Monday, July 22, 2019

Selling Toys is Not Much Fun

A collection of toys for sale in a basement shelving unit.
For the last year we've been trying to sort and organize a rather large collection of toys (the collectible kind) and it's turned out to be far more difficult than I expected. Truth is, it wouldn't be hard for me ... it would be gone by now (it isn't), all of it, but it's hard for the guy that owns them.

I've done my share of pushing him, and to be fair to him, he has sold quite a number of boxes of toys, so the effort is there, it's just going a lot slower than I'd hoped. Besides the boxes that have sold, he's set out a box full of toys for our nephews (both grown up with kids of their own), one of our grandson's has claimed a few, and the Toyman has donated some to several groups for fundraising.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Cardboard Cars and Wheeled Toys

A vintage stroller of the type used at the Canadian National Exhibition in the 1950s and 1960s.
Had a hard time parting with this.
Who knows what lies inside the mind of a collector?  In some ways I actually can relate, because I have my own (few, and small) collections. I used to collect a lot of different things, and have whittled away almost all of it, except for the things that are usable (some kitchenware for example, that I still use), and even fewer things that are just for looking at.  Having been a prolific collector myself in the past, I do understand part of the thought process, just not all of it.

A bunch of vintage items earmarked for a garage sale back in 2008.
Sold at Garage Sale
For me, when it came time to pare down (to move), it wasn't all that hard to clear out the things I no longer used, no longer had on display, and no longer had room for. There were a very few pieces that I had a problem getting rid of, but I did. There is a time and place for everything, and when it gets to the point that there isn't (a time and place), it's time to start emptying out.

The Toyman has a harder time with that, but as much as I want to just grab stuff "I" don't think he needs ... that really doesn't work.  He'd be annoyed if I did that, but he'd also get over the annoyance. The problem is that he would eventually (slowly) replace that stuff. You can't change another person, but you can push or nudge them towards making that change, and you can support them as they go through it.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

London Toys Company - The Little Things

We're still going through the piles of toys in the basement, but there is a box with a pile of mostly common toys, and the Toyman just tosses toys into it when he comes across something that he doesn't think is worth anything (in terms of $ value), or that he doesn't have a lot of interest in collecting. Anything worth $1 or less he just tosses into the box.

Me, on the other hand ... I'm the one whose pulled toys out of that box. Not always because they are worth something ($ wise), but if they looked like something different from all the "more-modern" Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys. I'm a big proponent of "different" or "unusual" things (don't always keep them, but I like to learn about them - bit of a history lover).

Small metal trucks and cars from the London Toy Company of London, Ontario.
A few of the toys I pulled out were marked on the bottom. They weren't in terrific shape in terms of paint, and they didn't have bottom panels like a lot of vehicles do. Still, they tweaked my interest (my historical interest). Most older items that have markings also have a story somewhere to be found. These were marked with "London Toy" and the name of the vehicle (beverage truck, fire truck, 5 passenger sedan), and a number (14, 15, or 16).

And of course, I went online to check it out. It does have a bit of history - a few people have written about them already, but very few indeed.

Initially I wondered about the name of the toys - a lot of the collectible metal cars and trucks were produced in the UK, so that was my first inclination, but as it turns out, it was a company in London, Ontario. It no longer exists, but all the reports I can find indicate the dates were somewhere between 1940 and 1950. Links to the sites I visited are for Collectors Weekly, The Silicon Underground& Rodney's Dimestore Gallery.

Friday, October 12, 2018

The Sorting Phase

The basement status during October 2018 in the sorting phase.
Still sorting.
Although The Toyman keeps saying he's getting rid of stuff, the volume of toys in the basement doesn't seem to get much smaller. Maybe it's me. But I don't think so.

I know that there is a lot of sorting to do, and I also know that for him to be able to finally get rid of the stuff, he has to have a certain mindset before he can comfortably part with stuff and not feel as though he's missing out on something, or that he won't have anything left when he's done. He'll want to make sure he doesn't sell something he should have kept - him having regrets after something has left his possession is the last thing I actually want to have to deal with.

Some toys to sell, some to keep.I guess this is the collector's dilemma - at least for some (I didn't have a lot of trouble getting rid of mine), but I also think this is just a bit like the mind of a serious hoarder. The basement might look like a hoarder's nest, but at least it isn't full of garbage and food wrappers.

Most of it is the toy collection, although he has had his share of old papers that we didn't need to keep (ask our kids about that!) He's had less of a problem getting rid of some of that. Several large storage buckets have already been taken to a professional shredder, and another one is waiting to go out.

The problem is the toys. Not all of them - there's some he doesn't seem to have a lot of attachment to, and those are easier to toss into a "sell" bin, but then there's the rest.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Coca-Cola Popularity

The Coca-Cola phenomenon has been ongoing for a very long time. People started saving up old bottles, and cases, flyers, advertisements, pins, buttons and toys that have the Coca-Cola logo on them for as long as I can remember.

Sometimes you wonder what causes such a flurry of collecting in people. It's partly because that soda has been a popular drink for eons, and has a pretty long history behind it, but it has to be more than that. Let's face it, Dr. Pepper came into existence a year before Coca-Cola, and while it's still a popular drink in the US, it hasn't created the same interest in collectors that Coca Cola has (for soda histories see "The Origins of Soda"). There are many other soda brands with historical collectibles (see The Value of Vintage Soda Collectibles) , but the sheer volume of availability of the Coca-Cola collectibles seems to outweigh most other brands (also of interest to collectors will be Coca-Cola's History & Collectibles).

My personal opinion is the recognizable logo and the red colour makes it an appealing collectible to almost anyone - I've seen many kitchens and family rooms bearing a Coca-Cola theme.

Like other collectors, The Toyman has his share of Coca-Cola related items. Some are the vehicles he loves to collect, but there are others too ... a small stuffed polar bear toting a bottle of soda; a metal Santa bank with Santa drinking a Coca-Cola, several other non-truck or car items as well - a pen holder for the desk, for example.

Most of the Coca-Cola vehicles will (I think) be sold once they are gathered together out of the multitude of basement boxes. The first few I ran across I have taken pictures of (included below), but there is a lot more to photograph in the coming weeks (maybe months since at least one of the items is stored in my Christmas bin), although I think he might already have sold a few pieces that I won't get photos for.