How much is a lot for a rare tin toy? How important is the box? A man from Scranton, Pennsylvania, was cleaning his mother’s attic, part of her estate, when he found a mint box holding an unused toy robot. He didn’t remember the toy, so he thought it was a forgotten Christmas gift. The robot was Mr. Machine, the rarest of the famous Gang of Five group made in 1960 for only one year by Masudaya. An unboxed example sold for $86,100 in 2019. The boxed toy sold at a Morphy’s toy sale in September 2020 and auctioned for a record $159,900. The other four robots made in the 1950s and ‘60s sell for thousands of dollars each. Originally they could be bought from a catalog or store, but Machine Man had to be specially ordered so fewer were sold. Today, only about 12 have been found. The mint-condition box has imaginative pictures of the robot on a planet with two humans, one waving, the other drinking coffee.

toy robot mr. machine gang of five

Photo: Morphy Auctions

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