15 April 2021
Also get your hands on early comic character toys, vintage toy boats and motors with pictorial boxes
They came from the future and landed on Earth in the 1950s and ‘60s, but now toy robots of that classic production era seem more like prophets whose mission is being fulfilled more than half a century later in the labs of NASA. For many collectors, the connection to robots is rooted in a childhood memory – discovering that Santa had left them a walking, flashing, noisy android under the Christmas tree. Collectors will relive that indelible memory on 1 May when, through yet more wonders of technology (that’s the internet to you and me!), they can attend Milestone’s 766-lot Spring Spectacular Toy Auction, which features a specialty grouping of more than 100 coveted vintage robots and space toys.
The robot lineup contains examples of some all-time greats. From Masudaya’s powerhouse “Gang of Five” comes an elusive 15-inch-tall Target Robot. All original and complete, its appealing color palette of rich purple with red and yellow accents is further enhanced by colored gels over its flashing eyes, mouth and ears, and the all-important red target on its chest. This great robot has its correct metal dart gun and one rubber-tipped dart. Competition will be strong for this imposing fellow, who comes to auction with an $8,000-$12,000 estimate.
Target Robot’s Gang of Five stablemate, an all-original 15-inch-tall Radicon Robot, boasts exceptional condition to its grainy metal finish and comes with its correct remote control with antenna. All of the robot’s functions worked properly when put to the test by Milestone’s team of toy experts. Estimate: $8,000-$12,000
The dream selection of robots continues with Tremendous Mike. “Every robot collector considers Tremendous Mike to be a must-have, but examples in any condition are hard to come by,” said Chris Sammet, co-founder of Milestone Auctions. “In this sale we’re pleased to be able to offer collectors a super-clean Tremendous Mike with the ultimate bonus, its original box. The toy literally looks like it has never even been played with.” Its windup mechanism, “sparkling” chest screen and revolving radar antenna all passed with flying colors when tested. The interplanetary tourist stands 10 inches tall and is expected to make $12,000-$15,000 at auction.
Among the other top robot and space toy highlights is a Bandai friction-powered “Flying Spaceman” on a “Super Cycle” with its original caped, green rubber “Superman” figure wearing its original red and yellow S-logo chest shield. It is accompanied by the correct, colorfully illustrated box lid and is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.
Also headed for the spotlight is a fantastic Nomura 12-inch battery-operated Walking Batman, all original (including cloth cape), in very good working order, and with its clean, original pictorial box. One of the most desirable superhero toys ever made, it should easily meet expectations of $6,000-$8,000.
Another featured collection that’s expected to make waves consists of 150+ lots of vintage toy boats and electric outboard motors. All are new/old stock and retain their original illustrated boxes. The brands represented include Evinrude, Johnson, Mercury and more. Just one of the many highlights is a rare 1959 Fleet Line Mercury Mark 78A outboard motor “drink mixer.” Both the motor and its Keikhaefer metal gas tank come with their original boxes. They comprise one lot that is estimated at $1,500-$2,000.
“It’s very unusual to see a collection of toy boats and outboard motors like this one. Not only is it extensive, its contents are beautiful new/old stock, which you just never see,” Sammet said.
The auction also presents one of the most comprehensive collections of comic character toys to reach the marketplace in several years. The cast of characters includes Popeye, Felix the Cat, Charlie McCarthy, Mortimer Snerd, Powerful Katrinka, and a whole host of Disney favorites, ranging from Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto to beloved storybook characters like Pinocchio and his creator Geppetto’s pet cat Figaro.
One especially exciting entry is the Walt Disney-authorized Mickey Mouse windup Krazy Kar with three-dimensional figures of driver Mickey with passengers Minnie Mouse and Pluto. The exterior of the vehicle is whimsically decorated with images of Mickey, Donald Duck and Clarabelle the Cow. Made in England prior to World War II, the toy is marked “Made with Permission of Walt Disney Mickey Mouse LTD.” It is one of few known examples and carries a pre-sale estimate of $15,000-$20,000.
Milestone’s Saturday 1 May auction will start at 10 a.m. ET. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Milestone Auctions’ bidding platform, LiveAuctioneers or Invaluable.