07 November 2012
Rare GA-50 Daiku Maryu robot by Popy sells for a superb $10,200 ...
Arguably one of the greatest selections of diecast robots went on sale at Morphy’s Auctions in Denver, USA on September 13th. The items were part of the pristine Ed Sandford collection, which included robots from the 1960s alongside more modern Japanese models from the 1980s. Several lots soared into the thousands, well above the original pre-sale estimates.
A perfect example of this was lot 450 GA-50 Daiku Maryu made by Popy from the animation Demon Dragon of the Heaves Gaiking. Daiku Maryu was a gigantic dragon-shaped robot that was built to protect Earth from invaders. The model was near perfect with exceptionally rare blue missile variants and the original box. Unlike many other Gaiking toys, it was only available for a short time and wasn’t released outside of Japan. Originally estimated at $4,000-6,000, it sold for a superb $10,200.
Another unexpected success was ‘Diaclone Big Powered Convoy’ by Japanese manufacturer Takara. Although the name may not be recognisable, this car transporter later became known as the heroic Autobot commander Ultra Magnus from Transformers, just with a different paint job. The example in the sale had the ultra-rare packaging contents, longer head horns – which were later seen as a safety hazard – and a rare flake colour of the trailer. The convoy powered past the pre-sale estimate of $600-1,000 to realise $10,800.
In fact, early pre-Transformers collectables proved extremely popular throughout the auction, particularly the DinoRobo series that later became the Dinobots – toys that could transform between dinosaurs and robots. The highlight among these was DinoRobo 5, a pterandon flying dinosaur, which later became Swoop, and was near mint in its original box. It soared over the low estimate of $500 to achieve $780.
One of the highly anticipated items was lot 768 SG-01 Popy Tetsujin 27 Chogozoku, which supposedly sold out after its initial release in Japan. According to Morphy’s it would be “challenging to find a better example with original inserts and new old stock appearance”. Initially estimated at $2,500-5,000, it sold for $4,200.