Published: November 15, 2016
ALLENTOWN, PENN. — There were these two guys standing just outside of Agricultural Hall at the Allentown Fairgrounds and one said to the other (sounds as if this were the start of a joke, but it happened), “I was here yesterday at the preview, bought lots of things, and I am back here again today to see if I can find more.”
Well, it certainly appeared that he was not the only one who was buying, as just about everyone leaving the show was carrying a package, according to several of the dealers who were set up near the door.
David Bausch, the popular manager of the Allentown Antiques Toy Show, said, “The show went very well, some wonderful toys came onto the floor, and many of our exhibitors seemed to do very well and we had a nice crowd.” David, a well-known collector of just about everything in the world of toys, also mentioned that he was not only pleased with the show, “but I added a few things to my collection as well.”
A couple of the tables that filled Agricultural Hall went vacant this year due to a few last-minute cancellations related to medical reasons, but the others were, for the most part, filled to capacity with just about every imaginable toy or holiday-related item available. And not only did the toys spread widely over interests, but spanned time from antique cast iron and tin pieces to Star Wars and Barbie. On some of the tables cars and/or trucks were parked bumper to bumper, cast iron wagons and coaches, horse-drawn, all seemed to be in a race with one another, and toy soldiers stood so close together, at attention, that there was no room for any of them to topple over. Close to 375 dealers took part in the show and the gate was close to 800 visitors.
This show is open for only one day, the first Saturday in November, from 9 am to 3 pm. However, floor rights are available on the Friday before the show opens,
from 10 am to 3 pm, for a $50 ticket. This allows people into the show while the exhibitors are setting up and admission on Saturday from 7:30 to 9 am when the show opens to the general public, for a $5 admission. Usually about 75 collectors take advantage of this preview time, better known as early buying.
Originally, of course, toys were made for the young, designed to keep them occupied and with a smile. Interest in toys, however, generally fades away with childhood, only to stir again as we get older, much older in some cases. There seems to be very few young people collecting toys, as it is with other avenues of antiques collecting, but those who are bitten by the bug are having a great time.
One lady had it right, saying, “I have never seen so many men, and some of them quite old, rushing about looking for a treasure, sharing stories with their friends and gloating over a new find to enhance their collections.”
Another lady, who was booth sitting while her husband was still on the prowl, mentioned that he had been back once with an addition to his collection and was very pleased and would be more than willing to show it when he returned. That he did, carefully unwrapping a yellow-painted race car by Hubley, “a hard to find toy and a nice plus for my collection,” he said. That is what makes the Allentown Antiques Show really click.
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