PARMA, Ohio – After more than 12 years as a dealer of fine-quality antique and vintage European and American toys, John Pocius has stepped into the auction spotlight for the first time, with a lineup of treasures that collectors are going to find hard to resist. His debut auction event on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010 will be the culmination of literally years of planning, and features 168 rare pieces gathered from far and wide. Toy enthusiasts will be able to bid absentee on any item in the sale through LiveAuctioneers.com until 6 p.m. on the date of the sale (note: this sale will not feature Internet live bidding).
Pocius finds it hard to contain his excitement about the incredible array being offered in the sale. “Everything is premium, handpicked items in the highest possible condition anyone could hope to find,” he said. “Many of the toys are old store stock and some are recent attic finds – single-owner toys and toys that have never even been out of the box.”
The timeline for the sale is late 19th century through the 1960s, with a fine mixture of early tin, comic character, vehicles and space toys. “It covers all the bases,” Pocius said.
A premier lot in the sale is a prewar Japanese celluloid Mickey Mouse cowboy on Pluto rocker. An outstanding example that retains its original lasso, cowboy hat and colorfully lithographed original box, the toy comes from its original owner. It is expected to make $9,000-$10,000 on auction day.
Ever-popular Popeye toys include a Chein Popeye Overhead Puncher, estimate $2,000-$3,000; a boxed Marx Popeye Champ, $1,800-$2,500; and a Linemar Popeye Juggling Olive Oyl toy, $1,200-$1,800. A very nice Popeye Express Fliers with Popeye and Olive piloting their respective airplanes around a tower is offered with its original box, estimate $2,000-$2,500.
A very nice selection of early, German-made Lehmann tinplate toys will be up for bid. A rare Ikarus airplane in all-original condition, including tin pilot and original paper wings, measures 10 inches in length with a 14-inch wingspan. The circa-1914 plane could reach $3,500-$5,000 at auction.
A rare and very desirable 1908 Karl Bub limousine is an example of the finest deluxe model ever made by the German manufacturer. Measuring 14 inches long, it incorporates glass windows, rubber tires, a brake lever and hand-painted details. Expect this beautiful motor car to settle in the $4,000-$6,000 range.
Robot and space toy collectors mustn’t miss the array of extraterrestrials entered in the sale, especially the outstanding Sonsco Space Man tin remote-control battery-operated robot with original box. This good-looking turquoise and red space walker is on every robot collector’s wish list. “It’s especially desirable because there was only a short production run in 1958,” Pocius said. “I believe the toy was made by Nomura because it is similar to other toys Nomura made. Sonsco was probably the distributor.” Pocius noted that an example of the Sonsco Spaceman earned more than $8,000 in the sale of the Robert Lesser collection, adding, “The one in our sale is in far better condition.” The robot is estimated at $7,500-$10,000.
Buyers of American cast-iron toys know how rare the Mama Katzenjammer pull toy is. An example to be auctioned on Sunday is in “wonderful…in excellent condition with paint that’s well into the 90% range. That’s very high for cast iron,” Pocius said. The circa-1910 toy made by Kenton Hardware is estimated at $3,000-$4,000.
For information on any toy in the auction, call John Pocius at Toys of Times Past, 216-218-1971 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.