York Toy Show remains perennial favorite

YORK, Pa. – Buyers from several states traveled to York, Pa., for the Aug. 25 edition of Dan Morphy’s Toy, Doll, Holiday & Advertising Show held at the York Fairgrounds’ Memorial Hall East. Show regulars say the event has found its own unique wholesale niche within the marketplace; it no longer serves only the consumer.

doll-buggyc.jpgA generation ago, the York Toy Show was one of the premier sources for antique and vintage toys, and it drew consistently large crowds. As the Internet moved in to change the way collectors acquire toys, the show’s patronage began to dwindle. By the time Morphy bought the show – five years ago – it was in need of rejuvenation. Morphy, and the company that later acquired his various business interests, Diamond International Galleries, pumped money and new life into the show. The buyers came back and the dealers held firm.

In the last year or so, show promoters all over the country have faced a challenge in attracting crowds. The York Toy Show is no exception, yet its dealers keep coming back because the event has made a successful transition to a new format. It now seems to serve the trade just as capably as it serves the public, and dealers don’t mind that one bit.

“The gate was down this time around,” Dan Morphy said, “but I polled my dealers, as I do at every show, and generally speaking they all had fantastic shows. It has come to be a meeting place for the dealers to get together and do business. It’s like a trade show, and smart collectors know this and come to the early buying on the day before the show.”

circus-toysc.jpgA tremendous variety of toys, antique advertising and vintage holiday material could be seen at the Aug. 25 show, from rare automotive and European tin toys to banks, early Fisher-Price, comic character and black Americana. Vintage advertising was offered by Bill Powell, who had driven up from Tennessee to exhibit at the show; and Virginians Gary and Mary Pat Metz featured soda-pop material. David Huxtable and Darlene Bolyard Huxtable – trading as “Huxtins” – arrived from West Virginia with an assortment of British and American tins.

The next edition of the York Toy Show will be held on Feb. 9, with early buying on Feb. 8. For additional information on the show or to reserve a selling space, call 717-335-3435 or email danmorphy@dejazzd.com; Web site: www.aagal.com.