Morphy's Toy Auction features Bob Gallegos robot collection, European toys, early French & German dolls
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Morphy's Toy Auction features Bob Gallegos robot collection, European toys, early French & German dolls
Tippco (German) tinplate Nazi motorcycle, 9 inches long, est. $8,000-$12,000. Morphy Auctions image.

DENVER, PA.- Robots are on the march again at Morphy’s. The Pennsylvania company’s May 30-31 Toy Auction containing 1,450 lots is led by a prized grouping of sci-fi classics from the Robert V. “Bob” Gallegos collection.

Approximately 115 robots, mostly boxed, will cross the auction block. Some of them boast illustrious provenance, like the boxed Jupiter Robot that had “lived long and prospered” in the Robert Lesser collection. Boxed examples of a Chime Trooper, Conehead, Hook Robot, Space Scout and Tremendous Mike join a Topolino, Astro Man, Mighty 8, Thunder Robot, silver Mechanized Robot (Robby) and blue-version Cragstan Space Man in this premier collection. The list continues with rare blue versions of Winky, Robot with Piston Action (ex Alan Rosen collection), and Moon Explorer. Gallegos’ subcollection of Masudaya “Gang” members includes boxed examples of Target, Radicon, Lavender and Train (Non-Stop) Robots.

Many other outstanding single-owner collections will be auctioned on May 30-31, including 50+ lots of Popeye toys with many of the most desirable types in original boxes, including Shadow Boxer, Slinky Handcar, Popeye & Olive Tank, etc.

A collection of European tinplate automotive acquired in the late 1980s/early 1990s features approximately 40 German automobiles, zeppelins and planes. Around 15 of the cars have provenance from a legendary Zurich dealer/collector/author, the late Peter Ottenheimer. Those particular entries are “book examples,” and the page numbers where the toys appear in Ottenheimer’s book Toy Autos 1890-1939 are shown in the auction catalog descriptions. Top lots include the largest-size Distler racecar, red, in 9.8 condition; a Tippco Autobahn Kurier car, the largest KBN car (with original cardboard KBN tag), and an extremely rare sidecar motorcycle with Nazi driver and passengers, similar in stamping to the famed Distler Mickey/Minnie motorcycle toy.

Several very good 1950s Japanese cars are offered with their original boxes, including a blue Yonezawa Electro Toy Racer, Champion Agajanian Racer, and a few Cadillacs.

Among the character toys in the sale is a remarkable Barney Google and Sparky floor toy, probably by Nifty, in its original box. “I’ve never seen that box before in my whole life,” said Tommy Sage, Head of Morphy’s Toy & Train Division. “The toy came out of a house and is probably the only known complete, boxed toy of its type. The box graphics are just gorgeous.”

A small collection of 10 Hartland gunfighters includes Wyatt Earp, Chris Colt, Paladin, and a very rare Johnny McKay. Additionally, there are several uncommon baseball and football Hartlands and many nodders.

Within the battery-op section are two Marx favorites: Frankenstein and Whistling Spooky Kooky Tree. An unusual country Western singer on a tin box renders the appearance of playing a guitar when activated and may be a prototype, Sage said. “It’s similar to one that’s in the Kitahara museum, but the figure is different.”

Other high-profile toys in the auction lineup include Ives Boxers, an early M&K flywheel motorcycle with oversize figure, and some outstanding mechanical banks, with top entries including a Magician Bank in fantastic condition, and a Circus Bank in its original box. More than 300 marbles will be sold, as well. Most of the marbles are premium-quality hand-mades, with an emphasis on swirls, onionskins and lutzes.

A terrific selection of antique and vintage dolls will step into the spotlight, with many rare French bisque bebes and German bisque character dolls among those listed. Highlights include: an E 3 J Emile Jumeau 11-inch bebe, F 6 G Francoise Gaultier bebe, two rare Simon & Halbig 151 character dolls, and many other French and German bisque characters – including children – and German girl dolls.

A highly desirable 12-inch Kammer & Reinhardt “Carl” mold 107 is in the smaller of two sizes produced. Additional notables include a Gebr. Heubach bisque-head American Indian “Princess Angeline,” daughter of Chief Seattle; a Kewpie with bisque head and chubby, jointed composition body; and a boxed set of Chad Valley (English) Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs doll, in original, unfaded, mint condition with labels.

In the American category, a beautiful brunette Barbie #1 is sure to attract widespread interest. Bidders may also expect to find a wide array of lady and fashion dolls; half dolls, cloth dolls, Schoenhuts, novelty bisques, collectible dolls (such as Alexander, F & B, etc.), and specialty items. Artist dolls include favorites from R. John Wright’s “Peter Rabbit” series, as well as gollies, Susan Krey designs, and much more.

Morphy’s May 30-31 Toy & Robot Auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. All forms of bidding will be available, including in person at the gallery, by phone, absentee or live via the Internet through Morphy Live, LiveAuctioneers or Proxibid.

Preview the entire auction inventory daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or from 8-9 a.m. prior to the auction. Morphy Auctions is located at 2000 N. Reading Road in Denver, PA 17517. For additional information on any item in the sale or to reserve a phone line for live bidding on auction day, call 717-335-3435 or email

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