Article appeared in Collecting Toys Magazine
MAKING THINGS RIGHT
The artisans of Classic Tin Toy Company prove toy restoration ain't what it used to be
By: Jim Bunte
The broken, nearly worthless toy. Every enthusiast has at least a few in his or her collection. Maybe the castoffs come from that great repository of broken toys, the garage sale. Sometimes they're under-the-dealer-table discoveries at toy shows. And often, they can be family heirlooms too beloved to discard.
There's a growing trend in collecting, a desire to give even the most beleaguered toy a second chance. The reason--high values and increasing scarcity of quality originals. When it's almost impossible to find good-quality pieces, restoration becomes the next best thing. And for many toy collectors, restoration is the solution.
When we visited Classic Tin Toy Company, we knew we were seeing a pioneer in the collectible toy restoration business. Customers send in their beloved toys, and the Sheboygan, Wisconsin, artisans go to work, usually turning the items around in a few weeks or less.
But we still needed convincing. Could Classic Tin Toy's work hope to compare with the patina, ambience, and character of the originals? Honestly, restorations until recently have been the handiwork of those for whom "rejuvenation" means a new coat of paint and reproduction decals.
The craftspeople of Classic Tin Toy Company changed our perspective on toy restorations. And it didn't matter which medium the toy was manufactured--in plastic, steel, or tin-they showed us phenomenal results.
Doubt is a standard reaction to any new trend, and restoration deserves plenty of doubt from toy collectors. After all, it's just too easy to permanently deface a toy. That's why we were so impressed with Classic Tin Toy's work. Have a look at some of the before and after photos; we think you'll agree that restoration ain't what it used to be.