MR. ATOMIC TOY ROBOT FROM THE EARLY 1960s, MADE IN JAPAN BY CRAGSTON AND STILL IN THE BOX, BRINGS $15,820 AT APR. 5-6 SALE HELD BY PHILIP WEISS AUCTIONS

. April 17, 2008

mr-atomic.jpg(Oceanside, N.Y.) – A battery-operated “Mr. Atomic” toy robot, made in Japan by Cragston in the early ’60s and still in the original box, sold for $15,820 at a multi-estate sale held the weekend of April 5-6 by Philip Weiss Auctions. The robot was but one offering in Part 1 of the B.L. Phil “Phillips” collection of rare, collectible robots and space toys. Part 2 of the collection will be sold later this year.

Also auctioned was a single-owner collection of high-end mechanical banks and coin-op machines; a single-owner estate of Disney material; vintage items from Grover Van Dexter’s “Second Childhood” shop on Bleeker Street in Manhattan; Steiff bears and other animals; over 1,000 lots of train memorabilia; tin and advertising porcelain signs; Britains; toy soldiers; and other wind-up toys.

“This sale had very strong bidding from buyers all over the world, some of whom flew in to attend in person,” said Philip Weiss. “It just proves what I’ve said before – despite problems with the economy, people will spend good money on high-end collectibles. The robots especially did very well, and that trend bodes well for collectors. The robots alone accounted for over $300,000 in gross sales.”

The sale drew an in-house crowd of about 200 registered bidders, and there were ten times that many registered online bidders, through eBay Live and LiveAuctioneers.com. The phones were ringing all weekend, with many of the robots selling to phone buyers, plus more than 2,000 absentee bids were recorded. By the end of it all, about 1,000 lots changed hands in a sale that grossed $575,000.

peanuts.jpg Robots took center stage for the most part, but the sale’s top lot was an original 1963 pen-and-ink Sunday “Peanuts” page, drawn by the late illustrator Charles Schulz. The 11-panel work, dated 5-5-63, sold for $49,720. It measured 23” x 17” and featured a story line with Sally Brown and Snoopy. Philip Weiss Auctions has become renowned for its “Peanuts” consignments, and more are planned.

Other highlights from the sale follow. All prices quoted include a 13% buyer’s premium.

jupiter-robot.jpg A “Jupiter” toy robot, made in Japan by Yonezawa, soared past its high estimate of $9,000 to realize $13,560. Only that fact that it didn’t have the original box prevented it from garnering more. Also, a “Target” robot, still in the box and complete with original gun and darts, made in Japan by Modern Toys, rose to $9,605; and a “Non-Stop” robot, boxed, also made by Modern Toys, hit $6,495.

A space refuel station, in the box and made by Waco in Japan, went for $5,365; a “Forklift” robot, boxed and made by S.H. in Japan, fetched $4,520; a “Moon Explorer” robot, boxed and made by Alps in Japan, achieved $3,600; a “Mr. Robot the Mechanical Brain”, boxed and also made by Alps, brought $3,840; and a Nomura “Space Man” robot, battery operated with remote control, made $3,390.

A ceramic Birchola 5-cent drink syrup dispenser hammered for $3,500. The unit was marked on the bottom, “Loaned for dispensing Birchola only, the Birchola Co., Dickerson City, Pa.” It had no visible damage or repairs. Also, a ceramic Fowler’s Cherry Smash syrup dispenser, also with no visible signs of damage or repairs, commanded $3,500. Both syrup dispensers stood 14-1/2” in height.

snow-white.jpg Rounding out the sale’s top lots was a Disney animation cel from the classic 1930s movie “Snow White.” The multi-cel Courvoisier set-up, depicting Snow White at the well, sold for $3,373 and was in fine condition. Courvoisier was the California-based firm that provided Disney with many of the backgrounds and graphics for its early animated films. The sight size for the cel sold was 9” x 7”.

Next up for Philip Weiss Auctions: What was supposed to have been a quaint little single-owner collection sale of vintage comic books and comic art has mushroomed into a colossal one-day event that will also comprise hundreds of pop culture collectibles in a dizzying array of categories. The sale will be held Saturday, April 26, starting at 10:00 a.m., at the firm’s showroom in Oceanside, N.Y.

“I’m not sure how or why it happened this way, but suddenly we were hit with a ton of important items from various consignors,” said Philip Weiss. The pop culture collectibles will feature music and rock ‘n’ roll items; movie, TV and theater memorabilia; autographs; records; animation art; posters; political and sports memorabilia; and toys. In all, nearly 1,000 lots are slated to cross the block.

Then, on Saturday, May 17, Part 2 of the record-setting Newport Stamp Collection will be sold. Part 1 made headlines when, on February 9, an unused 1869 24-cent inverted center U.S. stamp, #120b, certified Fine and one of only four unused examples know to exist, soared to $1.271 million. It was a new world record for a U.S. invert (the previous record was for an Inverted Jenny, at $825,000).

Part 2 of the sale promises to be just as enticing for collectors. Highlights will include U.S. singles and great rarities such as August issues #55-62; Continental and American special printings, complete #’s 167-177, 180-181, 192-204, 205C, 211D and J8-J14; 1857 and 1861 reprints, complete #’s 233A and 314A mint pair (Ex. Cromwell and Engle, one of only six such pairs known to exist). Also:

316 line pair; 318 pair; 321 pair; 322 pair; 356 line pair; an Orangeburg Coil used single; 4C and 8C blue papers; 485 double error; 544 used; 594 mint; 596 pre-cancelled; O94; PR47; R157 and R158; Hawaii #12; and many more. To learn more about the second component of this fabulous collection, click on the Philip Weiss Auctions website as sale day approaches: www.prwauctions.com.

Also on May 17, 200 other stamp, coin and paper money lots will also be sold from various collections, to include: The Chesapeake Collection featuring 50+ Scott specialty albums loaded with foreign mint sets and singles; British Colonies; four stamp collections now being broken down; and the “Silver Salt Cellar” recovered from the treasure ship Atocha (appraised value: more than $300,000).

The following day, Sunday, May 18, another blockbuster sale will be held, featuring rare books; autographs; documents; three Charles Schulz “Peanuts” pieces; a collection of Jack London first editions; and more. Quality consignments are still being accepted for these sales. To consign an item, estate or collection, call Philip Weiss Auctions at (516) 594-0731, or e-mail to phil@prwauctions.com.

Category: Auction News

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