Farewell to Martin Hills, a Friend and Fellow Toy Collector

Musings By Joschik.  Christian is one of the founders of the hobbyDB project and his musings share some of his collecting experience, here unfortunately sad news.

martin-hillsYesterday Ian Carrick, an old friend got in touch with the sad news that Martin is not with us anymore.  I knew Martin since 2006 when we started working together for 2 years.

He was always in the best mood possible, always willing to share and always more than happy to help.  Martin was just an amazing person to spend time with.  Maybe it is because he has been collecting toys all of his life and became a full-time toy person 22 years ago (it is telling that he died on the way to a toyfair).

Martin Hills showing some of his toys

Everybody at Auctioning4u enjoyed Martin’s “Show & Tell” lunches

When we went to the UK we always tried to make sure we could meet up, even my wife and kids (who generally try to stay away from visiting collectors) loved going. Martin and Julia’s house was always full of fun things, nice stories and lots of biscuits!


One of Martin’s favorite items, the Dan Dare Rocket Gun

Martin sold what was probably the best Dan Dare collection to one of our other supporters, to Chang Yang Fa who now displays it at his Mint Museum in Singapore.


We always had fun sharing names and other features of some of the early Chinese stuff, like here the Photoing on Car model

He then became an expert in vintage Chinese tinplate and was probably the most important vendor of it (sending lots of it back to China!).  He was going to share his wealth of knowledge and photos with collectors via hobbyDB, it’s a shame that we all miss out on this.  Martin, rest in peace (hopefully you have internet up there so you can check in from time to time).

11 comments to “Farewell to Martin Hills, a Friend and Fellow Toy Collector”

  1. Baskingshark says:

    Very sad to hear about Martin, he was always a great friend and a wonderful source of collectible toy knowledge. The hobby will miss him!

  2. Isabella says:

    Martin was a joy to be around – a kind and generous soul, always willing to help, offer thoughts, or share a laugh.  He will be missed.  Thoughts and prayers for his family.

  3. Katya says:

    Every time we went to Martin’s house we would go to his garden and marvel at his wonderful plants. There was just so much love in it… Martin, you’ll be missed!

  4. Marcus says:

    Sad to hear this news. A friendly, genuine guy who always had time for people. Will be missed.

  5. Ian says:

    Martin will be sadly missed in the toy community, he was a great friend as well as a good customer with a great passion for toys and mr Kipling’s Apple pies.

  6. Lee Williams says:

    I miss my old friend Martin Hills we had so many great times together, we spoke regularly some times 4 or 5 times a day, I was constantly contacting Martin telling him I knew where there was a kit collection or some amazing soldiers, I couldn’t believe it that December morning waiting at Maidstone toyfair to meet up with Martin,But he never arrived I knew something was wrong as it was totally out of character for him to be late or not get in touch.I myself was the first to find out about his passing as I contacted Julia on the same afternoon and she told me what I never thought I would here, I myself was totally devastated as I has spoken to Martin late the night before.It is still difficult as I see kits and soldiers for sale and think I must call Martin but I cant.

    He was a great friend and we always had time for each other.I knew Martin over 25 years,i can remember the first time he called me from Jersey replying to my Toyshop magazine add (the fore runner to Ebay), He introduced himself and said that he wanted to buy all my Captain scarlet figure sets, Well I laughed and replied “how many do you want then” He replied how many do you have ”

    I said “jokingly” “as many as you want”.so this is  how our friend ship took off, Martin would phone me at lest once or twice a week and buy multiples of captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds and stingray, I must have sent dozens of parcels.I first actually met Martin in person at the Birmingham N.E.C. Memorabilia show in the early 1990s, there he was stand with Mick & Carol Hall. I introduced my self to him and the rest is History.He will be missed by everyone who knew him.I just hope he is attending the toy fairs in heaven  and I hope he rests in peace

    MARTIN HILLS Oct  1956 –  Dec 2016 .R.I.P.


    Your friend LEE WILLIAMS

    • Noel says:

      I’m a fellow toy collector now living in Australia. I knew Martin through the UK toy fairs and remember buying a Dan dare item off him many years back. It’s very sad to read that he’s not around anymore…..RIP Martin

  7. Julia says:

    Thanks for the obituary was lovely.  I printed it off and at the reception had a flip chart with pictures of Martin and letters from various people including the write up you did.  Everyone who read it commented on it especially the lovely photo of him with the Fab 1.  I know he hated having is photo taken but he obviously didn’t know about this one it looks so natural.  His concentration and the expressive hands was a typical comment I got back and it just looked so like him.  In fact the funeral directors gave me a picture of it in a frame as a present and it sits here on his desk by the computer beside me.  Thank you once again for sending it.

    The cremation service went very well, everyone loved the Thunderbirds picture coffin Carol and I designed and had a few laughs at the eulogy as well which was what we and Martin would have wanted.  I have his ashes here at home now and they will be scattered back home in Jersey at Archirondel bay, his favourite fishing spot at the end of May with a lot of our Jersey friends in attendance.


  8. Chang Yang Fa says:

    Hi Julia

    My deepest condolences to you on the passing away of Martin, who was a big Contributor to the Dan Dare Collection in my Museum (www.emint.com), in Singapore.

    Though I know Martin briefly, but he was a very generous and very forthcoming person, an honest and true Collector/Dealer, which is rare in the modern world of digital/virtual business.

    He will always be remembered by us here in Singapore, to have played an important part in building up my Museum Collection in its early years.

    May he rest in Peace in Heaven and continue to bless us all with his knowledge from above.

    Best regards

    Chang YF

  9. Chang Yang Fa says:

    Hi Julia

    I am very sorry to hear about the passing away of Martin.

    Please accept my deepest condolences and hope that you are recovering well from his unfortunate departure.

    Though my encounter with Martin was brief, when I was seeking his knowledge and connections to build up the Dan Dare Collection for my Toy Museum (www.emint.com), in Singapore, but he came across as a real gentleman, both forthcoming and honest, which is a rare trait in today’s world of digital/virtual business.

    He will certainly not only be sadly missed by you, but by all who have dealt with him, one way or another, like myself and will be well remembered for his unselfish contribution to the toy collecting world.

    May he rest in peace and continue to bless us all from above.

    Best regards

    Chang YF

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *