Milestone Toy Auction Featuring Mark Smith Collection Draws International Interest, Surpasses $500,000
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio — Milestone Auctions gave collectors what they wanted on September 24, rolling out a diverse offering of antique and vintage toys from the Mark Smith Collection as well as high-quality additions from several other shippers. The sale of 755 lots was active from start to finish, with the participation of many international bidders. After a long but rewarding day on the catwalk, auctioneer and company co-founder Miles King closed the books at $505,200 (including buyer’s premium).
Variety was the watchword at this auction, which covered the gamut of today’s most popular toy categories, including motorcycles, racers, die-cast, tin and metal American vehicles. pressed steel; Post-war German and Japanese operating batteries, gasoline-powered tether cars, and more. Many elusive examples were in the mix, and a good percentage came with their desirable original boxes.
Rare pedal cars from the early days of the automobile dominated the day, with a posh American National Deluxe Coupe pedal car leading the way. Boasting every possible luxury option, including opening doors, sliding windows, a dashboard with simulated gauges, and interior upholstery and curtains, the 68-inch car has been presented with an estimate of $20,000 to $40,000. Well aware of its rarity, collectors pushed it to a final price of $66,000.
Another rare production was the first all-original Gendron chain-drive Packard pedal car, with a steel body and wooden radiator, tires and frame. Its paintwork was 100% original, and it was so complete that it even retained its Gendron Wheel Co factory decal. Against a pre-sale estimate of $8,000 to $12,000, it stopped at $24,000.
Big boys love their Buddy ‘L’s. With their heavy stamped steel construction and authentic look, they are classic automotive toys and never have a problem finding a new owner. A rare one-ton Buddy ‘L’ express truck with original black paint, red spoke wheels and factory decals took to the podium with expectations to land between $1,000 and $1,500 . But fueled by aggressive bidders, the 14-inch-long “flivver” kicked it into overdrive and fetched an impressive $7,200 finish.
Over a dozen gas-powered “tether” runners were offered. The cars get their name from the fact that before the days of track racing they were raced one at a time while tied down. These racers enjoy a fanatical following, Miles King said, because they’re “as close as you can get to feeling like a professional driver without actually being behind the wheel.” Lots of auction cards were in the air for a 17-inch-long Domo Maserati gas-powered tether racer in beautiful original condition. Made in Trino, Italy and showcasing the modern Italian style of its time, the runner crossed the finish line at $6,600 against an estimate of $2,000-$4,000.
All original and never played with, a beautiful Kingsbury wind-up Golden Arrow Racer with its original illustrated box had another exciting bonus: the original factory tag with an image of Major HOD Segrave. The toy authentically reproduces the streamlined racer driven by Major Henry Segrave in March 1929 when he broke the world land speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida. At 231.45mph, Segrave broke the existing record held by American Ray Keech and won a new accolade for his native UK. Ninety-three years after its release, the Golden Arrow racing toy still appeals to collectors. Milestone’s on-sale example ordered nearly double its high estimate, selling for $1,980. Another Kingsbury production that found favor was a stamped steel wrecker truck in never before played condition. It sold for $3,000.
Sturdy post-war construction toys are rarely seen at auction in fully original, unplayed condition, but there were several that fit that description at the September 24 sale and they drew strong bids. . An Ideal Fix-It tow truck, complete with parts, tools and its original box sold for $1,260 against an estimate of $300 to $500; while a giant 18-inch-long battery-operated Marx bulldozer, new/old stock in its original box still sealed, fetched $4,920, more than 12 times the high estimate. A pristine Tonka #103 Fire Department 3-piece set with accessories and its original box fetched $900 from an estimate of $200-$400.
The auction was full of great finds, such as a vintage Clarke Troller 1.3hp toy outboard motor made between 1938 and 1940. All original and exceptionally complete, it retains its carrying case, manual and box of accessories. Against an estimate of $1,000 to $2,000, he arrived in port with a winning bid of $5,040.
To discuss consigning a collection or individual item to Milestone’s upcoming toy auction, please call 440-527-8060 or email [email protected] All inquiries are strictly confidential. Visit Milestone online at www.milestoneauctions.com