Back in 1990 I set up an old toy store-room in my cellar to house a growing pile of spare vintage toys, which were not part of my own collection.
These were amassed from the fabulous Car Boot Sales in our area at the time, where Ghostbusters, Batman, Thundercats, Star Wars and He-Man toys were in plentiful supply.
My cellar doubled up as a 'shop' as well with the odd collector visiting, trading and buying. I also began to stand at local evening and weekend toy fairs, but largely sold via mail-order through the UK's Model Mart magazine.
It was really great fun for me: I was a newbie, my knowledge of the hobby grew and grew, I met some super people and it was a golden period of great finds, prolific bargains and pre-internet sales.
Times changed in the world of selling in the late 1990's and from 2000 I began selling my old toys online.
I'm still amazed by how much time I used to devote to this side of our hobby. In 2005 I gave up a 'good' job to do it full time - I had an office, an online 'shop', business cards, even a T-shirt! I was the quintessential old toy dealer living the 'dream' but really still a collector at heart.
As I didn't have the capital to buy mint rare boxed stock. I settled on loose cheap toys from car boot sales, charity shops and flea markets. Any good stuff I acquired went onto my toy stand I took to toy fairs and swap meets in the North of England, where I occasionally sold the odd project SWORD item as well.
Despite selling literally thousands of collectables since 1990 I couldn't keep the dream alive and make it pay - I'm not really a businessman at all - and again I had to return to conventional paid jobs around 2006. Doh!
My zeal for the 'toy dealer' way of life waned around 2009, slowly dwindling each year after that to the point now where I sell maybe a few things online every few months.
I don't regret putting so much time and effort into this side of the hobby. It was a busy and fascinating time and I was twenty five years younger when I started.
I still have photographs of sold goods from 2009 onwards, so, as its Friday night and time to kick back and chill after a week's hard toil, I thought I'd begin a few posts showing some of these pictures. There are no Captain Lasers or James Bond attache cases I'm afraid, just common or garden used toys of varying ages I used to buy in bulk and sell cheap, with the odd exception when luck was on my side and my coffers re-filled, sadly a very rare occasion!
What has been your experience been of buying and selling old toys readers?
NB: the game in the second row, 4oD, proved to be of interest as the first time I showed it on the blog the game's actual designer got in touch!