Note: This feature is in the March TF 2019 issue
Like many collectors in the farm toy hobby, Herb Bergen's interest was sparked at a young age. Back in the 1970s, Herb's parents owned a Massey Ferguson dealership in Winnipegosis, Manitoba, Canada, where he spent a great deal of time. In those days, C. Bergen Service also sold Massey Ferguson toys.
"All of the dealership tractors and combines came home and were always put away so others who came over couldn't play with them. I started out with one combine, a couple of tractors and a few pieces of machinery." Herb said.
Herb acquired an array of toys during his childhood, but didn't think of them as collectibles until a visit with a short-line equipment supplier, who inquired if he had a collector's edition of the Massey Ferguson 1105.
"When I got home, I looked in my stash of toys, and, sure enough, I had one of those 1105s," Herb said. "I made sure to set that tractor aside. Not long after, I went to my first toy show and was hooked immediately. Now I have over 500 pieces in my collection. Nearly all of them are Massey-Harris of Massey Ferguson."
C. Bergen Service is still in business today. The Massey Ferguson dealership was let go in 1980 and the business focused on the repair and parts departments. More than a decade ago, the business changed again when the repair shop was discontinued in favor of expanding the parts department. Farm supplies and equipment parts make up the core of the business today. Herb serves as parts manager.
About the time that Herb started collecting toys in his youth, he visited a hobby shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
"It was mostly model railroading materials," Herb said. "I found a six-volt motor with individual planetaries at the shop. I knew that I could fit it into a 1/16 scale Massey Ferguson 1105. I cut an 1105 totally apart ad fitted the motor inside. After hooking it to a six-volt battery, it drove around really nice. I was able to locate other smaller motors to fit into other models as well. The next tractor I put together had a motor and a differential and it still works to this day," Herb said.