Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Space Toys on eBay: A (Second) Round Up of Ended Auctions

Another look at some of the space toy auctions that caught my eye over the last few months. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and doesn't even touch on every great toy to pass through my watching page. These are just pieces worth taking a second glance at, surprising appearances that made me pause for a moment and utter a quiet, "Whoa."

As before, I'm intentionally leaving out information about the auctions themselves -- who was selling the toy, what it went for, etc. While it's public information, I still feel like I'd be stepping on other collectors' toes by including such details.

So... What was on eBay recently? Some juicy stuff indeed!

1. Diamond Planet Robot (Yonezawa, Early 1960s)
This is definitely one of the rarest robots to appear on eBay in a while -- hell, it's one of the rarest robots period. I know of maybe four or five others floating around out there (which isn't to say there aren't more, just that I don't know who owns them). Even in this rusty condition, it's still an amazing treasure. This large, wind-up tin robot was also available in red, and a there's a battery-operated prototype living somewhere in Japan. Seeing it pop up on eBay was a real thrill.

2. Domed Easel Back Robot (Linemar, Late 1950s)
An uncommon, battery operated robot with loads of litho and a great, funky, fish bowl helmet, the Domed Easel Back is one of my favorite toys. (One I'm proud to say I own, by the way -- look for a longer entry on it sometime soon.) It's most often missing that helmet, which is made of a thin, vacuum-formed plastic. This one's not only complete and minty, it comes with it's original box (not pictured because I'm a bit lazy). There are three other Easel Back Robots -- one other remote-controlled one, and two wind ups. This is definitely the rarest and most desirable of the lot.

3. Lilliput Robot (Unknown, 1938)
This is the first toy robot ever made. Boxy, primitive -- it's a beautiful piece that tops many collectors' wish lists (including my own). Needless to say, they're rare toys, though not as rare as one might think; they built 'em to last back then, I guess. There are actually two versions of the Lilliput Robot: One features a dial that's actually made from a separate piece of tin that's set inside the robot's chest, while the other has a dial that's simply stamped into the chest itself. This is an example of the former; I can't say which is rarer, but I know I like the two-piece version a bit more. That said... I'll take either one!

4. Martian Triple Shot Sky-Gun (Mercury Plastics, 1950s)
This is an uncommon gun that fires up to three propellors at once. Normally, it's found in red, and it's also been seen in black. Until now, I've never seen a blue one. (I'm an idiot for not bidding on it, and that's all I'll say on the matter...) The gun was also available with a design variation that includes fewer fin details. I've got both versions in red, one of which is mint-in-bag with a header card. Still, I should have snagged the blue one! Oh well, I'm sure it went to someone who appreciates it.

5. Robbie The Roving Robot (S.N.K., 1950s)
This is by far the rarest of a trio of robots made by S.N.K. that includes the wind up Sparkling Mike (seen here) and the battery operated Flashy Jim. While those other two pop up on eBay all the time, Robbie remains elusive. It differs from its brothers in a couple significant ways. Besides having different litho, it also uses a simple pin-walking mechanism similar to Atomic Robot Man (see here for more details).


  1. I really like the Diamond Robot! It's a great design!

  2. I've been looking for a Lilliput for a while. I'd be fine with a re-pro, but they're always sold out!

  3. @Atom Kid:
    Yep, it's definitely one of the weirdest robots. You should check out a toy called Robot Commando by Ideal -- it's the basis for the toy. Giant, plastic, with lots of functions. Not a cheap toy, today, but way more affordable than a Diamond Planet (which runs between $10,000 and $20,000 loose).

    An original Lilliput's a tough find, and pretty expensive. I'm surprised that you're having trouble finding a reproduction, though. I seem to remember seeing them all the time. They're not 100% accurate, but they're still neat toys!


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