Rare toys uncovered in closed Welsh shop go up for auction

Action Man Astronaut: Battle Pack and Laser

Image courtesy Vectis


The Vectis auction house is lining up a treasure trove of a sale for British toy collectors, discovered in a former North Wales toy shop, including rare Action Man figures, Star Wars collectables and much more.

The closed Frank Beech Toy Shop. Image: Vectis

The closed Frank Beech Toy Shop in Holywell. Image: Vectis

The Frank Beech Toy Shop in Holywell in North Wales closed its doors in 2009 after many years as a thriving and successful family owned store, started by Frank Beech in the 1940s and then taken over by his daughter, Dorothy, until it ceased trading.

Since the day the doors closed it has remained in the same condition, with stock filling each of the back rooms, as well as the two upstairs floors; every nook and cranny was filled with toys from the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The owner of the store was well-known in the town and the shop was famous for its window displays as well as a personal service. Despite the seeming “mess”, Dorothy would know where everything was located and whether or not something was in stock.

Unfortunately, it seems that although the shop was well stocked, the buyers were no longer enough for the store. When the Vectis team arrived to pack up the store they found that the rooms were filled with toys, some still in their trade boxes. Although the boxes had been damaged by damp the pieces inside had remained in great condition.

And there were some great finds: boxes of Star Wars figures, Action Man and accessories, trains, Dinky cars, Timpo and Britains soldiers, dolls, tinplate and plastic, Airfix, board games – and everything else you might expect to find in an old toy shop.


Action Man: Assault Helicopter

Image: Vectis

Just some of the many Star Wars figures that will be auctioned at the end of April by Vectis. Image: Vectis

Just some of the many Star Wars figures that will be auctioned at the end of April by Vectis. Image: Vectis

The items are to be sold over a number of auctions in the coming months, starting on the 30th April and are likely to appeal to collectors and dealers as the toys have stood in the closed up shop for many years.

“Our team spent a lot of time at the shop pulling out just some of the fantastic items which have remained closed up in there,” a Vectis spokesperson told us. “We came back with 120 pallets full of all sorts of toys.”


Space Pirate Captain Zargon, reptilian or robotic foe of Action man. Image: Vectis

Space Pirate Captain Zargon, reptilian or robotic foe of Action man. Image: Vectis

“Because of the size of the collection we are having to empty the pallets one at a time and catalogue what we find, which is taking its time as our specialists keep stopping when we find something amazing! However this does mean that the second or third sale, or even the fourth could throw up some fantastic rare items just as much as the first.”

Vectis – the world’s largest toy auctioneer – was established in 1988 by Roger and Jill Mazillius on the Isle of Wight. From the humble beginnings of a shop front and back room, Vectis, now owned by Bryan Goodall , today occupies an auction site of 30,000 sq feet and has a staff of 34. They run over fifty auctions each year offering selling around 35,000 lots. A full colour catalogue is produced for each auction stating the number of lots, full description of the item,

• An album has been created on the Vectis Facebook page to showcase some of the fantastic lots coming up in this sale and there’s more information about the Frank Beech Toy shop on the Vectis web site

• Vectis Web Site: www.vectis.co.uk


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. Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Explorer (previously known as Star Trek 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.

Categories: Auctions, Games, Merchandise, Other Worlds, Star Wars

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