A $50,000 Toy Robot? An $80,000 Coin Bank? Bidders Will Be Lining Up For Both, Next Week in Pennsylvania
March 6, 2019

DENVER, Pa., March 5, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Although Morphy Auctions has achieved world-record prices for decorative art, fine jewelry and firearms, its roots are deeply embedded in the antique toy and bank community. Since opening its doors in 1997, Morphy’s has represented scores of premier collections, including the Stephen and Marilyn Steckbeck bank collection (Oct. 2007), whose $7.7 million total set a new record for the highest-achieving one-day single-owner toy collection ever sold at auction.

Morphy’s will continue the tradition of bringing fresh, superior-quality toys, banks and dolls to the marketplace on March 13-14 with a 1,590-lot sale at their southeastern Pennsylvania gallery. All forms of remote bidding will be available, including live via the Internet through Morphy Live.

Prices for cast-iron mechanical banks have remained robust at Morphy sales over the past two decades, whether the bulls or bears were in charge on Wall Street. “I’ve collected them since I was a boy, and they’ve always been a fantastic investment,” said Morphy Auctions President, Dan Morphy. Of the 77 outstanding mechanicals entered in the March event, Dan’s top picks start with a J. & E. Stevens Girl Skipping Rope. An excellent original example with strong, consistent coloring, it comes with provenance that includes the revered Bill Norman collection. It is estimated at $60,000-$90,000.

Following closely behind is a near-mint, all-original Merry-Go-Round bank made by Kyser & Rex of Philadelphia. “It’s hard to find an example of this bank that doesn’t have major issues,” Dan observed. “This one is a beauty, and was one of the prized pieces in the late Donal Markey’s collection.” Estimate: $50,000-$80,000.

The parade of J. & E. Stevens highlights continues with a stunning example of a Milking Cow bank, thin-base variation; and football-themed Calamity bank. Each of these exceptional mechanicals is expected to make $40,000-$60,000. Also having potential to finish in the top 10 are a near-mint Bread Winners bank, $30,000-$50,000; and one of the best existing examples of a Magician bank, with rare original wooden factory box, $25,000-$50,000.

Morphy’s will offer 95 figural cast-iron doorstops, including one of the most coveted of all forms: an appealing Halloween Girl made by Littco Products of Littlestown, Pa. Only four examples of this doorstop depicting a trick-or-treater with a jack-o’-lantern are known to exist. It has a $15,000-$25,000 estimate.

A visitor from the future, an imposing Machine Man robot from Masudaya’s famous Gang of Five series has the rare distinction of having been consigned by its original owner. A superior example of one of the most sought-after of all robots, it could bump-and-go to a new owner for $50,000-$80,000. Dozens of other space toys will follow in Machine Man’s footsteps.

Train enthusiasts can take their pick of 243 high-quality lots, while doll collectors will find a lineup of 77 fine dolls and automata from many of the greatest names in European doll design. A testament to the Swinging Sixties, an ultra-rare set of large-size Beatles nodder dolls characterizing the Beatles was produced in 1964 by Car Mascots Inc. The 14- to 15-inch figures of John, Paul, George and Ringo were manufactured expressly for use as store display models, and only a handful of complete sets of this type are believed to have survived over the past half-century. Graded excellent, the Fab Four are expected to perform in the $10,000-$20,000 range.

Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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