1950s Mobile Space toy blasts to $4,800 in 1,000-lot antique toy auction

LAS VEGAS — Victorian Casino Auctions (VCA), a premier antique auction house in Las Vegas, has developed a reputation for providing collectors with choice opportunities for procuring quality items from diverse genres, and last May was no exception. Bidders hit the jackpot with a hugely successful four-day event that highlighted an assortment of more than 1,000 antique toys, many of which represented Japanese wind-up designs from the 1950s and 1960s.

Mobile Space TV Unit with trailer from the 1950s

Mobile Space TV Unit with trailer from the 1950s. Photo courtesy Victorian Casino Antiques.

The auction also featured some highly sought after items including antique slot machines, coin operated machines, jukeboxes, and advertising collectibles. While in-house bidders kept the place packed throughout, they had to keep pace with the astounding number of both phone and online bidders.

While the entire weekend was a smashing success for VCA, it was the reception the antique toys received that really stood out. Many of the race car and outer space-related items brought in “out of this world” prices during the toy auction, including a very rare Mobile Space TV Unit with Trailer from the 1950s in near mint condition with the original box, which sold for $4,800. An Atom Jet a-58v friction race car that represents the largest of the toy cars made in the 1950s brought in $4,200. A Space Patrol Volkswagen R-10 that features an astronaut driving a rocket-powered Beetle convertible (because sometimes you just want to cruise along an alien planetary landscape with the top down) fetched $3,000.

Superman Tank toy in mint condition with original box

Superman Tank toy in mint condition with original box

Superman made a super impression on more than one occasion, with an extremely rare Louis Marx Superman Airplane from the 1940s in great condition with original box bringing in $1,680. The Man of Steel figures into a equally rare Superman Tank toy in mint condition with original box which one lucky bidder brought home to their collection for $3,600. Toys featuring other pop culture icons such as Popeye smoking a pipe and Mickey Mouse rollerskating fetched $1,265 and $1,560, respectively.


This article originally appeared in Antique Trader magazine

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Japanese toys were not the only hit, as German toymaker Lehmann made quite a few notable sales. One example is a Man Da Rin No. 565, which features two Coolies carrying a Chinese man in a sedan chair, that went for $2,280. Another, the Duo-Rooster Pulling Rabbit wind-up carriage from the 1930s, sold for $1,680. There was plenty more besides toys, with a large collection of rare cookie jars peaking bidders’ interest. An American BisqueHerman & Katnip Cookie Jar, one of only six known to exist, was sold for $1,560.

Stained Beveled & Leaded Glass Windows

Stained Beveled & Leaded Glass Windows

A Sinclair Oil Green Dinosaur Cookie Jar from 1943 was sold for $1,800. Other diverse highlights include a five Cent Early Countertop Bicycle Trade Stimulator from 1898 that went for $9,000, a life-size replica of the Lost in Space B9 Robot that brought in $8,625, a pair of Belcher Mosaic stained-glass windows in wood frames (from the former Liberace’s Restaurant) that sold for $6,000 each, and a Henry Gautschi & Sons Cylinder Wooden Music Box from the 1890s that sold for $4,313. Most likely the single highest priced item was a one cent Pulver’s Kola-Pepsin Happy Hooligan Gum Vending Machine from 1899 that fetched $15,680.


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Based on the success of the auction, specifically in regards to the reception the antique toys received, VCA is proud to announce its next multiday auction event  October 11-13. This upcoming auction will again feature a variety of antique toys, along with the eclectic selection of antique machines and collectibles for which VCA is so highly regarded throughout the industry. Bidders can expect a wide variety of American-made trains and trucks, made of both tin and cast iron, as well as greater than normal arcade selections, unique coin-operated vending machines and trade stimulators, and an array of gas and oil memorabilia that will compliment both the ardent automobile and antique advertising collections.

October auction Items are currently viewable on www.vcaauction.com. Auctions on all three days will begin at 9am. For more information call Dan Sidlow at 702-382-2466, or email vca@lvcoxmail.com.

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