Sanjeev, Nekrodave and I took a road trip down to Denver PA for the November 13-14 auction of the Mark Solondz Collection.
Organized by ToyboxDX, the auction contained thousands of toys in hundreds of lots.
With our hardcover catalogs in hand, we set out early Thursday morning. The ride down was uneventful, despite numerous traffic Jams. Before heading out to the hotel to check in we decided to go straight to Morphy's to check out the goods.
Morphy's Auction House is in Denver PA, just outside of Amish country. An unlikely location for such an auction. The building is a nondescript red and tan warehouse with a fancy digital sign indicating the location. We enter and immediately run into Ed Sanford (Robot-Japan) and Warren Schwartz.
The auction house is a cavernous building, with rows of glass display cases on either side. There are all kinds of items on display, with two rows reserved for this auction.
Immediately it is clear that there is a hierarchy here, based on the perceived value.
On the right there is the tin. Each tin is meticulously displayed and labeled, both toy and box standing tall and proud.
On the left is the diecast.
The aisle of diecast is both glorious and disheartening. Each lot is in a bin or on a cardboard tray. The pieces are not in their boxes, they are loose in the bins, with parts laying around freely. In some cases, toys are just piled onto one another. Others, like the Big Scale Yamato, are just resting on their sides in cardboard boxes. These are clearly seen as not as valuable of the tins.
Lastly, against the wall is a series of rooms with glass doors. Inside these rooms is the vinyl, just piled into shopping bags with a lot number on them. The vinyl gets no respect here.
I take this opportunity to ask a woman at the desk to open a cabinet, as I want to inspect one of the items I am thinking on bidding on – the DX Dairugger XV. In the catalog it is listed as missing antenna, but upon closer inspection, they are actually there. However, one problem is apparent – one of the fists is broken, and the broken off part is missing. So all is not as it seems with these items, another benefit of coming in person.
We did our time at the auction house, and then went back to the hotel to check in. We decided to stay in King of Prussia, close to Machinesoldier’s house at a budget hotel which is actually not that bad.
Tired, we soldier on, and make our way to our next engagement. Mark (aka Machinesoldier) has graciously volunteered to host all of the visiting dignitaries at his place for a party. The place was full of all-stars.
Also some new faces were present, like diecone who traveled in from NYC.
Pizza and beer were had, and some old friends met for the first time. It’s amazing how a community can make you feel like you’ve known someone for years and never have met. While this was going on, there was an anticipation in the room.
Alen brought goodies.
First off, he unveiled his Nekobot USB robot. This little guy is made out of hard rubber, screen printed, and separates at the chest. Inside is a 2gb USB stick that when plugged in, makes the heart logo light up. These will be on sale soon.
Next – vinyl. Alen had the guys from Gargamel make a Nekosaur vinyl! The thing is so cool – he had both clear and flesh colored test shots to show – I can’t wait for these to drop.
Finally – the crowning achievement – the Nekosaur Chogokin. This was just a resin prototype, but it looked fantastic. Firing fists, foot weapons, firing head, detachable scrander,missiles… it just looked awesome, and will fit right in with your chogokin collection. Release date is TBD.
As much fun as we were having, we all knew we all had to be up early the next day for the Auction. We all signed each other’s books like they were Highschool Yearbooks, and we went off our separate ways until tomorrow….