Smith House Toys to launch Mr. Mint’s space toy collection May 1-15

TELFORD, Pa. – The extensive space toy collection of dealer/collector Alan “Mr. Mint” Rosen will be sold in a phone and online auction held by Smith House Toy & Auction Company beginning May 1 and closing May 15.

The Smith House spring sale will include a huge fleet of rockets, flying saucers and other extra-terrestrial vehicles, in addition to about 50 robots. This is the first of two sales of the Rosen collection; the second will be held in the fall and will contain hundreds of Rosen’s rare robots.

Known for his desire to own only those pieces in the best condition, Rosen has been an avid collector and dealer in sports cards and memorabilia, Howdy Doody toys, Star Wars collectibles, Hess trucks and Lincoln pennies. Seven years ago, Rosen turned his attention to robots and space toys.

“When I was a kid, I used to take the heads off my robots and put cherry bombs in them,” the New Jersey collector laughs. But when he began buying them as an adult, they couldn’t show any signs of abuse, and that included their packaging. “When the collecting bug gets me, I want every object ever made. I wound up with 690 robots, of which 610 were boxed.” Many of his toys come with their original box inserts, some with the instruction sheets.

In all, Rosen will sell more than 1,000 robots and space toys in the two Smith House auctions. He will keep one toy: a Robby Robot. “I keep one of everything I collect. I have just one Lincoln penny now and one Hess truck.”

The May auction will feature many space vehicles rarely seen even by advanced collectors. Among the most unusual is the Robot War Boat, a missile-launching nautical craft piloted by a mechanical man. The toy, made by the Japanese company Aoshin, is expected to bring a winning bid between $8,000 and $12,000.

A bright silver Ford convertible with an otherworldly aura has a robot driver and robot passenger. The toy is expected to pick up $6,000 to $9,000. Another scarce vehicle, the Cragstan Spacemobile and Pilot, with its original box, will bring an estimated $5,000 to $7,000.

The blue and brown graphics on the box of the Mars Man are more rarely seen than the toy itself; the lot is expected to fly as high as $4,500. The tin-armored Space Patrol, with cannon-shooting astronaut and original box, is estimated at $3,000 to $4,000. A Robby Studebaker may bring $2,000 to $3,000. Other hard-to-find vehicles include a Space Race Car and Atomic Race Car, Space Explorer and X-9 Space Robot Car, all with their boxes. The mechanical animal menagerie will include the silver Space Elephant and Magic Space Dog, each with its unique box.

Highly sought Japanese and European rockets and saucers, both friction and battery-operated, will be offered in the sale. More than a dozen space capsules also will splash down. And there will be an excellent selection of plastic space toys and spacemen.

The first group of Rosen’s robots will march into the May auction, including the Change Man, Mystery Moon Man, Conehead, Door Robot and Lantern Robot. The boxed robots will be led by the Dux Astroman, Radar Robot, Mighty Robot, Ranger Robot, Mr. Robot the Mechanical Brain, Ribbon Head Moon Robot, Tulip Head and Fire Department Robot.

Cross-over and non-space toys will join the sale, too, including both the Twirly Whirly and Coney Island Rocket Rides, both with boxes, the Marx Spooky Kooky Tree, Tarzan, small windup Frankensteins, and a selection of race cars.

For information on this auction or to order a catalog, call 215-721-1389 or e-mail smithhousetoys@comcast.net.

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