27 October 2010
A change of Government meant a change of plans for Aston’s Toy Auctions who was in line for a substantial grant to renovate its landmark Grade II listed Georgian building as part of the Townscape Initiative Scheme for regeneration of the area. ...
A change of Government meant a change of plans for Aston’s Toy Auctions who was in line for a substantial grant to renovate its landmark Grade II listed Georgian building as part of the Townscape Initiative Scheme for regeneration of the area. Sadly, the new Government spending review meant that plans were put on hold until decisions have been made.
“There are eight projects all waiting but it is looking optimistic,” said Chris Aston, who set up Aston’s Toy Auctions in partnership with his father Phil in 2004. He added: “There is a good chance that we will still get funding but if we don’t get it we will still do a lot of the work ourselves.”
One of the first jobs Chris and Phil have planned is putting up the iron railing fencing at the front of the auction house which was originally a charitable boarding school for boys.
“We’re planning on having new ornate cast iron railings made to replace those that were removed and melted down in the war years,” said Chris. “That’s a priority not just to bring the appearance back in line to how it was, but also for added security. We should know whether we’re getting the grant in about six weeks.”
Its September toy auction saw a good crowd of people attending with more than 100 people also online at the start of the day. With the bulk of diecasts due to go under the hammer in the afternoon, there was a constant flow of new bidders arriving throughout the morning. Many of the early birds had come along to view the collection of Barbie and Cindy dolls which were going under the hammer.
Twelve boxed Cindy, Barbie, Ken and other friends, along with numerous outfits and furniture, had been put up for auction by their owner Sharon Goode of Pershore. Sharon had come along to the sale to say goodbye to her childhood playthings and was quite surprised at the outcome.
“I was about five when I had my first Barbie doll,” said Sharon. “My father was in the Army and we were living in the Far East. I must admit I was a bit spoilt and had a lot of Barbie and Cindy dolls. You could buy an outfit for about a dollar out there. Being an Army family we were always taught to play with our toys and then put them back in their boxes for when we had to move. I’m glad I did!”
Good advice – as any collector will know – and watching with bated breath as the lots went through the auction, Sharon saw many of her treasured dolls selling for amounts ranging from £40 to about £70. However, when her Mattel Barbie: Barbie Teen Age Fashion Model with lifelike bendable legs went through, she was astonished to see her selling for £340.
Afterwards, Sharon remarked on how much easier it was to put her collection through a toy auction rather than selling on Ebay. “If you’re trying to sell it yourself, you have to work out your own estimates, pack and post everything. This is so much easier and Chris has been very attentive and making sure that everything is right.”
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