Dedicated toy man
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Another favorite with Don is an IH 506 pedal toy that actually belongs to his son Tony. Don says Tony and his other son, Nick, both enjoy collecting toys - and teasing him about his personal commitment to the hobby. ' My kids say that I collect anything that everyone else throws out.' For Don, collecting toys began in earnest when he was in high school. 'Back then it was rather unusual, but I just liked the scale models. I was focusing on mostly 1/25-scale automobile promotional models and the 1/16-scale farm toys.'
The promotional car models were distributed by car dealers during the 1950s and '60s; in Don's collection are examples made of heavy plastic, pot metal and die-cast iron.
The vintage toy automobiles go hand-in-hand with some full-sized ones that Don also owns. ' I have a 1951 Henry J and a 1952 Henry J made by the Kaiser Frazer Co.,' he says, ' and an International Harvester 1949 pickup.' He also collects Burma Shave memorabilia and presents programs on the history of that company.
And, he's not finished collecting toys, either. 'There is another IH truck, a 1941, that I would really like to have,' Don says. He's also in the process of moving his entire toy collection to a downtown Sublette building for better public display, a project he hopes to have completed by the 2003 toy show, which is scheduled for March 16. FC
-To contact Don about his collection or the Sublette Toy Show, call (815) 849-5582. -Cindy Ladage is a freelance writer who lives at Virden, Ill.
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