Vectis Auctions held the first Palitoy Employees sale this week (see earlier news story), and it generated a lot of interest amongst the collecting fraternity – and some huge bids for childhood favourites. Some of the biggest collecting groups in the world had a plethora of items to choose from, and many turned up –even before the doors were opened, to take a look at the lots, whether it was Action Man, Star Wars or any of the other lots in the sale, there was a lot to choose from.
The sale started with plenty of commission bids already on the book, however the internet bidding took over and many lots sold for way over their estimates as collectors fought over the premium lots.
Opening with 119 lots of Star Wars items, a normal Vectis sale usually runs at about 130-150 lots per hour, but with the amount of interest and bidding on these Lots, the Vectis team were at just lot 63 by the time the first staff change over took place at 11.30.
The Star Wars carded figures were all early editions produced by Palitoy, commonly known as 12-and 20- backs. They fetch more than the US Kenner figures and in the condition offered they can – and have – commanded premium prices.
The first seven lots in the sale each achieved four figure prices with Lot 5006, Princess Leia Organa, the first to achieve over £3000, at £3600, and Lot 5007, Chewbacca, exceeding its predecessor at £4,560. (All prices include Buyers premiums) A surprise lot, Lot 5015 Greedo, was estimated at £400-£600,provoked furious internet bidding that saw the lot finally achieve £3,600.
It wasn’t just the carded figures that held the buyers interest: boxed figures were also highly sought after, lot 5043 in particular; the 12” Luke Skywalker figure exceeded its £150 -£200 estimate to achieve a fantastic £1,560, whilst Lot 5053, a boxed Death Star sold to an internet bidder for triple its bottom estimate at £5,280.
Specialist Kathy Taylor has said of the sale, “It is the best Star Wars sale we have ever had at Vectis, achieving high prices for some of the very best condition items.”
The Palitoy paperwork was also of as much interest as some of the lots with Lot 5109, Palitoy Star Wars publicity photographs and other related material, reaching an astounding £2,520.
Chairman Bryan Goodall was one of the members of staff taking internet bids in the sale and he remarked “In 25 years I have never witnessed a sale like it”.
Continuing on from the Star Wars lots were 226 lots of Action Man figures and gear – and the reason many of the bidders had turned up in the room.
Specialist John Cathrall said of Lot 5146, “The estimate for the Action Man Judo set has been estimated relatively low, but it is the Holy Grail for Action Man collectors. Only one other is known to exist and it never became available on the open market, an unboxed set would fetch around £1,000.” Estimated at £4,000-£6,000, this set sold to a determined telephone bidder, who beat the internet with a winning bid of £6,480.
The following Lot, a mis-carded cricketer set on an Olympic champion card sold for £2,760 – howzat for a gold medal? – and a possible Tottenham Hotspur fan bought Lot 5149 for six times its bottom estimate, with a commission bid of £2,400.
But it was not just the Action Man outfits that were sought after. The vehicles and figures themselves also commanded some high prices, Lot 5227 a Palitoy Action Man boxed Racing Car No. 34810 achieved £2280 from a £300 – £500 estimate, while a Trade box of boxed Helicopter pilots No. 34059 (Lot 5290) tripled its £500-£600 estimate to reach £1680.
Some of the more unusual lots were also highly sought after: two lots of loose Footballs, Lots 5334 and 5335, had been given an estimate of £120-£140 each,. Incredibly, both sold to the same buyer for £456 apiece, and Lot 5342, a large group of Football shirts, socks and shorts saw two room bidders go head to head, finally settling at £1,440.
The auction was not all about the boys toys. There were plenty of Lots for the girls to choose from, and although there weren’t as many ladies bidding in the room, they certainly made up for it in bids. In fact two ladies were so caught up in the auction fever that had been created through the day they were bidding against each other – as they sat side by side at the same table.
Their enthusiasm and desire to be the winner ensured the prices were much more inflated than expected, but as they told us after the sale, items like these do not come up on the open market very often, and especially not in this condition and so they – both of them – were determined to add them to their collections. It was the Pippa Dolls which held the most interest for the two ladies, ensuring that many of the £40 – £90 dolls sold for over four figures.
Lot 5358 was the first to reach £1200, the boxed Doll had been estimated at £40 – £60; while a trade box of Dolls, containing 36 Pippa’s dressed in green, pink and white (Lot 5370) sold for three times its estimate to reach £3,360.
It wasn’t just Pippa herself who was popular, Pippa’s friend Tammie, Lot 5374, had been given an estimate of just £40-£60. The Lot opened at a very respectable £420 however after a bout of furious bidding the Lot finally sold for £2,760.
An internet bidder was the successful buyer for Lot 5442, the Blythe Doll. A similar doll sold for just over £1000 the previous day in the Vectis Dolls and Teddy Bear sale, however in slightly better condition, this Doll achieved £1200. Tiny Tears was also a popular Doll, both then and now, and a trade box of six realised £264, whilst a smaller version Teeny Weeny Tiny Tears in a sealed trade box of six reached £360.
Two lots of sealed Tiny Tears soothers and bottles were also highly sought after, always the items to go missing when children played with the dolls. These are now very collectable and the two lots achieved £360 and £384 respectively.
A final highlight of the sale and a very unusual one for Vectis: a pallet of Caran D’Ache, Jakar and Raphael pencils, crayons, rulers and assorted other items, opened at £20. Clearly the highly sought after items did not go unmissed in amongst the collectable toys in this sale and they finally sold for an astonishing £672.
The sale had been estimated to achieve £58,000 – £81,000. However, the value of bids already placed before the sale started plus the desire of the bidders in the room and on the internet and telephone ensured that the sale finished on a remarkable £200,000.
• Vectis Auctions: www.vectis.co.uk