Tom Hoffman just shipped 1,000 tractors and related farm
equipment to an auction house in South Dakota that will go on
the auction block Feb. 2. I should mention that these are scale
models, not the full-size version.
The Genoa collector has enjoyed farm toys and scale models
of farm implements since he was a youngster. Tom said, I
have always had a fascination with farm toys and my grandfather
gave me an Archaic brand thresher when we lived on an Aves farm
Later, he built his own model of a McCormick-Deering combine,
and 60 years later, the hobby has mushroomed to fill his basement.
Last fall, he realized he had so many it might be a good
idea to put some up for auction, so he contacted
Tom Hoffman of Genoa stands in his basement with shelves
full of model toys lining the walls. There are a few empty shelves
since he shipped 1,000 pieces of his collection to a South Dakota
Auction where they will be auctioned Feb. 2. (Schrader photo
the national toy auction firm Girard in Wakonda, South Dakota.
Girard had him ship the toys for next months auction. The
firm will auction 400 at its location and put another 600 online
for bidding from collectors across the country and around the
Looking around his finished basement, the shelves lining
the walls mostly are filled with farm toy models, military miniatures,
cars and trucks similar to the ones he once owned. He also has
Western-themed layouts, a barn with haying underway that he built
himself, and some DeKalb Ag memorabilia.
When going down the steps, I found his staircase wall was covered
with caps he also has saved. He estimates he still has a 1,000
or more farm toys.
Asked what would happen with the extensive collection when
he is gone, he said he wasnt sure. It could go to the Dyersville,
Iowa, farm toy museum, that has the largest collection in the
country. I suggested the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association
museum after it moves into the DeKalb County History Center museum
building now under construction. But the museum board would have
to agree to that.
He is not thinking of giving up the hobby in the foreseeable
future, even wanting to expand his more recent collection of
1/64th-scale model tractors he has in one small wall cabinet
now. His wife, Louise, has been supportive of his hobby and has
given him a few items for his collection, including a miniature
replica of a feed store, built by another Genoa resident, Orrin
This weekend, the Hoffmans are hosting a meeting of the
Stateline Toy Collectors Club, which is made up of about 30 members.
They swap, buy and sell, and have a good time looking over each
others latest acquisitions. I can imagine the big topic
at this months gathering will be the February auction of
a part of Toms collection.