If you haven’t already listened to our podcast featuring this very find, make sure you check it out after reading the article.
A Truly Historic Toy Find
Earlier this year I had the find of my life fall right into my lap. In June 2018 I had a couple guys stop into my little weekend shop and start looking around, my first assumption was that they were looking for the record shop next door… but boy was I wrong!
I find out they were recommended to come speak with me about getting rid of some toys. This gentleman’s brother tragically passed away, and they were in town to wrap up his affairs. He had a lot of old toys in his house they were going to just unload to an estate sale company that offered them a flat amount per item, with no consideration of what the items were, just X dollars per item, and they would take it all out of there. As they were going through boxes in the garage sorting stuff, the neighbor had mentioned that they should come check with me before going through with that.
Toy Biz Action Figures and a boatload of Vintage Kenner Toys
After speaking with them a little bit, they started asking me about some different toys and the values, mostly Marvel superhero toys, ToyBiz stuff from the 90s, we start going through the photos, and its just photo after photo of piles of mostly superhero toys from the 90s. Lots of ToyBiz stuff, The Spiderman lines, lots of Hulk stuff, Iron Man, some Kenner Batman… all really cool stuff, but most of it not really the most valuable items out there. We go through about 15 photos of stuff and I explain to him that I would be interested but I wouldn’t be able to make it over to check it out until later that week. He lets me know that it was all going to be getting picked up by an estate sales company that is just gonna come clean it all out…. I let him know that might just be easiest since what they were offering him was gonna be about as much as I would be offering him on what I had seen, and most of it I already had, but he did have just a few more photos to show me…
But wait, there’s more!
The next photo he swiped to, I about had to pick my jaw up off the floor. It was of a decent sized box, filled to the top will carded Battle Beasts! This obviously changed everything, I let him know that he had some substantial value there and that I would move things around to make sure I could come over the next morning to check it out…. and it only got crazier from there!
The next photo I saw made me realize this wasn’t just your ordinary toy collection.
There was an entire storage shelf packed FULL of M.A.S.K. stuff!
I was on the edge of my seat all night long, just hoping that nothing falls through with this, still not knowing just how insane this was going to be, but knowing it is shaping up to be the best find in my ~10 years of hunting toys.
I had absolutely no idea…
I find out a bit more of the backstory, Kevin (pronounced Kee-vin) had been collecting for years and his collecting may have been more classified to the point of hoarding…. When I get there I was completely unprepared for just how many toys he had amassed in his lifetime.
The entire house was filled with boxes full of toys
The living room, boxes of toys packed up, the dining room, stacks of boxes of toys, neatly packed up and the boxes labeled, the hallways had boxes of toys in it, the bedrooms, and then you get into the basement and whole basement, and garage, just boxes upon boxes of toys!
I had let Russ know that I was mostly going to be interested in the more vintage items, the M.A.S.K., Battle Beasts, stuff like that, less into the 90s and newer ToyBiz stuff, so he had gone through some of the boxes before I got there and tried to pull out some of the stuff he thought I was gonna be into.
Time to do the deal
When I first got there, he had a pile of stuff set out in the garage that he knew I was interested in, and I was blown away! The first stuff we went through was the most obvious stuff, we pulled out the box of Battle Beasts and laid those all out, the first pile was *21* carded Battle Beasts, 2 sealed Series 3 8 packs and a sealed Shocking Shark…. Holy crap that was just the first pile!
Oh yah also in that first pile was all of the MISB Dino Riders, there were 10 of those in that pile!
A mountain of Kenner M.A.S.K.
So after getting all of that stuff out of the way, it was time to get to the real meat of the collection, the M.A.S.K. stuff, and oh my god I had no idea, I knew there was some incredible stuff, but we just KEPT FINDING MORE!
We ended up pulling all of the M.A.S.K. stuff out and laying it out on the driveway, just boxes upon boxes, it ended up being over 60 boxed vehicles (with the majority of those being sealed and MINT!) and a paper bag with ~20 carded figures as well
This has to be one of the greatest finds of MASK stuff in years, so much of it was completely untouched, fresh off the shelf.
Some of the best things in the M.A.S.K. collection would have to be TWO sealed Laser Commands, a sealed Goliath and Outlaw, SIX sealed Gators… it was just incredible.
Most of it was sealed, but the best thing about the stuff that wasn’t sealed, most of it was completely unused contents, the boxes were opened, and that’s it, unapplied stickers, sealed internal baggies, and for the few things that weren’t complete, he would have taken just an item or two out of the package, and put the rest of it back in the box unused and untouched… I will get to that a bit more here soon..
Even. More. Great. Toys.
After going through the M.A.S.K. stuff we started to go through the rest of what he pulled out, just tons of great stuff (Jurassic Park, Primal Rage, Gargoyles, Monsters In my Pocket, a bunch of other cool random stuff) getting it all packed up and ready to go, once we are through all of that, we have been at it for hours and my girlfriend has already had to come over and load up her truck once, I think we are about done….
again… boy was I wrong!
Battle Beasts, Dinosaurs, Ninja Turtles, Oh My!
I ask him about all of the other boxes, and he tells me that he went through *most* of them to pull out the stuff that wasn’t mid 90s ToyBiz stuff… but the MOST doesn’t instill confidence in me so I figure I should check a few out… the first box I open up… 14 carded Dino Riders figures, another 7 more carded Battle Beasts MOC and 3 more Dino Riders MISB… well crap now I have go through it all!
I spend the next 4-5 hours going through every box in the house, and there is a LOT, and during this second dig I end up pulling out boxes full of Jurassic Park, Primal Rage, Battletech, TMNT, so much more great stuff (including a Shogun Shoate, Shogun Triceraton, around 40 MISB Primal rage, about 100 Jurassic Park items including some very rare Eletronic Screams dinosaurs and some nice vehicles)
This collection just KEPT GOING!
I ended up filling my garage with boxes of stuff from this, my girlfriend spent most of the day just running back and forth loading it up, the neighbor even came over and helped us out for hours (he had absolutely no interest in toy collecting before that day, but he just wanted to see what was going on and got caught up in the excitement!)
This is everything I was able to get, and I left way more than I took, so many boxes of mid 90s to early 2000s toys that I had to leave behind!
Not only was it just an incredible find based on the toys that were found, but the backstory of why he had so many toys was my favorite part!
The Backstory of Kevin’s Toy Collection
The more time I spent with Russ (Kevins brother) I was able to get the whole backstory of how his brother ended up with one of the most amazing collections of toys from the mid 80s through the 90s…
It all started back in the 80s (I am guessing around 1986 based off of the age of the toys we found) where he started buying toys so that he had something for his nephews to play with when they came over. This started to evolve into a set of games that he created, that would use different toys and accessories as the game pieces. I was told there was a few different table top type of games that they would play, and from what I have seen M.A.S.K. vehicles and figures played a major role in a lot of the games. The game pieces would be different figures and vehicles, a lot of the loose vehicles had numbered stickers on them (I am guessing some sort of point value?)
M.A.S.K. wasn’t the only toy line used, it seemed like he really liked the scale of the figures from MASK so they also used a lot of other similar sized toys, which explains why there was so many Dino Riders, Air Raiders, Computer Warriors, Battle Beasts, in the collection, they are all similar size.
You could tell he would buy up extra toys whenever they were on sale, a massive part of this collection had clearance stickers on them, I am sure he would just buy up entire clearance racks when the toys he wanted would show up for sale.
He also seemed to buy a lot of extras just to have spare parts, as far as the opened boxed items I found in this collection, if they weren’t complete, it would have been because he opened the box, took normally 1 item out of the package and carefully put all of the rest of it back in the package and onto the shelf, the biggest things taken out were missiles and things like rocks or background items.
A True Toy Collector
Kevin was obviously a lover of toys, not only did he collect them for years, amassing a collection of sealed items most people could only dream about, but he also had displays of loose figures from his favorite toy lines all over his house, Battle Beasts, M.A.S.K. and playmates Star Trek were the most prominent setups he had… he wasn’t collecting for the monetary value of the toys, you could tell he just liked them!
I am honored to have been able to add some of these pieces to my own personal collection, and help the family sell the rest of it. This was definitely one of those finds any toy hunter dreams of, I don’t think I will top it any time in the near future!