-Sitting amid a new collection of Smith Miller, Japanese autos; and, gak, Danbury Mint and Franklin Mint toys the proverbial light goes on. These toys/Collectibles just aren’t that bad at all. Dare I say they are the evolution of highly detailed toys from the 1950’s like the Japanese tin cars and trucks.
We have a parallel between snobbery of the American collectors today towards Chinese toy, and the previous generation towards Japanese toys. Japanese toys were considered disposable trash. They would never stack up to American toys (or so was the old perception). A few things (understatement) have changed, and Japanese exact model tin toys sell in the thousands. Now we have the attitude that Chinese toys will never stack up to Japanese toys (ironic). We likely will turn that corner soon, and country of manufacturing snobbery will melt away. A great product is a great product.
Franklin Mint toys are beautiful and can be bought for pennies on the old purchase price dollar. On the second-hand market 95% of them still have literature or parts of the original box. So they aren’t going to be super rare, but they will be sought after because they are affordable. Affordable toys = fun = collectibility. Danbury Mint toy cars and trucks seem to have the same fate. They were sold at too high of a price (my opinion), and now have come down in price. The instant collectibles actually plummeted in price after a decade. Opinions will change and the collectors will likely bounce back.
However, these drastically low prices give fresh collectors an opportunity to buy Franklin Mint and Danbury Mint toys for a great value. They can be enjoyed, and the original sticker-shock has been replaced by great valued keepsakes. Just don’t bet the bank on appreciation, simply enjoy them and expect a beautiful product for fair pricing. Appreciation will likely come after the second round of owners break them and play with these collections; finally allowing populations to top and organically rare items to bubble to the surface.
P.S. The factories that made these have closed and the Franklin Mint is out of business. -Evolutionary dead end for costly production? Only time will tell.