A group of space toys proved the most popular lot in Bonhams' anticipated auction of the Yoku Tanaka Toy Collection - one of the greatest collections of Japanese tin toys.
The sale took place of August 25 in San Francisco, with the group of five tiny spaceships selling for $5,625.
The Tanaka collection focuses on highly collectible tin toys, otherwise known as buriki, many of which were made in Japan in the post-war period.
"At first I wasn't that keen on them, but one day I went to look at a friend's collection and was amazed by the quality of the Japanese examples he had on display," Yoku Tanaka told Studio International.
"That night, I was so excited I couldn't sleep. At last I realized that I should focus on tin-toy cars, and then I devoted my efforts to acquiring them."
Indeed, Tanaka's collection focuses on toy cars, with a Japanese "Crazy Cats" (a popular 1960s comic) lithographed bus selling for $2,750, alongside equally priced Lincoln and Citroen toys.
A tin lithographed Astro Boy bus sold for $2,500, along with a Condor motorcycle that was sold with the prototype wooden model, also at $2,500.
With nostalgia a driving force behind the collectibles market, some of the best-loved items from our childhoods are now in demand and valuable.
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