Every collector has and should have a different opinion concerning collecting.
Here are some general tips which I believe can enlarge the joy of your collection:
Always buy the best quality you can afford; long after the price has been forgotten you still will have the daily pleasure of your purchase and it usually proves to be a wise investment.
Buy what you like.
Be very careful in attempting to clean or restore a toy yourself. Cleaning with a wrong material could harm or damage a toy and will devalue an item. Some carefull cleaning with liquid wax together with cotton cloth will do no harm. I personally leave this to the professionals.
Learn from your mistakes. All collectors & dealors make errors about a purchase concerning value or originality. It is all about learning from the mistakes, move on and look forward to your next acquisition.
A few tips about display:
Direct sunlight on tinplate toys and tinplate boxes should be avoided; being exposed for a longer period this could cause fading to the colors.
It is best to keep the temperature and humidity as constant as possible.
Glass fronted cabinets will keep the dust away.
Ultra violet lights can be used but it’s recommended to use a low watt percentage. Even better is to use ultra violet filters. These can be obtained in a special store.
Ps. Above thoughts are partly based on the idea’s of David Pressland of England, a well known author who has published 3 beautiful toy books: The Art of the Tin Toy, Great Book of Tin Toys and The Book of Penny Toys.
Many beautiful toy books are written; these books can give pleasure and immediate understanding about how, where and when a toy was made etc. The fastest and best way of learning however is in my opinion to make an acquisition and to study your purchase eventually with the accompany of a decent book on tin toys.
For the enthusiasts of Lehmann toys there is a very special book available: Lehmann Toys, written by Jürgen & Marianne Cieslik. This book has been published in the german & english language.
For people devoted to german tin toys this is the best book available:
‘Lexikon der deutschen Blechspielzeug-Industrie’ written by Jürgen & Marianne Cieslik. A magnificant survey of the total german tin-toy production.