I have known Ron Sturgeon for around 20 years or so and worked for him About 10 years.

The other day he asked me to pick out my favorite toy in the museum. In a word, “Impossible.” I have a passion for antique toys. I collect, buy and sell them from my home as a hobby. Thanks to Ron, I took to it like a duck to water. That being said, how could I pick a favorite? It can’t be done. There are just too many.

I suppose if Ron had asked me to pick one of the most expensive that would have been a little easier, but it still would have been a monumental task since there are several toys that may go as high as $25,000 plus.

I walked into Ron’s office, surrounded by some of the finest antique toys known to man, and picked an Atom Jet Racer out of one of the cases. This fabulous tin lithograph toy is 27-inches long and features a friction motor and tin driver. It was made in Japan in the 1950s by Yonezawa, a famous Japanese toy maker. This toy has a scarcity rating of 10 – (very rare) This one is in excellent condition and would fetch easily around $3,500 or more at auction. Thankfully I doubt it will see an auction house for many years to come. But as far as my favorite? This one will do for today.



  1. Hi

    I am living in Sydney, Australia. We are currently clearing out my grandmother’s attic and I have found my father’s old atom jet a-58. I did a google search on the car to see if it was worth anything and found a link to your write up on the car in the DFW toy museum.

    Our one is not in as good condition, but we are interested in selling it. I have obtained a valuation from our local branch of sotherbys who says it should reach about $3-400AUD at auction (less 20% for vendor’s commission).

    I was wondering if you could recommend anywhere that specialises in selling toy cars that might have a wider target audience (hopefully attracting a higher price) or a lower seller’s commission. I was also wondering if you know whether there is a bigger market for toy cars in the US, and whether it might be worthwhile my selling the car there instead.

    I look forward to hearing from you with any advice you are able to provide (I can also provide pictures of the car if this would help).


  2. Dear Marie-Louise:

    I am the Toy Specialist/Director for our United States company of Bonhams. We are a world wide auction house and feature toy auctions in the United Kingdom as well as the United States.

    I would be honored to sell your ATOMIC JET CAR. I have sold the car twice at our auction site and the results were excellent. I sold a very poor conditioned vehicles for $2500 (US) several years ago and the
    car was missing many parts and had fatigue and rust.

    You can send the vehicle to our company via International USPS or UPS. We would sign for the receiving of the toy and I would contact you immediately. Our next auction is scheduled for October 2011. The next auction is January 2012.

    Please let me know what you decide.

    With kindest regards

    J. Friedman


  4. We have an Atomic Jet riding toy built in the late fifties. It is in excellent condition. What is the value please. ? It has the red levers, metal seat and rides on three wheels. Please advise us. Thanks

  5. I’m looking for an Atom Jet A-58, I’m interested in buying for the right fair price. If anyone knows of anyone interested in selling one, I’d be interested. Thanks.

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