Spectacular Schuco toys, petroliana, and advertising headline at Miller and Miller, March 1-2

1950s Schuco tin and plastic Mister Atom juggler, estimated at CA$500-CA$700 ($370-$515) at Miller & Miller.

NEW HAMBURG, Canada – A fine collection of mid-century Schuco toys will be offered at Miller & Miller Auctions on Friday, March 1. The 180 lots devoted to a single German toymaker were part of the remarkable holdings of the late Howard Meyer, a Canadian collector with a discerning eye who died in 2021.

Originally founded in 1912 under the name Spielzeugfirma Schreyer & Co, the Schuco factory assumed its more succinct branding in 1921.

Toys in the Meyer collection begin in this period – there are several of the classic 1920s and 1930s tin and fabric wind-up walking figures, including a duo of Drinking Tyrolians, estimated at CA$200-CA$300 ($150-$220) – but its primary focus is the toys made after the Second World War. It was during this period that Schuco focused production on the international market, with many of its toys marked ‘US Zone Germany’, allowing them to be sold outside of occupied Germany.

This distinctive marking was used well into the 1950s, as evidenced by a tin and plastic Mister Atom juggler that has an estimate of CA$500-CA$700 ($370-$515). Like many pieces in the collection, it is in near mint condition.

Many Schuco toys transitioned to plastic and diecast metal in the 1950s and 1960s. However, its range of lithographed tin vehicles remained hugely popular. More than a dozen motorcycles in the Meyer collection include two boxed examples of the Curvo 1000 from 1950-54, with estimates of CA$400-CA$600 ($295-$445) apiece, and two versions of the late 1940s Motodrill 1006, each estimated at CA$200-CA$300 ($150-$220).

There are also two Disneyland lithographed tin Alweg monorail sets, both in their boxes and never assembled. The circa-1961 version known as the gift set or ‘G-set’ is estimated at CA$500-CA$900 ($370-$665), and the circa-1962 super set, or ‘S-set’, is estimated at CA$500-CA$700 ($370-$515).

Among the top-estimated pieces in the sale are a series of boxed 1960s lithographed tinplate planes from the Elektro line. These were all patterned after the Vickers Viscount Turboprop but featured the livery of different airlines. Examples for Air France, Sabena (Belgian World Airlines), and Hong Kong Airways have estimates of CA$700-CA$900 ($515-$665) each.

The Petroliana & Advertising auction that follows on Saturday, March 2 is much wider in scope. However, toy collectors will doubtless admire a Westway AC 747 cutaway aircraft offered with the original box and tripod stand that is estimated at CA$3,500-CA$5,000 ($2,595-$3,705). British firm Westway pioneered the production of these detailed 1:72 scale models of the Boeing 747 in the 1970s that were sold to various operators for display in company offices. This one has the branding of British Airways.

The March 2 sale is led by full-size vehicle: a 1927 Packard Eight 443 seven-passenger touring car. Packards of this era are renowned for their luxurious finishes and exceptional engineering. For many years this car was on permanent display at the Antique Auto Museum in Niagara Falls, Canada, where it was dubbed ‘the Lindbergh Packard’ and said to have been made for Charles ‘Lucky’ Lindbergh. Hard supporting evidence for this claim remains to be found, but this low mileage, numbers matching car underwent a meticulous restoration in 2005 by Stan Uher of Classic Coachworks in Blenheim, Canada, where it was returned to its original black finish. It carries an estimate of CA$225,000-$250,000 ($166,755-$185,280).

Internet bidding for both online-only sales is available via LiveAuctioneers.