Greg Finn, the organizer of the Vintage Toy Show at Sullivan Community Hall, stands in the middle of the hall during the one-day show on Saturday, Nov. 3. (Photo: Lauren Collins)

Vintage toy shows about ‘re-buying’ youth, says organizer

Collectors filled up Sullivan hall in Surrey for fourth Vintage Toy Show

Greg Finn says right now, collecting toys is “hot.”

Finn is the organizer of the Vintage Toy Show at the Sullivan Community Hall on Saturday, Nov. 1. About a dozen vendors took part in the one-day event.

Why is collecting toys “hot” though? Finn said he doesn’t know.

“I think it’s a lot of 50-year-old, 60-year-old men with money that are re-gaining their childhood.”

He said a lot of people remember the toys from when they were a kid and are “re-buying their youth.”

Some people come to these events, he said, to fill a collection, while other buy the toys speculating they will go up in value.

“Like a lot of Star Wars stuff, early Star Wars stuff, has gone from when you bought it off the shelf in 1982 for $45 and now it’s $800, and people think it’s going to go higher.”

Finn said Star Wars, Lego and Japanese tin toys are “big” right now, along with Hot Wheels and Dinky Toys “which are always hot.”

But the condition is always the biggest thing, Finn said.

“There are guys who will look at a rare car, a rare dinky car, in mint shape that’s $500. If it’s beat up, it’s worth $50 and they won’t touch it,” he said. “One of the things about the collector field, it’s all condition.”

When it comes to the vintage toy shows, Finn said it’s mostly collectors coming through looking to buy and then re-sell. He also said there’s a lot of vendor-to-vendor buying.

“We’ve all got the disease. We’ve got to buy.”

The show at Sullivan hall isn’t the big draw, though, Finn said.

He said the Cloverdale Antique and Collectible Show at the Agriplex on Nov. 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. sees “a few thousand” people in attendance. Admission is $10 or $5 early-bird admission from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Finn, who has been buying and selling for 30 years, said the vintage toy craze has had its ups and downs over the years.

“We also go along with what the economy is. So in 2008 when the economy crashed, a lot of this crashed with it. It’s economy-based,” said Finn, adding people didn’t have the money to spend on toys and collectibles during the recession.

For more information on the upcoming antique and collectible show, visit cacsgroup.com.

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