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In excellent condition and still in its original box, the 12in (30cm) high robot had been bought for 7s 6d by the vendor’s parents for his sixth birthday and for the last 35 years had been stored in his father’s attic where it was discovered by Halls auctioneer William Lacey.

“Battery-operated robots are very popular and are becoming increasingly collectable,” said Joanne Boucher of Halls, explaining the tremendous interest created by the toy.

Expecting it to fetch no more than “about a tenner” the vendor was suitably stunned when a London collector bidding on the phone took the robot at £1250.