Southern Indiana couple's toy collection fills home

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) - It may be January, but one home in southern Indiana looks like Santa's workshop. One couple's love for collecting led them to each other.

It looks like any house from the street of Floyd County. Inside, toys take on a life of their own, waiting to transport visitors to another place and time.

"It's like for a little while, the years roll back," Tim Young said.

This isn't an antique store. This is Young's home. "Usually, we get two reactions. Either people think it's really cool or they're totally appalled."

The quarter century collection began moons ago. "There in the window of the antique shop was a toy that I had when I was ten years old."

It was Operation Moon Base, made by Marx in 1962. "We got it down from the shelf and he [employee] didn't know anything about it and we opened it up. It was just like I was a kid again, Young said. "I started thinking that if this had survived all these years, what else from my childhood is still out there?"

So, he collected a toy here and a toy there. "I've just about maxed out all the toys that my friends had and most of the toys that I knew and I liked, but I've also stumbled across a few real treasures that I never knew existed."

Some he'll play with from time to time. Others are unopened. "Those are the rarest and the hardest to find."

One of the most significant is the one that led him to his wife, Elizabeth. "It was all over a Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park play set," Elizabeth Young said.

"She didn't know what it was and her partner's wife didn't know what it was for him. Well, just so happened I knew exactly what it was and I told her I would help her find one," Tim Young said.

The rest was history. Toy guns turned Barbies and everything in between. "We sometimes joke that we didn't get married, we just merged our collections," Tim said.

"We found things at thrift stores, antique shows, people's attics. Every now and then you find a really good bargain, something that's worth a few hundred dollars and you pick it up for two dollars. That makes you feel good," Elizabeth said.

The collection has slowed and they're running out of room. "A standard joke we have is we're not hoarders!" Tim said.

However, it means much more to them. It's a reminder of when kids didn't have today's worries. 

"No one likes getting older, but I would not have traded the era I grew up in for anything."

That's what keeps the Young family, young. 

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