CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — It’s being touted as among the most impressive and diverse online auctions of its kind in years and a spectacular opportunity for collectors to bid on an expansive range of classic toys and memorabilia with no reserve prices.
Registration and bidding for the Fall ‘09 Online Vintage Toy & Collectible Auction from Serious Toyz is already under way, and offers collectors and aficionados an unparalleled selection of superior vintage toys and collectibles. The auction ends Oct. 9 at 10 p.m. EST for Part One (Character and Classic Toys, 504 lots), and Oct. 10 at 10 p.m. EST for Part Two (Toy Vehicles, 576 lots). The online auction is found at www.serioustoyz.com.
The Serious Toyz online auction features a total of 1,081 lots of vintage toy collectibles from every conceivable category and appealing to every price point. With lots ranging from tin vehicles, Matchbox cars and Disney characters, to superhero lunch boxes and 1936 celluloid “Popeye the Champ,” the Serious Toyz ’09 Online Vintage Auction represents a panoply of coveted collectible items from some of the industry’s most noteworthy purveyors, consignors and collectors of toy ephemera.
While the challenging economy may still have a stranglehold on some sectors, collectors of vintage toys can take heart, explains Tom Miano, owner of Serious Toyz. “Vintage toy and collectible auction prices continue to be robust, and in many cases, record setting,” Mr. Miano says. “When you combine the expanding popularity of collecting with a finite number of available items, the continual climb in prices for ‘the good stuff’ does make sense. However, ‘good stuff’ does not necessarily mean expensive.” Serious Toyz prides itself “on bringing the best items we can offer, in a wide range of collecting categories, at all price ranges. This auction is no exception. Every item we offer gets equal treatment, no matter what the ultimate value. And,” he adds, “we understand it’s not how much you spend, but what it is. A true collector will get the same pleasure from adding a $20 item as from a $2,000 item.”
Miano states that the Fall ’09 Auction is another breakthrough for Serious Toyz, considering the number of higher-priced items up for grabs. There is already a lot of buzz surrounding a stunning, battery-operated remote control 1956 Mark II Continental, featuring front and rear directional lights, manufactured by Linemar (Marx). Miano says the two-door sedan is one of the rarest tin cars in the world; it is in near pristine condition and has a minimum bid of $3,500.
The 1956 Mark II Continental — as well as a significant number of the early character items offered on the online auction — are courtesy of the collection of a couple who have been ardent toy collectors since the 1970s.
A majority of the Disney items and character offerings were provided by the couple, in addition to several other important lots, including the 1950s Linemar (Marx) Friction Four Motor Whirling Propeller Airplane with electric wing and tail lights, which is expected to fetch far in excess of its opening bid of $350.
The Serious Toyz Fall ’09 online auction also features numerous pieces consigned by the famed Philadelphia-based brother-and-sister collecting team of Chas and Tracey Rose. “They have once again stepped up with an amazing array of Batman and other Super Hero collectibles,” Mr. Miano says.
The Vehicles portion of the online auction features a wide range of items from the personal collection of Dr. Douglas Sadecky, one of the most significant collectors in the country, and a respected price guide author. “Most of the Matchbox and Hot Wheels lots are his,” Mr. Miano explains, “as well as a number of other important tin and pressed steel offerings.” A majority of the Beatles lots also belong to Dr. Sadecky, he says. “We are humbled that (Dr. Sadecky) continues to choose us to offer parts of his incredible collections.”
The ’09 online auction will also feature items from the collections of a half-dozen other major toy collectors, Mr. Miano points out. “This is a very significant group of consignors,” he notes. “This is a great opportunity for collectors to bid on items of virtually all price points, and in a wide range of collectibles.”
The auction also features more from the Greyhound Bus collection of Paul Reif. A range of battery-operated toys is also available (all opening at $10, with no reserves), in addition to a large number of lots from Jim Piatti, the author of “Collecting Firefighting Toys.”
Other standouts at the ’09 fall auction include a 1964 battery-operated Dux-Astroman Electric Robot with a beginning bid of $750. Another coveted item is a fully equipped 1965 James Bond attaché case. “It’s one of the Holy Grails of Bond collecting,” Mr. Miano states. It carries an opening bid of $495.
Dozens of consignors have contributed lots to the ’09 online auction, many of whom provided just one or two items for auction.
Mr. Miano stresses that Serious Toyz online auctions have no “sudden-death” endings (each item has its own computerized clock, and items will close individually when 60 minutes pass without a bid); as such, there is no advantage to or need for participants to wait until the last minute to place their bids, especially if they’re bidding by phone. Bidding before the closing days and using ceiling bids are both advisable, he adds. Pre-registration with a valid credit card is required before a bid can be placed. The serioustoyz.com Internet bidding platform is www.simpleauctionsite.com.
For Mr. Miano, the thrill of the auction is matched only by the joy of offering this eclectic group of toys and collectibles to others who share his passion for such treasures. “There is something for everyone and in every price point,” he concludes. “It really is rewarding to offer this many lots to so many enthusiastic collectors.”
Photos courtesy Serious Toyz.