Diecast toys representing all types of farm activities are still popular today. Antique farm toy replicas have a nostalgic value to collectors, and the modern ones appeal to children.
History of Diecast Farm Toys
Diecast toys, or metal toys, were first produced in the early 1900s. The first diecast toys are often found cracked or broken due to impurities in the manufacturing process. In later years, the process of making diecast toys improved and therefore these toys are much sturdier; many are found in excellent condition. Around the mid 1900s, the Ertl Company introduced diecast farm toys to the market with the first tractor replica. The Ertl Company grew into the largest manufacturer of farm toys, of which many are now housed in the National Farm Toy Museum located in Dyersville, Iowa.
Most diecast farm toys are scaled-down replicas of real tractors or other farm equipment. The scale used is usually the standard 1/16th, but other sizes include 1/64th, 1/43rd and 1/8th scales. Children have always enjoyed pretending to be adults, and farm toys are as popular today as they were 100 years ago. You can still find metal farm toys in the toy department. Some of the different farm toys that children and collectors enjoy are:
- Farm trucks
- Farming tools and implements
- Ride-on tractors
- Farm scenes
- Farm animals
Ertl was the first manufacturer of the diecast toy tractor. Farm toy manufacturers continued changing the style of toy tractors as they followed the trends of full-sized tractors. The most well-known manufacturers include:
- Racing Champions
- Scale Models
Real Brands that Have Been Replicated
The most recognizable real brand tractor that has been replicated is the John Deere tractor. Other popular brands include:
- Case International Harvester
- AGCO (Allis Chalmers, Massey Ferguson, Gleaner and Oliver)
Online Toy Stores
If you enjoy collecting metal farm toys, check out one of the online shops that deal in them, such as:
- Farm Toy specializes in farm toys.
- AG Farm Toys sells diecasts from tractors to farm sets.
- Precision Tractors offers modern day and collectible farm toys, including Ertl and John Deere.
Toy Collector Clubs and Magazines
Antique toys can be worth a lot of money. Collectors enjoy and benefit from joining clubs and subscribing to magazines dealing with antique farm toys. Here are examples of a toy-collecting specialty club and a farm theme magazine:
- Toy Collectors Club
- Tractor Times Magazine
Restoring Farm Toys
Many antique toys are not in good condition due to being lovingly played with many years ago and then possibly tossed in a box for storage. If your antique diecast farm toy is in disrepair, take it to an expert who specializes in antique toys for recommendations on repair. The following websites are helpful in restoration:
- JB Toyfixer restores vintage diecast toys.
- Evans Toys specializes in farm toy repair.
- Farmersville Equipment specializes in Oliver tractors and also has memorabilia tractor toys. They can repair Oliver tractor toys.
Hobby or Play
Collecting farm toys is fun as a hobby or for play, and before you know it, you may have a houseful of farm toy replicas for yourself or that special child in your life.