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Toy tractors in need of a solution

Holly Spangler Model tractor collection
PRIME: There’s an 80% chance my son will tell me these were not the best tractors to have photographed.
How do you display your toy tractors? Share your idea here!

My youngest daughter and I were driving the other day, and she brought up a topic that’s surely been discussed in farmhouses since the dawn of time. Or at least since the dawn of Ertl.

“Dad and Nathan have all these toy tractors. I don’t get it. They don’t play with them,” she told me.

“Right,” I said. “They like to collect them. Nathan used to play with them. But now he has special ones.”

“They just sit there on the shelf. What’s the point?” she asked.

“They like them,” I told her. “I think they’d say the same thing about your American Girl doll stuff. Or the things you collect and have on your shelves.”

She wasn’t swayed: “It’s still weird.”

Friends, please tell me this conversation is happening in other farmhouses? Over other generations?

A couple of decades ago, our 4-year-old nephew was at our house and struggled to understand why he couldn’t play with Uncle John’s limited-edition John Deere NASCAR, housed in a plexiglass case on a shelf.

“But why?” he pleaded. “Why have it if you don’t play with it?”

I don’t know, my dude. We just can’t. But his question was a good one.

Because I get it. As the duster of the toy tractors, I deeply, deeply get it. They’re lined up on shelves, there’s an order, there are good ones and better ones, and I don’t really understand any of it. I love them and they love their tractors, so I look for ways to display them better, and yet there are still more toy tractors and more boxes of tractors.

After all these years, the only solution I’ve got is to line them up on a shelf and dust them with a clean, dry paintbrush (a pro tip, from me to you).

So here’s my question to all of you: How do you display the toy tractors in your house? How do you keep them clean(ish)? Send me your ideas and your photos, and I’ll share them in a future story.

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