If you loved toy guns as a kid, there’s no reason you can’t continue to love them as an adult by starting a toy gun collection. At its core, toy collecting is an art that requires in-depth research and a knack for discovering value where others might not see it. Like most hobbies involving collectibles, when done right, it can also be a means of making money by trading and selling rare weapon toys to other collectors and enthusiasts. Even if you’re not interested in selling or trading your toy guns, contact other hobbyists for help. Networking is simply a vital tool in any type of toy collecting.
For the novice toy collector, getting started can seem a little daunting. To get started, you should select the theme you find most interesting and start experiencing the thrill of finding rare gems at toy auctions and garage sales.
First, decide which weapon classification appeals to you the most? Do you like the idea of collecting replicas of historic “wild west” weapons, science fiction-inspired pistols or perhaps models of modern military weaponry? The market is vast and you will never be short of choices when it comes to collecting toy guns.
While collecting toys of any kind in recent decades involved long journeys to flea markets, auctions, and conventions, the internet now allows anyone to start building a collection from the comfort of their home.
Some start by collecting nostalgia-inspired guns and accessories that hark back to their days playing “Cowboys and Indians” as kids. These toy guns have a vintage, worn look and are often attributed to historical Western figures such as Wild Bill Hitchcock, Doc Holliday, or Billy The Kid. Most “cowboy” guns shoot hats and typically come with faux leather holsters and belt straps.
Of course, cowboy-themed toy guns aren’t limited to revolvers or pistols. To form a more interesting collection, try to keep a balance between rifles and pistols. Guns alone are great, but shotguns add their own distinct sense of history to any toy gun collection.
If you don’t want to collect around a specific theme, such as Western weapons, organize the collection according to the three main categories of weapons; guns, rifles and high powered firearms.
Some individuals believe that thematic collections are limiting. But a toy collector can always have multiple themes for one collection and can use themes from other toy collections to enhance the weapon collection. For example, a Star Wars fan who already has various action figures and memorabilia from that series, can add different laser blasters and weapons to the collection and in the same process add to toy guns. Other examples could be collections of model toys with themes from the Civil War, World War II, or any historical military conflict.
Collecting toys can be a dynamic and fulfilling hobby. With today’s internet it’s never been easier to get involved and find guns and other vintage toys to add to a collection.