Toy collecting is like looking for hidden treasure – part of the fun is the hunt. But collecting is more than fun for a Rossburn, Manitoba teenager; it’s an investment that is bringing dividends.
Jeremy Kaskiw became interested in farm toys as a young boy, thanks to a visit to the family’s farm where the massive equipment captured his attention.
“My dad purchased my first 1/64th-scale die-cast tractor – a John Deere – and my collection has grown through personal purchases, Christmas gifts and birthday gifts,” said the 16-year-old son of Dennis and Lorrie Kaskiw. “It may have started out with John Deere green, but lately I have begun to add a little colour to the collection by getting into the other farm equipment brands like Case IH (red) and New Holland known for yellow and blue.”
Proud of his collection, consisting of not only toys but also lifelike buildings, animals, etc. that has been built up over 10 years, Kaskiw has about 1,000 pieces of the 1/64th scale. Some pieces have come in toy sets such as Ertl Farm Country, while others, including a Manitoba Pool elevator are custom built. His pieces are mainly in the 1/64th scale, but Kaskiw also owns toys in other scales.
Purchasing farm toys from local dealerships and from the Internet, the most valuable pieces Kaskiw has ordered have come from Vankley Farm Toys in Iowa, ranging from $50 to $250. Maintaining a collection in an unused “mint” condition makes it more valuable, and Kaskiw has semi-tractor-trailer units in their original package.
Along with collecting, Kaskiw has learned that building displays inspires creativity and free play. It also allows the opportunity to showcase a personal passion to the outside world, share knowledge of toy collecting and presents an opportunity to meet people of all ages. The Grade 11 student experienced that at the Rossburn Summer Festival last August.
“The summer festival was the inaugural place at which I displayed my toys,” said Kaskiw, who plans to enter the agriculture field after graduation.
“Receiving positive feedback from the community on the layout, which was a model of my family’s farm, I will likely continue to display my various pieces of toy farm equipment in conjunction with the event in the future.”
And while he has never displayed at the annual Yorkton Farm & Toy Show held in February, which draws enthusiasts from all across Canada and the U. S., he enjoys attending to get ideas. Knowing how popular the Saskatchewan show is, Kaskiw feels a Collectible Show or Show and Sale, would be a good event to be promoted by a community organization in the South Parkland area of Manitoba. “I feel there is a great interest in the hobby of toy collecting and it doesn’t get that much appreciation. I feel an event would attract people from all over the place, and I think a lot of people could benefit from it, especially the community.”
It’s never too late to start collecting and it’s a unique way for adults to stay young at heart.