JAPAN circa 1955
On December 9 ,2000 at Sotheby's in New York, 399 lots of important robots and antique toys from the Estate of legendary collector F.H. Griffith brought a whopping $1.4 million. Competitive bidding for toys and robots from the fabled collection drove some prices up to two and three times their high estimates and established nine records for various robots and toys at auction. While a 1950s Jupiter Robot sold for $45,600, the auction's cover lot - a battery-operated Mego Man - failed to sell. It's presale estimate was $50,000 to $70,000.
Yonezawa's story, is the tale of a company that wasn't quite "with it." Although they had been a very successful tin-toy manufacturer in the late 1950's, Yonezawa didn't fare particularly well in the emerging robot toy marketplace of the 1960's. In the face of declining tin sales, Yonezawa knew it was either a "sell or dead" situation,and finally made the big decision to follow a "recycling/copycat" policy...
They wasted little time in marketing their own "copycat" version,of the Cragstan robots, using their own branding!...
The head/arms is Mr Robot's ,the body,legs and feet are Mr Mercury's.
The result was Jupiter Robot-a battery operated toy with forward moving action,arms move back and forth, while the dome colored wheel,rotates and illuminates..
As mentioned above,a mint boxed Jupiter Robot fetched a small fortune at the FA Griffiths auction..although the pre-sale estimate was between $20.000 - $25.000..
Height - 13 inches /33 cm
MIOB $ 45.600
(Griffiths auction 9-12-00)
*picture courtesy of Sothebys