Auctions — February 1, 2011 at 12:01 am

1954 Superman Lunch Box Sells for $11,865 at Philip Weiss Auctions

OCEANSIDE, N.Y.—A 1954 Superman vs. The Robot lunch box in mint condition – widely regarded as the Holy Grail of rare and vintage lunch boxes – soared to $11,865 at a three-day multi-estate sale conducted Oct. 22-24 by Philip Weiss Auctions. Around 1,200 lots changed hands at the event, held in the Philip Weiss Auctions showroom at #1 Neil Court in Oceanside.

The lunch box, by Universal, showed Superman flying at The Robot on the front. The reverse showed Superman carrying an airliner, breaking a chain across his chest and smashing through a brick wall. The piece tied for top lot with a 1901 Caille New Century Puck upright 5-cent slot machine in good working order. The highly collectible machine also brought $11,865.

Overall, the auction grossed nearly $500,000. “There were a few surprises, hardly any disappointments, and by and large I was very pleased with the results,” Philip
Weiss said of the sale. He estimated 200 people attended the event in person over the course of the three days. Phone and absentee bidding was also brisk, while online bidding was facilitated by Proxibid.

“With regard to Internet bidding, it’s quite remarkable what we see happen,” Mr. Weiss said. “At the start of the auction, we may have 100 or so registered online bidders, no more. But as the sale goes by, hour by hour, more and more bidders log on. And a lot of them are first-timers. This has been a trend, and it’s a good one. I love that our auctions are on the Internet.”

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