Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mint & Boxed

Saturday October 4, 2014
   Overcast with rain later in the day

Mint & Boxed

  I'm always looking for reference books and of course nice photographs to accompany the references.  I had seen 4 catalogues being offered for sale on ebay, so I purchased them. I then researched the material for today's post. As it turned out, there was a company in the 1980's to 1990 or a bit later called  Mint & Boxed. It's director and chairman was a man by the name of Mr. Jeffrey S. Levitt. Mr. Levitt established the company in 1983 and incorporated the company through Jeffrey S Levitt in 1984. The plan was to be able to collect antique toys in excellent condition and high-quality and then sell them.  However, the plan never went according to plan,and the company went bankrupt. The story is much more complex than this, but I won't get into details.

That's the  Company Logo

THe written description for the fine toy below can be seen in the lower left corner of the above page.
It's from the summer 1989 catalogue.

 Mr. Levitt placed a lot of effort and money  into starting up the company.  Above is a page of the store with an illustration of the location in Edgeware, Middlesex, England.

Below are photographs of the building and items for sale in the showrooms.
Mr. Levitt  wrote in the winter 1989/spring 1990 issue of the catalogue magazine had felt that buying  that the market and demand for toys had risen by 20% over a period of a year.   By buying high quality merchandise he would be able to meet the demand for collectors.

Below is how the car looks on white.


A unique MARKLIN (German) London, Double decker Bus made in 1906. Measuring 15"/ 38 cms, this toy, which can only be described as a work of art, features hand enamelled paint work and advertisements, powerful clockwork mechanism, rubber-tyres spoked wheel, operating handbrake and detailed interior.

Marklin probably produced no more than two or three examples to special order, 
of which this is the sole survivor.

Asking price at the time:  £165,000.00 (British Pounds)


" A unique Marklin (Germany) 'JMPERATOR' River Boat, made to special order in 1885 for the Corwn Prince of Austria, 'JMPERATOR' being Latin for Emperor. Intended as a gift for his children, this fabulous piece remained in the hands of the Hapsburg Royal Family for many years.

The hull of the boat is finely hand-painted in red ,white and light blue, and conceals a powerful clockwork motor which is still fully operational, which powers the two 'side wheel paddles'. Measuring in excess of 48' . 122 cms in length, the original linen canopy, figures and flags are still included.

This is probably the most important toy to have come onto the market, and we are most fortunate in being able to offer it for sale. Further information and details are available on written request. See further photograph on front cover."*
* pp. 23-24 Autumn/Winter catalogue 1988, Mint & Boxed

I selected just a "sprinkling" of examples from the 4 catalogue issues that I purchased. The idea for such a company and store certainly was most ambitious, as well as avery good idea at the time. 

Unfortunately there were financial and legal issues that arose, 
and the company eventually had to close. 

The catalogues can still be found,  and make excellent reading,combined with excellent photography. Not all of the toys in the catalogues were very high-priced. There were pages and pages of Dinky,Corgi, Techno, Matchbox, Yesteryear, and Spot-On that could be found within the pages of each magazine. These were available at assorted prices, and were all accompanied buy their original boxes.

Not all stories have a happy ending, but  I can try and write one one for this.
In the end, all that remains of Mr. Levitt's grand idea are the fine magazines with the excellent-quality photos.  

The original idea was fine, and perhaps in 2014 with all of the Net Billionaires and very rich people today, there would have been a market for such rare and fine collectibles. Or perhaps, Mr. Levitt might have created an auction company for such high-end toys - we shall never know.

Thanks for dropping by to visit,
and as always,
have a great part of the day  or night,
wherever you may be,

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