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Bill Young

Topping Models and Mr. Bill Topping

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I received an email request from Brian Willer of Toronto who is looking for information on Bill Topping. His company produced the Topping models of Unisphere. Here's the text of the email:

What do you know about Bill Topping, a model maker from Elyria, Ohio, who specialized in aviation promotional model. I remember meeting him as a kid in Toronto, Canada, in the early 50's. I know he had the official on-site license to produce souvenirs, and lost a fortune, when WORLD'S FAIR goers were able to buy foreign knockoffs of souvenirs, like the Unisphere, off-site at a fraction of the cost. Please drop me a line...many thanks. How much does one have to pay to get a large Topping Unisphere?

Brian Willer/ Toronto, Canada.

Any posts I will forward to Mr. Willer

Bill

nywf64.com

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About 2 years ago AIR & SPACE MAGAZINE (published by the Smithsonian) had an article on Topping. He had made a lot of model airplanes for the builders to give away to Congressmen, etc., then did the Unisphere. As noted, he lost a fortune on it. It was a great article. I have it buried away somewhere.

I paid $25 for the Topping Unisphere sitting here on my desk. It's very nicely made, and a great Fair souvenir.

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Thanks to Randy's keen eBay eye, several years ago I bought an unplated Topping Unisphere from a woman who's father or husband had worked for Topping. He had brought home this Uni with no desk stand and it had not yet been nickel plated (or whatever the plating was).

I hang it on our Christmas tree each year. Sometimes on a rotating device that plugs into a bulb socket. The rest of the year it hangs on a paperclip, under a shelf in my office.

When you think about it, it's a pretty cool piece of engineering to do the globe, rings and tripod base - quite accurately - in just a two-and-a-half inch diameter piece!

post-86-0-35783200-1321281187_thumb.jpg post-86-0-45753000-1321281474_thumb.jpg

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lmao i am so used to seeing these in the package that they didn't look familar with out ,i have several thanks!!!!!

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am i wrong or are these the same ones that turn up in that square opened front box

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Interesting... it looks like there's a flat ring around the equator on the one in Randy's "in-the-box" photo? Mine doesn't have that. Or is that a band that holds it into the box?

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first it looks like one of the rings is bent,,i remember john pender telling me of reproductions,i will check mine later and get back to you

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So, as mentioned in the other thread, I have one, in mint condition, in it's box. Is this rare?

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Yuh, you're right, Jerry & Bill. I guess that's just a flash-flare off the third ring... and one of the other rings is severely bent.

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So, as mentioned in the other thread, I have one, in mint condition, in it's box. Is this rare?

Not the MOST common souvenir from this World's Fair, but not rare either. It's a nice collectible, particularly with the box. If you have the metal one, as mentioned it's the best one with fairly accurate rings. Monitor eBay and you'll get an indication as to pricing. Mint in box, metal unisphere & rings, I'd guess maybe $20.

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Not the MOST common souvenir from this World's Fair, but not rare either. It's a nice collectible, particularly with the box. If you have the metal one, as mentioned it's the best one with fairly accurate rings. Monitor eBay and you'll get an indication as to pricing. Mint in box, metal unisphere & rings, I'd guess maybe $20.

Ah, I overpaid for mine... LOL. I'm fine with that, love that model.

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this is my nicer one metal with a wood base and a blue mirror on top of base to resemble water

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sorry its attached to this post

cant seem to shrink the size ,i'll try later

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