The collecting of antique and retro toys is enormously popular, and includes a vast range of categories, some of which are outlined below. Collectable dolls are a favourite, and are one of the oldest types of toy – the Museum of Childhood in London has a doll in its collection dating from 1,300BC. Famous makers include Armand Marseille, Simon & Halbig and Pierotti.
The transport-related toys is also popular and encompasses everything from wooden carts and tin models to sophisticated electric train sets. As well as early handmade examples, some more recent names to look out for include Matchbox and Corgi cars, Scalextric racing sets, Hornby trains and Airfix models. With such a vast range of dates and types, prices vary enormously but toys with original packaging command a premium, particularly if there’s an original patent number or instructions included. The most important indicators of value with antique toys are rarity and condition. Toys that were less popular at the time often had small production runs, meaning fewer surviving examples and higher prices. Condition is also vital, and any repairs, repainting or restoration will affect value.
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