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Annual Vintage Toy Shows For The Serious Toy Collector

Updated on January 2, 2017

If you are serious about tracking down vintage toys for your collection eventually you will want to visit some of the annual toy shows in the country. Here are a few of the major ones.

LARGE SHOWS

Chicago Toy Show
For more than 40 years, this show is very popular with toy collectors from around the country. Held annually in April and October, this show is held on Sundays, but it actually kicks off on Friday with a sneak preview. On the Thursday and Friday before the show, dealers set up in an area hotel where they display a portion of their merchandise for early sales.

According to the Antique Toy World:

This show is a favorite of antique toy collectors because it is always a source of rare, unusual, and valuable pieces. Featuring the earliest manufactured toys, prewar and post-war articles, as well as vintage collectibles, the range of items at this show is phenomenal and the quality is superb.

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (847) 800-3009.

Greater Boston Antique & Collectible Toy Show
This annual show held in April has been a Boston tradition for 30 years and features more than 100 years’ worth of toys. You will find Tonka, Buddy-L, model kits and tins just to name a few. The collectible portion is for toys less than 50 years old. For a fee, show offers an early admission for those who want first dibs on items.

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (617) 957-9296.

Farm Toys

If you collect vintage farm toys, then consider the annual Vintage Toy Auction by Girard Auction Services in South Dakota. The auction house has been holding this annual event for more than 15 years.

Miami Antique Toy Show
This long-running show attracts collectors from around the world. Usually held \around the second weekend in February, the show describes itself as the “only remaining purely antique toy, doll and collectibles show in the Southeastern United States”. If a toy is not at least 25 years old, it is not permitted at the event – so you know going into the show what to expect. The event always includes a wide selection of die casts and other collectibles. The show is reasonably priced (currently $5) and well attended. Show also offer toy repair and toy appraisals on site.

To learn more about the show, call (305) 446-4488.

The All American Collector’s Show
This two-day show is held in January and has been attended by well-known celebrities like Jonathan Winters, Dan Aykroyd and Demi Moore. Dealers from around the world come to buy, sell or trade everything from cast iron toys to tin wind-up toys. The show has a carnival-type museum look where you can buy collectibles and rare one-of-a-kind antiques. According to co-promoter Jeff Dukow:

"It is virtually impossible to find this much merchandise and in such a wide category in any individual antique show or toy store in the entire United States. Here it is all under on roof. Even those who are not collectors can have a great time strolling along looking at the displays. It is certainly more interesting and entertaining than a museum."

MIDWEST SHOWS

Tinley Park Annual Holiday Toy Show
This yearly event is held in December and attracts people from across the Midwest. Expect to find Tonka trucks, Hot Wheels, pressed tin cars and Japanese tins for sale. It is a one-day event that features both vintage and new collectibles. The event is easily accessible from I-80.

Scale Auto Hobby & Toy Show
Held three times a year in Milwaukee, this is one of the largest one-day shows of its type in the Midwest and has been held for more than 20 years. It is a great place for toy collectors and hobbyists to meet and network. Expect to see pressed steel toys by Tonka, Nylint, Doepke and Smith Miller. You will also find red line Hot Wheels, car dealer promo cars and even whimsical items like Pez dispensers.

Circus Maximus Toy Show
Held twice a year in Kalamazoo, MI, this show is always held on the third Friday and Saturday in May and on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving. It is billed as the largest show of its kind in the Midwest with nearly 50,000 square feet of toys. You will find everything from pedal cars to cap guns. For the ‘younger’ collector there is also Disney, Star Wars and other TV/Movie memorabilia. You can also find spare parts for pedal vehicles at the event.

To learn more about all three of these shows, visit their website or call (262)-366-1314.

FARM TOY - DIE CAST SHOWS

Toy, Doll & Advertising show
Held on the first Sunday in May, this annual show is approaching its 40th year. You can expect to find hundreds of vendor tables containing farm toys, dolls, tins and cast iron toys. Some collectors will also purchase or trade items. It is also an event where you can get a toy appraised.

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (763) 560-4290.

Great Lehigh Valley Antique Toy and Collectable show
Held is December; this show features nearly 100 dealers across several states with a wide variety of antiques and collectibles. Expect to find slot cars, tin cars and modern collectibles like Star Wars.

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (610) 440-0487.

Farm Toys
Several shows and auctions are held throughout the year and one of the best ways to find them is in the Toy Farmer magazine or on their website. Visit this link to see current offerings.

Summer Toy Farm Show
Closing in on its 30th year is the Summer Farm Toy Show held annually on the first weekend of June in Iowa. This 2-day show is sponsored by the National Farm Toy Museum and it attracts dealers and collectors from across the country.

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (563) 875-2727.

Antique Toy News and Show

Antique Toy Magazine keeps an excellent up-to-date page on their site of the antique toy shows held throughout the country. Some of the articles are write-ups after the event occurred, but it is still a nice source for annual dates.

TWICE PER YEAR SHOWS

Timber Dan Antique and Collectible Toy Shows
Held twice each year – Spring (Last Saturday of February) and Fall (First Saturday of October), this show features more than 70 dealers from several states. You will find farm toys, die cast, Hot Wheels, Tonka, Matchbox and cast iron toys and much, much more. Show is very popular with collectors and dealers. According to the website the objective of the show is to “provide a venue for serious toy collectors to come together with dealers who have quality ‘good stuff’.”

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (970) 667-9655.

Welcome To Yogi's Vintage Toy & Die cast Show
This Indiana event is held twice a year in May and October. Show’s promoter has been in antique toy business for more than 30 years. Expect to find antiques and newer toys from the following manufacturers: Mattel, Hot Wheels, Matchbox, and Corgi and more.

To learn more about the show, visit their website or call (317) 691-5669.

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