Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Collectables or toys? Up to you

Alexa Stirn
A tractor parked outside Whitewater High School to promote the FFA Toy Show.

The Farm Toy Show at the Whitewater High School has brought in toys from all over the state. Sunday’s show included antique displays, scale models, memorabilia, baked goods and other various items. The show is more than a showing for collector’s items. It truthfully depends on what the customer wants to do with the toy. Some displays were preserved and kept in great care after sixty years. Some were bought the day before and are already out of the box. With all of these options, it is understandable why it attracts so many people year in and year out. 

“This is the 31st year that we’ve been doing this,” said promoter Dan Svedin. “Everything’s kind of a well-oiled machine.”

A well-oiled machine is a clever term to describe the show because of all of the toy machine replicas that were on display. These farm toys included tractors, trucks, wagons, and other random toys. Most of the collector’s items were farm toys that have been around for years.

Farmers line up their miniature farms. (Alexa Stirn)

These quality models can be collector’s items that are marked down at a high retail value and for good reason. These items are a lot more than just toys to some of the people. Some items date back into the mid 1900’s and that’s why they are so valuable. The care that goes into preserving these items is extremely important.

On the flip side, the owner could do whatever they please with the item. Some people collect while others just want another toy to play with.  Some displays had free items for children to play with as well. The event has been a hit for over three decades. The unique items and atmosphere are a big reason why.

“Every little kid back there collects and watches them grow as they start out with a set and then they just keep adding to it. That’s the coolest thing to me,” said promoter Jason Kiel. “A lot of stuff I see that I played with and opened up when I was little and then see the price of what it’s worth now.”

Families come out to enjoy the toy show.

The owner ultimately gets to decide and that is what makes this show so successful every year. This event had a lot of families invested in their displays and it was evident that they put a lot of effort into their display to make others want to join them. The scale models were incredibly in depth with farm layouts that involved artificial grass and dirt to make it look as real as possible. 

You can start small and buy the current year model or you can dig deeper into the history of farm toys and purchase items that have been in a box for decades. With enough collecting, it can be a profitable hobby. Whether you’re a collector or a toy lover, it all depends on what the buyer wants to do with it. Most of the displays were from collectors who have been involved for years and plan on continuing the tradition for the next generation. 

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About the Contributors
Lucas Riley, Community Journalist
Alexa Stirn, Photographer

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