Apr 19, 2007

Food For Thought: Do Boxes Matter?

[ed: Clay C. sent us this piece on a subject I'm sure we've all thought about and have varying opinions on -- the importance of keeping toy boxes.  Give it a read and please let us know what you think.

I'm wondering, as I look over the pile of toy boxes ... 
Five times the volume of the toys they once contained ...
Do Boxes Matter?
Obviously, some boxes are intrinsically cool works of art.  Whether or not to keep those boxes is purely a matter of enjoyment.  Some people seem to prefer the look of displays in boxes (or if not prefer it, tolerate it in order to preserve the boxes), and we can see from diorama interiors and the like becoming more common that manufacturers are aware of this trend. 
Some people's toys will pass to their heirs, and then to further heirs, and it will never matter whether there's a box or its condition, because they'll never be sold.  But the rest, the other 90% of these toys, will eventually be sold -- to someone, sometime.  I'm not referring to flippers here - people's tastes change, they focus or specialize their collections, they need cash - there are lots of good reasons things get sold.  And, we'd all rather make a little than lose a little, when we sell.
As a general matter in antique toys, the boxes matter very much.  But, the reason for that is primarily scarcity.  When toys were only for children to play with, very few toys survived in even good condition and vastly fewer survived with their box likewise.  If there are 500 surviving extant 1900 Tin Fezzelwippits, and only a dozen of those are mint with mint boxes, then the box is often worth far more than the toy itself.


Posted by Jack @ 03:31 PM in Opinion | Permalink  | Comments (14) |