I used to have one of those! Toys throughout the years shine at Lichfield auctions

WE certainly get to a see a wide range of toys and games here at Richard Winterton Auctioneers, writes Jon Price.

From people selling cherished childhood items to room-size model railway layouts built up over many years to Pokémon cards, all pass through our doors.

Traditionally the interest for collectors was in die-cast vehicles, model railways, dolls and teddy bears and these are all still strongly collected, but these days there are large numbers of enthusiastic collectors for all types of toy with Action Man, Star Wars, Film and TV-related, various action or superhero figures, Subbuteo, Sindy and her friends, Mamod live steam engines, Britains soldiers, Scalextric and all types of tinplate and clockwork items being especially popular.

Model railways are ever-popular, with solid auction sales ranging from 1950s Tri-ang and Hornby Dublo items up to modern G scale trains for use on garden railways.

A G gauge locomotive. More than 100 lots of model railway items anticipated to realise up to £10,000 feature in the June 21 auction.
A G gauge locomotive.

British die-cast vehicles have long been collected with many collectors concentrating on the so called ‘Golden Age’ of British die-cast which is roughly the period from the end of World War Two until the middle of the 1970s.

These years were dominated by the familiar names of Dinky, Corgi, Tri-ang Spot-On and Lesney Matchbox and these are all highly collectable.

But there are many other smaller manufacturers from this period some who just existed for a few years in the early 1950s and finding and identifying these can be an interesting area of collecting.

A James Bond 007 Aston Martin DB5 by Corgi, made to tie in with the release of Goldfinger.
A James Bond 007 Aston Martin DB5 by Corgi, made to tie in with the release of Goldfinger.

Toys based on popular TV and film titles such as the James Bond series are always very popular can be and highly sought after; in particular the Star Wars phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down.

In general, the earlier Star Wars figures and vehicles that are marked with dates from the late 1970s or early 1980s are of most interest to collectors.

Unbuilt model aircraft kits really do fly at auction too, with large collections reaching for the skies to realise thousands of pounds.

Sought-after brands include including Airfix, Matchbox, Italeri and Frog.

The toy market is constantly changing as different generations get to a certain age and decide they want to buy the items they had when children or items that they always wanted but were not allowed or were too expensive at the time.

This unopened Pokémon booster box still sealed in its Wizards Of The Coast branded cellophane sold for £16,000.
This unopened Pokémon booster box still sealed in its Wizards Of The Coast branded cellophane sold for £16,000.

At present Pokémon cards are in vogue and there has been an explosion of interest – and consequent increase in value! – of the earliest cards and sets over the last couple of years, so if you have certain cards in good condition they can be worth a great deal of money.

A good one to look out for is a 1st edition Charizard from the original or base set No4./102.

Our special auction celebrating the 25th anniversary of Pokémon broke the £100,000 mark and saw the GEM Mint 10 certified first edition Team Rocket set Dark Charizard holo card, pictured below, sell for £4,600.

A 1st edition Pokémon Team Rocket Dark Charizard Holo, PSA Gem Mint 10

And in July 2020, we sold a complete base set of the first edition Shadowless Pokémon trading cards bought directly from original US publishers Wizards Of The Coast in 1999 online for £25,000!

So if you have any old toys or games in the loft or the back of a forgotten cupboard, now would be a good time to get them out and let us have a look at them, you might well be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Email enquiries for toys together with a photo of the item directly to jon@richardwinterton.co.uk.

In-person valuations for toys and collectables at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park WS13 8NF can be booked on 01543 251081 or by emailing office@richardwinterton.co.uk.

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