Derby

Toy collector Mike Stockwell sells vintage models for £32,000

Mike Stockwell Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Mike Stockwell built up his tinplate toy collection over 43 years

A man has sold his huge collection of vintage toys to fund eco-projects to fight climate change.

Mike Stockwell, from Chesterfield, had amassed about 1,000 models over the past 43 years and had expected to fetch £100,000.

However, despite auctioneers describing the collection as "one of the best in the world" it only sold for £32,000.

Mr Stockwell was "attached" to the toys and selling them was "a bit of a wrench".

But the 69-year-old former toy shop owner and NASA space programme engineer said he wanted to fund environmental and conservation projects.

Image caption The collection included many rare toys made all over the world

"The time has come for me to sell my collection because I'm very concerned about climate change," he said.

"I have three grandchildren and I want them to have a future."

Mr Stockwell's collection of toys from the 1950s to 70s included a bubble-blowing dragon, which is one of only 10 ever made. It failed to sell, despite an expectation it would fetch up to £30,000.

Auctioneer Rik Alexander said: "The animal figures attracted the most interest and sold well - all things monkey/gorilla-related especially.

"Musical bears, walking caterpillars, feeding birds were all in demand."

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Mr Stockwell said his hobby had evolved into "an obsession"

"People used to ask to visit our house just to see them," said Mr Stockwell. "I suppose it was like going to a toy theatre.

"But these things are far more than toys. They're feats of engineering. Many are mechanical.

"They transcend from being playthings to movable works of art. Several are sophisticated pieces of equipment."

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "It was a ground-breaking sale of 1950s kitsch toys which generated worldwide interest."

"We had bids coming in online from America, Poland, Thailand, Germany, Holland and Switzerland as well as the UK."

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