Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009...1:14 pm
You Wouldn’t Let The Kids Play With Them: Ludicrously Expensive Toys
Collecting. It’s a bizarre habit, isn’t it? Be it stamps, coins, bottle tops, beer or anything, there is some innate compulsion to amass a set of items that only truly have value to the collectors or to others that share their passion (or are as willing to use their virgin credit card or MBNA credit card). To outsiders, collecting might seem like a pointless waste of time and money, but beauty – as they say – is in the eye of the beholder. Here’s a list of items created with their price tags becoming vastly inflated due to this infatuation the human race has with collecting things. Things that are essentially made as “toys” or “playthings” designed to amuse and humor, yet you would never dare to actually play with or use yourself.
Game Boy – $29,500
In a disgusting display of opulence, yet a fantastic display of retro goodness, Swiss Supply Direct are offering an original Game Boy, but made from 18k gold, with diamonds set around the display screen and in the on/off buttons. Described as being “exceptionally heavy” due to all the gold, just like the buyer’s wallet must be.
PEZ dispenser – $32,200
I recently acquired a Homer Simpson PEZ dispenser, which I found to be quite comical. However, any and all other PEZ dispensers must bow before the 1982 World’s Fair Astronaut B dispenser, which went on auction a few years back. Created as a promotional item and prototype, only two are believed to be in existence (as it never went into production), with the one sold having a green stem with a white helmet on top (fashioned to be like an astronaut’s helmet, hence the name) and another having a blue stem with a matching blue helmet.
Gundam model – $41,500
At roughly 5 inches tall and costing just under $41,500, you would think it was a bit costly for a model of a Gundam robot, but then you might not have noticed that for some insane reason, this particular tiny robot happens to be fashioned from that most decadent of things to fashion small toys from: Platinum. So decadent in fact, that it can only be touched by wearing gloves of the finest velvet, lest it disintegrate into platinum dust. Well no, but smudges from fingerprints must be quite a worry.
Toy car – $72,000
Footballer David Beckham’s son gets to ride around in a “toy” car that costs over $72,000 (so you better break open your cash ISAs to get it, and if you crash it, I’m not sure if more than car insurance will cover it!). The car itself is a scaled down, handcrafted version of a Porsche sports car and it also runs on a diesel engine. I find it somewhat irresponsible to let a child drive a miniature car (that costs more than real cars do) around, as I’m sure even miniature cars can crash and explode.
Teddy bear – $193,000
Manufactured by famous German bear-makers, Steiff, and not covered by any pet insurance policy that we know of, this special bear was created to celebrate the company’s 125th anniversary and as such, only 125 of the bears were made. The bears themselves had a mouth made from solid gold, along with fur made from gold thread, but to top off the luxury, there were precious gemstones such as sapphires and diamonds adorning the eyes, which makes it sound rather uncomfortable to hug, but no one’s going to buy one to hug, are they? Originally selling for about $84,000, due to the limited run they’ve been known to sell for up to $193,000, so you better empty your savings accounts and current accounts if you’re after one of these bears.
GI Joe prototype – $200,000
The rarest and most expensive toy soldier ever to grace the planet, the original G.I. Joe prototype was sold in 2003 to avid collector Steve Geppi. The prototype, made in 1963 by Don Levine, was sophisticated for the time in that it had 21 moving parts and a hand-stitched uniform, as well as being a fore-runner to one of the more successful lines of action figures in history, despite looking relatively freakish and off-putting.
Action Comics No. 1 – $250,000+
Certainly the most expensive comic book around today (so you’d need to be a fan with a pretty full ing savings or abbey savings account, or at least one of the best savings accounts out there in order to procure it) and quite possibly of all time. Action Comics issue 1 is the Holy Grail of comic books for most collectors, simply because this marks the first ever appearance of Superman. Not only does it have Superman’s first appearance, but it also marks the dawn of a new era in comic book history, the birth of the Superhero. Released in 1938, fewer than 100 copies are known to exist today, with even fewer above a CGC grade of 4.0 (Very Good).
T.I.E Fighter prop from Star Wars: A New Hope – $350,000
For a long time, the Darth Vader helmet was number 1 at $115,000, but since last year just before August, we have a new reigning champion when it comes to overpriced movie merchandise. The original T.I.E Fighter prop from the Star Wars movie A New Hope blasts in at a record $350,000 when it sold at auction to one lucky (and rich) bidder.
L’Oiseleur – $6,250,000
It’s hard to imagine a doll costing more than this one does, and you’d have to be the virgin money guy to be able to afford it. In fact, I defy doll-makers out there to make a doll more expensive than this one without resorting to using gemstones, precious metals, or building it inside of the desiccated carcass of Elvis or Jesus. Simply put, this doll is actually more of an automaton, due to how it functions. Translated as “The Bird Trainer”, this is essentially a 4 foot work of mechanical genius, designed by Christian Bailly, a French-born master of machines. When activated, the character realistically plays a flute, mimicking the tune “Marche des Rois” by famous composer Georges Bizet whilst his eyes move from side to side. The character also comes complete with birds that move in time to the tune (with each bird consisting of 62 parts). The doll is made from 2,340 parts and took a team of twelve master craftsmen around 15,000 hours to create and requires no electricity or motor to function, merely the simple winding of a mechanism with a key. So all in all, you’d need to max out not only your halifax credit card and barclaycard, but also your natwest credit card and tesco credit card, and even THEN, you still wouldn’t be able to afford it!