Holy Smoke - the dog ate my Batmobile

31 October 2011

Toyfair organiser Michael Bishop’s border collie Lola is in the dog house after eating a rare Batmobile model worth hundreds of pounds.
 
The model was due to go on sale at Michael’s toyfair at Doncaster Racecourse on November 6th, but is now almost worthless after Lola decided to play with it.
 
“I was examining the Batmobile and I turned my back for a few moments to go and answer the phone,” said Michael, who lives in Driffield. “And when I turned round the damage was done.”
 
The 1967 Batmobile had been in mint condition. Not only did seven-year-old Lola chew the box and vehicle, but the Batman and Robin characters are also missing.
 
“This is the first time something like this has happened since I started buying and selling toys nearly half a century ago. And I certainly won’t let it happen again,” said 65-year-old Michael, who has had to pay the Batmobile’s owner compensation of £850.
 
“I am always really careful with any toys in my charge and keep them under lock and key. And from now on I shall be keeping Lola away from them too!
 
“I am still trying to work out just what she has done with Batman and Robin, but they are nowhere to be seen; so it is a bit of a mystery.”
 
The Batmobile was one of a collection of toys given to Michael for valuation in the run up to the toyfair at Doncaster on Sunday, November 6th. Others include a Lady Penelope FAB 1 model car from Thunderbirds, which is expected to fetch several hundred pounds.
 
Although there are collectors’ items available at the toyfair, the toys and models start at just 50p.
 
Altogether there will be nearly a quarter of a million items on about 300 stalls, including tinplate toys and lead soldiers from the 1920s, models from favourites Corgi and Hornby, right through to the latest new releases.
 
Michael, who has been involved in buying and selling toys since he left school at 16 and went to work on the toy stall at Selby market, started running the toyfairs four years ago.
 
He said: “The toyfairs are a great day out for the family as well as avid collectors. There are old toy cars, trucks, boats, planes and dolls for the mums and dads, and Thomas the Tank Engine, Lego and bargains for the children.”
 
Traders come from as far afield as France, Germany, Scotland and Exeter to what is the biggest toyfair in Yorkshire. The next one will be on Saturday December 31st, also at Doncaster Racecourse.
 
 
NOTE TO EDITORS
 
Photographs are available from Kate Betts.
 
Michael Bishop is available for interview and can be contacted on 01377 240160 or 079861 37364 at mbo4toy@yahoo.co.uk
 
The toyfair on Sunday November 6th is open to the public from 10.30am to 3.30pm. There is free parking at the racecourse for 500 cars. The media are welcome. (Please contact Michael Bishop in advance.)
 
Additional media contact: Kate Betts on 01226 766900 or 07910 165 444 or at kate@katebettsmedia.co.uk
 

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