Organisers of a Christmas toy appeal are on the hunt for a donor who dropped off a rare gift and may not realise its value.

The Northern Advocate wants to track down the donor of a Timpo Wild West Outpost set, after staff learned it was potentially valuable.

The Northern Advocate Christmas Toy appeal collects toys for Lions and Barnados.

Northlanders are encouraged to drop toys into the foyer of the newspaper's Robert St office.

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Toy appeal co-ordinator Gaylene Kooge said a member of the public had seen the toy set and alerted her to the fact that it was a collectable item.

The donated toy set is yet to be assessed professionally, but individual pieces in excellent condition can be worth hundreds of dollars.

Northern Advocate editor Craig Cooper said a local model expert had indicated New Zealand-made Timpo toys were rare and collectable, as the company had only made limited numbers of toys before folding.

"We want to find the donor and give them the option of keeping the toy, or perhaps selling it and the proceeds go to a charity for Christmas,'' Mr Cooper said.

"We have been overwhelmed with the number of lovely toys given, the public's generosity is most appreciated, there will be many smiles on young faces this year, thank you," Mrs Kooge said.

"We hope we can locate the owner of this toy set – it is very exciting and I think they will be totally amazed."

If you dropped the toy at the Northern Advocate please contact Gaylene Kooge on 09-470-2855