1950s-era Japanese "Machine Man" toy robot marches off for $44,850 at Philip Weiss Auctions Nov. 4th A vintage, original, battery-operated “Machine Man” toy robot, made in Japan in the 1950s by Modern Toys and standing 14 ¾ inches tall, sold for $44,850 at Philip Weiss Auctions' November 4th auction.
News-Antique.com - Nov 12,2014 - LYNBROOK, N.Y. – A vintage, original, battery-operated “Machine Man” toy robot, made in Japan in the 1950s by Modern Toys and standing 14 ¾ inches tall, sailed past its pre-auction estimate of $15,000-$25,000 to finish at $44,850 in an auction held November 4th by Philip Weiss Auctions. The sale was held in the company’s Lynbrook gallery, at 74 Merrick Avenue.
The robot – one of the most rare and sought after examples and part of the “Gang of Five” – had a clean battery compartment but some condition issues as well, such as scuffs and scratches to the body and a missing compartment switch, but these didn’t deter bidders. It was the top earner of 684 lots offered in an auction dedicated mostly to toys, trains, toy soldiers and die-cast items.
“It was a long and arduous sale, with a lot of bidding that in many cases started out low but eventually climbed up to nice high prices,” said Philip Weiss of Philip Weiss Auctions. “We definitely worked to make this sale a success, and it was.” Around 1,500 people registered to bid online, via Invaluable.com and Proxibid.com. Many phone and absentee bids were taken as well.
Following are additional highlights from the auction. All prices quoted include a 13 percent buyer’s premium.
A pair of Roy Rogers-related lots was a hit with bidders. The first was a circa-1953 fiberglass horse (“Trigger”) 10-cent machine, fully operational and professionally restored, with large decals on each side reading “Roy Rogers Double R Bar Ranch.” The coin-operated mechanical horse was once exhibited at the Midwest Museum of American Art and gaveled for $2,300.
The second was a circa-1954 Roy Rogers “Nellybelle” pressed steel pedal car and trailer, 68 inches long, professionally restored. The pedal car featured red steel disc wheels with chrome hubcaps, folding rear tailgate and folding windshield, and “Trigger” (Roy Rogers’ horse) and “Buttermilk” (Dale Evans’ horse) emblazoned on the side. It sped off for a final price of $1,955.
A tin litho Bing clockwork ferry boat, made in Germany circa 1920s for the American market, 15 ½ inches long and having a flat bottom, a key on the roof with removable stack and a pair of removable flags, brought $2,300. Also, a Marklin 1 Gauge 4-4-2 olive steam loco and 8-wheeled tender, scored big with train enthusiasts who drove the final price up to a commendable $2,242.
Staying with toy trains, two Bassett Lowke Bing lots found new owners. One was a 1 Gauge green 0-6-2 steam locomotive with a 4-wheeled clockwork tender that appears to be Marklin. It sold for $1,668. The other was a live green 0-6-2 1 gauge steam Southern 736 locomotive with an 8-wheeled tender. It hammered for $1,495. Both lots were pulled from an old-time estate.
Philip Weiss Auctions has a full slate of big auction events planned for the rest of this year and on into 2015. On Sunday, Nov. 23rd, the firm will sell more than 500 lots of stamps, coins, postcards, books