THERE was plenty to tempt toy collectors in the provinces in late January and early February with over 1000 wide-ranging lots catering to all tastes and offered in three different sales.

Lewes-based Wallis & Wallis (15% buyer’s premium) are among the most established provincial specialists (they having been holding Sussex sales every six weeks or so for the last 18 years) and their 401-lot outing on February 9 was the largest of the three auctions.

“We lot up with collectors in mind in bite sized chunks of around £80-120 each. If we had large £300-500 lots that would wipe many collectors out,” explained Wallis &Wallis toy specialist Glen Butler.

Their outing had a broad spread of collectable Dinkys and Corgis as well as space-related toys and the third tranche from a large private Kent collection of Britains figures. The most unusual entry from this collection headlined the sale: a 3in (8cm) model of a King George VI soldier in the uniform of the Colonel in Chief of the Welsh Guards.

One of a limited production run that lasted months rather than years, it was made to commemorate the royal visit to South Africa in 1947 and fetched £520 from a Britains collector. Overall, the sale realised £45,000, with a good mix of dealers and collectors ensuring 96 per cent of entries sold.

Brightwells (15% buyer’s premium) 385-lot Leominster sale on January 28 also included Britains figures, but the sale was geared more to doll and teddy bear collectors and dealers and a classic French doll stole the limelight. The Emile Jumeau 12in (30cm) bébé, entered together with her original costume, was taken to £2900 against pre-sale hopes of £1700-1900 while a large Kammer & Reinhardt doll with her original mohair wig fetched £1650.

The most contested entry at Biddle & Webb’s (15% buyer’s premium) 319-lot Birmingham sale on January 23 had a more retro feel. This was a 1960s James Bond Scalextric racing set with two racing cars, including 007’s trademark Aston Martin. Estimated to fetch £150-200, it had been stored in the vendor’s loft since the 1970s. James Bond’s enduring cult status ensured the set was pursued to a punchy £1300.