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Toy tractor show at Wisconsin high school attracts collectors of all ages

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Wisconsin high school hosted a toy tractor show that had Deere models.
A Wisconsin high school hosted a toy tractor show that had Deere models.

A Southern Wisconsin farm toy show drew about 1,200 old, young and middle-aged people to the high school where it was held, according to a published report.

With 60 farm toy collectors assembling exhibits, many of which featured John Deere toy tractors, the show at Verona high school occurred on a recent Sunday. Toys manufactured by two companies typically are heavily represented at the toy shows.

"Many of the smaller makers have found it too expensive to meet the many government regulations in force and have gotten out or cut back their toy business," Cathy Sheibe, who has been organizing toy tractor shows since 2000, said of Ertle company, estimating the company controls 95 percent of the toy tractor manufacturing industry.

Another company, Reuhl Products, generated toys that are in high demand, partially because of how heavily detailed they were when produced in the 1940s and 1950s.

"They made some outstanding farm toys," Giles Turner, a retired contractor-turned-toy collector, said of Reuhl Products. "Their toys are very rare and expensive. I have some Massey equipment made by Reuhl that only the true collector knows about and wants."

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