DENVER, Penn. – Morphy’s has been on everyone’s radar in the sports card hobby ever since the Pennsylvania company sold a Topps baseball wax-pack brick for $873,300 last February. Their summer auction lineup on August 2-3, which strived for bidder inclusion at all price points, included 55 lots of cards, rack packs, cello and wax packs plus boxes representing some of the all-time greats.
The top seller ended up being an extremely rare, unopened 1976 Topps football rack box containing 24 pristine packs of trading cards. The packs featured images of star athletes of the period, including Fran Tarkenton, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Bubba Smith, Mel Blount and many others. The 1976 Topps set is also known to include rookie cards of the Chicago Bears’ legendary Hall of Famer Walter “Sweetness” Payton. BBCE-authenticated, the coveted box sold within its estimate range for $24,600.
With the blockbuster Margot Robbie/Ryan Gosling movie packing theaters worldwide, this has been the summer of Barbie, and that is also true in the toy-collecting world. Morphy’s August sale featured a 1959 first-issue brunette #1 Barbie with its original box, stand, and complete set of accessories. Harder to find than its blond counterpart, the early brunette doll in excellent condition was bid to $10,455 against an estimate of $6,000-$7,000.
Sci-fi fans had their eyes on a battery-operated tin-litho Space Refuel Station marked “Waco Made in Japan.” An elusive toy, especially when complete with its original satellite, jet plane and rocket accessories, it even retained its original pictorial factory box. Estimated at $2,000-$3,000, it hit the stratosphere at $11,070.
Closing at $5,658, a McCoy #5 Invader tether car showed off a carved-wood top by Stanley Betz and was powered by a .60 race motor. The 20-inch-long racer had been estimated at $1,000-$1,500, prompting Tommy Sage, Head of Morphy’s Toys & Trains department, to remark, “The popularity of tether cars has been growing steadily, and this particular car had a few things going for it that made it special. It has a sleek, low design – almost futuristic – and a glossy polished-wood finish. There’s an artistic quality to it.”
Classic toys and pop culture favorites joined forces to deliver a $1.3 million result for this two-day auction.