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Southern Illinois community hosts annual farm toy show
Illinois Correspondent

CARLYLE, Ill. — The Southern International Harvester Collectors Chapter 32 had its second annual show in this southern Illinois community earlier this month. While this area of Illinois gets fishing and boating activity, there are few toy shows.

“The Southern IHC Chapter 32 Club felt there was a void in this area,” said Larry Kauffman, a member and one of the founders of the Southern Chapter.

“Several members are in the toy hobby and have an active interest,” Kauffman said, explaining that members joined together to organize a show to share their interests and create an opportunity for the club to make extra money. “Last year we made about $1,500. If we can make about $1,000, then this is a good thing.”

Vendor and toy collector Abe Debatin was one of the show’s founders. Debatin and his wife, Judy, have been involved with toy shows for almost two decades. The two were among the founders of the Land of Lincoln Toy Show in Carlinville, Ill.

“Rick Garner wanted to have a show,” Debatin said of the Carlyle event. “Along with Rick, the four of us, my wife Judy and I and Albert and Carol Wells got this going. We found this location, and we have been very happy here.”

The show seems to be a hit, so far, Judy Debatin said.

“This year we have 60, eight-foot tables, and 15 dealers selling a variety of items from farm toys, NASCAR, literature, trucks, Country Cousins collectibles to customized toys,” she said.

Danny Angotti, from the Boot Hill area of Missouri, offered customized 1/64th-scale toys. Angotti said farm toys are a family business for him.

“My dad, Thad Angotti, is 88 years old,” he said. “He recently had a stroke, but he comes out and makes the frames, and he also makes the cotton trailers as well. My wife, Charlotte, handles selling the package items. Our son, Jeremy, helps when he comes home (he works for an ag distributor in Tennessee), and our daughter, Danyella, does the bookwork out of where she lives in Ohio. She is married and just had a little girl.”

Angotti’s Farm Toys got started by putting rubber tires on tractors, then chemical trucks.

“Then we changed and went to tractor and cotton trailers,” he said. “This is our 18th year of going to toy shows, and we have been selling since 1990.”

Debatin assessed the trends in the toy-collecting hobby during the show.

“A lot of the new items are selling very good,” he said. “These are toys prior to 1970 and on back. The younger ones are growing up with these but don’t have knowledge of the older toys. We are also seeing a lot of trucks selling as well.”

As for what is not as hot he added, “the older toys are slowing down. Toy show attendance has been slowing because of the Internet, which is hurting a lot of this.”

Debatin said he will be back next year. The tentative date is the first week in January.

Published in the January 18, 2006 issue of Farm World.