Ronald Toby might be 64-years-old, but he’s never let go of his love of toys!
Extreme collector Ronald from Philadelphia first started collecting when he was just 15 years old.
He says, ‘as a kid, there wasn’t a lot of toys. I had relatives who I’d do a little chore for and they’d always get me what I asked for.’
After slowly building on his collection one piece at a time, Ronald now owns over 80,000 items.
The mammoth collection was thought to be worth a staggering $1.4million when the Philadelphia Evening News appraised it back in 2011, but Ronald now believes that it would be worth as much as $1.9million.
Ronald says, ‘one thing that I have learned about toys is that when you become a man, you’re still a kid inside.’
‘My collection is like living inside a toy store. I always loved going to the toy store, so having that in your own house is really great.’
‘Whenever I’ve made a bad move or whenever things go wrong, I just go down the basement to the toy store.’
After moving house to find room for all of his items, Ronald has organised his collection into a series of themed rooms, including a sports room, African room, ‘icehouse’ room, boxing room and dolls room.
He says, ‘there are other collectors that may have more merchandise than I have. But nobody displays it better than me, because I turn my collection into a toy store.’
‘Most collectors have their collections in boxes, put in the basement, put in a garage. They never get a chance to enjoy it.’
‘When I moved from my last house I bought a bigger house so that it could hold my collection. I’ve been at this house a while now and now I need a bigger house to hold my collection!’
‘It’s growing at a fanatical rate that it’s time to put the breaks on, that’s for sure!’
Now, because of his ever-expanding collection, Ronald is looking for a warehouse to store all of his items but one day hopes for his toys to be displayed in a museum.
He says, ‘There’s a cliché about collecting toys. The cliché is this – he who dies with the most toys wins.’
‘You never want to sell your toys, you’ll hold them until the end.’
‘One thing about toy collecting is you leave a legacy to show that you did something when you were here.’