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Pinballs and Petroliana Perform Well in Three Online-Only Auctions held May 10-12 by Miller & Miller

A Canadian 1940s McColl-Frontenac service station sign, six feet in diameter, soared to $22,420; a Bally’s Gilligan’s Island pinball machine from 1991 went for $10,030; and a Japanese 1950s Linemar toy Good Humor Ice Cream delivery truck hit $3,245 in three days of online auctions held May 10th-11th-12th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

All prices quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars.

The auctions included a Toys & Historic Ephemera auction featuring Part 2 of the late Howie Meyer Legacy collection held on Friday, May 10th; a Toys, Advertising & Coin-Op auction held on Saturday, May 11th; and a Petroliana & Advertising auction featuring the late Syl Rumas collection held on Sunday, May 12th. The three sales combined totaled a gross of $947,156.50.

“Toys sold in our inaugural online-only sale for the late Howie Meyer Collection performed well,” said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “Some rare boxed examples crushed the high estimates – especially anything Disney. In the collector market, the upper five percent of any category is where to invest but first, make sure you like it. Top items did well this weekend.”

Mr. Miller went on to say, “We can still feel the afterglow from the Rumas Collection sold on Sunday. Choice porcelain dealer signs soared through the roof. However, I do sense a slight regression in the advertising market compared to the fever during the pandemic. Great things are performing, but the importance of condition, size, and medium seems to have grown somewhat.”

Petroliana lots on Day 3 posted some of the highest overall prices. The Petroliana & Advertising auction was a three-part event that featured the petroliana collection of the late Syl Rumas (signs, Canadian gas pumps, cans, ephemera and more), plus petroliana selections from the collection of the late Ken Hatt of Inverness, British Columbia (signs, Red Indian ephemera, Red Head tins).

The McColl-Frontenac double-sided porcelain sign easily bested its $6,000-$9,000 estimate to be the day’s top achiever, while a Canadian 1940s White Rose single-sided porcelain service station sign, 36 inches in diameter and marked ‘P&M 47’ to the lower edge, topped an identical estimate by changing hands for $20,060. Both were expected to do well and each exceeded expectations.

Rounding out the Day 3 action, a Canadian 1940s Supertest Gasoline double-sided service station sign, five feet in diameter with the original aluminum frame and hardware, finished at $18,800 against a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000; while a Canadian 1940s White Rose Gasoline double-sided porcelain “Slate Boy” service station sign, four feet in diameter with excellent color and gloss on both sides, brought $17,700 against an estimate of $9,000-$12,000.

Following are additional highlights from the three auctions, in which a total of 907 online bidders placed a combined total of 18,920 bids. Internet bidding was facilitated by and the Miller & Miller Auctions website. Of the 1,139 total lots up for bid, nearly all of them were sold and better than 50 percent of all lots surpassed estimates.

On Day 2’s Toys, Advertising & Coin-Op auction, the Bally Gilligan’s Island pinball machine made in America in 1991, fully restored, a fun, family-friendly game that even played the theme song from TV’s Gilligan’s Island, was the top earner. Runner-up to that was an American 1950s 16 hp Mercury Mark 20 racing boat motor with Quickie Prop lower unit – the holy grail for collectors, with a low serial number – topped its $5,000 high estimate by gaveling for $8,850. 

An early and exquisite John H.R. Molson and Brothers single-sided porcelain Montreal India Pale Ale corner sign (Canadian, 20th century), 24 inches by 16 ½ inches, with “IPA” scripted beneath the profusely illustrated logo, went for $8,850. Also, an American 1957 Seeburg model KD-200 jukebox with veneer case and chrome trim – a highly sought-after machine known for the iconic 1950s tail light grille and rotating selector drum, completely serviced – made $8,260.

The May 10th Toys & Historic Ephemera auction contained 340 lots of toys and militaria, with Howie Meyer the undisputed headliner. His many and varied interests included pressed steel and tinplate toys, comic characters, ice cream, construction, space, Western and Americana, World War and anti-Axis propaganda posters and ephemera, figural sewing tapes and other oddities.

The Linemar Good Humor ice cream delivery truck was modeled after a Ford F-250. It was marked on the box and rear underside of the toy. Linemar was the trade name Marx used for toys manufactured in Japan and sold by Marx. Achieving an identical selling price of $3,245 was a complete, new-in-box (NIB) toy tow truck from Smith-Miller (Smitty Toys), made in America in the 1980s and number 19 of 125 made. The high-quality trucks were crafted by Fred Thompson.

A group of Marx “ELM” (“Excellent Louis Marx”) Disney character cars made in Hong Kong and America in the 1950s and 60s, including Disneykins Alice in Wonderland, a Mickey and Minnie “Rumba Rhythm” toy, two Magic Marxie cars, three Donald Duck cars, three Goofy cars and others, fetched $2,360. Also, a Marx “ELM” group of Popeye character cars, made in Hong Kong in the 1950s, with the toys and boxes all in excellent condition, also commanded $2,360.

Next up for Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is a Petroliana, Automobilia & Advertising auction featuring the Dr. Michael Francis collection on Saturday, June 15th; and an Advertising, Pottery & Historic Objects auction featuring the Jon Church collection the very next day, on June 16th.

To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the firm’s upcoming auctions, please visit

About Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.:

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canada’s trusted seller of high-value collections and is always accepting quality consignments. The firm specializes in luxury watches, art, antiques and high-value collectibles. Its mission is to always provide collectors with a trusted place to buy and sell. To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710; or, you can e-mail them at [email protected]. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the firm’s upcoming auctions, please visit

Dinesh Kumar


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