Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Miller & Miller's Three Online Auctions, May 10-12, will Feature Vintage Toys, Advertising Signs, Coin-ops, Petroliana

New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada, May 1, 2024 -- Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. will spring into May with three online-only auctions totaling more than 1,100 diverse and highly collectible lots. These will include a Toys & Historic Ephemera auction featuring Part 2 of the late Howie Meyer Legacy collection on Friday, May 10th; a Toys, Advertising & Coin-Op auction on Saturday, May 11th; and a Petroliana & Advertising auction featuring the late Syl Rumas collection on May 12th.

Bidders please take note: the May 10th sale is different from Miller & Miller’s normal process.
It is an online-only sale with no live webcast portion. All lots are open for bidding now and will automatically close in sequential order starting at 5pm Eastern time on Friday, May 10th.

Taking the auctions in order, May 10th contains 340 lots of toys and militaria, with Howie Meyer the undisputed headliner. “If one word describes Howie Meyer and his toy collecting, that word would be ‘fun’, said Ethan Miller of Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “His interests ranged from the mid-to-late 20th century and he had a great collection of pressed steel and tinplate toys.”

Condition was a foremost factor for anything Mr. Meyer collected. Themes include Disney and comic characters, ice cream, construction, space, Western and Americana. His interests also included World War and anti-Axis propaganda posters and ephemera, figural sewing tapes and other oddities. Whatever Howie collected, it had pizzazz and distinction,” Mr. Miller remarked.

Lot 198 is a complete, new in box Shell oil tanker truck from Smith-Miller (aka Smitty Toys), made in America in the 1980s. The die-cast steel truck, 35 inches in length and number 209 of just 250 produced, includes the original foam-lined shipping container. These high-quality trucks were crafted by Fred Thompson, who resumed ownership of the firm in 1979 (est. $600-$900).

All estimates quoted in this report are in Canadian dollars.

Lot 211 is an interesting collection of Tijuana Bibles and erotic ephemera from the 1920s to the 1940s. Subjects include popular comic strip characters and movie stars of the period. Most are 3 inches by 4 inches, while the largest is 8 ½ inches by 5 ¾ inches. Other erotic ephemera includes booklets and postcards. The collection, in overall good condition, should command $600-$900.

The May 11th Toys, Advertising & Coin-Op auction will feature 390 lots of advertising signs, soda advertising, toys, automobilia, petroliana, breweriana, pinball machines and coin-op machines. Included are the lifetime collections of the late Robert Spittel, the late John (Don) Ferguson and the late John D. Anderson. “It’s a fresh-to-the-market jolt of nostalgia, ranging from coin-op and pinballs to advertising, toys and historical finger food,” Mr. Miller said.

Lot 622 is a Genco Motorama coin-op driving game, made around 1957 by Genco Corp., a U.S.-based company that released approximately 238 machines under the Genco name. The machine, with dimensions of 59 inches by 44 inches by 28 inches, is in good condition, with the original playfield showing some fading. It’s marked “Genco” and carries an estimate of $9,000-$12,000.

Lot 684 is an early and exquisite John H.R. Molson and brothers single-sided porcelain Montreal India Pale Ale corner sign (Canadian, 20th century), 24 inches by 16 ½ inches. “IPA” is scripted beneath the profusely illustrated crown and anchor logo that’s central to the sign. The sign is in very good condition, with good color and gloss and outstanding graphics (est. $9,000-$12,000).

Lot 621 is a Bally Gilligan’s Island pinball machine made in America in 1991 and fully restored. The early and sought-after DMD display machine is a fun, family-friendly game that even plays the theme song from TV’s Gilligan’s Island. The goal of the multi-ball game is to collect the ingredients and save the island from Kona, the volcano. The pre-sale estimate is $6,500-$8,000.

The Petroliana & Advertising auction on May 12th is a three-part event that puts the spotlight on the Supertest petroliana collection of the late Syl Rumas of London, Ontario (signs, Canadian gas pumps, cans and ephemera, much of it unused), plus petroliana selections from the collection of the late Ken Hatt of Inverness, British Columbia (signs, Red Indian ephemera, Red Head tins).

Lot 995 is a White Rose Gasoline “Slate Boy” double-sided porcelain service station sign, made in Canada in the 1940s, 48 inches in diameter, marked “Vilas Enamel Products Ltd, Cowansville, Que” lower edge. This sign isn’t chalky and has great color and gloss (est. CA$9,000-$12,000).

Lot 1067 is a round Supertest Gasoline double-sided porcelain sign, five feet in diameter and contained in the aluminum frame and hardware, made in Canada in the 1940s. The sign is in excellent condition save for small patches of porcelain loss on each side (est. $8,000-$12,000).

Lot 982 is a Canadian 1930s Wayne Model 65 B-A gasoline pump, painted steel with applied decals. It has the original reverse painted ad glass and an attractive Art Deco “skyscraper” design. The globe is reproduction. The pump stands 77 inches tall by 27 inches wide and has been restored to British American colors. It is expected to change hands for $5,000-$7,000.

While these are online-only auctions with no live gallery bidding, bidders can tune in to the live webcast on auction days, to watch lots close in real time. Here’s a link to all three auctions:

Bidding is also available via Phone and absentee bids will be accepted.

To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and the May 10th-12th auctions, please visit 

About Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.:
Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is Canada’s trusted seller of high-value collections and is always accepting quality consignments. The firm specializes in luxury watches, art, antiques and high-value collectibles. Its mission is to always provide collectors with a trusted place to buy and sell. To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710; or, you can e-mail them at To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd., please visit