- 1st appearance and origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo).
- 1st appearance of their mentor, Splinter, and arch nemesis Shredder.
- Big changes this week as Ultimate Fallout #4 has been dethroned by Turtle power! After climbing the list for the past couple of weeks the first appearance of the TMNT (Mom! Stop saying 'the' before TMNT!) emphatically slots in to the number 1 spot.
- Replacing the second print and returning to the list this week is the fabled first printing.
- We've seen the Turtles slowly heat up this year and then explode in all printings and all grades over the last month.
- Four weeks ago, with 1st printings out of reach for years, collectors finally began flocking to 2nd and 3rd printings in mass.
- The resulting slew of sales of the 2nd and 3rd printings (all significantly over guide and in some cases as much as 3x) pushed attention back to the first printing.
- All this attention drove up prices of the first print. A CGC 8.5 graded copy of the 1st print sold in August for $15,500 (the previous record in grade was $9,700) for instance.
- Which of course only pushed collectors back to the 2nd print. Last week we saw raw copies selling in the $4k range and CGC 3.0's selling in the $1,300 range.
- These are unheard of prices for the second print. For context, the $4k raw average is higher than the all-time record high 9.6 sale and just shy of the all-time high for this book in any grade.
- And the all-time record high for a 3.0 prior to this was just $335 and that was set just a few months ago.
- Which brings us to this week. Records prices on the second print has got collectors racing to pick up the 1st print again even if it means setting records in grade.
- A CGC 8.5 sold this week for a new record in grade of $16,177 (beating out the $15,500 record that was set in early August) and an 8.0 sold for a record in grade $10k.
- As Hot 10 advisor Andy Liegl of Brave New World Comics would say "Cowabunga"! Expect major fireworks if a 9.0+ graded copy of a 1st print comes to market.
- In related news, this week also saw a book of tremendous Turtles lore come to market.
- The mythological Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 printer's proof used by TMNT creators Eastman and Laird to check the book for errors before giving the go ahead to print the full run.
- Authenticated by Eastman and confirmed to be the only one in existence, the book was sold in the ComicLink Summer Featured Auction for $12,472 with 77 bids.
- To our knowledge, the most ever paid for a printer's proof but a sum that may prove to be a steal sooner rather than later with the record CGC 9.8 price for a first printing already sitting at $90k.
- One last note on the printer's proof, the cover is amazing!.
- 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 were grew in the 1980s or are a kid today, everyone knows the names of the four turtles.
- Turtles has a massive and passionate fan base that has been devouring a steady stream of new comics for years but ones with stories that stayed creatively very safe (focusing on the 4 main turtles).
- The introduction of a female turtle in Jennika last year and the incredible anticipation for The Last Ronin (The last turtle in a bleak future who carries all the other’s weapons and wears an indistinguishable mask) has super charged interest in the original Turtles first appearance.
- 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.