DES MOINES, Iowa — Whether it’s stamps, baseball cards or something else, many people have something they love to collect. For some, that passion is diecast toys. Saturday and Sunday, they’re in luck because the Iowa Diecast Toy Show is taking place at the Elwell Family Food Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Diecast toys are model cars, trucks, farm equipment and other vehicles made completely out of metal.
Marv Dittman came to the show from Sycamore, Ill. to show off his toy collection as well as see others.
“I grew up on a dairy farm,” he said. “My dad was a dairy cattle dealer and we had a lot of the real tractors, the real toys when I was growing up.”
Dittman said his favorite replicates are ones that remind him of the “big toys” he had growing up on the farm like his New Idea corn husker.
“It’s a nostalgia thing,” he said. “It’s really going back in time. It’s all about nostalgia.”
Tracy Johnson organizes the annual show, which is in its 11th year. She also runs a diecast toy shop in Clermont.
She said nostalgia keeps bringing people into her shop and to the annual show.
“A lot of people will come in, they’ll look at some of the toys on the shelves and they’ll be like ‘Hey, I grew up with that tractor,’ or ‘I drove that exact semi,’ or ‘My cousin drives that construction piece at his job.’ There’s a lot of personal history with the models that we sell here at the show that people connect with and they tell us the stories with them,” Johnson said.
For Dittman, while seeing the tens of thousands of diecast toys on display is nice, it’s the people that make the show so much fun.
“You meet so many, many wonderful people, the farm and people that come from farm backgrounds,” he said. “Just wonderful people, honest people, and it’s just a joy talking about their experiences on the farm, what they like in toys.”
The show continues Sunday until 4 p.m. Admission costs $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 13-17. Kids 12 and younger get in for free.