However, demand is high among collectors for the older toys made in this sometimes troublesome but also versatile and cheap material.
Plastic toys are one of the temptations at the upcoming 60-dealer toy and train fair run by Retro Ronnie Fairs at the Bingham Hall in Cirencester on Sunday October 21 and again on Sunday December 2.
The organisers hold their fairs in Didcot, Swindon and Bristol, with the Cirencester fair running five times a year, all selling vintage diecast, trains, games, action figures and models from the 1950s to the 1980s.
“It’s ironic,” said Tim Pearson, one half of the organisers’ management duo, “that we’re all worried about plastic in the environment just as early toys made from plastic are suddenly coming into their own.
“For years collectors wanted tinplate and diecast, while plastic was seen as the cheaper, car-boot end of the collecting spectrum.”
Transformers demand transformed
Not any more, Pearson said.
“Action figures like Action Man and GI Joe are particularly strong at the moment, but Transformers look set to see the next big surge in values. They’re certainly one of the biggest growth areas at present, and we believe that’s because many of these toys originated from the early ‘80s.
“The kids who grew up then are now the grown-ups with disposable incomes who want to invest in their own childhoods and bring back the memories. They’re not interested in Dinky, or Hornby train sets, but they did grow up with Transformers.”