Bandai Flying Spaceman toy soars to $55,000 at Morphy Auctions

Morphy Auctions is celebrating the success of its latest toy auction, after "possibly the best known example" of the classic Bandai Flying Spaceman toy soared to $55,200 on February 15.

Bandai Flying Spaceman toy
The Flying Spaceman is well known to collectors, and this is possibly the finest example

The Pennsylvania auction totalled $996,000, with the auction house's strong reputation for collectible toys attracting international interest. "I've never seen online bidding as active as it was for this sale. From start to finish, there were at least 300 bidders on the internet at any given time," commented owner Dan Morphy.

The Bandai 12-inch Flying Spaceman toy is well known to toy collectors, particularly for its likeness to Superman, sporting the trademark "S" emblem on its chest. The example at auction was estimated to make up to $18,000, but realised a 206.6% increase.

"This particular toy was new/old stock with its original box and was found in a toy store in Japan. It's very uncommon to find a Flying Spaceman in such nice condition, especially with the Superman shield still intact," said Morphy.

Television Robot tin toy
Morphy Auctions has a strong reputation for tin robot sales, following its auction of the Enzo Pertoldi collection in September 2013

As ever, Japanese toys prevailed in the auction room, with a Kanto tin wind-up "Television Robot" seeing competitive bids due to its original factory box and near-mint condition. Valued at $15,000-25,000, it crossed the block at $32,400 - a 29.5% increase on interest.

Big budget collectors were out in force, with a boxed tin-litho Inter Planet Space Captain robot pushed way past its $2,000-4,000 estimate to $19,800.

Mechanical banks also featured heavily in the sale and saw similarly strong bidding, with an Artillery Target bank complete with cannonballs making $51,600, a 106.4% increase on its $25,000 high estimate.

"Ask any auctioneer and they'll tell you there's nothing like new blood to liven up a market. If this sale is any indication of what's to come, 2014 is going to be a very exciting year for us and for the toy hobby," Dan Morphy said following the sale.

Nostalgic items from our childhood make for great collectibles - Paul Fraser Collectibles has animation art for sale, including pieces from Peanuts, Looney Tunes and the Flintstones.

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