First Cousins: 10 Rare Farm Toy Collectibles

Small production runs, exclusive dealer use and easily lost parts make these farm toys collectibles especially rare.

| August 2008

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    Clockwise from top right: The Arcade cream separator, complete with pail: a difficult twosome to find; the box for the Oliver outboard motor increases the toy’s value dramatically; John Deere 730 plastic Nebraska Dept. of Roads tractor; the Vindex background, the single most expensive piece of farm toy memorabilia.

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This category encompasses all other farm toy-related groups, from ephemera to related machinery categories.

1. Vindex diorama:  "The diorama (made by National Sewing Machine Co., Belvidere, Ill.) is a trifold, 3 feet long and lithographed like old calendar art," says auctioneer Kurt Aumann, Nokomis, Ill. "The dealer would arrange Vindex toys in front of the diorama for a window display." Made of cardboard, this is the single most expensive item related to farm toy collecting.

2. Oliver outboard motor: Because it was made by a farm company, the outboard motor is considered a rare farm toy. It is difficult to find, especially NIB.

3. Arcade cream separator: Made by Arcade Mfg. Co., Freeport, Ill. Finding the separator with its pail is the difficult part.

4. Cedar Rapids rock crusher by Reuhl Products, Madison, Wis. "That toy has always impressed me," says long-time Reuhl Products collector Gary Wandmacher, Prescott, Wis. "The catalog says it has 221 parts, including 79 screws and rivets. It was great big money in the 1950s at $29.95."

5. John Deere 440 Industrial tractor. Hard to find with or without the 3-point hitch, says Kate Bossen of Bossen Implement, Lamont, Iowa.