My eyes lit up when I saw it – a 007 James Bond Scalextric set from 1967 still in mint condition with box and instructions, writes Charles Hanson.
This would have been the ultimate Christmas present back then and, nearly 50 years later, would delight children today – and me!
The toys of yesteryear evoke such powerful emotions it can bring a tear to the eye according to Steve Fulford, our new toy valuer. He brought the 007 set to Hansons to provide a festive flavour of what’s big in the toy collectables world today. That 60s Scalextric set can now sell for £1,500 to £2,500.
Steve’s been fascinated by toys all his life and famously says, ‘I grew up once but didn’t like it’.
He has been a collector for more than 40 years and ran two toys museums for 10 years showcasing more than 2,000 playthings.
One of his most powerful childhood memories dates back to the 1960s when he walked into Birmingham’s John Lewis store at Christmas with his mum and, on the 5th floor, discovered a spellbinding display of row upon row of toys. He says it was akin to the department store scene in film Elf. Toys were being demonstrated all around him – and Steve was mesmerised.
Nostalgia influences toy collectability as each new generation looks back at what they played with as children. Many seek out those old toys again which is how it all began for Steve – though one boyhood decision still irks him.
At 15 he sold all his toys in a garage sale to buy a bike. Then, when he was 20, he went to a toy fair and kicked himself - because the kind of toys he’d sold were there. He started re-buying his childhood toys and a lifelong passion blossomed.
Today, at 61, he loves toys as much as ever, and I’m delighted he’ll be joining us at Hansons from January to offer free toy valuations every Friday, from 10am-4pm.
If you’re clearing a loft or house, never dismiss something as worthless. For example, an old board game may be worth £30-£40. Games like Totopoly, a horse racing game from the 1960s, can fetch that figure. Then there was Blast Off, a 1969 board game to coincide with the Moon landings. And who remembers Battle of The Little Bighorn or the Formula One games? These are the board games of value rather than Cluedo and Monopoly which are too commonplace.
Tinplate toys from the 1940s or 50s, Dinky vehicles and train sets are collectable as are Steiff bears or Victorian dolls.
But so are Tiny Tears doll from the 1960s, early Barbie and Pippa dolls and vintage Action Man toys. Moving into the 1970s, we sold a 60-strong collection of vintage Star Wars toys for nearly £10,000 this year and 1980s wrestling figures or Ninja Turtle can be collectable too.
And what about a battery-operated 1960s ‘Mother Bear sitting and knitting in her old rocking chair’? Auction estimate £80-£120.
Grown-ups should be allowed to be kids at Christmas, too. I hope you have a wonderful festive season and find a gift to evoke memories under your tree.
Hansons is closed from December 22 for Christmas but reopens on Wednesday, January 2. Toy and general valuations are available on Friday, January 4, 10am-4pm. Sports memorabilia and general valuations are available on Saturday, January 5, 9am-noon.