The late Jack Little made up for the absence of toys in his childhood by becoming a serious collector of thousands of valuable and rare toys – including almost the entire Boomaroo Toy collection.
“He was an engineer, and when he retired, he needed something to do… they were the generation who didn’t have toys, so when he could get into toys and afford toys – and as a single man he had a disposable income, so it became his absolute passion,” his niece Lynette Brown said.
Jack’s toys will be auctioned over the coming months through AllBids online, with pieces ranging from Australian pressed metal toys, planes, model trains of all scales and gauges, to model yachts, Meccano, Ezy-Bilt, Victory and more.
Jack’s niece Lynette, who had a very strong bond with her uncle, remembers his fascination with the toys.
“The house was always centred around toys, we had train tracks running around the garden with his model trains, and after his mother passed away, the house slowly became every room full of toys, including the train set going around the window boxes in her bedroom,” Lynette said.
She said her generation were only ever allowed to “see, and don’t touch” the toys, but when her grandchildren came along, Jack grew a passion for sharing the fun that came with them.
“They took great delight because they were allowed to be involved with the toys and run the model trains around, which never happened when I was a kid,” Lynette laughed.
In Jack’s later years, he donated a large amount of his toys to the Victoria Museum, where curators took several trips to his house, and the first collected pieces became part of a Museum City of Melbourne display.
Lynette became Jack’s carer before he passed away in 2019 at age 98, and said it took five people a week to pack up the house worth of toys.
She remembers Jack always making a point to her granddaughters that he never collected dolls.
“He would always say to them ‘I didn’t collect toy dolls, they were too fiddly’. He never had a doll, in all his collections, thousands everywhere – but no dolls,” Lynette said.
The toys, which are going up for auction, will being categorised by type; the first session, now closed, included unique model yachts and pond boats.
The next online auction session, which will include Hornby Trains, will go online 21-22 April, and close on 29 April.
This will be followed by sessions including Australian Boomaroo toys, planes, cars, trucks, farm, industrial machinery, construction sets and more.
For more information on Jack Little’s Toys online auction, click here from 21 April.
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