Its desirability is because of its crossover appeal to Disney and bicycle collectors, robust size and edgy design.
Mickey and Minnie have big teeth and five fingers on each hand and only the earliest of the German toy makers were able to represent Disney’s characters in this way. Tipp was given its licence to make the toy not from Disney but from Ideal Film Co, which owned the rights to distribute Mickey Mouse films in the UK.
This example, offered by Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, New Jersey on March 11-12, was part of the Monique Knowlton antique toy collection. A former New York city art gallery owner, Knowlton collected with an eye for art and had paid high prices to acquire toys of exceptional rarity and quality.
She had paid $65,500 for the Tippco wind-up at Bertoia’s 2010 auction of the Donald Kaufman collection and, previously, it had been owned by Disney toy collectors and reference book authors Doug and Pat Wengel.
Collectors who had tried unsuccessfully to win the item on its last auction appearance again registered their interest in the classic toy, which was estimated at $25,000-$45,000. The new owner, a US private collector, bid $185,000/£142,450 (plus 20% buyer’s premium), an auction record for any Disney toy.