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Giant Toy Collection
Elmer and Berradette Duellman, Fountain City, Wis., have what Elmer calls "the happiest hobby anyone can have" - they collect toys and pedal cars, and they do it in world class fashion.
In fact, the Duellmans say they may have the largest toy and pedal car collection in the U.S. with 400 to 500 pedal cars and more than 100 pedal tractors including a John Deere 80 - the first pedal tractor ever made. Their pedal car collection includes two double-seat models (a similar one owned by someone else recently sold for $50,000).
They've got a giant toy collection that numbers more than 12,000 toys of all kinds.
In addition, they have more than 100 full-size antique and classic autos and trucks that were built between 1910 and the 1980's. Elmer says most of the cars have limited mileage with one showing only five miles. They've also collected more than 20 full-size motorcycles including Old Indian and Harley Davidsons, as well as a number of scooters, bicycles, wagons, sleds, and tricycles.
They keep their collection in three large buildings on their farm. Their collection is an ever-present part of their life. For ex-ample, last year they decorated their Christmas tree with 111 toys.
Although he has a Packard Coupe valued at about $18,000 and other expensive items, Elmer says his most cherished treasure is a toy motorcycle with side-car be-cause of its pristine condition. He turned down an offer of $8,500 for it. But most of his toys are only for display and not for sale.
A wind-up toy manufactured in Germany in 1921 called "Powerful Katrinka" will walk along and lift another little doll up and down. A similar "Powerful Katrinka" sold for $1,900 at an auction.
Their collection includes toys made from cast-iron, pressed steel, tin, Japanese tin, plastic, glass, wood, and rubber.
Retired from the salvage business, Elmer shows a special fondness for toy wreckers and has 200 to 300 wreckers on display. He had a replica made of his first wrecker - a 1955 Chevy. He bought most of his finds through auctions all over the country.
He priced the items in his collection by submitting photos of each item to three of his friends. The friends, who make a living buying and selling toys, all wrote the prices they thought the item was worth on each photo. Since then, he has written two price guides for collectors.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Elmer and Berradette Duellman, W 903 Elmer's Rd., Fountain City, Wis. 54629 (ph 608 687-7221).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #3