TOY TRACTORS

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E2762 County F Kewaunee, Wisconsin 54216

Every year we see increased interest in this new approach to our hobby. We now have several club members who actively collect and display exhibits of miniature tractors. Just as model railroading developed from the first toy trains, so did this important adjunct to collections of full size equipment grow from children's playthings. As toy manufacturers found a growing market for their products among adult collectors, they have increased and expanded their lines, made their models more detailed and exact, and thus are now offering a wide range of sophisticated scale-model farm equipment to a growing community of interested hobbyists.

Those of us who are unable to store and transport a full-size tractor can now participate in a new way with a satisfying substitute. A show book, a steam magazine, and a toy tractor are just enough to sustain us from the last show in the fall until the first one in the spring!

The Ertl Company of Dyersville, Iowa is probably the best-known manufacturer of toy tractors and equipment. The Ertl Replica, a collector's club newsletter, is sent out every two months to its many subscribers. New tractors are shown in every issue in 1/64, 1/32, and 1/16 scale sizes. Trucks, banks, airplanes, and farm equipment are also shown. The John Deere Company dealers have many inexpensive toy tractors for sale, too.

More and more steam and tractor shows are now featuring toy tractors as part of their exhibits. As this feature grows in popularity, it is becoming increasingly evident that many people are coming to the shows primarily to look at toys rather than at their full-size counterparts. Shows that recognize the popularity of these toys can certainly cash in on this new trend! It remains to be seen how soon toy tractors will be mentioned in the show advertising carried by the steam magazines. The Wisconsin Steam Antique Engine Club Show, held the second full weekend in August, has a large building devoted only to toy tractors and equipment. This will be the third year that the toy exhibit has been prominent in this show. Let's see all of you toy tractor buffs at Chilton, Wisconsin on August 12 & 13!