Note: This feature is in the Oct. TT&C 2012 issue.
Other stories in the Oct. TT&C 2012 are:
• Evolution of WINROSS by Mark Macreading
• Siku’s New Zealand Emergency and Rescue Models by Christopher Moor
• walk down...The Little Engine House...laneby Larry Phillips
• Get Up There with Ladder Chief! by Richard Marmo
David Piller praises his wife, Marilyn, for supporting his toy-collecting hobby that swelled into a part-time business. Then again, Marilyn is in part responsible for the obsession.
She works at a bank where the chairman of the bank is a founder of a “little” toy show in Sublette, Ill. Collectors in the region know that the small farming village (population 400) bursts at the seams with about 7,000 people during the Sublette Farm Toy & Antique Tractor Show every March.
With the support of his wife, David attended the 1998 show and purchased two Grove truck cranes, just because cranes fascinate him. It might have ended with the cranes, except that David maintained contact with the vendor, who only lived 35 miles away.
“I started to buy more and more toys. As things developed, I needed a return on my investment,” David said with a laugh. By 2000, he had more than enough toys to set up his own table at a John Deere Two-Cylinder Club show at the fairgrounds just 10 blocks from his Mendota, Ill., home.
“We thought we’d get our feet wet,” he said.
Twelve years later, more than the Pillers’ feet are wet. They sell trucks of all kinds at about a dozen shows a year through their business, Classic Toy Models.
That’s in addition to David’s large personal collection. Most are newer models, but there is a special older one among them.
“I never had very many toys when I was a child growing up on a farm,” David explained. “I had a John Deere tractor with a man on it and a stamped-steel semi I played with outside. Also, I had a John Deere combine 12A, which I still have today. My mother marked the dates on everything, and it was given to me Dec. 25, 1952. It’s in one of my display cases.”
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the Oct. TT&C 2012 magazine!
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