The following interview with Joel Magee of fxtoys! (fxtoys) by Chris Drag (turboice) was originally published Jan-28-2011 on his website: zoop.co. It is the first in a new series of interviews by Chris with toy car dealers and collectors. Joel and Chris are both members of Redlines Online forum.
The vintage toy and collectible market is hotter than ever. It is a multi-million dollar industry that is not slowing down. 40 years ago, children played with all kinds of toys, such as redlines Hot Wheels, GI Joe figures, train sets and more. Today these children are grown up and want to rekindle their youth. Sadly most toys — especially toys for boys — were brutally destroyed and will never see the light of day. However, those who meticulously kept their treasures in mint condition can sell them today for a hefty premium.
One of the biggest players in the vintage toy and collectibles market is Joe Magee. I'm sure if you are a toy collector, you know him as fxtoys!. Since I collect vintage toys — redline Mighty Mavericks to be precise — I have purchased a number of Mavericks from Joel.
Even with hundreds of items ending each week, he has always found time to answer all my questions. Once I sent him a email at midnight and had a response by the next morning. During one of our phone conversations, I had the priviledge of interviewing Joel about fxtoys!. While we were talking, he was sorting through an awesome redline collection he just purchased:
What is your name and ebay id?
Joel Magee – eBay ID: fxtoys!
Do you have a website?
No, I only sell through eBay.
How did you get started in this hobby?
I started back in the late 80s and started buying lunchboxes from TV shows that I watched as a child. I started collecting and then quickly realized that it could be turned into a business.
What types of items do you sell? Which sell best?
I sell anything toy related from 1960s and older. Redlines Hot Wheels and television show toys sell the best.
What is the most an item you owned sold for?
In the late 1980s, I sold a vintage 1950s tin rocket for $14,000.
Do you think there are treasure still yet to be found?
Absolutely! Everything is just waiting to be found.
What is your outlook for 2011? Do you think collectibles will become rarer and bring in more money?
The market will shift up and down during the year but overall 2011 should be a solid year.
Do you have a personal collection? What is your holy grail?
I collect disneyland posters from the park. They are made exclusively for disneyland and not sold to the general public. They are about 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide. My holy grail is my flying saucers poster. It is worth well over $10,000.
How many items do you sell a week?
You have the cream of the crop when it comes to collectibles. Where do you find all these items?
We have many contacts all over the country. Many people contact us through eBay. We also buy many collections and also do consigments once in a while. People will send us their collections to sell without us even paying upfront because of the well known repuation we have with our customers.
Just about every collector knows fxtoys!, you are talked about on forums and have handled more collectibles than 99% of people will in their lifetime. How does it feel to be a collectibles guru?
That is an honor. We have strived to be the very best at what we have been doing for the past 20 years and I feel like our reputation brings people back because they trust us and we always strive for 100% customer satisfaction.
Is there anything you regret not purchasing in the past?
Boy, this happens all the time. It never ends.
What is the funniest or strangest question someone has asked you?
Probably the stupiest question — it happens all the time — is when someone asks me how big or long an item is when it is written in the title and description.
After finishing the interview, two things stuck in my mind:
- The variety and condition of these highly collectible, rare sought after toys. Joel has items that I have never seen before and colors that I only dreamed of. If there is something rare and unique you are seeking, Joel is the man to contact.
- The prices. Yes, the prices he gets for these cars is amazing.
Joel is a great guy and has extraordinary items for sale; stuff I will never see in my lifetime. Check out his auctions at fxtoys!
. If you see he has something unique for sale, make sure you snag it. One other thing: fxtoys! also pays finders fees to people who help him find collections.