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There’s Gold In His Farm Toy Collection
The round-roof barn that used to house cattle and later stored farm equipment is now a “golden” place of refuge and a personal toy museum for Dave Klassen. After a complete renovation in 2018 with foam insulation, new walls and ceiling, in-floor heat and vinyl plank flooring, the 28 by 63-ft. main floor has enough space for his collection of about 3,000 model tractors and farm equipment. Back-to-back custom-built cherrywood and glass cabinets wind through the area revealing something new around every corner.
Among the models in a rainbow of colors from 10 manufacturers (John Deere, Farmall, Big Bud, etc.), about 300 models glitter in gold or bright red or green chrome.
“I’m known to have a lot of gold toys on Facebook’s ‘The Farm Toy Addiction’ group that has 14,000 members,” notes Klassen, who is one of the moderators for the group. During their regular “show-and-tell” events, members discuss the details of models, and often Klassen shares a gold model.
He explains they are called “Chasers.” Toy makers made a limited number of the gold or chrome models and slipped them randomly in cases of toys shipped to dealers. Many ended up in the offices of owners or salesmen, but occasionally they were sold. They are rare and not easy to find, but in his quest to add to his collection, the Manitoba farmer says he has made many great friends, including a good friendship through Facebook Messenger with two other collectors who call themselves the Three Amigos.
Klassen says his collection, which includes 70-year-old toys and models in 1/64, 1/32 and 1/16 scales, shows the history of how tractors evolved over time. He also has farm equipment and trucks reminiscent of the trucking company he owned until recently.
In the mid-1990’s he started collecting more seriously to balance hard work with play. For him, “playing with toys” centers around rearranging them when he acquires new pieces and thoughtfully choosing models to photograph and share on Facebook groups.
“The cool part about collecting is meeting people from all over the world, and I’ve gotten some good friends in the toy hobby,” he says. “The size of your collection doesn’t matter. Don’t compare your collection to other collections. Do what you enjoy.”
He encourages collectors to check out and join some of the many groups on Facebook. Klassen also welcomes visitors by appointment to see his collection when he’s not farming with his sons.
Collecting is an important part of his life and the friendships he has made.
“When I go to the barn, I think about what I want to do on Facebook for a photo shoot and what to talk about. It’s for me and to inspire others to be part of toy collecting.”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dave Klassen, Austin, Manitoba, Canada (dave.klassen@mymts.net; Facebook: The Farm Toy Addiction).

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #1