Japanese Spaceman & Robot Toys, ca. 1960

Value (2013) | $7,000 Auction$11,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I found these toys at an aunt's house. It's been quite some time. I put it away in storage for about 30 years.

APPRAISER:
30 years.

GUEST:
Absolutely, 30 years. Not really thinking it being important until I watched you.

APPRAISER:
Oh, that's great, and then you waited until I showed up in Anaheim.

GUEST:
Well, I've been watching ROADSHOW for quite some time and I know you're the expert on toys, the best in the world, I think.

APPRAISER:
I thank you very much. Well, I love these toys and it looks like we have a real space extravaganza here.

GUEST:
Yeah, I hope so.

APPRAISER:
Well, let me tell you a little bit about space toys. They started coming in popularity in the late '50s, early '60s. The best ones were made in Japan. Now, of course, all these toys were made in Japan. These were made by a company called "TN" and this was made by a company called "Showa." Two basic categories: space astronauts and space robots. And you have two of each. That's pretty nice. So you found these in your aunt's house. And other people were there first, right?

GUEST:
Basically, they took what they wanted as important.

APPRAISER:
And left you this junk.

GUEST:
Well, this was under a bunch of junk and I uncovered it, kind of, you know.

APPRAISER:
Well, you got some really nice things here, and of course, I'm sure if you watch the ROADSHOW you know that we love them in the boxes.

GUEST:
Okay, mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And we love them in the boxes when the boxes are really crisp and clean, and we love them when they haven't been played with. So, we got a lot of love here. What you have here is this Spaceman. They're very desirable and very collectible, especially when they're in this kind of condition. And then the other major category are the robots. This robot, we call him Robby the Robot because he was based on the character in Forbidden Planet. But he's never called that on the box. Maybe they'd have to pay a licensing fee. But he's definitely the classic Robby. By the way, one thing that makes these very valuable is, these little rubber hands are easily broken and lost. That's very important that they're there. This one, as you know, has a problem. It's missing its face-plate here. The switch on there, right. Now, because these are so valuable, there are people who make the replacement parts, so that would be available. So, generally speaking, when you find these in the box, they've been selling at auction for $2,000 to $3,000 a piece.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Each one of these.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
But few of them that have sold for that are in these kinds of conditions. So, I think that's a very conservative estimate for the values of these at auction. This one would probably be $1,000 to $2,000 because somebody could repair that. So you have some...

GUEST:
I have dinner.

APPRAISER:
You have dinner. I think you can have a few dinners.

GUEST:
Okay.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, Pennsylvania
Appraised value (2013)
$7,000 Auction$11,000 Auction
Event
Anaheim, CA (June 22, 2013)
Period
20th Century
Material
Metal

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.