10 November 2015
- Amazing Donations

The Old Toy Shop

As a child, nothing beat the adrenaline of the occasional trip to the toy shop to finally buy the one toy that will fill you with happiness and fulfil your aspirations. However this joy was often short lived, as it only lasted until the spoilt cool kid at school got the new latest gizmo which started a new craze. This meant another week of pleading your parents for a long awaited trip to the toy shop. And so, the cycle continued.

However, amongst this whirlwind of up and downs through your early years, did you know that your quick-toy-fix that you cherished only for a matter of days could be like gold dust now? Probably not, no. And if you did know, would your childish-self care? Of course not, the excitement was far too much to stop and think.

Whilst rummaging through various donations, I came across an old box with a vintage style ‘Lego Systems’ logo printed on the front. The box itself was rather tattered so my first thought was to discard the box and hopefully find some novelty Lego of some worth inside. Upon inspection, I found an array of boxed Lego sets in very good condition and after researching the value of each set I concluded that collectively they were worth about £60. The tattered ‘Lego Systems’ box was kept as more to keep all the sets together and was not thought as something buyers would care about.

After a short period on an online auction, it became clear that the ‘Lego systems’ box itself was the cause for all the interest and after more research I found that the box and all the Lego was sent to a winner of a Kellogg’s competition in the 70s. I received numerous messages not to throw away the box or any packaging as this would put a serious dent in its value! I took this advice on board and by the end of auction, a box of unsuspecting Lego first thought to be worth around £60 raised £322! What an amazing contribution to our 2015 appeal.

Small toys by manufacturers such as Dinky and Corgi are toys that should never be overlooked. In our 2015 online auction, we put up a selection of small toys which drummed up a lot more interested than we’d anticipated. One of the highlights was a palm-size novelty Beatles Yellow Submarine which caused a stir amongst toy collectors and raised over £30 alone. Auctions for other model toys such as a blue Ford Escort and a James Bond Moon buggy (pictured below) also raised funds to help us edge towards our 2015 fundraiser target.

These donations have reminded us that vintage toys are very popular and have a very lucrative market. The experience prompted us to further educate all our FARA shop teams about methods and guidelines to use in order to spot hidden gems. This will ensure that generously donated toys will get their ‘amazing donation’ status and gain a price tag that will boost efforts towards our annual target!

Blog written by - Charlie Munro

FARA Charity Shops supporting the work of FARA Charity transforming the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in Romania. FARA Enterprises Limited is wholly owned by the FARA Foundation. Registered Charity No. 1139349