Auctions — May 1, 2013 at 12:01 am

Robots at Morphy’s $1.68M Dec. 6-8 Toy Auction

Masudaya Machine Man battery-operated robot, $45,600.
Masudaya Machine Man
battery-operated robot,
DENVER, PA – Morphy’s Dec. 6-8, 2012 Premier Auction brightened the holiday season for many who participated in the sale and took their pick from some of the country’s top collections of advertising, robots and other types of toys and vintage collectibles. The auction catalog’s vibrantly illustrated cover, with its compelling images of a cane-tapping Mr Peanut store display, bluecoated belsnickel and movie poster for “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” provided a tantalizing sampler of highlights offered in the $1.68 million sale. All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 20% buyer’s premium.

Not surprisingly, a Machine Man tin robot from Masudaya’s “Gang of Five” dominated prices realized with a final selling price of $45,600 against an estimate of $20,000-$30,000. The boxy sci-fi favorite was one of 160 robot and space toy lots consigned by Dave DiMartino, a former VP of Guitar Center. After his retirement from the well-known retailer of guitars and amps, DiMartino traveled extensively throughout Europe, acquiring many rare and desirable robots. “But he preferred to remain under the radar, which is one reason this collection had such a curiosity factor with other collectors,” said Dan Morphy, CEO of Morphy Auctions.

The DiMartino collection produced four of the sale’s top 10 lots.

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