thorp create the customized models and will have 100 serialized tractors available this year.

Vendors from across the state will be participating in the show. Minot’s model railroad group will have a display. there will be Hot Wheels cars, toy horse-drawn equipment, construction equipment, a four-wheel drive display and historical displays that farmers have assembled to represent their experiences in farming.

At least three youths will be showing collections.

“We are trying to encourage kids because we have to try to keep the hobby going,” Thorp said.

Between 700 and 800 people have attended the show in recent years.

Thorp said the show will offer something in everyone’s price range, from $1 and up. But the true collectors will be lined up outside the door waiting for the show to open because they’ll want to grab the bargains before they are gone.

“It’s like Christmas morning not knowing what you will find. There’s that excitement of locating and bargaining on it,” Austin said. “That’s the exciting part for all of us.”

Toy show returns