Frondals’ love of toys spans the generations

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 26, 2002

Steve Frondal started collecting toy tractors about 1980, when he was in high school.

Saturday, January 26, 2002

Steve Frondal started collecting toy tractors about 1980, when he was in high school.

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&uot;I’m not really sure why,&uot; he admits.

His dad, Stan, &uot;got tangled up&uot; in collecting about 1987 or ’88. A retired farmer, his children started giving him toy tractors as Christmas presents.

Together, the two are S&S Toys (which could also mean Stan and Sons), and buy, sell and trade toys at area toy shows. They’ll be at the 13th annual Tiger City Farm Toy and Truck Show at Northbridge Mall Feb. 2 and 3.

Steve said he started taking some of his toys to shows nine or 10 years ago because he had two rooms filled. &uot;I got married and we started having kids and needed the room,&uot; he said.

&uot;I set up to get rid of things and ended up buying more,&uot; he admitted with a chuckle.

Added Stan, &uot;A lot of times we buy more or as much as we sell.&uot;

The two attend perhaps 20 shows throughout the year, from as far north as Hutchinson, as far west as Worthington, south to Mason City and Spencer, Iowa, and as far east as Winona.

As far as quality of shows, the duo rank Albert Lea’s and Hutchinson’s as the best. Albert Lea’s has had about 180 tables, they said.

&uot;People come for a two- or three-hour drive just for the toy shows,&uot; Steve said. &uot;We keep seeing the same faces.&uot;

That’s the real reason they go to the shows, Steve said: the people they meet and the enjoyment they get out of collecting. &uot;I tell people if they’re going to collect something, do it for the enjoyment, don’t do it for speculation. If we meet expenses at the end of the year, we think we’re lucky. We do this for the interaction.&uot;

Also, attending shows is something they can do as a family, and the kids can go along too.

Steve’s collecting has changed over the years. He has a few tractors left, but now collects full-size garden tractors and Breyer animals, especially cows and wildlife. His daughter, Tammy, now 9, enjoys collecting the Breyer horses, and that’s the reason they got into the Breyer animals. &uot;She knows which ones are special editions and should stay in the boxes on the shelf, and which ones she can play with,&uot; he said.

Stan still collects tractors, but has also branched into the Breyer horses and wagons.

&uot;The fun thing about collecting the horses is that a lot of older gentlemen will stop by our tables and tell us about the days when they farmed with horses,&uot; Steve said.

Collecting isn’t limited to just these three members of the Frondal family. Steve’s 6-year-old son likes Hot Wheels – &uot;But mostly just to play with,&uot; Steve said. Stan’s wife Arlene collects Coca Cola items and banks. Their son Bruce is interested in trucks and semis. &uot;He has a few tractors too,&uot; Steve said. &uot;If something catches his eye, he gets it.&uot;

Bruce will keep an eye on items on the Internet for the family, as does his sister, Pam Hoverson.

What Steve really wants to find are non-Holstein breeds of Breyer cattle, like the Ayrshire and Brown Swiss.

Stan, on the other hand, gets what ever catches his eye.

&uot;You never know when you might find something you haven’t got,&uot; Steve said.

&uot;There’s always that,&uot; Stan added.