A diverse audience of bidders from around the world turned out for Dan Morphy Auctions’ Nov. 13-14 sale of the Marc Solondz collection of Japanese superhero, diecast and vinyl toys, which grossed $701,500 inclusive of 15% buyer’s premium. It was the first major collection of its type ever to come to auction, according to auction house owner Dan Morphy, so the prices realized were especially valuable as first-strike benchmarks for those who collect the futuristic, late-20th-century toys.
“There were bidders from all over the world – Italy, Japan, Germany, California, Florida – and an even greater cross-section on the Internet and phones,” said Morphy. “It was a very young crowd, the youngest we’ve ever had in the gallery. Some of them knew each other, while others were anxious to meet their fellow collectors. They didn’t sit in the back; they all clustered together near the front. Many of them had never been to an auction before. When they checked in and were handed a bidding number, some of them didn’t know what to do with it. So it was a good learning experience for a very nice group of collectors and dealers who’d only networked through the Internet prior to auction day.”
Opening-session highlights were topped by a Popy Series GA-50 Daiku Maryu DX. The boxed set comprised of fantasy characters some might describe as resembling a sci-fi dinosaur and Viking astronaut made $5,200 against an estimate of $800-$2,000. A Bullmark boxed Robo Kress DX estimated at $700-$1,500 settled at $2,100.
After the Friday session, Dan Morphy Auctions and ToyboxDX.com jointly hosted a packed reception at the nearby Black Horse Tavern. “Everybody showed up for it – half of them dressed in jeans and half in coats in ties,” said Morphy. “Afterwards they had a gathering of their own – a sort of mini convention. From what I was able to discern from their conversations, our auction was the event that was finally going to reveal the prices for these sorts of toys, which are part of a still-maturing secondary market.”
The Saturday session featured classic robots and space toys of the postwar era. Top lots included a 15½-inch-long, boxed Yonezawa Super Jetter prototype toy racer with driver, which crossed the finish line at $11,000 against an estimate of $4,000-$6,000; and a Bullmark 13-inch-tall tin and vinyl Giag – a creature that screeches as it walks forward and swings its arms – which sold with its original box for an above-estimate $9,800.
Dan Morphy Auctions will conduct its Spring 2010 Auction Feb. 25-27. All forms of bidding will be available, including live via the Internet. Visit Dan Morphy Auctions online at www.morphyauctions.com