Gas prices and housing aren’t the only things seeing price hikes due to the pandemic. Comic books, trading cards, and other collectible items have dramatically increased in value.
Post-pandemic collectibles have reached record-breaking sales at auction houses.
With a new age of collectors diving into the market, it might be time to dig through your attic and wipe off that dust. More people are also viewing comic books and other collectibles as financial assets with a good return on investment.
Rare First Edition Marvel Comic Sold For $2.4 Million
Without this comic, there would be no Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, or any of the superheroes we’ve grown up on as we know it.
This first edition Marvel Comic sold at auction for just under $2,427,800 at ComicConnect, a New York-based online comic marketplace & auctioneer.
The original retail price of the comic in 1939 was 10 cents, as it says on the cover. By today’s value, that comes to about $2.
According to itsjustallcomics.com, this exact copy was sold in a private sale for $350,000 in 2003. That’s almost a 600% value increase in just under 20 years.
Not bad for a comic that's over 80 years old. Other than some notations, the 68-page comic is in impeccable condition and looks as though someone plucked it from the newsstand this morning.
In the United States, comic books grew in popularity in the 1930s. In November 1939, Marvel released its first comic book, Marvel Comics No. 1. This comic introduced Namor the Sub-Mariner, The Angel, and the original Human Torch – an android unrelated to the Human Torch introduced in 1961's Fantastic Four.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe earned over $25 billion worldwide, making it the largest movie franchise to date. In fact, according to Statista, 62% of adults ages 18 to 29 years old and 63% of adults 30 to 44 years old surveyed said they were fans of Marvel comics.
What Makes it Worth the Big Bucks
The comic is rendered even more collectible, not in spite of, but because of the writing on the cover.
If you look close, you can see the hand-written notations showing that legendary artist Frank Paul would be paid for his work on this iconic cover. This copy would have never appeared on the newsstand, but is referred to as the “pay copy.”
The pay copy was typically kept on file for their records. For example, this particular comic says that the artist Frank R. Paul, an influential illustrator inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009, earned $25 for his work on the cover. Talking about increasing value.
Rare First Edition Holo Pokémon Card Sold For $420,000
A 1999 Pokémon First Edition Holo Charizard card was sold at a PWCC Trading Card Marketplace auction for $420,000, beating the record set by a previously sold identical first-edition card which sold for $336,000.
One of the most coveted and recognized Pokémon cards ever produced, it's one of 102 cards in the original Pokémon Base Set released in 1999 after the Pokémon Red and Blue video games’ success earlier that same year.
These cards were sold in unlabeled random packs of 11; each pack included seven common cards, three uncommon cards, and one rare card. In approximately one of every three packs, the rare card was a holographic card.
Besides its rarity, Charizard’s presence in the anime and strength in the games helped cultivate a dedicated fanbase to the fire-type, boosting the value of any Charizard-branded merchandise.
Since its inception in 1996, Pokémon has been the largest and most valuable media franchise globally, grossing an estimated $110 billion.
What Makes it Worth the Big Bucks
Over 3,000 copies of this Charizard card were submitted, but only 121 of those received a Professional Sports Authenticator 10 Gem Mint designation. In other words, a virtually perfect card. PSA is the largest third-party trading card authentication and grading company in the world.
PSA describes a 10 Gem Mint designation, “Attributes include four perfectly sharp corners, sharp focus and full original gloss. A PSA Gem Mint 10 card must be free of staining of any kind, but an allowance may be made for a slight printing imperfection if it doesn’t impair the overall appeal of the card. The image must be centered on the card within a tolerance not to exceed approximately 55/45 to 60/40 percent on the front, and 75/25 percent on the reverse.”
How do I know if it’s Worth Anything?
According to Collectors Weekly, various factors determine how much a collectible is worth. The main ones are the item’s condition, authenticity, rarity, current market demand, and value.
One thing you can't do is predict or force a collectible's value. In the early 1990's, speculative publishing almost destroyed Marvel comics, before the MCU even existed.
If you’re itching to find out what that box of comic books or trading cards in your basement is worth, it’s time to research. First, compare your item online and see what similar ones are selling for. What makes these record-breaking sales are always the right buyer; an item is always worth more to them.
More Articles from the Wealth of Geeks Network:
This post was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Featured Image Credit: Unsplash.
Kristina Lazzara-Saari is a freelance writer at Wealth of Geeks. She is an experienced narrator with proven success in digital and print creation and strategy. She writes about complex topics to make them more understandable to a wide audience.
When she’s not writing for Wealth of Geeks, she is either playing with her two dogs, practicing the French Horn, or going for a run.