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Superman tosses tank and wins a bid of $1,850
By Susan Emerson NutterPARMA, Ohio — Toys of Times Past has specialized in high quality antique and vintage toys at auction for more than 20 years. The firm held its Online Only Spring Vintage Toy Auction March 28. The auction house utilized LiveAuctioneers, Invaluable, and AuctionZip for live bidding and also offered pre-bidding and absentee bidding resulting in some wonderful vintage toys finding new homes.

On tap for this 2020 Spring edition was a great line-up of high quality tin windup character toys in original boxes from various manufacturers including Linemar, Marx, Chein, Unique Art, Linstrom, Chein and more. Another portion of the auction offered the largest multi-generation Greyhound Bus collection ever to be brought to auction.

Toys of Time Past explained in their pre-sale press material, the Greyhound Bus collection of Emery Brunelle that was brought to auction dated back to 1928 when he became one of the first Greyhound Bus drivers. The collecting was then carried on by his son, the late John S. Brunelle. “John owned and operated a California Greyhound Bus Terminal and was a very passionate collector of Greyhound Bus toys and transportation memorabilia and was involved in collecting most of his life,” the material explained. “Prior to his passing, Mr. Brunelle donated some of his extensive collection to the Greyhound Museum and The American Heritage Center.”

The auction started with vintage toys and the variety offered was stellar. The top lot of this portion of the auction was a Linemar Superman Fighting Tank which realized $1,850. Considered one of the hardest to find and most desirable of the all the Superman toys produced, this battery-operated Japanese made toy is just fantastic. When operating, Superman pushes the tank backwards then lifts it up. The tank then comes back down to the ground and the cycle repeats.

Also selling strong bringing $1,800 was the 1920s made in the USA Marx Chicken Snatcher windup toy. Toys of Times Past explained this version with the African-American man wearing grey shoes is the hard to find version. This toy when wound up displayed various movements including walking action and the man’s head also moved.

The B & R Charlie Chaplin tin windup toy was special in its own right, but it also sold with its original box. Toys of Times Past states that this was only the second example they have seen the past 25 years selling that came with the box. Chaplin stood 8 ½ inches tall and walked when wound up. It sold for $1,500.

Other windup toys worth noting included the Marx Disney Dumbo acrobatic elephant windup that also sold with its box. This Marx toy hailed form the 1930s and when wound Dumbo would flip over. It was in excellent condition; something not always the case with this toy due to its roll over action. Dumbo with its box sold for $750.

The 1955 Planter’s Mr. Peanut windup walking toy offered at this March event was very hard to find because it was only available at Planters Peanuts stores. It was bid to $650. And the Marx Uncle Wiggily tin windup car from the 1930s that sold this day not only retained its colorful lithography, it sold with its original box. With a rotating head and lots of charm, this toy realized $400.

The extensive Greyhound collection offered this day was a bit soft as several of the Greyhound bus toys lots did not find new owners. Those that did include the Marx 1920s tine litho windup Coast to Coast Double Decker Bus sporting the Greyhound dog logo which made $250, and a Marx Greyhound Lines bus terminal, also from the 1920s that sold for $275. Wearing great lithography, the tin terminal included a pressed steel bus and a pressed steel car.

Greyhound Bus items with a cross-over collectible appeal found new owners. A 70 inch long, single-sided Greyhound Dog porcelain die cut sign used as a bus terminal coach sign sold for $650.

And then there was the 1938 Hamilton Greyhound gold pocket watch that realized $90. Inscribed on the back was, “Pennsylvania Greyhound Lines 10 Years Safe Driving E.S. Brunelle 1938”, this Hamilton 14K, 21 jewel watch sold with its original Hamilton Bakelite watch case and box.

Toys of Times Past is currently seeking consignments for their upcoming Fall 2020 Vintage Toys Online Only Auction with that date to be announced in the near future.

Contact: (216) 218-1971

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