Local collectors explain why antiques are more than just toys

Published: Feb. 25, 2018 at 9:46 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

West Fargo hosted the 26th Annual Sugar Valley Toy Show Feb. 24-25.

Vendors from all over the country displayed their one of a kind antiques. Collectors say these trinkets are more than just what meets the eye.

An object for a child to play with. That’s not only the definition but what comes to mind for most when they hear the word toy. However, toy shows across the nation may argue that these precious gems aren’t only for the kids. For some, these collectables are a source of income.

"I make more money on the toys than I ever did putting money in a bank. I can go out look at my toys and there's my retirement fund," says Bruce Nelson, lifetime collector and toy builder from Montana.

Nelson has a special place in his heart for toys. Not only do these antiques pay the bills, they also fill a childhood void.

“I didn't have any when I was a kid. You know, dad and mom couldn't afford a twenty-eight dollar toy back in the forties and fifties so that's what I like to do,” Nelson explains.

The going rate for these objects can range anywhere from $10 to $1,100 or more, depending on the age and condition of the toy. While the profit may be driving some, others aren’t after the money at all.

Duane Kotrba says, "If I don't make a sale, it's just the expression on their face that makes me feel good.”

After working with wood his whole life, Kotrba has been creating custom made wooden toys for twelve years. As years go by, he’s still thrilled to see the reactions his toys generate.

"Oh, some of the eyeballs get real big," Kotrba laughs.

The best part? He continues to surprise himself as well.

"Especially when I've got to make something that I've never made before. You know, how do I start? Then I get started and then wondering how it's going to look like when I get done. And when I am done, 'Oh that didn't turn out too bad’," explains Kotrba.

While some only see a toy, others see years of memories that just can’t be bought.

If you would like to know more about upcoming toy shows, head to