PLAIN TWP. Local residents were hauling cases of vintage toys into the Hampton Inn in Plain Township on Aug. 9. They were attending a toy buying show hosted by Joel Magee, the Toy Scout.
Magee is a regular guest on the television show “Pawn Stars” where he is known as the Disney expert. In addition to being the Disney expert on “Pawn Stores’, he said he also appraises items for the show.
The room where Magee was talking with people and evaluating the variety of vintage toys that people brought was packed. Some people had only one or a few toys while others had storage boxes full of toys.
Magee didn’t put a limit on the number of toys anyone could bring to the show. He was looking for toys from the 1980s and older.
Magee was making offers on toys from cast iron toys from the 1920s, 30s and 40s to Barbie and Ken dolls and accessories from the 1960s and 70s. He was telling stories to those waiting in the room while he was evaluating the different items that people were putting on the two tables in front of him.
Magee, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was making his first visit to Stark County. He said he refurbishes most of the toys he buys to as close to new condition as he can. He then gets the toys back out to the collectors.
His buying show was in town for two days – Aug. 9 and 10.
“I’ve seen lots of good toys so far this morning,” Magee said. “I have seen one toy I’ve never seen before. It’s a cast iron green bus called the Nite Coach and made by the Arcade Company. I host 40-50 buying shows a year and generally find something I’ve never seen before at most of them.”
One of his goals is to collect all of the toys from his own childhood. His passion for toys began more than 30 years ago in Sioux City, Iowa, when he shopping at a flea market.
“I found a G.I. Joe lunch box that looked like one I had as a kid. Looking at that lunchbox, I could see myself having lunch at school. That’s when I became a collector,” Magee said.
His personal toy collection is up to 500 pieces. He collects any toys related to television shows such as “Gun Smoke," “I Love Lucy” and “Leave it to Beaver.”
“I have a magic slate that was a toy created from one used in the show. It’s pretty rare,” Magee said.
He said toys that are hot right now include anything from Star Wars in the 1970s and 80s. Hot Wheels trucks and cars from the 1970s and Barbies from the 1960s and 70s.
Magee told the people waiting in the room the biggest buy he ever made was $260,000 for 650 rare vintage lunch boxes. He said the secret to obtaining a higher price is to bring toys that are in pristine condition.
“If you want to know what toys will be hot in the future, look to what was popular when your kids were eight to 13 years old. When those kids get in their 40s, they begin to buy those toys again. In the next few years, anything Harry Potter will become the hot toys to collect,” Magee said.