$1.5M toy car collection set to be auctioned off over the next year

ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Fox 2 got an exclusive first-look at a $1.5 million collection of toy cars discovered near St. Louis.

Picture an aisle at Home Depot, packed with toy cars like, “Hot Wheels", from floor to ceiling.

There are about 300,000 cars all from one man's collection, amassed over about 40 years.

All of the pallets and boxes stacked on them are filled with toy cars at the Strait Auction.com warehouse in St. Louis.

Pretty much any kind of toy car from any genre over a 40-year span from 1967-thru about 2005.

Only a few original Hot Wheels ‘Red Line’ models from the 60’s have been used.

The rest are new in their original packages with price tags occasionally still on them.

“We’ve still got stuff from Venture, Toys “R” Us from back in the 80’s, Walmart, Kmart,” said Bob Strait of Strait Auction.com.

The original owner, from Franklin County, bought them all and stashed them in his house and barn until he passed away a couple of years ago, Strait said. The man’s family sold the collection.

The buyer just hired Strait to assess the inventory and liquidate.

“One car can vary by the color of the tires. So, if it’s black or if it’s grey, that can be a $20 difference per car. We’ve got to look at every one of them and find its value and then find the right place to sell it,” he said.

He described his auction service as akin to eBay, but all local. The sale will be done in 15-20 phases over the next year with preview parties for collectors, he said.