Toys, toys and more toys! That s what s in store for collectors at Milestone s big Saturday, Jan. 13, New Year s Antique Toy Extravaganza in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. The 732-lot sale includes some of the most sought-after of all European, American and Japanese playthings from the golden era through postwar-production years. Many have their rare factory boxes and present in excellent original condition. Marquee highlights include a super-rare boxed Linemar Mechanical Popeye & Olive Oyl Tank, a stellar Diamond Planet Robot, and a Marx Big Loo robot prototype with documentation and provenance from its original designer. The toy hobby is still buzzing about the boxed Popeye & Olive Oyl Tank that set a world auction record on April 9, 2022, when Milestone auctioned it for $105,000. One of perhaps a half-dozen examples known to exist, the toy had emerged from Australia, a fact that became widely known after the sale. But, contrary to the old adage, lightning did strike twice in the same spot. Worldwide post-sale coverage led to the discovery of another boxed Popeye tank in Australia, from a different, unrelated source. The elusive character toy s consignor, John Elsbury of Western Australia, received the tank in 1957 as a 7th birthday gift from his parents. He remembers being instructed by his mother to sit outside Randall & Edwards jewelry store in downtown Kalgoorlie while the secretive purchase was being made. Sixty-five years later, after stumbling across an online article about the $105,000 price paid for a similar-looking tank, Elsbury starting digging though old boxes and eventually located his birthday toy. It was still in its colorful pictorial box and even retained its original 2-shilling price tag. Elsbury got in touch with Milestone s co-owner Miles King, and arrangements were made for the tank s shipment to Ohio. Now a top entry in the sale, it will be offered with a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$60,000. In case Popeye and Olive would like some field fortification on auction day, they won t have to look far. The sale also features a great looking Yonezawa Batman Tank, all-original and complete with its vinyl Batman driver. One of the rarest of all Batman toys, the bright red tin friction vehicle is emblazoned with Japanese writing, bat logos and nice-looking cartoon images of both Batman and Robin. The scarce toy is in working order and carries a $15,000-$25,000 estimate. Exceptional Japanese robots and space toys from the same production period as the comic-character tanks will be jockeying for the auction spotlight as well. A Yonezawa 10-inch windup Diamond Planet Robot is an especially rare variation with a silvery-blue body and red arms and ears. Any Diamond Planet Robot is like a Faberge egg to robot collectors. It was made in two color variations, red body with blue arms and ears, and the even rarer blue body with red arms and ears, like the one in our auction. They simply do not turn up for sale anywhere, said King. The auction example is complete and all-original, with its distinctive googly eyes, oxygen meter (on chest), and large windup key. It s a great example of what is arguably the most sought-after of all robots, King continued. Only a few have ever come to market, so it s sure to attract strong competition. The word prototype is music to any toy collector s ears, and that certainly applies to robot fans, who will have a real treat in store at this auction: the prototype for Marx s Big Loo Giant Moon Robot. Standing 38 inches tall and of a form that is identical to the production robot that followed, the unpainted silver Big Loo was acquired directly from the toy s designer, Harry Evanoff, in 1963. It has production numbers on its back and retains a Marx sample tag that says 7650, Big Loo, Erie, Return to Harry E. The auction lot also includes archival letters from Louis Marx about production issues and returns and other unique documents such as a test-sample letter and a time sheet showing hours spent in development. It has been quite some time since a selection of early European tin windups has come to market that was as exciting, or as large, as the selection being offered by Milestone. There are hundreds of rare examples from the premier German and French manufacturers of a century ago, including Lehmann, Fernand Martin, Gunthermann, Victor Bonnet, Saalheimer & Strauss, Distler and so many more. Lehmann favorites include a boxed Snick Snack (gentleman walking dogs); Boxer Rebellion; Walking Down Broadway (aka Mr. & Mrs. Lehmann with Dog); and an early, boxed flywheel toy called Going to the Fair. More than three dozen charming French windup toys by Fernand Martin include a rare Soldat Bulgare (Bulgarian Soldier), boxed and in spruce condition; Roller Skater; and a boxed Field Worker. Many very early Gunthermann toys will be on hand to delight bidders with their actions, including Clown Violin and Bassoon Players; Man on High-Wheel Bike with Dog; and a windup Flapping Wing Airplane, $4,000-$6,000. A Christmas-themed toy that deserves special mention is an early, all-original German handpainted tin windup Santa Claus walker. Depicted in a long coat with a pack on his back, the figure walks with a cane and holds a jumping jack toy in his other hand. Some would say there are similarities to turn-of-the-20th-century Gunthermann characters. Extremely rare and desirable, it is estimated at $4,000-$5,000. A revved-up fleet of six dozen antique motorcycle toys runs the gamut from the earliest handpainted productions through prewar Japanese and German bikes and the highly colorful designs from the period immediately following World War II. Some are even boxed. A parade of American pressed-steel work, delivery and fire trucks, buses, vans and cars is led by a 31-inch-long Keystone Packard Coast to Coast ride-on Greyhound bus; an American National Giant Bulldog Mack Chemical Fire Truck with wonderful paint and decals; and a 34-inch-long Sturditoy Oil Company semi truck with headlights and license plate. The grand marshal of the pressed-steel motor pool, however, is a rare 1930s Gendron Skippy shark-nose Graham pedal car. In all-original condition with excellent two-tone coffee-and-cream paint, it has all of its original parts, including the Art Deco hood ornament and hubcaps. We feel very fortunate to have so many incredible toys from advanced collections in one sale. Many are high-end, museum-quality pieces. Also, there are some unusual buying opportunities in the mix, like the rare variations and prototypes, which toy buyers always respond to very favorably, finished King. Milestone s Saturday, Jan. 13, New Year s Antique Toy Extravaganza auction will be held at Milestone Auctions gallery at 38198 Willoughby Parkway, Willoughby (suburban Cleveland), Ohio, starting at 10 a.m. ET. All forms of remote bidding will be available, including absentee, by phone, and live online through Milestone s bidding platform or LiveAuctioneers. To reserve a phone line or for additional information about any item in the sale, call 440-527-8060 or email email@example.com. All images courtesy of Milestone Auctions unless otherwise noted.