SLEEPY EYE — Vendors from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and other Midwestern states displayed farm toys, including cars, trucks and various collectibles this weekend at the Sleepy Eye Arena.
Becca Peterson, Meadowlands, Minnesota, brought her two boys, Charlie, 7 and Hank, 9. Each boy built a farm out of toy parts and enjoyed playing with John Deere equipment and John Deere tractors.
“This is our first show,” Becca Peterson said. “My boys each designed their own toy farm, collecting items ordered in catalogs at Christmas and on birthdays,”Becca. “My dad does hog and grain farming.”
She said it’s been a rainy, muddy summer near Meadowlands, about 25 miles south of the Iron Range.
“It’s been so muddy, he had to bale in four wheel drive.”
Both boys stated John Deere was their favorite tractor.
Dale Matsen, a retired electrician from Roland, Iowa, was one of the show vendors. He said he enjoys building and selling custom-built and scratch-built 1 to 64 scale farm toys. This includes tractors, implements and sheds for his business Matsen Miniature Farms.
Matsen stated that he enjoys attending other shows in St. Peter and Lemoore, North Dakota, St. Louis, and a national show held in November in Dyersville (Iowa). Dyersville also houses the National Farm Toy Museum.
Paul Guggisberg from Lafayette said that he enjoys going out to farm shows to make new friends or talk to old friends.
Vendor Giles Turner from Augusta, Wisconsin said that his favorite farm toys were older, cast-iron items, sometimes valued between $9,000 and $12,000.
Vendor Richard Meyer of Tripoli, Iowa, said John Deere 1/64 scale 8960 collector’s edition, four-wheel drive tractors are his favorites.
Near the show entrance, there were many large, detailed model farms, including a machine shed with a see-through roofing, and dozens of other intricate details. Some items can be factory-made while others can be made by hand.
Another show item was a large selection of antique muscle car models.