Monday, December 3, 2007

I Love Broken Toys

When most people open anything they buy they expect it to be in pristine condition, and rightfully so. If there is a defect from the manufacturer or a product is damaged during shipping, any sane person would return the item for a new one. I on the other hand see an unexpected project, a challenge to my mechanical skills, and a battle of wits between me and the toy companies. You could say that I’m happy sometimes when the tractors I buy are missing a wheel or have a defective hitch.

Some people might say that the fact that I have to write this article is a statement on the quality of products that are being released. Instead of getting angry with the condition of my purchases, I feel like I’m getting the better end of the deal because I get the tractor and the satisfaction of fixing it. When you open your Christmas presents this year be thankful for whatever condition they are in because you can always take them back or glue on the wheel if you need to.
Pictured above is a versatile 850 that was made by C&D models a few years ago. When I took it out of the package and the wheel fell off, it brought a smile to my face.

All Better!

Here is that same Versatile from the previous post with a brand new brass axle. The only problem is that now the rear axle works better than the front. Where's my Dremel?........

New Steigers Released!

Here are the pictures of the much anticipated Steigers that have recently been released. The first picture is of the big Panther PT325 with duals. The second picture is of the Turbo Tiger I. The third picture is of the Turbo Tiger II.

New Tires for the New Holland

Here is a tire change that I just completed on a TJ530 and 2 TG305s'. I took the rear duals from 2 TG 305s' (bottom right tractor), and put them on the TJ530 (top tractor). I then took the tires from the TJ530 and put them on the 2 TG305s (bottom left). I really think this adds an aggressive look to the big 4WD, and it is one of my favorite combinations. Look for one of the 305s' to show up in a future eBay auction.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Toys for Tots

I have always thought that “Toys for Tots” was a great concept. While I was lucky enough to have nice Christmas toys growing up, many kids don’t. I think that a simple tractor under the tree is a great surprise on Christmas morning. So if you have a “Toys for Tots” donation point in your neighborhood, consider dropping off a tractor so that some lucky girl or boy might wake up on December 25th and do some serious carpet farming. I put a link to their website on my page.

Monday, November 26, 2007

eBay Auctions Ending Soon

There is less than a day left in my current auctions so make sure you see if there is anything you cant live without. Also please check back here over the next several days because there will be new articles and items added to eBay.

Grain Storm...Of Fury!!!

New Model Release: Grain Storm 1000

I guess the news here isn't the fact that the grain cart was produced (because it is an existing casting), but rather that it was released as a limited production run. Allot of buzz was generated at the national show because of the limited quantities that were produced. From what I've read, there were around 3000 green units produced and significantly fewer red ones (If someone can help me out with the production number I would be very grateful).

I heard several people at the national show use the phrase “They are like the Brent cart that was released in the 90’s.” The Brent carts are the dual wheeled grain carts that were limited in number and serial numbered for a show version. There was also a non show version that was produced without the serial number. These carts have been bringing as much as $75 on eBay for the past few years. Whether their value escalates like the Brent carts did may not be known for several years, but they already seem to be selling at an increased price. At the national show I saw the red one listed for $25-35, and the green one listed for $20-30. Ebay has not supported these prices with the average selling price of around $20. Both carts are still available through Vankley’s ($15 Green, $22.50 Red), and Bossen’s has the Green version for $15.

The cart itself is identical to the Frontier and J&M carts that have been released by Ertl in Red, Green, and Blue over the past several years. One notable difference is that the “Grain Storm” claims to have a 1000 bushel capacity, while its earlier J&M counterparts list their capacities as 850 bushels. This is probably just an attempt to squeeze another model out of an existing casting, but nonetheless it’s labeled with an incorrectly.
Note: I apologize for the exclamation marks in the title, but I thought such an exciting sounding product required exclamation marks.

New Model Release: Steiger STX 535

In order to celebrate Steigers 50th year producing 4wd tractors Ertl has produced a 1/64th scale STX 535. This latest version is similar to the STX 530 that was previously released with a few interesting additions. The cab top has been redesigned with a square white and black GPS beacon. It seems to be well done and looks nice on the cab. Another addition is the “50 years of Steiger” decal directly below the new “Red I” Case IH logo.
As far as value outlook I don’t see it increasing for a while, although Ertl could come back and say that it was a very limited production piece (seems unlikely). I have seen this model for sale for anywhere from $7.50-$11.00 from online dealers and implement dealers, so shop around for a good price. Also recently released is a tracked version of the STX535, I’ll post some pictures if that as soon as I get my paws on one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

eBay Auctions Now Up

From time to time I like to go through my collection and get rid of duplicates and models I no longer need, so please browse my latest eBay items. Sometimes I'll throw a custom on there so watch for some of my handy-work.

New Model Release: Steiger Cougar II ST-300

There’s a good reason all fans of 4wd tractors are very familiar with the Steiger name. Steiger has produced some of the most innovative and industrious tractors in the last 40 years.

Ertl obviously saw the niche in the toy market for the Steiger line through the skyrocketing values of the older Steiger tractors they produced in the 80s. The Steiger Cougar Ertl produced back then has consistently sold at toy shows and on eBay in the $30-$50 range for the last several years. In order to capitalize on this Ertl has released 4 new Steigers in 1/64th, the first being the Cougar II ST-300. The other 3 will be in a set which is scheduled to start shipping anytime.

It used to be only collectors models and special editions featured cab glass, but now it seems like pretty much every new model has it. This is a real bonus for the serious collector since it really adds a nice touch of detail to the ST-300 and makes the tractor more realistic. The ST-300 features large floatation singles, a detailed engine and painted on graphics. Another nice feature of this Steiger is that there is no seam in the hood from where the two casting halves come together.

Overall the ST-300 is a very nice model with good detailing. One problem I noticed is that on my model there were several paint chips from the factory. I doubt if this is consistent with all of the models made, but is definitely not something you would expect to find on a brand new model. Currently the ST-300 is available at most dealers for $8-$10.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Golden Premiere: John Deere 8530, Premiere #17

On its second year of the premiere series Ertl has created a mail in offer for collectors who have 8 UPC symbols from the back of their tractor packages. The UPCs must come from one of the first 8 tractors produced in the 2007 premiere tractors. With your check for $4.99, you mail away the UPCs and a few weeks later you are the proud owner of a Golden John Deere 8530.

The 8530 is officially #17, with the previous 16 being regular editions. The tractor comes with a gold collector coin that says “Model 8530 Release #17”. The 8530 is actually a very nice model with die cast construction and cab glass. As far as detail the 8530 is probably one of the nicest in the premiere line. The cab even has painted on lights, which are absent from some of the other premiers. The cab glass is only seen in a few of the other premiere releases.

As far as collectors value the golden tractor is definitely limited in number. How limited I’m not sure, and I doubt if Ertl will ever release production numbers. Nevertheless this tractor already has significant value, with price tags as high as $125 at the national show. I have seen it go for less on eBay, but really we can’t be sure of the price until some time has passed and the market adjusts for the supply.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tonka’s target audience: Adults living vicariously through their children…….And I’m ok with that.

One of the items that recently caught my eye on my latest trip to Sam Walton’s discount wonderland was a miniature replica of a toy truck I had when I was a child. I was immediately caught in the moment, and thought of the hours I spent in the sandbox shoveling dirt and making diesel engine noises with my mouth. I was so struck with nostalgia that I picked up the model and immediately rushed to the check out counter. $3.96 later (By the way, how does everything at WalMart cost $3.96?) I had my model and was ready to go back to the sandbox for the first time in a while.

Who was Tonka targeting with this item? I collect primarily farm toys, yet I was drawn to this truck because I relived a childhood memory. I would venture to guess that most 6 year olds that are looking for a 1/64th sandbox toy have little interest in the minute details that us collectors live for. They are looking for a truck to move dirt, we are looking for an exact replica of a real machine. The catch is that this isn’t a replica of a real machine, but a replica, of a replica of a real machine that is essentially “cartoon-ized” for the sake of the playground. That being said this isn’t really marketed as a collector’s item. It comes in the standard blister packaging, and no indication that it is a special model.

My conclusion is that Tonka is counting on parents that are “power shopping” their way to Christmas nirvana stumbling upon these childhood treasures and buying them up so that their children can have the same Christmas memories that they once had. I’d like to add that I don’t have a problem with this. I’m just going to go ahead and admit about 50% of the reason I plan to have kids in the future is to play with their toys. As a matter of fact I’m surprised that there aren’t more toy ads targeted towards adults because as it turns out, and I don’t think I’m breaking any news here, adults have money and kids don’t. So this Christmas when your out shopping for things that will someday make you curse in the dark, remember to pick up a few things that bring back your own childhood.

Ok, ok, Zac review the actual truck already: The truck is remarkably well detailed for being a replica of a replica. Unlike a Xerox machine that seems to create less detailed versions with compounded copies, this model features detail that seems to be heightened over the extra large original. It features the classic deep treaded plastic Tonka wheels, glossy yellow paint, and a mix of die cast and plastic construction. This model had a swiveling crane platform, and a moveable arm that actually stretches out and dumps. I was surprised to find out that this little truck actually has clear cab glass. Cab glass is a feature of quality I look for on the farm toys I like, so it’s a nice touch on this children’s toy. The best part of the model is the quality of the well detailed graphics. Overall I’d have to say this item is excellent in the children’s toy category for the detail, features, and low price. As a collectors item it probably has limited potential because of the partial plastic construction, and unknown production numbers.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quick and Easy Customs: Custom 1B - Adding Flotation Singles to your New Holland Combine

As all 3 of my readers may have suspected, the blue font was alluding to the fact that the fat singles that I took off of the front of my John Deere 9750 were going to end up on a New Holland product.

Now, as out of place as the singles looked on the John Deere 9000 series combine, the anemic singles that are on the CR960 are truly pathetic. They are narrow and the wheels themselves are very unrealistic. Why did Ertl choose to put the tiny tire and wheel combination on this model? My guess is that it was designed with the intention of having duals, which actually look really sharp on this combine, yet the duals have been reserved for the special editions that have been produced from this casting. Variations from this casting include:
Dealer launch edition CR970 – Features duals and handrails.
1/750 Produced in a shiny gold box. This is a very rare collectors item, it was originally only given to New Holland dealers.
Dealer edition CR970 – Features duals and handrails.
Regular edition CR960 – features skinny singles
Note: This tractor was produced in 2 different shades of New Holland yellow.
2005 Farm Show edition CR970 – Features duals and handrails.
1/3500 Produced in a shiny silver box.
CR 9070 Dealer Edition – Features duals, handrails, and a new color scheme.

As you can see from this list; 4 of the 5 variations have duals. This is contradictory because they are intended as special editions, and vary well have been a lower production number. When you put regular flotation singles on the front they rub a little on the fender of the combine. So instead of producing a new tire and wheel combo, Ertl simply put an older variation that they had laying around Beijing.

Since I’m a sucker for a great set of wheels, I couldn’t help but to put the left over Fat floatation singles from my earlier project on the front of the CR970. I also took off the rear wheels and in their place put the skinny singles that were meant to be the drive wheels on this combine. In my opinion this combination looks much better than the original. You should note that the Fat singles slightly rub the fender. As soon as I figure out an easy fix for this you loyal readers will be the first to know.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quick and Easy Customs: Custom #1 – Adding Duals to Your Combine

One of the most intriguing things about the farm toy hobby is the creation of custom toys not offered by one of the manufacturers. Custom toys can be scratch built, but are generally modifications of existing castings. The obvious benefit of using an existing casting is the reduction in time involved when making a new toy. Although I enjoy all forms of customizing, slight modifications to production castings can create drastic variations and improvements in toys that allow you to have a one of a kind replica.

Tire and wheel changes; The most basic custom.
One variation you often see on real tractors is a difference in tires and wheels, even on the same model tractor. Many of the manufacturers offer the most basic tires and wheels on their toys. Then after they sell a model they start producing variations to maximize the casting use. Despite their best efforts, they can never release every tractor with every tire and wheel possible. This is good news for those us who get a kick out of tearing apart toys.

Why do the 9000 series John Deere combines come with singles on most of the toys produced by Ertl? My theory is based on the initial casting of the 9750 and the way the original tires and wheels they made for it fit. The “floatation” singles that came on the original 9750 that was released in 2001 have a tall profile and fit nicely in the wheel wells, and although they are wide they are tucked in beneath the ladder. It would have caused Ertl to change the wheel well and ladder, or produce a new wheel and tire combination. Neither of which was probably cost effective.

*Note: The 2001 Farm Show edition 9750, and 2006 Farm Show edition 9660 both came with duals. These tractors were a limited production run of 5000 units each.

Adding the duals that Ertl uses on one of their four wheel drive tractors changes the angle at which the combine sits so that the front is lower, and they also leave a wider gap between the tire and the wheel well. Despite these differences adding duals from a 9000 four wheel drive tractor can make the model look more realistic because many of the 9000 series combines are produced with duals.

To change the duals: First remove the wheels and tires. This is easy on some combines and more difficult on others. It probably depends on how diligent the quality control officer in China was working that day. Basically just pull as hard as you can on one side of the wheel or tire. If that doesn’t work a set of vice grips will help you wiggle the wheel off the axle. (Note – The vice grips will damage the wheel).

Next remove the wheels and tires from whatever your stealing them from. The 8870 Premiere tractor, and 9320 4wd kits both have duals that will fit under the fender of the 9000 series combines.

Now that the duals are removed, just install them on the combine and enjoy your new tire and wheel set up. At this point the ladder on your tractor may have to be extended by pulling it out, then re-inserting it to the first mark on the top of the ladder.

Adding duals to the John Deere 7720 gives it a more aggressive look. I have found that the duals from the 9320 kit look really nice, but rub the fender slightly. After you install these you may decide that you want to adjust the axle height (look for this article later in the year in another edition of Quick and Easy Customs). These wheels and tires can be installed the same way you put the duals on the 9000 series combine.

The Finished Product

Photo #1 - The 9750 and 7720 have doubled their traction and are ready for the field.
Photo #2 - Another view of the custom combines.
Photo #3 - Variations in tires and wheels. The combine on the left as a custom set of duals from dakotah toys, and the combine on the right has a set of duals off of a John Deere 9620 four wheel drive.
Please come by later in the week to see what I did with the tires and wheels I took off of the tractors I customized. The color of this text is a hint.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pedal Tractors: Old and New

Pedal Tractors are not a big part of my collection. As a matter of Fact I only have 1. But the one I do have has sentimental value because it was a chiristmas present and I pedaled that thing down country roads, in a parade, and even in a mini-tractor pull at the mall. Its not that I don’t like pedal tractors, but their sheer size prevents me from having a collection at all.

This fall Scale Models is producing a Pedal that has me really excited, enough to break my ban on buying all Scale Models products. The John Deere 9870 is the first mass produced pedal combine that I’m aware of. It features all metal construction, and a level of finish that is not usually seen from Scale Models. The combine will have a moving auger, a 6-row corn head, and rear steering.

I don’t think I’m the only one excited about the combine considering the traffic that I saw as the representative discussed the model with prospective customers at the National Farm toy show. The only thing to complain about on the tractor is its relative awkward seating arrangement. Although I’m about 20 years past my last pedal ride, I can imagine my son some day struggling to keep his balance on this tractor. Nevertheless I will probably buy this pedal and double the size of my collection.

Release date: The Scale Models representative told me that they were still producing the corn head, and she anticipated a thanksgiving-ish delivery date. Online dealers are predicting a Christmas delivery. I’m guessing the online dealers are probably more accurate.

Stock #: ZSM1042

Price: $209.99 from
$219.99 from
$224.99 Pre sale item on

The Scale Models John Deere 9870

Help Support the National Farm Toy Museum

In order to expand the National Farm Toy museum and add an exhibit showing the history of International Harvester the Toy Tractor Times is both selling and auctioning off 200 1/16th models of its current 1066 IH anniversary tractor. These models are special because they have a decal showing the logo of Kohlman farms on the door, and a certificate of authenticity. Kohlman Farms owns the original 1066 that the TTT anniversary tractor was based on. The certificate of authenticity is autographed by TTT owner Jason Hasert.

#200 of the 200 1066s that are being produced is currently being auctioned off on eBay. The last time I checked the price was up to $337. This auction can be viewed at

If that is too rich for your blood, you can buy one of the other 199 at for $75 + $12 S&H.

Also being auctioned off by the Toy Tractor Times is a chrome 1066 that is one of 36 in the world. The proceeds from this auction also go to support the National Farm Toy museum. The chrome auction can be viewed at:
This auction is currently at 1,880.55 and has 24 hours left at the time of this post. It’s a hefty price but if you consider that its one of 36 in the world, it could turn out to be a VERY valuable collectors item worth twice that much.

The Picture I included in this post is of the regular 1066 produced for Toy Tractor Times this year. The Kohlman farms 1066 will be similar except for the decal.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Farm Toy Manufacturer Rankings

Farm toys represent a small segment of the overall toy market. Because Ertl occupies so much of that small segment all of the other companies are forced to produce tractors in specific niches that are skipped over for the sake of maximizing profits. This is not a knock against Ertl, as they are a for-profit company, and it’s hard to imagine our hobby existing without Ertl's dominance and persistence in the toy market.

Since I now have you as a captive audience I would like to run down the key players in the farm toy industry and give my opinions on each, and how they compare to each other. My criteria is from the perspective of a 1/64th scale collector of all brands. I gave high marks for variety and quantity of products sold, increasing level of detail, and reasonable prices.

Ertl - The #1 Farm Toy Producer

Overall Rank: #1
Types of Agricultural products sold: John Deere, Case IH, New Holland, AGCO in 1/64, 1/32, 1/16 scales. They also sell plastic farm play-sets with buildings, animals, houses, fences, and even miniature farmers.
Signature product: Although there are many to choose from I’d have to go with the precision line (Now key precision) because of the extreme detail for a relatively low price.
Availability and pricing: Essentially everywhere (online dealers, wall-mart, TSC, implement dealers, toy shows). Pricing is very low for the level of detail.
Positives: Great selection, low prices, high detail (some models).
Negatives: Made in China, Some models have factory defects.
My impression: The #1 ranking comes from the massive volume and selection Ertl produces annually at a price every age group can afford. Also they recently produced a 1/64th scale authentic line that is essentially a small precision tractor. Precision level detail in 1/64 earns you bonus points with me.

Die Cast Promotions, the #2 Farm Toy Producer

Die Cast Promotions
Overall Rank: #2
Types of agricultural products sold: Big Buds’, Rites’, and 1/64 Valley Center Pivot irrigation system, 1/64 semi tractors and trailers, Big Roys’.
Signature product: Probably the most recognizable are the 747 Big Buds they produced a few years ago but all of their products feature excellent detail.
Availability and pricing: Mostly at toy shows and online dealers. Prices are much higher than Ertl (usually 5-8 times), but worth the detail.
Positives: Great detail, offers models Ertl doesn’t produce.
Negatives: High prices scare away some collectors.
My impression: If Die Cast Promotions produced a wider variety of models, they would be #1 by far. Although the prices are higher, it is worth the level of detail you get, especially when comparing to the price of a custom made model.

Spec Cast - The #3 Farm Toy Producer

Spec Cast
Overall Rank
: #3
Types of agricultural products sold: 1/16 High detail models of JD, AGCO, and International Harvester. 1/16 Kinze 4wd. 1/64 32 Row JD Bauer Built Planter. 1/64 Dealership trucks.
Signature product: The John Deere Bauer Built DB90 planter. I really can’t emphasize this enough. This is the #1 implement made in 1/64th scale in both size and detail. If this review was based on 1 product from each company, Spec Cast would be #1 in a landslide.
Availability and pricing: Online dealers and toy shows.
Positives: Great detail, offers models Ertl doesn’t produce, Resin high detail models are priced very reasonably.
Negatives: Some models are resin and more prone to breaking. 1/64th models are priced out of some collectors range, but are probably reasonable for the level of detail.
My impression: Well this review isn’t based on just 1 product, so in my opinion Spec Cast’s line of toys is too inconsistent and small. Their models seem to be really sparse, and don’t follow a clear trend. This is from the point of view of a 1/64th collector. From the opinion of a 1/16 collector spec cast would probably be ranked ahead of die cast promotions.

Norscott - The #4 Farm Toy Producer

Overall Rank: #4
Types of agricultural products made: 1/87, 1/64, 1/16 Caterpillar and Claas Tractors, combines, Forage harvesters.
Signature Product: 1/32 Caterpillar Lexion 580 Combine. The largest combine in the world, featuring a 16 Row corn head. The model is very well detailed and features a movable grain platform and an extendable grain hopper.
Availability and Pricing: Most caterpillar dealers, Wall-Mart and Meijers occasionally, online dealers, toy shows.
Positives: Good Detail, accurate models.
Negatives: Few models are made, very little consistency in the lines produced.
My impression: For predominately producing construction models Norscott also produces some very nice agricultural models. If I were a collector of 1/50 construction equipment Norscott would be far and away #1, with essentially no #2. But I’m not, so Norscott is #4.

Scale Models - The Last Place Farm Toy Producer

Scale Models
Overall Rank
: #5
Types of agricultural products sold: 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, Pedal tractor. John Deere, Case IH, New Holland, and AGCO replicas.
Signature product: 1/24th Gleaner A85 combine with corn-head. Although Scale models makes many products, this one has the best detail. After the release of the 9870 John Deere 9870 combine pedal tractor I think this will change.
Availability and pricing: Online dealers, Implement dealers, Toy shows. Pricing is too high for the level of detail.
Positives: Made in America, Offers models that other companies don’t.
Negatives: Poor detail, little accuracy, high prices.
My impression: Scale Models is clearly in last place based on my criteria. From a collectors perspective Scale Model’s products are overpriced and poorly detailed. In the past they have used and re-used their same castings again and again. From a kids perspective Scale models products seem to be durable, and made to handle allot of sand box abuse.

Friday, November 9, 2007

The National Farm Toy Museum

Since this past weekend was my first trip to Dyersville, it was also my first visit to the National Farm Toy museum. Admission to the museum last weekend was free, and I had just left the national farm toy show auction, so it was a nice break from the consistent hustle of the toy show.

The museum starts out with a nice video presentation about the history of the farm toy hobby, and the evolution of the toy tractor. You exit the theater into one of the many glass cased rooms and begin your tour with one of the famous tractors produced in Fred Ertl’s basement. The museum actually occupies 2 floors and is exactly what you would expect; Glass cases full of tractors. Every brand is represented and they are divided into groups based on manufacturer, brand, and purpose. One of the most interesting exhibits in the museum showed how the harvest has changed over the past 100 years. It’s really interesting to see how the harvest has turned from a slow, manual procedure to a very efficient and automated operation.

Overall touring the museum is a thrill for any collector because it gives background and insight into a hobby that has a very rich heritage. My favorite part of the museum is the giant John Deere tractor that is made up of smaller tractors in many different scales.

Please read my next post for information on how you can help support an expansion project for the National Farm toy museum.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Past 5 Years of National Farm Toy Show Tractors

Starting in 2003 Toy Farmer and Ertl continued their series of National Farm Toy Show models by incorporating a new theme; vintage four wheel drive tractors. These tractors were not only landmark units because they were made from all new castings and featured redesigned packaging, but they also exhibit a level of detail that was lacking in other 1/64th scale tractors. Since my collection is focused on 1/64th scale I decided to collect only the smaller version. The first 1/64th scale tractor in the vintage 4wd series is actually the 4th 1/64 model produced for the National Farm toy show.

2003 - The John Deere 7020

The 2003 National Farm Toy Tractor: The John Deere 7020

The people that make the decisions at Ertl are not dim bulbs. They knew in order to successfully sell their new vintage series they should start with the crowd favorite (John Deere), and offer a model that is new to 1/32 and 1/64 scales.

The John Deere 7020 has an all die cast construction with fenders on all four wheels. Part of this tractors exceptional detail comes from the cab glass, and black paint around the windows which is meant to look like the weather stripping.

According to the Toy Farmer pamphlet that came with this years national farm tractor there were 10,500 units produced in 1/64th scale and 10,700 units in 1/32nd scale. When new these tractors sold for around $10 in 1/64 and have appreciated nicely. At this years national toy show I saw tables where they were selling for $25-$30, and online dealers have them listed for as much as $32. Being the first tractor in the 4wd series I would expect the 7020 to maintain its current value, and with the markets demand for John Deere products it always has potential for an increase in value.

2004 - The Massey Ferguson 1500

The 2004 National Farm Toy Tractor: The Massey Ferguson 1500

AGCO is generally less represented in the toy market than John Deere, Case IH, and New Holland. When it was announced that an AGCO branded Massey Ferguson was going to be the 2004 show tractor, many collectors including myself were very excited.

The 1500 is another tractor featuring die cast construction, clear cab glass, and black paint which represents the weather stripping. The level of detail is excellent, and although a similar Massey was cast back in the 80s’ this tractor is much more realistic.

An interesting note on this tractor is that the literature advertising this tractor showed it with a very detailed 3pt hitch. However upon release there was only a drawbar on the tractor. The wheels on this tractor are also different from the Toy Farmer literature which made its release even more of surprise.

According to the Ertl pamphlet there were 8,202 1/32nd units produced and 8,200 1/64th scale units. When they were released these tractor sold for $10, currently I have seen them selling in the $25-35 range from the national show and online dealers. Because of their relative low production numbers (the lowest in this series), I would expect them to maintain their current value, with potential for a slight increase.

2005 - The Oliver 2655 Diesel

The 2005 National Farm Toy Tractor: The Oliver 2655 Diesel

As surprised as collectors were to get the first AGCO model, it was even more stunning to get 2 in a row. There really haven’t been many Oliver tractors made in 1/64th scale, so to get one with this level of detail was a real treat.

This model exhibits the customary die cast construction and cab glass featured in every tractor in this series, but with an important addition; The Oliver 2655s’ were produced with the 3pt hitch that was supposed to come on the Massey Ferguson 1500.

One note on this tractor is that my 1/64th 2655 has a couple tires that have become discolored in the packaging. I don’t know if this is a trend in all of the farm show edition Olivers’ produced, but it is definitely a noticeable defect on my model.

According to the Toy Farmer pamphlet 9,000 units were produced in both 1/64th and 1/32nd scales, slightly more than the Massey Ferguson 1500. At the national show I saw very few of these tractors for sale, but the ones I did see were selling for around $20, and I have seen them for as much as $30 from online dealers.

2006 - The International 4366

The 2006 National Farm Toy Show: The International 4366

Being the second best represented brand when it comes to farm toy production it wasn’t a real surprise that the 2006 model was a Case IH product, but the 4366 is a nice addition to the series.

The 4366 features die-cast construction, clear cab glass, and a 3pt hitch that has become standard on all of the tractors in this series. One interesting feature on this model is the highly detailed grille. The grille has individually cast and painted ribs, headlights, and a International Harvester emblem. Another nice feature on this model is that there is no casting seam down the middle of the hood, which seems to be present on almost every other 1/64th scale tractor. This model also has very detailed tires and rims, featuring the Good Year logo on the sidewall of the tire.

According to the Ertl pamphlet there were 16,902 1/64th scale units produced and 11,616 1/32nd units produced. As far as value goes I think the 1/64th version is suffering from the sheer number of units produced and its relative newness. You can still buy the 4366 from online dealers for $14-18 on most sites.

2007 - The Case 2470 Traction King

The 2007 National Farm Toy Show Tractor: The Case 2470 Traction King

Considering that the 2006 Show tractor was a Case IH product, I think many people expected this years tractor to be another color. Even though it’s the second CIH product in a row, I don’t think anyone is complaining after considering the level of detail in the 2470.

The 2470 features the standard die cast construction, clear cab glass, and 3pt hitch seen on all of the four wheel drive models in this series. Overall the detail is up to par compared with the other tractors in the series with one exception, the casting line is clearly visible on the roof of the tractor, and somewhat takes away from the overall quality. This model features a newly designed wheel for 1/64th scale, but with the same detailed Good Year tires from the 4366. I think it’s interesting to note that this model is the only one in the series that does not articulate, and also that the box is significantly larger than the others in the vintage four wheel drive series.

The Toy Farmer pamphlet states that 9,096 1/32nd scale units, and 13,120 1/64th scale units were produced for the 2007 National show. These tractors were priced at $10 from the toy farmer table at the National show last weekend, but I saw some vendors that were selling them for $15-$20 already. I think this has less to do with the value of the tractor, and more to do with some of the vendors trying to make a few dollars from customers that didn’t know they could be bought for a cheaper price elsewhere. While there were fewer 2470s made than 4366s, the large quantity produced indicates that supply will outweigh demand for a while, and I expect the prices to remain stable.

National Farm Toy Show Tractors


My overall impression of this series is that it offers collectors a nice variety of 4wd tractors that either have not been available in 1/32nd or 1/64th , or contained very little detail. One interesting feature that is common among all of the tractors is the very colorful artwork on the boxes. There is a very nice cartoon graphic of each tractor, the company logo, and Toy Farmer’s own cartoon farmer, Zeke. Each of the models also has a silver stamp that reads National Farm Toy Show 200_.


2003 The John Deere 7020 16106A
2004 The Massey Ferguson 1500 16118A
2005 The Oliver 2655 16139A
2006 The International 4366 16153A
2007 The Case 2470 16168A

Disclaimer: The prices and figures that I used in this article were obtained from my observation of farm toy market, and literature produced by farm toy manufactures. I cannot guarantee the value or production numbers of any of these models.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Back From Dyersville

When people think of exciting vacations they often describe skiing in Colorado, climbing Mt. Everest, or going on a safari in Africa. My dream vacation involves a small town in rural Iowa where the cows outnumber the residents and a festival dedicated to children’s toys is the biggest event of the year. The National Farm Toy show is the Superbowl of the farm toy world, and Dyersville, Iowa is the Mecca of farm toy collectors. This year after 6 years of trying to make it I finally got the chance to visit Dyersville in all it’s splendor.

In the following days I will put op a series of posts containing pictures, articles, and impressions I took away from the show. Please come back to see how my visit to toy land went. Also I will include some information about the past show tractors that was included when you purchased them at the show that may be a helpful guide to value when looking at previous show models.

Pictured above is the 2007 National Farm Toy show tractor, the CASE 2470. The 2470 is the 5th in a series of historic 4wd tractors that the Toy Farmer has produced. In a later post I will describe all of the historic 4wds in detail, since they are a part of my collection that I find especially interesting.

Welcome to Zac's Tractors

For my first post I would like to introduce you to my blog which will be loaded with information about Toy Tractors. Actually just like any blog i'll probably be really into it for a month, then my posts will be bi-weekly, and eventually you will see 3 year gaps in my activity.

My goal for this page is to present to you the knowledge I have accumulated about toy tractors over my years of collecting, new information that I gather about the hobby, and my opinions about new models and where the hobby is headed. I will post pictures and stories about my collection and my own custom work, so feel free to post your shallow and deeply hurtful criticisms in my comments section.

About myself: I am in my mid 20's and have been collecting farm toys essentially my entire life. Although my collection has grown the most in the past 7 years, I still have some childhood toys that add character to my collection. My collection consists mainly of 1/64 scale, mixed with 1/16, 1/32, and 1/87 scale models I find interesting. I also dabble in customizing. I am partial to John Deere just because thats what was mainly used in the fields that surrounded my house when I was growing up, but as you will see my collection is not brand specific.

My interest in the hobby stems from my youth when I worked in many different areas of agriculture. I started out riding along in the real combines and tractors that I collect models of today. At one point or another i've helped out either planting or harvesting corn, soy-beans, tomatoes, pumpkins, strawberries, blueberries, radishes, and wheat. Being around all of the machinery that helps to put food on our tables has always facinated me, so my admiration for these massive contraptions is what has lead to my interest in collecting models.

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