Morphy’s Feb. 14-16 Toys & Collectibles Auction offers American, Japanese & European favorites

Extremely rare 1976/’77 Topps ‘Hockey’ wax case containing four factory-sealed wax boxes each containing 36 bubble gum picture-card packs. BBCE authenticated. Estimate: $12,000-$16,000

Very rare Alps (Japanese) battery-operated Missile Robot, pristine and unused, with original pictorial box and cardboard inserts. Near-mint to mint condition. Estimate: $3,000-$6,000

J & E Stevens ‘Called Out’ mechanical bank with sentry theme, assembled from very rare bronze patterns. Near-mint condition. Estimate: $10,000-$15,000

Very scarce and early Lehmann (Germany) flywheel-driven tin toy known as ‘Walking Down Broadway.’ VG to near-mint condition with original box bottom and original pictorial label fastened to a newer lid. Presents beautifully. Estimate: $2,000-$4,000

Lionel pre-WWIII O-gauge Mickey Mouse Circus Train set including cardboard tent and accessories. Original pictorial box marked ‘Walt Disney Enterprises 1935.’ Estimate: $4,000-$8,000

Sports memorabilia section led by extremely rare BBCE-authenticated 1976/’77 Topps ‘Hockey’ wax case with four factory-sealed boxes

Morphy’s has a strong following for sports cards. One year ago we sold an unopened 1952 Topps baseball brick for $873,300. We expect a lot of interest in the 1976-77 Topps Hockey wax box in this sale.”

— Tommy Sage Jr, Head of Morphy Auctions’ Toy & Sports Memorabilia Division

DENVER, PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES, February 12, 2024 / — It’s toy time at Morphy’s Pennsylvania gallery, where 1,425 lots of top-notch toys and collectibles will be auctioned in a three-day live event, February 14-16. Virtually every popular toy category is represented in the auction lineup, from classics like pressed-steel automotive, European tin windups and cast-iron mechanical banks to modern-era/vintage favorites such as postwar Japanese tin, Barbies and Star Wars collectibles. Additionally, the auction features coveted sports memorabilia – including cards, sneakers and autographed material – as well as a choice array of 200+ antique occupational shaving mugs.

More than 100 banks will cross the auction block, including 56 cast-iron mechanicals. Many favorites by J & E Stevens of Cromwell, Connecticut, are at the forefront. A near-mint “Bad Accident” bank with bright colors and 97% paint retains its original wood factory box and is estimated at $4,000-$8,000; while an excellent+ Boy Scout Camp bank with its original flag is estimated at $3,000-$6,000. The highest-estimated Stevens mechanical, at $10,000-$15,000, is a near-mint “Called Out” mechanical bank, which has a sentry theme and was assembled from very rare bronze patterns. One of very few known examples of a colorful German tin bank known as “Man in the Garden” is graded VG-excellent and is estimated at $4,000-$7,000. It was manufactured by the noted German firm Gerbruder Bing and depicts a hatted and aproned gentleman with a watering can, tending to his flowers.

Bing is also represented within the sale’s approximately 50 European toy lots. A Bing 40-inch clockwork tin oceanliner with four stacks. The vessel is mostly original and has 10 lifeboats. It is marked with the ship’s name Keiser Wilhelm on both sides of the prow. In excellent condition, it is guided by a $3,000-$5,000 estimate.

Lehmann, another revered German producer of tin toys, based many of their most popular designs on actual people Ernst Paul Lehmann encountered in everyday life or during his travels. His only purported self-indulgence was in creating the wonderful flywheel toy known as “Walking Down Broadway” or, alternatively, “Mr and Mrs Lehmann” or “Lehmann Family.” It depicts a well-dressed couple out for a stroll with their pug dog on a leash. Morphy’s will offer an VG-near mint example of this very scarce and early toy, together with its original box bottom and an original pictorial label fastened to a newer lid. The pre-sale estimate is $2,000-$4,000.

The train category includes productions by American Flyer, Ives, and Lionel, amongst others. Topping the 85-lot selection of Lionels is a pre-WWII O-gauge Mickey Mouse Circus Train set with accessories, including all 12 of the original tickets, windup key, and a brochure showing the set for sale for $2. In excellent condition, the extremely desirable comic character crossover toy comes in its original pictorial box marked Walt Disney Enterprises 1935. Estimate: $4,000-$8,000

Postwar Japanese toys have never fallen out of favor with collectors, who marvel at their imaginative artistry and novel actions. Nowhere would that description be more apt than in describing the design of Japanese robots, like the very rare Alps battery-operated Missile Robot to be auctioned on February 14. Pristine and appearing unused, the 15-inch robot is fully intact, with its dish antenna and original pictorial box (with cardboard inserts). On every robot collector’s wish list, Morphy’s near-mint to mint-condition Missile Robot will step into the auction spotlight with a $3,000-$6,000 estimate.

Another stellar example of postwar Japanese toy excellence is a very scarce lithographed-tin #98 Champion Racer. Measuring an impressive 18½ inches long, the friction powered open racer with helmeted driver is decorated overall with the types of verbiage and adornments seen on life-size race cars, e.g., a “flaming” front, an image of a Mobil Pegasus, and various racing-association logos. Even its rubber tires are marked Sanyo, rendering an additional touch of authenticity. Shiny and clean, and graded excellent to near-mint, the coveted toy is estimated at $2,000-$4,000.

The sports memorabilia category is led by an ultra-rare BBCE-authenticated 1976/’77 Topps “Hockey” wax case containing four factory-sealed wax boxes. Each box contains 36 sealed 15¢ bubble gum picture-card packs. “Collectors rarely have the opportunity to acquire factory-sealed boxes of this type,” said Morphy’s Toys & Trains Department Head Tommy Sage Jr. “Morphy’s has a strong following for sports cards, especially since our auction one year ago of an unopened 1952 Topps baseball brick, which sold for $873,300. We expect a lot of interest in this outstanding Hockey wax box, which is estimated at $12,000-$16,000.”

Another hot category at Morphy’s, pop culture collectibles will be well served by approximately 150 lots from across the Star Wars universe, including action figures and comic books. Among the top figures are an AFA 80+ Silver Label Star Wars Lily Ledy Boba Fett with removable rocket, $7,500-$15,000; an AFA 80+ Star Wars Boba Fett Engineering Pilot with COA, $7,000-$12,000; and an AFA Gold Label Star Wars vinyl-cape Jawa with COA, $7,000-$14,000. A Marvel Star Wars #1 newsstand comic book released in July 1977 is CGC-graded 9.8 with “White Pages.” The case is in outstanding condition and shows no noticeable wear. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000

The tidal wave of collector interest in vintage Barbies can be easily explained by the impact of last summer’s box-office blockbuster starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling: the film Barbie. To pop culture fans, there is no more-iconic Barbie Doll than the 1959 production known as blonde ponytail #850. Morphy’s will offer a very good original and boxed example of the iconic #850 wearing the iconic black-and-white striped swimsuit and with clean original earrings. Accompanied by its stand, booklet, and a nice variety of extra clothing, accessories and shoes, the lot is estimated at $2,000-$5,000.

Morphy’s Feb. 14-16, 2024 Toys & General Collectibles Auction will be held live at Morphy’s gallery, 2000 N. Reading Rd., Denver, PA 17517, starting on all three days at 9am Eastern Time. Gallery preview M-F from 9-4. All forms of bidding will be available, including absentee, by phone and live via the Internet through Morphy Live. Note: Printed hardcover catalog available for Feb. 14 session only. Online catalogs available for all three sessions: Feb. 14, 15 and 16. Enquiries: call 877-968-8880, email [email protected]. Visit Morphy’s online at

Dan Morphy
Morphy Auctions
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