$15K for Mr. Atomic at Weiss April 5-6 sale

OCEANSIDE, N.Y. – A battery-operated “Mr. Atomic” toy robot, made in Japan by Cragstan in the early 1960s and still in the original box, sold for $15,820 at a multi-estate sale held the weekend of April 5-6 by Philip Weiss Auctions.

The robot was but one offering in Part 1 of the B.L. Phil “Phillips” collection of rare, collectible robots and space toys. Part 2 of the collection will be sold later this year. All prices include 13 percent buyer’s premium.

Also auctioned was a single-owner collection of high-end mechanical banks and coin-op machines; a single-owner estate of Disney material; vintage items from Grover Van Dexter’s “Second Childhood” shop on Bleeker Street in Manhattan; Steiff bears and other animals; more than 1,000 lots of train memorabilia; tin and advertising porcelain signs; Britains; toy soldiers; and other wind-up toys.

Robots took center stage for the most part, but the sale’s top lot was an original 1963 pen-and-ink Sunday “Peanuts” page, drawn by the late illustrator Charles Schulz. The 11-panel work, dated 5-5-63, sold for $49,720. It measured 23 inches by 17 inches and featured a story line with Sally Brown and Snoopy. Philip Weiss Auctions has become renowned for its “Peanuts” consignments, and more are planned.

A “Jupiter” toy robot, made in Japan by Yonezawa, soared past its high estimate of $9,000 to realize $13,560. Only the fact that it didn’t have the original box prevented it from garnering more. Also, a “Target” robot, still in the box and complete with original gun and darts, made in Japan by Modern Toys, rose to $9,605; and a “Non-Stop” robot, boxed, also made by Modern Toys, hit $6,495.

A ceramic Birchola 5-cent drink syrup dispenser hammered for $3,500. The unit was  marked on the bottom, “Loaned for dispensing Birchola only, the Birchola Co., Dickerson City, Pa.” It had no visible damage or repairs. Also, a ceramic Fowler’s Cherry Smash syrup dispenser, also with no visible signs of damage or repairs, commanded $3,500. Both syrup dispensers stood 14 1/2 inches in height.

For more information, call 516-594-0731, or go online to www.prwauctions.com.