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Droids descend on South Kensington this autumn

01/09/2005. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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One of the largest collections of toy robots and space toys to appear at auction will be offered at Christie's South Kensington on Thursday 17th November 2005.

The Paul Lips Collection features 700 lots and is expected to fetch in excess of GBP 200,000. The the sale showcases the dedication and passion of antique toy dealer Paul Lips, who has collected the mechanical models over fifteen years. This collection features early models from the 1940s through to the 1970s, including battery powered robots, clockwork robots, flying saucers, space-ships, space-dogs, satellites and many other items of space toy memorabilia. The toys provide an insight into the history of space travel, as well as giving collectors an opportunity to pick up a rare treat.

There are numerous examples of the most famous of all robots; Robby from the 1956 cult sci-fi classic, The Forbidden Planet, which starred a young Leslie Nielsen (individual estimates range from 800 to 8,000). The collection boasts many variations of these rarer models with subtle differences in colour, function of dimension, such as Lips' pride and joy; four from the exceptionally rare Masudaya "Gang of Five Robots" (estimate in the region of 15,000).

There are also some exceptionally rare pieces such as the Robot War Boat of which Lips is though to own the only original box in existence (estimate: 5,000-8,000).

Paul Lips' fascination with collecting toys began when he acquired a rare and sought-after Robby Space Patrol by TN Nomura of Japan through his own business (estimate: 5,000-8,000). This is a highly sought item having been produced for a limited period only and then withdrawn due to licensing problems.

Lips took the model home and it was soon joined by an army of other robots. Through purchasing entire collections from seasoned and retiring collectors, as well as from European and U.S. toy fairs, Lips was able to constantly refine his robot collection.

Viewing times for The Paul Lips Robot and Space Toy Collection:

Monday 14 November 2005, 5pm - 7.30pm.
Tuesday 15 November 2005, 9am - 5pm.
Wednesday 16 November 2005, 9am - 5pm.
Thursday 17 November 2005, 9am - start of sale.

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