Three television character figures from The Goons founder Michael Bentine’s 1954 BBC children’s series The Bumblies are to be sold at Bonhams, Knightsbridge, as part of its Fine Dolls, Teddy Bears, Toys and Lead Soldiers sale on 16th November 2010.
Designed by Norman Tooth, Bumbly One, Bumbly Two and Bumbly Three are some of the rarest of all the British hollowcast TV characters manufactured in the 1950s and were not widely distributed. They have attracted a pre-sale estimate of £1,000 – 1,500.
Michael Bentine devised and wrote the 13-part children’s series about three friendly little aliens from outer space, cheerful ambassadors from the Planet Bumble, who landed in their flying saucer in the garden of an absent-minded professor of astronomy, with the express purpose of getting to know the children of Earth, and learning how to play their games. The show was a precursor to his other creations such as Potty Time and his part in The Goon Show.
Two episodes of The Bumblies feature on the 2004 Michael Bentine’s Potty Time DVD release.
The sale also includes the well-known film and television characters such as a Mickey Mouse bagatelle board; a Forbidden Planet spaceship; hollowcast Andy Pandy (estimate £200 – 300), The Flower Pot Men (estimate £300 – 400); and Rag, Tag and Bobtail figures (estimate £200 – 300).
Comics-related items include a Japanese Batman tin toy, a Dan Dare Walkie Talkie set and what is probably a very rare Dare ‘Anastasia’ Jet Plane press out make your own model book and Dan Dare pop-up book. Produced by Juvenile Production Ltd., the book has three page story of one of Dan Dare’s Adventure in Anastasia and four pages of press-out card sections for constructing the spacecraft.
Other important lots include kewpie dolls designed by acclaimed artist Rosie O’Neill; a composition doll of Tsar Nicholas II, the last Emperor of Russia (estimate £400 – 600) dressed in World War I khaki uniform; a rare Rohmer type doll and trousseau (estimate £1,000 – 1,500); several model trains including a 6 inch gauge live steam model of a 2-2-2 South Eastern Railway locomotive (estimate £4,000 – 6,000), which was built by George Wilcox of Darlaston in 1895; and a W. Dunsmore & Son Ltd. biscuit tin motor car (estimate £4,000 – 5,000).
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.