Dexter Farm Equipment Showcases Toy Implements

Dexter Farm Equipment trades and shows toy implements, 1/16 scale toys and pedal tractors

| October 1998

When Dan Dexter toyed with the idea of building a new showroom and retail store for his implement dealership, he decided the new building also should showcase his gigantic collection of toy farm implements. Today, many people visit Dexter Farm Equipment in Wataga, Ill., just to see the toys. 

Dan became a farm implement salesman 26 years ago. That's when he started collecting toys, trading with children whose parents had bought tractors.

"I thought if Dad got a new tractor, the kids ought to, too," he said. He would trade a new toy tractor for two or three broken ones that youngsters brought to him.

Today, his collection includes more than 4,000 toy implements in 1/16-scale, countless tinier models, and about 100 pedal tractors. Custom-built showcases hold the small implements, and old tools and agricultural advertising signs hang on the showroom walls. Pedal tractors line shelves along the upper part of two walls.

"I'd like eventually to make the whole showroom a museum," Dan said. "It's unbelievable how far people have driven to look at these toys."

The collection includes all brands, models and makes of toys. Some toys are antiques, while others were produced only a few years ago. Two wagons were built as salesman's samples to pull behind pedal tractors. Almost every implement imaginable is displayed in its toy-size version.