Masudaya ‘Target’ Robot from the famed Gang of Five range, $28,000 (£22,400) at Milestone.

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The results in the Spring Premier Toy Auction on May 27 confirmed the continuing high demand for such lots.

As predicted, it was the Post-war Japanese rarities that added the most fuel to the fire, helping to push the one-day total to $700,000, inclusive of buyer’s premium.

The top-seller was a Masudaya 15in (38cm) battery-operated ‘Target’ Robot from the famed Gang of Five series.

Described by Milestone as ‘extremely bright and beautiful’, the robot came with its correct dart gun and two darts, as well as its original pictorial box. Entered with an estimate of $20,000-25,000, it sold for $28,000 (£22,400).

Out of the Gang of Five, the Machine Man is the most sought after - when one took a hammer price of $130,000 at Morphy in 2020 it set new auction record for a toy robot.

A Radicon - the first of the Gang of Five to be launched - sold for £6500 at McTear’s of Glasgow in April.


Yonezawa battery-operated Jupiter Robot with repro box, $17,000 (£13,600) at Milestone.

Back at Milestone, a rare Yonezawa battery-operated Jupiter Robot, all original and complete with its correct remote control battery box, was said to be ‘an exceptionally well-preserved example of one of the most sought-after of all classic robots’.

Offered together with a repro box, it made $17,000 (£13,600) against an estimate of $6000-8000.

Familiar masked face

Another familiar and popular auction buy, a Nomura battery-operated ‘Walking’ Batman, ‘appeared never to have been played with’ and retained its visually appealing original box. The toy sold for $10,500 (£8400) against an estimate of $6000-8000.

A Nomura Batman offered in the UK at Bury St Edmunds saleroom Lacy Scott & Knight, with its original box and in working order, realised a hammer price of £5000 in October 2021.

Staying with the caped crusader, a much more unusual ‘very scarce and exotic tin friction Batman Jeep’ decorated on all panels with Batman and Robin graphics plus bold Japanese writing. The lithographed vehicle came with its original box.

Guided at $4000-5000, it more than doubled the low estimate at $8500 (£6800).