Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
I will never be a proper toy collector. Generally speaking, a toy is more desired if it is in perfect condition and in its original box. From my perspective, a mint toy is like an unridden new bicycle: it has no soul.
When I discovered the niche of vintage bicycle racing toys years ago, I was immediately drawn to the examples that clearly had evidence of wear and tear. The passion and love of the sport of cycling is crystal clear if one pauses to look at the photo. The wear marks and original grime convey a small hand grabbing it from the top many, many times. I can imagine a young European boy in the 1950s flinging the team support vehicle down his sidewalk with the same role-playing gusto that his counterpart in the U.S. would be doing at the same time with a toy Army truck. Vive le Tour!
From issue 13. Buy it here.