My best auction buy: Tracy Martin19 July 2021 Tracy Martin, Antiques and Collectables Expert
Tracy Martin has a passion for everything antique and collectable, with special interest in 20th Century Fashion, vintage toys and mid-century interiors. She is a regular on TV as a collectables expert and currently a valuer for BBC’s The Bidding Room.
What is your favourite auction find?
A really difficult question as I have bought many amazing things over the decades at auction. But the one item that stands out has to be a die-cast Corgi Batmobile 267. I love vintage toys and buying back nostalgia ranks high on my list. The reason being, these toys evoke my inner child, transporting me back to a time when endless hours were spent escaping into a world of make-believe. So re-investing in my childhood toys is a way of re-visiting those happy memories.
What drew you to the Batmobile in particular?
As I child, I was a tomboy. Loved nothing more than climbing trees and building dens. Matchbox, Corgi and Dinky die-cast cars along with knights on horseback were my toys of choice – dolls were too girly (although I did eventually become besotted with Sindy and Pippa purely for their fashions).
I have vivid memories of firing Batmobile rockets and admiring the red bats on the wheel hubs then rolling the car around the carpet as I chased the bad guys. My poor childhood Batmobile ended up way more than play-worn – I am guessing it ended up in the bin.
That’s the reason I bought this Corgi Batmobile around six years ago from Stacey’s Auctioneers in Essex; I wanted to be transported back to those fun times and happy memories once again.
Not a rare thing to buy from auction – Corgi die-cast models and especially Batmobiles come up for sale prolifically in various forms of condition – but this one I spotted at auction was immaculate. The box was practically mint and it had all of its accessories – including the rockets but also the small cloth lapel badge and the original cardboard packaging ring. As soon as I had viewed the Corgi Batmobile, I not only wanted it, but I needed it and successfully acquired it.
Do you still have it now?
After a few years admiring my Batmobile and reliving my childhood, I decided it was more deserving than just sitting in an Art Deco glass fronted cabinet, so I sold it on. The person that bought it from me was a passionate collector and informed me that it was one of the best models he had seen, with the lapel badge being exceptional. I took comfort in knowing that my Batmobile was now in the possession of someone that would love it as much as I had.
A generation of toys
I now have a nine-year-old son and ever since he could say the words ‘Power Rangers’ I have been buying him vintage toys from auction. My favourite is a 4ft Gold Power Ranger which I took home, cleaned its costume, and then gave as a Christmas gift. It was bigger than he was! Some years later it now stands proudly in the bedroom alongside the vintage Megazord – another auction buy. I am hoping my son will enjoy these toys for years to come and in the future they too will remind him of wonderful childhood memories.
Auction Buying Tip
I get so involved when buying from auction, I suppose a bit of ‘auction fever’ takes over and often I have paid over what I intended. I don’t mind though because my moto is – if you love it – then buy it.
If you're a vintage toy fan, check out our recent article featuring our pick of collectable items coming up for auction, from a Corgi James Bond Aston Martin to a Star Wars 1977 Kenner Princess Leia figure. Or search the wide range of vintage Corgi toys at auction on thesaleroom.com.