Toy collections on display at Winspear Centre

There’s a little money in buying and selling toys but for collectors it’s more about keeping their childhood memories alive

Victoria’s Amelia Preston

There’s a little money in buying and selling toys — but for a few collectors at Sunday’s Victoria Toy Show in Sidney, it’s more about keeping their childhood memories alive.

Cobble Hill’s Lance Evans absolutely loves his large collection of pro wrestling toys. He says he has been collecting action figures and more for at least 25 years. He had on display at the Mary Winspear Centre event, buckets of wrestling figures — from Hulk Hogan to Rowdy Roddy Piper.

“My personal collection is humongous,” he said. “It’s a hobby. I pick up a few collections here and there, take a few for myself and sell a few more at these shows.”

Evans said he has loved wresting toys since he was a kid and has turned that enjoyment of both the sport and the toys, into a life-long hobby. These days, he travels to shows, selling his wrestlers — among other collectables — and even takes part in auction sales to make those rare finds.

His most recent auction purchases netting him a bit of a profit and anything he makes on the toy show circuit is just gravy.

Sidney’s May Winspear Centre was filled with tables of collectables that appeal to kids of all ages. Plenty of children were there with their parents, looking for that special something. Adults, too, were pouring over memorabilia from their own era. One could spend hours going through the toy cars, action figures and more — many still in their original packages — to find what suits one’s fancy.

Paul Elliott of Richmond, B.C. displayed his collection of toy cars — some 300 of them. He said he found most of them in a couple of collections he purchased in Alberta.

His collection is mostly English metal vehicles and airplanes — toys he grew up with as a child in England. He said he had more than 100 of them himself, and came across a good collection at a toy show in Calgary.

“So I made an offer,” he said. “Then I met a guy in Edmonton at an actual car show and by chance, we started talking about toys. I ended up buying his collection.”

Elliott said he can make money selling them both at the shows and on the internet. But he added he still enjoys having a few of the old English toys around.

Both Elliott and Evans had their wives in tow at the Sidney event — and both said they too enjoy doing it. They are, as it turns out, the ones who handle most of the actual business of selling the toys. While they share their husbands’ enthusiasm for collecting, it’s the boys who would probably take forever to sell their precious memories.


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