In Dyersville, Iowa you’ll find the National Farm Toy Museum. In the same town, you’ll also find a revered toy company specializing in die-cast metal alloy scale model replicas of farm equipment and vehicles. The Ertl Company, founded in 1945 by Fred Ertl Sr., has gone through many changes in direction since its beginning. The company has produced licensed farm toy replicas for companies including John Deere, Case IH, New Holand and AGCO. In the 1990’s, Ertl started up the American Muscle lineup of die-cast collectible cars and trucks. The 1:18 scale replicas, some offered in highly desired limited editions, found an instant home with collectors. Over the years, Ertl has produced scale model vehicles and figurines as well as model kits for Looney Tunes, Garfield, Thomas the Tank Engine, Super Mario Brothers, DC Comics and Star Wars. In 1999, Ertl was acquired by Racing Champions and is currently a brand in association with the RC2 Corporation. Many of Ertl’s early releases have fetched impressive prices throughout the collectible market.
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