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July 26, 2005

"A boat for the Pirate King!"

I've always loved toy boats. When I was little my father gave me a wonderful metal wind up submarine that I played with for months until it finally gave up the ghost to rust.

As I grew older I became aware of things like this:


"Marklin Battleship “Boston” - This classic 40in battleship is from Marklin’s acclaimed second series of toy boats. These realistic yet toy-like boats were made between 1906 and 1918, and were offered with electric- or steam-powered options. This excellent example has a live steam power plant that operates the twin screws. Play value includes two operating cranes for the lifeboats. Marklin boats of this quality are seldom seen at public auction. Estimate: $50,000-60,000."

That's from the description of the auction catalog that this boat appeared in. At the auction the "Boston" went for $71,500 after two bids. (The scheduled opening bid was $20,000 but the first bid was $60,000 and the only counter was $65,000.)

It's great to think of little boys, 8 or 9 years old, getting one of these things to play with on a Christmas morning or a birthday. It's got to be the equivalent of my old neighbor Dean getting Ape City when the rest of us were lucky to get an Astronaut. (Obscure Planet of the Apes toy reference.) A 40 inch toy battleship. If it were me I might just pass out if I found that under the tree.

So what to do for the junior Pirate King?

Oh, how I should never have found this.

Go look. I'll wait. (Turn down your speakers first.)

$4500 AUD! $5000 with all the trimmings! Even after the exchange rate the $3790 is more than I paid for the Miata.


Until the Sultan of Brunei decides to gift Jack with one of these I'll just have to look at the website and dream.

The mental image of a 9 year old Jack lowering the U.S.S. "Incorrigible" or the U.S.S. "Contemptuous" into the lake for an afternoon of boating is pretty keen though.

Thanks to Toyzine.com and Noel Barrett auctions for the above image of the Boston. Thanks also to the late Ward Kimball who preserved the Boston for over a half a century.

Posted by Jim at July 26, 2005 10:48 PM


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