Toy group comes to Annapolis

Old playthings sought

sellers urged to check value of items beforehand

March 13, 2001|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

Are those old Hot Wheels toy cars and Barbie dolls stored in the attic worth something?

Anyone who owns old toys can find out whether there's a market for them today through Friday in Annapolis.

The International Toy Collectors Association Toy Roadshow will not appraise the items. But association representatives say they will tap their 5,400 members, some of whom might offer to buy toys on the spot through phone auctions.

But toy experts caution that sellers should check their toys' worth in advance.

Lydia Stainback, a spokeswoman for the Antiques & Collectibles Dealers Association, the Davidson, N.C.-based organization of antiques and collectibles professionals, recommended yesterday that people research their toys' estimated value before they attend. She said that Web sites such as www.ebay.com and www.maloneys online.com can be useful tools.

"People need to have an idea in their minds of what their items are worth," she said.

The show will be staged from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day at the Radisson Hotel, 210 Holiday Court. Representatives will consult a database that lists items sought by association members.

If toy owners are interested in selling, a representative will call members for offers.

The Illinois-based association is not affiliated with the popular "Antiques Roadshow" on public television and does not offer appraisals.

The association sets up business in more than 150 communities annually. Members pay from $129 to $150 to belong.

Some of the hottest collectible toys date from the 1950s and 1960s, including robots, train sets, Barbie dolls, G. I. Joes and Hot Wheels cars, said George McCurley, association vice president.

McCurley offers a few tips: People selling toys shouldn't clean them, because doing so can damage them. Broken toys might be worth something, because some people seek original parts to repair toys. And toys in their original packaging and with original tags can be substantially more valuable than toys without.

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