Collectors spend almost $1 million on robots and space toys

14 April 2014
imports_CCGB_morphy_07700.jpg Collectors spend almost $1 million on robots and space toys
Bandai 12-inch Flying Spaceman among the big hitters at Morphy Auctions. ...
Collectors spend almost $1 million on robots and space toys Images
An exceptional boxed example of a Bandai 12-inch Flying Spaceman blasted into orbit on February 15th at Morphy’s Toy Auction in Denver, USA before landing with a bump at $55,200 – more than three times its high estimate. Described in the catalogue as being “possibly the best known example”, the crisp and colorful Japanese motorcycle toy featured a vinyl-caped hard-rubber Superman rider with a large tin ‘S’ insignia on its chest.

“This particular toy was new/old stock with its original box and was found in a toy store in Japan. It’s very uncommon to find a Flying Spaceman in such nice condition, especially with the Superman shield still intact,” said Morphy Auctions’ owner, Dan Morphy. “There was a lot of interest in the toy prior to our sale, and it didn’t surprise me that it went for as much money as it did.”

Robots and space toys were strong across the board, with interest from around the world. “I’ve never seen online bidding as active as it was for this sale. From start to finish, there were at least 300 bidders on the internet at any given time,” added Morphy. The auction grossed $996,000 (all prices quoted are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium).

Although only eight-inches in height, a beautiful Kanto tin wind-up Television Robot was the object of fierce bidding competition and commanded a price that one might expect of a rare Gang of Five robot. Together with its richly illustrated factory box, the near-mint extraterrestrial had been entered in the sale with a $15,000-$25,000 estimate but the hammer finally settled on $32,400.

Other robot highlights included a boxed tin-litho Inter Planet Space Captain, $19,800 against an estimate of $2,000-$4,000; a Masudaya Mighty 8 Robot and a Yonezawa tin-litho and painted-tin crank-wind Astro Scout both made $8,400. Space guns, which have their own dedicated following amongst sci-fi collectors, were led by a boxed Hiller Atomic Ray Gun that realised $3,000 (estimate $400-$600) and a boxed Yonezawa battery-operated Electro Ray-Gun, which sold for $2,280 (est. $100-$300).

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