Rare Walking Batman leads Milestone’s Oct. 13 Premier Toys Auction
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio – The color, action and irresistible charm of antique and vintage toys will be on full display during Milestone’s October 13 auction in suburban Cleveland. More than 700 lots ranging from coveted early 20th-century German clockwork characters to mid-century superheroes and flashy ’50s vehicles await collectors, who have the option of bidding live online through LiveAuctioneers.
“The level of condition from start to finish is just incredible,” said Milestone co-owner Chris Sammet. “We set the bar very high with all of our Premier sales, but I can say without any hesitation that this is the most outstanding selection of clean, original toys we have ever offered.”
Featured: Spotless TN Walking Batman with crisp, original Japanese box – $10K-$15K
Many dozens of robots, space toys and superheroes will be ready to take the spotlight, and all eyes are sure to be on Lot 96, a TN battery-operated Walking Batman (shown at top of page) in impeccable condition. “This toy is a dream for collectors since it’s new old store stock and has never been played with,” Sammet said. “It’s all original and complete, and there isn’t a better example out there. The rich colors and high gloss have to be seen to be believed.” The 12-inch toy is accompanied by its spotless original Japanese-version box depicting “Adam West” as Batman and Robin in the Batmobile. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000.
Another extraterrestrial prize is Lot 98, a boxed Mechanical Moon Robot (Robby the Robot lookalike). A wind-up as opposed to battery-operated toy, it is complete and appears never to have been played with. Its pre-sale estimate is $2,500-$3,000.
A Marx tin wind-up Sparkling Rocket Fighter Ship – dazzling in its bright red and yellow motif – is a classic example of how manned spaceships were envisioned long before Star Wars or even the Space Race. The 12-inch-long tinplate craft entered as Lot 107B is all original, including the often-missing tailfin, and comes with its visually spectacular pictorial box. Estimate: $600-$800. Lot 115F is an incredibly rare factory case containing 12 TootsieToy #1031 Buck Rogers 25th Century Battle Cruisers, each pristine and in its original pictorial box. Like the aforementioned Walking Batman, it is new old store stock. Auction estimate: $2,000-$3,000
An American antique toy of true museum quality, Lot 245E is a circa-1875 Ives Mechanical Performing Monkey with handbells. “Not only is it in unbelievably fine collection, with bright, unfaded clothing and perfect facial paint, it also has its original wooden box with applied pictorial label,” Sammet said. The Ives label indicates that the toy, No. 49-10, received a patent, presumably for its unusual action. The pre-sale estimate has been set at $3,000-$4,000.
There’s an impressive array of 1930s through postwar-era toys to delight Disney collectors. The grouping includes many examples of Mickey Mouse and other character toys that seldom appear at auction in such sparkling condition. Among the highly regarded Linemar productions are a tin wind-up Mickey on Unicycle, $400-$600; Mickey Cyclist, $300-$500; and boxed Mickey Mouse Dipsy Car, $400-$600. A 1940s Mickey Mouse watch, mint in its original cylindrical box, will cross the auction block with a $300-$500 estimate.
Many of Mickey’s Disney stablemates will be on hand, as well. Lot 130, a rare and near-mint Marx boxed set, houses Pinocchio and Figaro the Cat tin wind-ups, both in top-notch condition. The set delivers two Disney favorites for the price of one and is estimated at $1,000-$1,500.
That muscle-bound, spinach-loving cartoon sailor Popeye will be showing off many skills, such as boxing, tumbling, blowing bubbles, jig dancing, and driving a patrol motorcycle. He’s also a high-flying pilot, as seen in Lot 201, a 1935 tin wind-up Popeye Express. All original and as fresh as the day it rolled off the Marx assembly line, this toy depicts daredevil pilot Popeye circling above a train with an annoyed Olive Oyl as its passenger and Wimpy as a spectator. Along with its profusely illustrated original box, it comes to auction with a $1,000-$1,500 estimate.
A fleet of pressed steel automotive toys includes many leading brands, including Buddy ‘L,’ Bing, Marx, Cor-Cor, Wyandotte, Dayton and Sturditoy. In the 1920s, the latter company produced a handsome 33½-inch oil tanker in fire-engine red. An example of the two-piece truck and trailer, entered as Lot 390B, retains its original decals and nice tandem tires. Its auction estimate is $2,000-$2,500.
Paddles are expected to be airborne when Lot 458A, a rare Hubley cast-iron Harley-Davidson Parcel Post motorcycle opens for bidding. With very clean original paint and Harley decal on the gas tank, this much-admired bike comes with its correct blue-uniformed driver. Estimate: $2,000-$2,500
Milestone’s Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 Premier Vintage Toy Auction will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, with absentee and Internet live bidding through LiveAuctioneers. For additional information or condition reports, call 440-527-8060 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.