National Farm Toy Show

It's a small world, especially in Dyersville, Iowa

| April 2009

In November 2008, I attended the National Farm Toy Show in Dyersville, Iowa, with a couple of friends.

Both of these guys are keen collectors of farm toys, and one is also heavily into pedal tractors.

This was my first trip to the Dyersville show: I’m not really a toy collector, although I do have 20 or so toy trucks, cars and tractors sitting around.

Dyersville, a small town of about 4,000, styles itself as the “Farm Toy Capital of the World,” because of the presence of the famous Ertl Co., toy manufacturers Scale Model Toys and SpecCast, and the National Farm Toy Museum.

We arrived early Friday morning. Although the show didn’t start until 6 p.m., there was plenty to see. We made the rounds of the farm equipment dealerships in Dyersville, each of which had all their toys on display along with refreshments.

Of course a visit to the Ertl warehouse was necessary. There we were treated to a preview of new Ertl products that will be released during the coming year. Then we moved on to SpecCast, where we viewed the fine, precision models they produce. At Scale Model Toys, we each received a small plastic toy tractor and watched tractors in 1/64-scale as they were put together on an assembly line.

Pedal tractors are big business and we checked out Samuelson’s Pedal Tractors, a store that specializes in both new and used pedal tractors, as well as repair parts such as wheels and tires, seats, grilles, steering wheels, pedals, chains, and decals. Some of the old pedal tractors are valuable, with Samuelson offering several priced over $1,000. They had a mint condition, original Case 400 for which they were asking $4,000.

Everyone visits Evers Toy Store & Doll Museum in downtown Dyersville. There you’ll find thousands of new toys of all kinds. A flea market was set up in a vacant lot nearby, but it was too cold to spend any time there.