Published: April 18, 2023
Review by Z.G. Burnett, Photos Courtesy of Bruneau & Co Auctioneers
CRANSTON, R.I. – Bruneau & Co Auctioneers continued the ongoing auction series of the Andy Yanchus Collection with Part III, which occurred on April 5. The first part of this collection, primarily featuring action figures and toys, was auctioned on September 17, 2022, followed by a second sale on January 1 that highlighted comics from Yanchus’ extensive collection. The focus of this third major catalog was original art and an unexpected category: early and rare PEZ candy dispensers. “You’d think it’s an extremely niche thing, but every [dispenser] overperformed compared to the retail market,” said Travis Landry, director of pop culture at Bruneau. “These were meant to be throwaway items, but many of the vintage examples came out when Andy was buying and collecting.” Landry explained that Yanchus only bought to collect, filling his three-floor Brooklyn, N.Y., home, including a basement, sub-basement and outbuilding with boxes of collectibles that were either sealed in their original packaging or opened and otherwise untouched. The auction totaled $137,719 with 100 percent of its lots sold.
Finishing first in the PEZ parade was a was a 1972 factory sealed “Make A Face” PEZ dispenser, complete with small accessories which caused the model to be quickly recalled due to the possible choking hazard. This example was made in Austria, and the card presented well for its age with moderate wear and staining; it was bid to $4,875 ($4/6,000) by a Pennsylvania collector. Next in price was an even earlier set from 1968, three “Psychedelic Flower” PEZ dispensers; two were shaped like hands holding eyeballs, one in a flower shape with an eye growing from its center. The lot included nine packs of original “flower-flavored” PEZ candy and sold for $4,375 to a collector in Chicago. Another single PEZ dispenser multiplied its $200/300 estimate, a 1970 factory sealed Pony Purple, made in USA. Landry found comparable examples that sold for $900-$1,100, but this achieved $2,750. Each of these were bought by bidders on LiveAuctioneers. The biggest surprise, according to Landry, was a seven-piece set of “PEZ knockoff” Hong Kong Totem candy dispensers that were purchased through Bruneau’s BidLive platform for $2,124.
Comics and original art also ranked in the upper lots. Third in the overall auction was a 1975 Marvel Preview #2 from Marvel Comics, featuring the origin of Punisher and the first appearance of Dominic Fortune. With a 9.8 CGC rating, this issue was one of the highest graded comics in existence and brought $3,907 ($1/2,000). Another lot from Marvel was a complete 1986 original story and cover color guide of Marvel Fanfare #29 that sold on BidLive for $1,770 ($300/500). Yanchus was a colorist at Marvel for 17 years, and annotated guides like this instructed printers which gradients of color to use and where in the comic to apply them. These were followed by the highest selling animation-related lot in the auction, an original production cel from the Rankin/Bass animated series ThunderCats (1985-89). The paint was in overall good condition with no sign of cracking, and was bid to $1,750 ($100/200) by a New York buyer.
When asked about a Part IV sale of the Yanchus Collection, Landry responded in the affirmative but did not yet have a date. “We just spent two months unpacking and cataloging PEZ dispensers,” he laughed. “The original haul [of the first auction] filled 24 pallets.” With no shortage of goods in sight, we look forward to the next installment. Prices quoted with buyer’s premium as reported by the auction house. For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
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