Today, many nations and private companies are engaged in the space race, but theres no contest as to who the winner is when it comes to space toys. Japan has been the clear and unchallenged leader in the manufacture of robots and space toys since the end of World War II. The imaginative designs of Masudaya, Yonezawa, Nomura and scores of other Japanese firms of the 1950s-70s are revered by collectors who love the toys fanciful looks and quirky actions, not to mention the wild artwork on their boxes. Milestone Auctions, the home of great toy collections, will offer a treasure trove of sought-after robots, space toys and dozens of other types of vintage playthings at their Saturday, May 27, Spring Premier Toy Sale.
Major Collection Of Rare Robots, Space Toys And Superheroes To Lead Milestone's Premier Toy Auction
Unusual Japanese Productions Join American Cast-Iron, Tin And Pressed-Steel Classics In Big May 27 Sale
The 881-lot auction is led by an out-of-this-world collection of postwar Japanese rarities, including Tetsujin, Astroboy, Space Ace and everyones favorite: a Nomura Walking Batman, with its original box. Theres already a lot of buzz about these toys because, to our knowledge, no one up until now has auctioned a high-quality Japanese robot, superhero and character collection of this size, said Miles King, co-owner of Milestone Auctions.
The parade of highlights is led by an excellent battery-operated Target Robot from Masudayas Gang of Five robot series. Its unusual to encounter an example as clean, original and complete as the one offered by Milestone. Standing an impressive 15 inches tall and finished in glossy purple, red and yellow with a red circular target on its chest, it comes with its correct dart pistol and two darts. Even better, it retains its colorful original box, making it a top prize for any collection. Target Robot is ready for action and has a pre-sale estimate of $20,000-$25,000.
Marching right behind Target Robot is his Gang of Five brother, Masudayas Radicon Robot. The big, boxy battery-op with a gray industrial-metal finish is also 100 percent original and comes complete with its correct remote-control box and antenna. Radicon is historically significant, as it is considered by pop-culture scholars to be the first radio remote-control-operated toy. It retains its original pictorial box depicting a boy in a spacesuit directing Radicon with his remote control. It will be offered with an auction estimate of $15,000-$20,000.
The androidal parade continues with a rare Yonezawa 13-inch-tall 8 Man Walking Robot. This coveted toy is all original and finished in bright primary colors. Even better, it is in working order and comes with its fantastic-looking original Japanese-language box with visuals of 8 Man running in space as a rocket zooms past him. The estimate will be $6,000-$8,000.
The 8 Man is also the subject of a Yone/Yonezawa 12-inch battery-operated remote-control Thunderbird car. In complete, all-original condition, it has a retractable roof and steerable remote control. Its unbeatable graphics include flames along the cars outer edges, Japanese writing, and images of 8 Man on both the hood (8 Mans face) and trunk (8 Man against a checkered flag). Even the original box is a work of art, repeating the sensational graphics and colors seen on the car. This toy is a hot ticket and should easily command $3,000-$5,000.
Another rarely seen toy is Tadas 13-inch tin wind-up Big X thin-leg walker. All original and complete, including its purple cloth cape and winged helmet boldly emblazoned with an X, the toy is in working order and comes with its original pictorial box. Hard to find in any condition, this striking example will cross the auction block with a $4,000-$6,000 estimate.
Bidding is expected to take off the moment Nomuras battery-operated Walking Batman takes the spotlight. Every robot and superhero collector wants one for their collection, but on the rare occasion that one becomes available, theres always very strong competition, and not just from American bidders, noted King. The Walking Batman is all original, complete, and looks as though it has never been played with. When tested, it worked perfectly. Together with its beautiful original box with images of Batman, Robin and the Batmobile, this postwar classic is on target to reach $6,000-$8,000.
Those who like their toys rare and exotic will be in the bidding fray for a Bandai (Japan) battery-operated Flying Space Ace. All original and complete with a colorfully decorated remote control and wire track for toy to fly on, it is accompanied by its original Japanese-language box with killer graphics. Very rare and in spruce condition, it carries a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.
Sometimes collectors of prewar Japanese toys have to exercise patience because the early productions they seek are so hard to find, particularly in nice condition. Milestone has something very special to offer those collectors: a 9-inch pre-WWII wind-up Race Car Glory with a full-body driver figure. The racer boasts distinctive colors of the Art Deco period, and its original pictorial box exudes charm with its depiction of three children smiling with delight as they admire their toy car. The estimate will be $2,000-$3,000.
Cast-iron toys are always at home in Milestones toy sales. Among the highlights are a rare 13-inch-long Kyser & Rex cast-iron Santa in Sleigh toy pulled by two reindeer in all-original condition, estimated $6,000-$8,000, and an ultra-desirable Hubley cast-iron Harley-Davidson Hill Climber motorcycle. The 8.5-inch-long bike is all original, finished in a scarce orange color with a driver dressed in black from head to toe. A sturdy survivor with no breaks or repairs, it will roll across the auction block with a $5,000-$8,000 estimate.
Collectors of pressed-steel toys will also be met with a trove of outstanding options to bid on. A very scarce 25-inch-long Kingsbury motor-driven pressed-steel stake-bed truck displays excellent paint and retains its original white rubber tires and J.C. Penney Little Jim decals. Its pre-sale estimate is $2,500-$3,500. Also, a 23-inch-long Buddy L Junior Oil Tank Truck, all original including its paint, could roll out the door for a winning bid of $1,000-$1,500.
Milestones May 27 Spring Premier Toy Sale will be held at the companys gallery at 38198 Willoughby Parkway, Willoughby (suburban Cleveland), Ohio. Start time will be 10 a.m. ET. All forms of remote bidding will be available, including absentee, by phone, and live online through Milestones bidding platform or LiveAuctioneers.
For additional information on any item in the sale, call 440-527-8060, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.milestoneauctions.com.