Published: November 12, 2019
Review and Photos by R. Scudder Smith
ALLENTOWN, PENN. – The first Saturday in November means everything, even in some cases more than Christmas and Thanksgiving, to countless collectors of antique toys. For this is time for the Allentown Antique Toy Show & Sale at Harris Hall at the Allentown Fairgrounds.
This year the first Saturday was on the 2nd, but dealers began Friday setting up their tables and welcoming those who show up and take advantage of floor rights for $50 per person. Floor rights continue again on Saturday from 7:30 to 9 am, when the show opens to the general public until 3 pm for a $5 admission. Children have a $3 ticket.
Close to 400 tables were set up for the vendors, some taking as many as four, to load with cast iron and tin toys, dolls, games and puzzles, mechanical and still banks, trains, comics, miniatures and books and lots more.
It is rare that the dealers talk about things other than special toys or recent finds. This year the weather was a popular topic, namely a storm that brought lousy travel, fallen trees and no power in many places along the coast. However, nothing seemed to stand in the path to Allentown. For instance, Dave Hudson of Westland, Mich., tells of his ten-hour drive from home through torrential rain and winds for most of his trip. “I have never seen such rain, driving through water that made the road close to impossible,” Dave said. On Saturday one man reported that he sat through a one and half hour delay on I-78, cutting into his time at the show.
A regular at the show is Dale Kelley, editor and publisher of the magazine Antique Toy World, who lends his opinion of the show by saying the Allentown Show has “some of the finest antique toys in the world.” Toy lovers from near and far seem to agree, as well as more than 700 people who attended the show this year.
A number of auction houses take advantage of getting their message to toy and bank collectors with booths of literature and objects to be sold in the future. Those present this year were Morphy Auctions, Denver, Penn.; Bertoia Auctions, Vineland, N.J.; RSL Auctions, Whitehouse Station, N.J.; Old Toy Soldier Auctions USA, Pittsburgh, Penn.; and Cabin Fever Auctions, Douglasville, Penn. Miles King of Milestone Auctions, Willoughby, Ohio, was at the show but had a sale on Saturday for which he had to return to his gallery.
The 42nd edition of the Allentown Toy Show will be on November 7, 2020, so mark your calendar. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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