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September 30, 2009

Sign up for Exclusive Morphy Catalog

Filed under: - The Morphy Auction,Toy News — admin @ 12:31 pm

Morphy Auctions is making available to us a limited number of printed and bound auction catalogs for the Solondz Collection.

The clock is ticking and if you give a damn about this stuff and plan on bidding, you’ve got 48 hours to get us your address. Please send us over:


Send info to:


Uh, what are you WAITING FOR?


September 29, 2009

Random Pets

Filed under: Daily Money Shots,Stoopid,Toy Love — sketcher @ 9:28 pm

This is an old picture I took before I had captured the entire set of the Pets. I was digging through the bucket and cleaning up some pics and stumbled across this one. Figured I would share it even though it’s not the whole crew in this shot. I still dig on this picture for some reason. I think it’s the “Don’t fuck with us!” attitude these figures seem to emit. Enjoy!

September 27, 2009

Virtually Deformed

Filed under: Declarations,Toy Love,Toy News — thomas @ 7:14 am

So, as part of my Virtual-On buying spree, I picked up these:


September 26, 2009

Official Release: Seminal Morphy Auction Announced for November 13 & 14th

Filed under: - The Morphy Auction,Toy News — admin @ 7:06 am

  • Approximately 2000 vintage japanese diecast and vinyl toys
  • Location: Denver PA
  • ToyboxDX to cosponsor event on the 13th
  • More ToyboxDX exclusive backstory on the catalog on its way

DENVER, Pa. – Dan Morphy Auctions ventures into the fantasy fringe on Nov. 13-14, with an extraordinary sale of robots, space toys, and Japanese superheroes, die-casts and vinyls. Internet live bidding will be available from anywhere in the world through

The comprehensive sci-fi toy collection of nearly 1,500 lots was consigned by Mark Solondz, a New Jersey-based collector who “flew under the radar for years and made very smart buying choices,” according to Dan Morphy Auctions’ owner and CEO Dan Morphy.


“Although both Mark and his collection later became very well known, he formed the core of his fantastic collection quietly, and made many trips to Japan to purchase superhero toys that were not available to buy in the United States,” said Morphy. “We believe it is the largest single-owner robot, space toy and superhero collection of its type ever to come to auction. It stands apart from any collection we at Morphy’s have ever seen before because it contains so many of the great die-cast pieces made by Bandai offshoot ‘Popy,’ in boxes with Japanese writing that are so desirable to collectors.”

The collection consists of five basic categories: robots (tin and some plastic), space vehicles, Japanese superhero toys, die-cast toys by Popy and other Japanese manufacturers (e.g., Bullmark, Takatoku, Ark, Grip, Marusan, etc.), and Japanese vinyls (both vintage and contemporary). A bumper selection of very nice-quality comic character toys is a compatible bonus.

Robot highlights include an X-27 Explorer, Telephone Robot and Mighty 8 – all of which are boxed. Also in the group are a Change Man Robot with lizard head that opens to reveal a man’s head, and a Mr. Atomic. The collection includes Masudaya’s Gang of Four robots: Lavender, Giant Sonic (Train), Radicon and Target.

Top lots among the space vehicles include a Space Patrol Car, boxed VW R-10, a boxed Super Cycle Space Patrol and a rare, smaller (9-inch) version of the Space Patrol Car, a toy that has sold at auction for as much as $10,000 in the past.

Tommy Sage Jr., Morphy’s chief operating officer and an expert in postwar Japanese toys, said he believes the superhero category will put in a very strong performance at auction. “It runs the gamut and is about 80 percent boxed,” said Sage. “To list just a few examples, there’s a Golden Bat, Astro Boy, Masked Rider, Barragan, Moonlight Man and Super Kun, plus quite a few Godzillas and Batman toys. There’s also a giant Mirror Man – the mask comes off and there’s a head inside – and a scarce, hand-painted Jetter Car. There are lots of really unusual vehicles in the collection, including airplanes, submarines, speedboats and motorcycles.”

The November auction at Morphy’s will mark a milestone, since it will be the first time a Japanese die-cast and vinyl collection has come to auction. Most of the Japanese die-cast pieces are boxed, and the vinyls are in their original plastic packaging.

“This represents a unique opportunity for collectors, especially those who do not live in Japan. These toys just don’t turn up for sale in the United States,” said Sage. “They have to be bought there and brought back, which is what Mark Solondz did.”

Die-cast toys made by Popy during the company’s golden era (1970s to 2000) are especially desirable to today’s collectors, since Popy was considered the premier brand of its genre. Popy was a trailblazer and even coined the now-mainstream terms “Chogokin,” which means “super alloy metal;” and Popinica, which merges the name “Popy” and the Japanese word meaning “mini-car.”

More Popy than you can handle

More Popy than you can handle founder Alen Yen, and ToyboxDX members Josh Fraser, Mark Gradwell, and Sanjeev Selvaraj, were the specialists who cataloged the die-cast and vinyl toys for Morphy’s onsite. ToyboxDX’s Matt Alt, Jim Maitland, Warren Schwartz and Erik Sjoen provided expert consulting from Tokyo,the West Coast, and Boston.

Yen is quoted saying the Nov. 13-14 sale of the Solondz collection is especially significant because it is “the first time anyone has formally cataloged and priced these types of toys in a public auction of this kind, which finally legitimizes what has been going on for 20 years. There have been private sales in the past, with collectors selling to dealers, or collectors selling to other collectors, and of course eBay and YahooJapan, but there has never been an entire collection offered at auction like this.”

Yen noted that Solondz’s massive collection of toys from Popy’s 1970s Chogokin and Popinica series includes several items of extreme rarity – a gold-leg version of Mazinger, a black Reideen, complete series of Ninja Captor and Robocon, and Godaikin deluxe sets, including Combattra, Voltes and Chokinzoku Tetsujin 28. Another prized catch for any collector is a very seldom seen intact example of Takemi Sandaio. Whenever an example of this toy is offered for sale – which is not very often – it almost always exhibits some form of damage.

Ninja Captor BLUE

Ninja Captor BLUE

“There are over a dozen Jumbomachinders, too, for those seeking the 2-foot-tall masterpieces,” Yen said, observing the auction lineup. “These include Getta 2, Dol, Pegas and all of the Shogun Warriors.” Productions from the 1980s are found in the collection, as well, and include Takatoku Valkyries in their pristine original boxes. A headliner within this niche category is a very rare Elintseeker.

Jumbomachinder Dol

Jumbomachinder Dol

There are many highlights among the grouping of vintage vinyls. Some of the top lots include a King Bockle, Karly-seijin, Pegila, Kendorus and Wakuranba, as well as a rare orange and red version of Supersol Kanegon.

The King

The King

The bonus selection of comic character toys to be offered in Morphy’s Nov. 13-14 auction exhibits excellent condition throughout. “Mark’s buying choices were excellent,” said Tommy Sage. “The collection includes a lot of Popeye, Frankenstein and Batman character toys, and all of it is really nice. Collectors will be pleased.”

The buzz in robot and superhero circles is that collectors from Japan and Europe are already lining up to buy airline tickets so they can fly to the United States to attend the auction and other auxiliary events planned by Morphy Auctions.

In association with, Morphy’s will host a reception for the visiting robot community on Friday evening, Nov. 13, at The Black Horse tavern and hotel in Adamstown. As an added attraction to their impromptu robot summit, many collectors will be paying a call to The Toy Robot Museum, which is less than a five-minute drive from Morphy’s gallery.

“This is turning into quite a destination event,” said Morphy. “We love it when collectors use our auctions as a hub for their gatherings and conventions, and that’s what this is turning out to be – an international convention .”

Auction & Preview Details:

Dan Morphy Auctions’ sale of the Mark Solondz Collection will take place on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 13 and 14, with Internet live bidding through

More than 600 Japanese vinyl and die-cast toys will be auctioned in the Friday session, followed by robots, space toys, superhero toys and character toys on Saturday. Both sessions will commence at 10 a.m. Eastern U.S. Time. For questions on any item in the sale, call 717-335-3435.

The electronic version of the fully illustrated catalog will be available to view soon at, where you can also sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the auction.

[Discuss it in the BBS]

September 25, 2009

Sega’s Virtual-On Real Models Pt. 2: Viper II (P1 & P2)

Filed under: Declarations,Toy News — thomas @ 5:51 am

As announced in my first Virtual-On Real Model review, next up on my list of Real Models is Viper II. Viper II is the most agile Virtuaroid in the original Virtual-On game, and despite its sucky armour it also happens to be my favourite one (because, uh, see end of Brog).

The first player color Viper II was number 06 in Sega’s Real Model line-up, and it was later released again in its second player version as #26 – again, like all P2 versions a limited release. It comes in the same handy sleeved packaging as the other Real Models. Included are a disc, its V-Converter Booster with attached wings, and its right-arm-mounted weapon (and some paperwork, not pictured):


Volt in Vinyl

Filed under: Matt Alt,Toy News — matt @ 2:56 am


I’ve never made a secret of my thing for lion kings. I like ’em round and big. And while Toynami’s brand new 9″ vinyl portrayal of Voltron is a lot svelter than Popy’s sumo wrestler-esque classic 10″ chunky combining Golion sofubi, it’s also an eighth of the price. At $25, this is a tempting treat indeed.

September 24, 2009

Macross the Pacific

Filed under: Matt Alt,Toy News — matt @ 11:02 pm

You Wish

Max and Miriya, sittin’ in a tree…

In this month’s edition of the “USA Otackers,” our monthly column in Figure Oh (No. 140), Patrick Macias and I bust the case of the Macross “marriage set” wide open with a report on the crazed American fans who, like Fox Mulder in the X-Files, “want to believe.” (For those not in the know, the mythical marriage set supposedly contains both Takatoku 1/55 Max and Miriya Valkyries packaged in a single box. Although American collectors have claimed sightings for years, no evidence has ever turned up, and both Japanese toy scholars and industry insiders insist that it doesn’t exist.)

The article is all in Japanese, so you’ll have to rent a friend to translate if you’re language-impaired, but I am happy to report that piece apparently made a bigger splash than I thought. It came up during a totally unrelated conversation with “top men” from a Certain Japanese Toy Company That Shall Not Be Named last night. Absolutely no promises or guarantees of any kind made or implied. But how fitting would it be if the combined wishes of uncounted Macross-maniacs finally willed the damn thing into existence?

Best menko ever!!

Filed under: Erik Sjoen,Stoopid — erik sjoen @ 8:53 pm

Goranger teamwork!!


Massive Update Attack

Filed under: Toy News — admin @ 4:17 pm

Cool! The new site design is up. I managed to violate every “best practice” we preach at iFactory (my day job) by hot swapping all the CSS, includes, Word Press themes, and Phorum templates on a live site without any kind of staging, validating or link checking. I’m certain ugly things will need to be fixed over the next few weeks so bear with us. Total update time: 6 hours.


Meanwhile, there’s a lot going on — really.

First off, please hold the dates of November 13 and 14th. We have a monster Brog coming for you on what promises to be a completely amazing gathering to close out this decade. Seriously: if you’re into Japanese toys of any type, you need to block this time and get ready to book a flight and nab a room. The ass-kicking Kimono Close-Out earlier this year will end up feeling like a tupperware party compared to what’s about to go down. Stay tuned.


In addition to The Event as I’ve come to think of it, a 10 year journey is coming to a close for me as a bunch of dominoes line up and prepare to fall. Check the /ramble in the coming days (I know I know. Updated once every 2 years…) for more announcements on product developments we’ve been slow roasting, and for more info on a new company that’s we’re launching.


That’s it for now. Peace!



Takatoku 1/6300 SDF Macross

Filed under: Co. TAKATOKU,Declarations,Toy News — thomas @ 3:34 pm

After oggling dozens of 1/3000 Takatoku SDF-1 auctions in the last few months, and seeing them all end up higher than what I was willing to pay (really, 12k yen for a beaten up incomplete 1/3000 SDF-1 that makes my Strike Valk look pristine in comparison? Er, no.), I gave up, and bought an obviously unloved 1/6300 SDF-1 instead (for, oh irony, 3,000 yen). It might be one of this year’s better decisions.


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