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The Jack Little Toy Collection at ALLBIDS Online Auctions.

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There is nothing small about The Jack Little Toy Collection

Wednesday, 17 March 2021 | Craig Jackson

The Jack Little Toy Collection at ALLBIDS Online Auctions.

A child of the depression years, as a boy Jack did not have many toys. He sure made up for that later in life. His collection, amassed over many years, filled his modest Melbourne home. Every room was a shrine to childish play, except one. “The only place I don’t have toys is in the bathroom” said Jack in a 2015 interview with ABC. “I’ve got them under my bed and everything. I have got a couple of Thousand. Or more.” He went on.

In fact, Jack’s collection numbered well over 2000 toys ranging from his greatest interest, Australian pressed metal toys from the war eras to model trains of all ages, all scales and gauges, model yachts, Meccano and it’s Australian counterparts Ezi-Bilt, Victory and others.

By no means did his interests stop there, the collection extends to vintage toys of all descriptions. Transport features heavily, boats, trains, cars and trucks as well as early tinplate money boxes, toy tea sets, cooking and baking sets, telephones, washing machines, musical Instruments and toy animals.

Jack Little Toy Collection

An engineer by trade Jack did time in the Australian Air force, at Bryant May match manufacturers and at the ABC where he was involved in setting up Australia’s first outdoor broadcast van.

An interest in restoring vintage cars led Jack and a group of like-minded car buffs on tour to the UK and Europe to follow their passion. While on tour many of Jack’s companions were also on the lookout for model cars and trains for their collections. 

Jack started to develop an interest and on that first trip came home with a few models.  As his Toy Collecting passion built subsequent trips to Europe, USA and Japan started to furnish the collection further.  “I started collecting Trains before I retired. I have been all around the world. I used to come back loaded with toys.”.

Jack Little Toy Collection

After retiring Jack had more time research and develop his collection, it’s scope getting broader and filling his home and garage in Melbourne. The garage was reportedly rebuilt by Jack to house his extensive train sets of various gauges.

Before Jack passed away last year at 99 years of age, he bequeathed a selection of his collection to the Museum of Victoria. “I’ve paid $2000 for a toy. I have never sold any toys at all. None of it is for sale. It is going to be given to the Museum. They’ve got first choice.” he said back in 2015. The Museum was very particular about the items that they chose.

This was arguably the best and most extensive collection of Australian Made Pressed Metal Toys, with at least one example of almost every toy produced by the famous Boomaroo toys as well as others including rare examples from Australian toy makers such Hercules, Wyn-Toy, Merry Toys, Digger Junior, Tuffa Toys among many others.

The Museum decided it would be best to preserve the core of the Australian toys with patents listed between the first and second world wars as a single collection as the bequest from Jack Little.

Jack Little Toy Collection

Luckily, over the years Jack had become one of the countries most informed researchers in this field and had collaborated with the museum on that specific subject among others. “I suppose that I am a Toy Historian. I have spent hours and hours in Libraries in Sydney and Queensland and South Australia researching. As far as toys go, I guess my house is like a Museum. People could spend hours in here.”

Once the Museum of Victoria had received its bequest, Jack’s family had the task of finding homes for the greater portion remaining of the collection. After an extensive search, some frustration and at last a trusted recommendation to speak to AllBids.com.au, Jack’s Family decided to take the collection to online auction.

ALLBIDS Online Auction House will allow the greatest number of toy collectors and online bidders across Australia and the World the opportunity to own a special item from Jack’s collection.

Many of these toys are so unique and rare that they almost never come on the market, let alone in such quantity in an online toy auction..

To facilitate the sale ALLBIDS will be holding a monthly online auction, breaking down the collection by type. The first of these will be Jack’s amazing assortment of Model Yachts.

AllBids.com.au would like to thank Jack’s Family for the trust shown to us and the honour of being a part of the story of Jack Little and his wonderful toy collection.

To be notified of our antique toy auction and details of items as they are released Register a new account or log in to your ALLBIDS account, navigate to The Jack Little Toy Collection Auction page and click on "Alert this sale" at the top left of this page.

Jack Little Toy Collection