DOBSON — “Big boy toys” — that’s what auctioneer Mike Hutchens is calling the large collection of trains, trucks and other toys that will be auctioned off this Friday.
Collectible toy trains, trucks, construction pieces, tractors, piggy banks, old train pictures from Mount Airy and more will be auctioned off Friday starting at 6:30 p.m. at Hutchens Sales and Auction Company in Dobson. Although these items can be considered toys, they are mostly collectors items, Hutchens said.
“These are for serious collectors,” said Hutchens.
Many of the items are still in their original boxes. Hutchens pointed out that original boxes are very important. In some cases, the boxes are worth more than the items inside. Some of the boxes at this auction have never been opened. Hutchens said very few of the items have ever been played with.
The Friday night event is unique, Hutchens said, because of the large quantity and variety of the items. Around 350 separate pieces will be auctioned off. Hutchens is calling it the largest toy auction ever held in Surry County, and he believes that to be the case. This is the second large train auction he has held, but this is by far the largest.
The toys are all from one private collection. Some of the pieces pre-date World War II. Others are from the past few decades.
“What makes this auction fantastic is the variety,” Hutchens remarked.
The items are “so good,” Hutchens said, that he will auction most of the pieces off one at a time. There are some sets, such as a set of three Southern brand trains, which he will auction off together.
Some of the items will bring sizable sums, Hutchens predicted. He said it’s impossible to tell what will be the biggest seller, but he thinks the amount to be bidded for the accessory pieces will be surprising. These accessories range from miniature icing stations to coal loaders to beacon towers.
Hutchens said, “Accessories are hard to come by, and we’ve got a ton of accessories.”
There are many little buildings that the owner of the collection used when creating a small village for his trains. Most of the collection is trains and train accessories, Hutchens said. They are primarily toy trains made by Lionel. The auctioneer believes that collectible trains are something people are really interested in.
“There’s a tremendous interest in Surry County alone,” said Hutchens. “It’s just a fascinating thing.”
He thinks people love trains because they can set up entire miniature towns with all of the intricate pieces. It also helps people stay in touch with the past, with how mass transit used to be. Several old pictures and articles about Mount Airy trains will be for sale.
The auctioneer has been talking with various people to promote the event, and he believes the people traveling the farthest to participate in the auction will be from Atlanta. He expects 100 to 120 people to attend the auction.
“This is a prize,” Hutchens remarked.
With his last toy auction, Hutchens took phone bids from as far away as New Jersey and Iowa. This time he also will take phone bids, as well as absentee bids.
There will be no minimum and no reserve bids at the auction. It will begin Friday at 6:30 p.m. and should end by 10:30 p.m. or so. It is open to the public.
Hutchens will be at the store from 9 a.m. Friday until the auction ends, so people can come in during the day and look at the collection. People also can call Thursday to view the items by appointment.
“I encourage people to come in early to preview before the crowd comes in,” Hutchens suggested.
If people can’t be at the auction for some reason, then they can submit absentee bids with the highest amount they are willing to pay.
Hutchens Sales and Auction is off of Main Street in Dobson, near First Citizens Bank and across the street from Lantern Restaurant and the Surry County Sheriff’s Office. For more information about the auction or for directions, call Hutchens at 710-6891.
Contact Meghann Evans at email@example.com or 719-1952.