Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza

Discussion in 'Micromen & Henshin Cyborg' started by MicromanZone, May 11, 2011.

  1. MicromanZone

    MicromanZone Addicted

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Folks, this item is not mine but something magical has just arrived in a very well known Micronaut/Microman fan’s collection:
    [​IMG]

    Apparently it came from an old NYC antique store that was going out of business, but growing up in NYC I can’t think of which one it would have been. The only one I knew that sold stuff close to this closed in 2007 and they only ever dealt with vintage Microman stuff in the 1970s. “magnemo” got it second hand via someone else and not the original owner. The item is 100% legit and vintage and “magnemo” is trying to deduce what it is, where it came from and why did nobody know about it until now.

    But for now. Wow!
     
  2. Sanjeev

    Sanjeev Post Pimp

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Mind-blowingly awesome!

    I trust you've seen this photoset (especially the second page)! Lots of incredible custom-chromed magnemo figures. Seriously nuts!

    [​IMG]
     
  3. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Wow, that Baron Karza blew my mind! So much awesomeness all over it. I love his Vader style grill, and the chroming is great. I never knew anything like this existed, let alone that there were some out there in the packages :shock:
     
  4. MicromanZone

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Oh, I have seen those items. The collector who has those is a modern collector who has created those chrome pieces himself. And they look great!

    This gold Baron Karza on the other hand is unique. It’s vintage and was made by Mego and came from an antique store in NYC. Could actually be a “test shot” or a “factory sample” but the fact that it’s vintage is what is truly mind-blowing. Also, if you check the photoset for this Gold Karza, there are indications of it’s “one of a kind”-ness such as molding features that don’t exist on the production toys, discrepancies in box art and even the vac-u-form tray is unique since all of those types of figures back-in-the-day came in styrofoam boxes.
     
  5. diceone

    diceone Toy Prince

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    The Gold Baron Karza is from my purchase of a large lot of back stock from Burlington Antique toys.
    The microman figures were sold to Burlington over 8-10 years ago by a consignor.
    Steve Balkin, age 73, store owner, purchased this with about 20 other microman pieces.

    Those are the only facts. Other than that, all of this is speculation.
    I included the Karza to the buyer as a throw in that I planned on just keeping. So I hope it ends up being something the microman community enjoys.

    Burlington Antique toys served as New York's last outpost of lead and tin soldiers. It has been a home to toy soldier enthusiasts, and toy collectors in general alike. Steve possessed a very large collection of toys that sat archived and then forgotten about, as his main focus is turn of the century military lead, silver and tin. But I've never seen so much He-Man, Star Wars and Dino Riders. Also, with undiscriminating equality: She-Ra Princess of power.
    There are tons of inhumanoids, Silverhawks, TMNT, x-force, x-men, marvel, dc and all kinds of crazy stuff... like 3 dead mint Robo Deki pieces, but I'll save that tale for my friends and those who visit our NY continuation of Steve's great love for toys and his vision to find the drive to collect and stock in this massive variety of genres.

    There are other lost gems like the Visionaires series, and pieces that had huge play set "bases" that I never knew existed, like the Max Robo Force base.

    Burlington Antique Toys opened on Madison Avenue in 1978, and closed on April 30th, 2011.
    Sadly, cities seem to be losing these great unique stores.

    Anyone who gets a piece from this stores stock, is getting a final piece of original New York toy history.

    Whenever you can, please get out there and support your local businesses.
     
  6. MicromanZone

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Okay, now this makes more sense. Never heard of the place, but “Burlington Antique Toys” was located in the heart of the Upper East Side according to this New York Times piece from 2008. Considering the dead-mint stuff you say you found mixed in with is gold Baron Karza, it’s a fairly safe bet to say that the stuff must have been owned by some toy industry exec (or friends/family of one) who lived in the Upper East Side. The majority of toy stores that would normally hold a stock of this stuff would be below 59th Street and the bulk of such places was in the Village. Someone giving “Burlington Antique Toys” this kind of stuff on consignment would most likely have done so out of convenience more than anything else, because other more toy-focused NYC stores could have sold this stuff right away.

    So are you opening a store in NYC? And you bought this guy’s stock?
     
  7. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    I hate to sound like the old curmudgeon here, but it is such a shame that places like this are (have) closed down. We are really losing out, and, unfortunately, I have not been lucky enough to visit these types of places. This sounds like exactly the kind of store I love, but toy stores in general have basically disappeared it seems, since the late 80s. Sure, there are some tiny meccas of toy culture, but in most places that I have lived, you are relegated to what you can find at a local comic shop.

    If you are opening up a new store with the stock you purchased, that would be excellent. I hope at least someone is going to take these treasures and give them a continued life in a 'brick-and-mortar' store, rather than just being sold piecemeal on the internet.
     
  8. diceone

    diceone Toy Prince

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    I've been asked about opening doors.
    But NY rent is ridiculous. I can't see it.
    And what's wrong with comic shops! May they sell more toys!

    Also, in selling quality vintage pieces, almost no one off the street understands the value and pricing.
    While it makes for great educational conversation and customer service, most of the finances would potentially be provided by online sales.

    Toy Tokyo has a hard time selling vintage. And some of the pricing is above average, but they make the most money on modern pieces, kaws vinyl, trendy artists works, and domo-like stuff or items under $20/$30. Same thing with Zakka. It's hard to go against popular demand.

    Kids with disposable income buy hype. Take a look at kid robot and the new "kaiju" stuff. most of it is hype. Not even close to the vintage sweetness, soured with rainbow vomit over-coloring (IMO) or overly borrowed kawaii aesthetics making pieces like the "[expletive deleted]". While wildly popular, there is no denying kid robots logo is a ultraman rip-off and the [expletive deleted] is heavily borrowed from Ci-Boys. Yet it's immensely popular in America. But it's $2-$6 price point doesn't exactly set the stage for purchasing a $200 masudaya or tsubaraya piece of vintage.

    Love Saves The Day had an all vintage inventory, and closed it's doors over a year ago. Their presentation was lackluster but their offerings were wide. New York requires massive amounts of cash to fend off your often greedy landlord. Giant Robot also fell...

    Most of this invetory is headed for other toy dealers and retailers and yes, the internet.
    I don't have any issue with selling online. If anything it often keeps the doors open of physical retail locations.
    No reason you can't do both.

    I'd love to see a great toy museum, but it requires patience and a high level of integrity.

    The gold baron karza, along with the other takara microman items were sold to Steve Balkin because the person needed quick money.
    Microman went defunct and many of the collectors and dealers and execs attached suffered financially.
    New York isn't like other cities. So just because a store is in a ritzy neighborhood doesn't mean it's clientele was exclusive to the elite.

    Steve is a warm-hearted and friendly person, who often over paid and simply enjoyed discovering new items and felt like he was helping people out.

    On the other hand, many people that are insiders, influencers, and the like are also based in NY. So maybe it's a bit of both situations?
     
  9. diceone

    diceone Toy Prince

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    wow. you can't publish the word : "d_u_n_n_y"? WTF?
     
  10. MicromanZone

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    No disrespect diceone, but “Microman” was never released in the U.S. That gold Baron Karza is a “Micronauts” toy made by Mego. Mego is an American based toy company whose headquarters was based around Madison Square Park and the 23rd street toy district back in the day. And Mego filed for bankruptcy in 1982 and stopped existing entirely in 1983. That was over 28 years ago.

    So when you say “were sold to Burlington over 8-10 years ago by a consignor.” You really can’t say that “Microman went defunct.” Mego went “defunct” in 28 years ago. Anyone selling them to “Burlington Antique Toys” 8-10 years ago is not some exec who just suddenly hit hard times in the 21st century over a 20th century bankruptcy. Anyone needing fast-cash would not place stuff on “consignment” in a store where very few true collectors would venture since consignment traditionally means the item is held onto by the store until the item is sold. Someone putting something on consignment for 8-10 years in a store not accustomed to selling this specific type of toy is far from desperate.

    For example, I have dealt with some Japanese toy collectors who lived in Yorkville which borders on the northern edge of the Upper East Side, and those guys knew exactly where to go Downtown to score and sell toys. And those folks were far from well-off or even connected anyway to the rarified air of the Upper East Side.

    Nice score anyway. But there is a definite mystery surrounding where this piece comes from. And the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind piece made with parts and packaging that is not seen in any production pieces points to this being placed on consignment at “Burlington Antique Toys” by someone connected into the toy world in the way most casual fans or collectors aren’t. The fact the toy store is in the Upper East Side adds to my personal theory that some old-school Mego employee lived around the Upper East Side and 8-10 years ago something happened to get these items out of their hands and into that store. Could actually be a collection that was stored away until someone moved or passed-away and then surviving family members just passed them onto the nearest seemingly appropriate store they could find.

    Happily there is a strong world of ex-Mego employees out there so eventually a clearer picture can be painted about this toy’s background.
     
  11. diceone

    diceone Toy Prince

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Wow. Semantics and nerds.

    They weren't on consignment.
    Steve bought them at least 10 years ago.

    they sat in a shoe box in a display case.

    i came in and started cleaning out his store helping him pack up in April.

    I asked how long they've been there and who sold them to him, he said "Some guy came in here and I bought them from him and he said he needed some money and was selling his toys..." "It must have been at least 10 years ago.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
    Hopefully some Mego execs clear it up.

    Just an FYI Yorkville is in the UES. it doesn't border it.
    And 23rd and Madison is Flatiron.
    I live in the UES, at 95th and 3rd.
    So please try not to tell me about my neighborhood ;)
     
  12. MicromanZone

    MicromanZone Addicted

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    So, let’s see. You barely have any posts, and a good chunk of them just self-promoting your own event known as “Toy Street.” So you want to do work in the toy world and profit from fans of toy culture but you consider the definition of “consignment” versus “sale” worthy of personally deriding others of as “nerds?”

    No disrespect to anyone who uncovered a stash as cool as this, but you real need a serious attitude check.

    You said the following when you popped into this thread.

    You keep on changing your story with each post and mix up pseudo-facts with reality. The box on the item in question even refers to “Micronauts” but you keep on mentioning “Microman” and you don’t even know the history of the toy or the company which can be gleaned in a simple Google search?

    You do no research on what you have, insult fans when they correct you and you want to do what in the toy world exactly?

    On a map, Yorkville is technically part of the Upper East Side. But as far as the Upper East Side that “Burlington Antique Toys” was based in, it’s another planet. ;)

    And yes, 23rd and Madison is the Flatiron district. Who is debating that? It was also the toy district back in the day since that was where tons of toy companies were based or had their NYC offices located.

    Also, no disrespect but you said the following earlier:
    Seriously dude, with a handful of posts you are showing yourself completely hypocritical of any “great love of toys.” Like I said before, you real need a serious attitude check.
     
  13. diceone

    diceone Toy Prince

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    I corrected consignor to seller so you'd stop speculating on it being in consignment for 10 years.
    And how that MUST mean it was a RICH person who didn't need money, because of your misconception of the store, the neighborhood, and the details of the original transaction.

    I gave you the story. I AM your fact basis that you are now trying to argue with me about.

    Even worse you're trying to tell me about my own City and neighborhood that you clearly haven't been in.
    Stop looking at google maps and comparing it to where ever it is you live, and then combining that with urban-legend and internet searches on the history of the residents of the upper east side.

    Burlington is a 10 minute leisurely walk from my house. Not another planet.
    Everyday I walk to 86th and lex and catch the 4-5 express. that's 4 blocks from Burlington.
    The Yorkville post office is at 92nd and 3rd ave. Please stop claiming my neighborhood... just listen to me. I live here bro.

    I'm sorry, but you don't know what you're talking about except harping on me about my faux paus in re to mego being defunct, rather than microman. I'm not claiming to be captain microman/micronauts.
    I only keep saying microman because the 20 other pieces in the lot were Takara Microman. Not everything in the sale was micronauts by mego. only 2 pieces.

    I'm not on here challenging your attitude or etiquette or knowledge of toys.

    I'm trying to keep you from pulling the wrong info.
    Just chill out.
    You don't know NYC, you don't live here, you didn't find or buy the pieces and you didn't get the story and you didn't sell them.

    I may not have as many posts as you, but I was there. And I gave you the info.

    and don't make me regret posting an invitation to SB to come to our free toy event.
    That's just sad.
     
  14. MicromanZone

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    I want to preface this by saying this: You really have done a great thing by not only finding this rare piece but passing it onto one of the best Micronaut/Microman authorities in the U.S. That should be commended. But as far as the rest of the stuff goes, seriously check yourself.

    Okay, you are my “fact basis.” Here’s a breakdown of the problems with your “facts.”

    :shock: :shock: :shock:

    Please look at my avatar and check the location indicated below it: “Brooklyn, NYC.” Heck, in my first post here I said the following:
    I grew up in deep Brooklyn and now live in another part of Brooklyn. I know this city profoundly well. And in the 1970s I was buying Microman toys directly (as a kid) from stores in this city because I scoped them out.

    Ask any NYC collector and the stuff you found—which I will never deny was and is an awesome find—came from a store that the vast majority of Japanese toy collectors/buyers/sellers would have never gone to buy or sell goods from. Denying that is self-defeating. Also, I think you miss the point about this thread: This specific Baron Karza is simply not something an average person would own. It’s not a production toy sold to the general public. The mint condition to those toys (as you describe) and the rarity of them points to someone with special access of some sort—executive, salesman, designer, packager, dealer, etc...—and not an average person owning them. The fact it ended up in an Upper East Side store can’t be ignored as well.

    No, but you are attempting to be a dealer in the toy world and your reaction to some basic questions here reflects on your maturity deeply. And in the world of dealing with this stuff reputation speaks a lot. Your passive-aggresive swipes against anyone knowing anything about this toy-line combined with your pissing contest “I found this!” attitude makes me wonder if you actually have a love for the toys you are selling or not? You can’t condescend to your customers, because that completely flies in your whole “great love for toys” attitude you claimed before.

    See above. It’s amazing you would rail on me with that “You don't know NYC” without doing basic research. Which in this case means simply reading this very simple thread.

    Also, I have no issue about personally not finding the pieces. I could care less! I am the last one to gloat over “scores” since I don’t collect to one-up others. I’m happy there are other folks in NYC and elsewhere who scope out stuff. That is what a community is! But did you miss the posts above where I said “No disrespect to anyone who uncovered a stash as cool as this...”

    In general—and not just here—people who come in from out of nowhere to a community, invite people to a “free” event, berate them for asking questions and then mock/question their background tend to be the type of people whose intentions/motivations many people question.

    But you know what—like I said right at the beginning—you scored an awesome find. If you checked your attitude a bit, you might have a good future as a dealer of goods.
     
  15. JoeMan

    JoeMan Mini Boss

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    Wow, I've been living in the UES for the past 4 years and never knew that store existed.

    Wish I could go back in time and check it out.
     
  16. tobor2099

    tobor2099 Toy Prince

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    Vintage Gold Chromed Baron Karza
    :shock: :shock: and :shock: .
     

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