A huge collection of toy robots is on offer at the saleroom in Chippenham, Wiltshire, on March 2. More than 200 robot lots are for sale, dating from the 1960s-'90s. They form part of a collection of science-fiction toys which comprise 400-plus lots in total and are estimated to fetch in the region of £20,000-30,000.
The group overall includes robots, space ships, weapons, board games, construction kits and spin-offs from popular television programmes of the period such as Thunderbirds and Lost in Space.
It is being sold by an anonymous collector who began to buy them when he was a child.
Richard Edmonds, principal auctioneer at Chippenham Auction Rooms, says: “This collection is unprecedented - I’ve not seen anything like it. As a leading toy auction house with over 20 years’ experience, we’ve been asked to sell toy robots before but not in this quantity or of this quality.”
As with the present popularity for Star Wars and Lego toys, for example, this collecting market is largely driven by buyers who remember such toys from their youth.
“We’re expecting a lot of interest from collectors and science-fiction fans alike,” says Edmonds. “These toys, particularly the ones from the 1960s, are very much in vogue at the moment. Whereas once the big thing was Dinky diecast metal toy cars, the people who grew up playing with them are now quite elderly, but the people who grew up playing with Robbie the Robot, Daleks and Apollo Saturn 5 rockets are still very much in their collecting prime.
“Because many of these toys from the ‘throw-away’ age of the ‘60s are plastic rather than metal, fewer have survived, which adds to their value.”