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100 Copper Keys
🗝 The Top 100 Comic Books From The Copper Age 🎁 Please utilize the eBay links when making ANY purchase to help the continued development of Key Collector Comics
- 1st appearance of Beta Ray Bill, a Korbinite alien worthy of picking up Mjolnir
- [November 2017 - a sculpture of a familiar face jutting out from the Grandmaster's tower in Thor Ragnarok proves that Beta Ray Bill exists in the MCU and adds credibility to the persistent rumors that he will appear in either Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 or Thor 4: Love & Thunder]
- 1st appearance and origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo).
- 1st appearance of their mentor, Splinter, and arch nemesis Shredder.
- Slipping to number 6 is a book that everyone is still looking for this week but no one can find.
- For the last month, collectors have been hovering up copies from every printing. Each new grade of the 1st print that comes to market is setting a new record.
- But so much of the activity, especially for the higher grades is happening away from public auction houses.
- I use not just eBay data but also data points from places like ComicLink, Comic Connect, Heritage Auctions, Hake, GPA, many prominent dealers, my network of stores and my web of informants!
- This week my informants tell me that every major collector they interact with is actively looking and will pay big premiums compared to what the same copy would have cost just a few months ago.
- Just three weeks ago, I reported on two private transactions. A CGC 9.4 copy sold for $31,000 in a private transaction. Another 9.4 copy went for $32,500 and was sold by a long time dealer.
- Both enormous leaps above the previous all-time high price of $17,250. @x prediction of the week: expect major 6 figure fireworks if a 9.8 copy came to market.
- Probably a little overdue but there are so few copies of TMNT relative to the major Marvel keys that accurate current pricing is hard.
- Same can be said for several of TMNT's contemporaries: Albedo 2 (see below), Bone 1, Caliber Presents 2, Goon 1, Comico Primer 2, The Crow 1 etc.
- This is also a likely list for books that will see an uptick based on the new TMNT price point.
- With the exception of Action Comics #1, this book is unlike any other book in comics.
- An almost immediate hit that changed the way comics are made, sold, read and collected, this book has gained steadily ever since.
- TMNT #1 has never retreated in price (even the fabled Amazing Fantasy #15 no longer holds that honor) and continues to set new highs year after year.
- The brand has traveled far beyond comics and now includes numerous live action movies, animated features, cartoons, merchandise of all shapes and sizes and, of course, a mountain of toys.
- The turtles are also rare in that they legitimately cross generations, reinventing themselves and finding new success and a new generation of fans with every decade.
- Whether you grew in the 1980s or are a kid today, everyone knows the names of the four turtles.
- Six printings exist as do counterfeits. First printings are unique in that they have an advertisement for Gobbledygook #1 on the inside back cover and are identified in the Indicia.
- Estimated print run of the first print is approx. 3,000 copies.
- A book that is perpetually hot but is now also on the very tip of every collectors tongue.
- 1st appearance of Blue Devil, a 16-page original story preceding Blue Devil #1
- 1st appearance of Bug
- Origin of Byte
- 1st appearance of Marla Bloom
- 1st appearance of Edward Bloomberg, later becomes Kid Devil then Red Devil
- 1st cameo appearance of Warlock, a techno-organic extraterrestrial
- 1st full appearance of Demon Bear, a villain of Dani Moonstar
- *Demon Bear appeared in the New Mutants film (2020)
- 1st appearance of Miyamoto Usagi aka Usagi Yojimbo (Yojimbo is Japanese for bodyguard).
- This week's number 7 is another example of the movement brewing of collectors gravitating towards 80's and 90's low print run, beloved independent books.
- Partly fueled by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which is certainly part of the group though it's sheer popularity and media ubiquity transcends it).
- Partly by potential media adaptations.
- Partly because collectors have realized just how rare some of these books are in the highest grades.
- And partly because a lot of them are now entering their 25-30 year nostalgia cycles (they've made it through the threshold where many once hot characters disappear and are now becoming iconic).
- Albedo #2 is often brought up in the same breath as TMNT and for good reason. While not as popular to the mainstream just yet, it is catching up quickly in the price department.
- A rare book that does not see sales very often saw 2 sales this week.
- A CGC 9.2 copy ended at $8,000 (up from $7,395) while a raw copy sold for a whopping $7,565.
- With prices like this the all-time record set last month of a show stopping $28,800 for a CGC 9.8 that was signed and sketched by Usagi creator, Stan Sakai, is already looking like a bargain.
- There are only 10 blue label 9.8s making this book in this grade an event every time a copy comes to market.
- For context, even the famously rare first printing of the 1st app of the turtles counts 28 blue label 9.8 copies.
- Further driving collectors to grab copies asap is the upcoming Netflix animated series announced in July. Produced by James Wan of Aquaman, Saw & Conjuring fame, the show titled Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles follows a teenage descendent of Usagi Yojimbo.
- Other books from the 80's/90's independent comics explosion that have caught collector's eyes include Bone 1 (1st Bone with just 16 9.8 blue labels on the CGC census), The Crow 1 (1st Crow ongoing. Though Caliber Presents 1 will likely overtake it soon. Is there any other character in comics whose first ongoing is more expensive than their 1st appearance?) & Comico Primer #2 (1st Grendel with 36 copies). Books of this era have very small print runs and were mostly self distributed making surviving copies rare with high grade copies having become incredibly rare. Despite having a print run of 2,000, Albedo #2 has only 177 universal graded copies present on the CGC census.
- Published by a fleeting company called Thoughts & Images, the stories center on anthropomorphic animals.
- 1st Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one-shot spin-off
- 1st appearance of Casey Jones.
- New to the list and replacing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles this week with some big moves is the 1st app of the man that retired Wayne Gretzky should have become.
- Of late, the turtles first appearance has been hotter than a delicious green meaty soup that's been banned in most countries but remains tasty nonetheless.
- Prices for high grade 1st printings are akin to buying a car. Collectors with copies of any grade of the 1st print are reluctant to sell while the book is climbing. And any available copies of the other printings have mostly been priced way beyond even the lofty new market prices.
- Having said that, we did see two raw 3rd printings finish at $500 and $925 (about the price of a 9.8 3rd printing in 2019).
- Collectors have moved quickly to the second most important Turtles book and prices have started to jump.
- This week we saw a 9.6 finish at $1,020 (2019 ave of $238 and a previous high of $780 set in September).
- A CGC 9.4 at $685, a 9.2 at $700, an 8.5 at $330 and a nice looking raw at a shocking $1,076.
- In private sales the book has been even hotter. We've confirmed a CGC 9.8 sale of $3k (2019 ave of $620 and a previous high of $2,200 set in September).
- Prior to August of this year no copy of this book had ever sold for more than $600.
- Expect this book to go nuclear hot if a 9.8 makes it to a public auction.
- 1st full appearance of John Constantine aka Hellblazer
- Rumors circulate that Constantine will be a lead in the upcoming JJ Abrams produced Justice League Dark TV series for HBO Max or even a standalone series. There has also been talk about the possibly of Constantine playing a major role in the upcoming Sandman TV series
- There is a lot of potential for growth in this undervalued key issue