Someone who has a toy hobby is usually an adult. After all, all children collect toys - the more the merrier for them, but a person who has a toy hobby usually collects one type of toy - like, say, train sets or a specific make of train set. These adults retain their childhood absorption with fantasy. They are not childish, but are childlike while they begin talking on the topic of or playing with their favourite toys.
Some toy hobbyists like to share their hobby with children, frequently grandparents come into this category, and some toy hobbyists do not, frequently single men who are scared that children may damage their often valuable collection.
These collections of toys can become very valuable, because people tend to collect the toys from their youth, so a grandparent is usually collecting toys from fifty or sixty years ago.
A favourite toy hobby for women is collecting antique dolls or dolls from other countries. Occasionally this interest in dolls will spill over into an interest for dolls' prams or dolls' dresses and they may begin to make dolls' clothing and even their own clothing. Some women and some men too get into manufacturing dolls and even dolls' houses.
Rag dolls are a distinct favourite both for the collector and the crafter because they are easy to make and easy to mend. Teddy bears could also be put in the category of dolls. Many homes have a small collection of teddy bears if there have been children brought up there and it is not strange to see hundreds of teddy bears on shelves dotted around a house.
Lots of older men collect train sets or model cars. Hornby, Marxs, Marklin and Lionel come to mind for train sets and Matchbox and Dinky for small but detailed, die cast model cars. Tonka is famous for larger, maybe less detailed, model trucks, but people liked to play with their bulldozers, trucks and earth-movers as children.
More modern toys that have become collectible include Beanie Babies. Beanie Babies are childlike representations of babies. So there are baby kangaroos, baby elephants, in fact babies of every type of animal you can think of and each one has its own separate personality.
They are inexpensive and lovable and there are hundreds of them - exactly the combination that some collectors desire. Teddy bear collectors frequently have a couple of Beanie Babies as well.
Other popular toy hobbies are flying radio-controlled, powered model aircraft and racing motor-powered radio-controlled cars and trucks. There are also hobbyists that collect or and make radio-controlled boats. Some collectors of radio-controlled aircraft, boats and vehicles may not like being referred to as toy hobbyists, but it is what they are after all.
Wooden toys have always been popular too. A hundred years ago and further, all toys would have been manufactured of timber, especially those of the working class and there are still a lot of parents and grandparents who like to give or manufacture wooden toys themselves. A toy hobby is a great pastime for those who remember their childhood fondly and never really got out of the habit of playing.
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