Collectable toys and the Wellington Collectors Toy Fair (5 July)

Collectable toys are intriguing snapshots of a time and a culture — many can even be fascinating miniature artworks, and nowadays, some of the more collectable ones can be worth a lot. Wellington City Libraries has a collection of toy collector books and magazines if you have an interest in collectable toys — have a browse below!

And did you know there’s a toy fair for collectors on in the Wellington region next month (5 July)? It’s the Wellington Collectors Toy Fair, which you can visit for a small charge and meet other collectors. Suitable for all ages.


Toys : how to pick antiques like a pro / Bradley, Eric
“Welcome to Toyland! Whether it’s a rare three-wheeled motorcycle that sold for $23,000 or an unopened LEGO set of the Millennium Falcon that can go for as much as $4,500, toy-box treasures are  waiting to be found. In this hands-on, how-to guide book, you’ll uncover: The best toys to hunt for, including action figures, LEGO sets, model trains, space toys, teddy bears, tin toys, vehicles, oddities, and more ; Practical strategies from top buyers and sellers ; Where to find hidden treasures ; How to flip toys for profit and fun ; Common fakes and reproductions.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Matchbox toys / Jones, Nick
“Matchbox toys were ubiquitous items for children across the Western world. Originally labelled Christmas-cracker trash by retailers and shopkeepers, they soon began to see unprecedented worldwide sales in the 1950s. In this beautifully illustrated book, Matchbox collector Nick Jones tells the story of Matchbox and its most famous toys, from the Coronation Coach to the Batmobile, and complements the story with beautiful, previously unpublished photographs.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Tin dream machines : German tinplate toy cars and motorcycles of the 1950s and 1960s / Walter, Gerhard G
“This is a picture book, a price guide, and a history of one of the most popular collecting areas in the toy world. It showcases the finest racing cars, saloons, convertibles, motorcycles, track toys and filling stations made in the 1950s and 1960s ” (adapted from the Catalogue)

Miller’s toys & games.
“Part of a series of specialist price guides in the collectables field, this title illustrates thousands of different toys and games with descriptions and prices. This enables the collector to gauge price differences due to factors such as location, condition, or provenance.” (Catalogue)

In miniature : how small things illuminate the world / Garfield, Simon
“Tiny Eiffel Towers. Platoons of brave toy soldiers. A doll’s house created for a Queen. Diminutive crime scenes crafted to catch a killer. Model villages and miniscule railways. These are just a few of the objects you will discover in the pages of In Miniature. Bringing together history, psychology, art, and obsession, Garfield explores what fuels the strong appeal of miniature objects among collectors, modelers, and fans. The toys we enjoy as children invest us with a rare power at a young age, conferring on us a taste of adult-sized authority.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Collecting Dinky toys / Richardson, Mike
“Dinky, a name that became synonymous with the whole genre of small toy cars is actually the name of a highly collectible brand of British-made toy vehicles produced from 1934 to 1979. Avid collectors know Dinky Toys. Now Collecting Dinky Toys tells everyone the whole story. Here’s the complete list of every Dinky Toy from cars, trucks, and buses to ships, construction vehicles, and military vehicles, plus their accessories. This valuable identification and value guide lists more than 1,500 toy vehicles with the dates manufactured, colors, and current values.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

Matchbox : the official 50th anniversary commemorative book / Scholl, Richard
“Have you ever wondered why certain vehicles are considered more collectible than others? Or why Matchbox cars are numbered and what those numbers mean? The answers to these questions and more can be found throughout the pages of this authoritative book. You will also take a historical journey from when Matchbox cars were invented since half a century ago, and the large variety of vehicles produced over the years.(Adapted from Amazon.com)

Dolls of the Art Deco era, 1910-1940 / Oroyan, Susanna
“Rediscover old sentimental favourite dolls from the Art Deco era with doll maker Susanna Oroyan. Filled with full colour illustrations, this book presents a gallery of creative inspiration for collectors, crafters and all doll lovers.” (Catalogue)

Exploring the history of childhood and play through 50 historic treasures / Fletcher, Susan A.
“Exploring The History of Childhood and Play in American History Through 50 Historic Treasures is a compilation of fifty iconic toys and games from American history. As the amount of leisure time available to children has increased in the United States, the number of toys available to them has also dramatically increased”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The toymaker / Pieper, Liam
“Adam Kulakov likes his life. He’s on the right side of middle age; the toy company he owns brightens the lives of millions of children around the world; and he has more money than he can ever spend, a wife and child he adores, and as many mistresses as he can reasonably hide from them. And he is not the only one with secrets. In 1944, Adam’s grandfather, Arkady, was imprisoned in Auschwitz and given an impossible choice. Now, as he reaches the end of his life, he has to keep the truth from his family, and hold back the crushing memories of his time with one of history’s greatest monsters.” (Catalogue)

Building antique model cars in wood / Reeves, William
“Here you’ll find easy-to-follow directions, patterns, measurements, and photographs for building 6 authentic and detailed motorcars from the dawn of the automobile age. Only basic woodworking skills and simple tools are required. The cars include the 1903 Model A Ford; 1903 Mercedes; 1903 Dideon Bouton; 1905 Cadillac; 1907 Locomobile; and 1911 Stanley Steamer.” (Catalogue)

The teddy bear encyclopedia / Cockrill, Pauline
“After 100 years, the teddy bear is still very much in vogue. This best – selling encyclopedia is a fascinating way to find out why bears have such long – lasting appeal with collectors all over the world. Read about the all – time, best – loved bears, from the original ‘teddy’ to Winnie – the – Pooh, with new features on the latest collectibles such as Beanie Bear and the Millennium Bears.  The Teddy Bear Encyclopedia contains a wealth of detail and historical information which bear lovers of all kinds will find irresistible.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Flight, model aircraft, drones and more

Flight and our ability to put ourselves up in the atmosphere is both an inspirational topic, but also one that can allow for such a mastery and level of skill that it intrigues expert hobbyists. If you are this hobbyist, the list of books below can help you take your hobbies to a new height, or even turn your abilities to a new challenge.

Whether your passion is constructing model plane kits, crafting your own radio control plane, drone photography or even model rockets — there’s something here for every flight hobbyist. And if you’d like to watch your plane taking off and gliding in the air, compete with  professional RC racers, or just find some like-minded flight enthusiasts, make sure to also visit the website of our local Wellington Model Aeroplane Club.


Model aircraft aerodynamics / Simons, Martin
“Presents standard aerodynamic theory, as applied to model flight, in a concise and practical form. An excellent introduction to aerodynamics not only for model flying enthusiasts but also for those concerned with full-scale light and ultralight aircraft and sailplanes, remotely piloted surveillance and research aircraft, wind surfers and land yachts, and the designers of wind turbines. Revised and updated to reflect significant developments in model aircraft. 4th ed.” (Catalogue)

Modelling scale aircraft / Green, Brett
“Brett Green, one of the hobby’s leading names, provides a comprehensive introduction to all of the basic techniques and materials needed to build scale aircraft, from opening the kit box to displaying the finished model, all in one clear and easy-to-follow expert guide. The many detailed photographs with step-by-step captions and the accessible and informative text cover every aspect of aircraft kit construction, from initial preparation through all stages of assembly to detailed finishing. This is an essential resource for any aviation modeller.” (Catalogue)

Drones : teach an Arduino to fly / McGriffy, David
“Make: Drones will help the widest possible audience understand how drones work by providing several DIY drone projects based on the world’s most popular robot controller-the Arduino. The information imparted in this book will show Makers how to build better drones and be better drone pilots, and incidentally it will have applications in almost any robotics project. Why Arduino? Makers know Arduinos and their accessories, they are widely available and inexpensive, and there is strong community support. Open source flight-control code is available for Arduino, and flying is the hook that makes it exciting, even magical, for so many people. Arduino is not only a powerful board in its own right, but it’s used as the controller of most inexpensive 3d printers, many desktop CNCs, and the majority of open source drone platforms.” (Catalogue)

Modelling the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 A, F and G / Coughlin, Geoff
“The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 is regarded as one of the best fighters of World War II. Designed by Kurt Tank, it first saw combat in the summer of 1941 and went on to be produced in several variants. It remains a hugely popular subject for aviation scale-modellers. This book, the first of two to cover the Fw190, provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to modelling the Fw 190’s A, F and G variants in 1/72, 1/48, and 1/32 scale. Key aspects such as creating mottled camouflage patterns, undercarriage and cockpit detailing, final weathering and finishing, and diorama bases to display your models are covered.” (Catalogue)

Above the world : earth through a drone’s eye.
“Very rarely does a new technology level a playing field in an art form, allowing unknown talents to share headlines with established artists. Drones are one of these great equalizers. With this book, we are shining a spotlight on some of the world’s best aerial photography. The subjects of those showcased range from a volcanic eruption to the abstract patterns of fish farms as seen from above, and from never-before-seen views of Patagonia to powerful impressions of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. Above the World is an ode to the beauty of the aerial image as it can be seen and captured by anyone. Let yourself be inspired.” (Adapted from Amazon.com)

The Airfix book of scale modelling / Mock, Jonathan
“Produced in full collaboration with Airfix and Humbrol, this book explains how to build scale models to suit all levels of modelling skill. With full colour photography throughout, different kits in a range of scales are reviewed and evaluated, along with a comprehensive overview of the paints and accessories that are available.” (Catalogue)

Great to share with family:

The flying machine book : build and launch 35 rockets, gliders, helicopters, boomerangs, and more / Mercer, Bobby
“Shows readers how to turn rubber bands, paper clips, straws, plastic bottles, and index cards into amazing, gravity-defying flyers. Each project contains a material list and detailed step-by-step instructions with photos. Mercer also includes explanations of the science behind each flyer, including concepts such as lift, thrust, and drag, the Bernoulli effect, and more”–Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

50 model rocket projects for the evil genius / Harper, Gavin D. J
“Plans, diagrams, schematics, and lists of parts and tools for model rocket projects.” (Catalogue)