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- 40-page printer's proof of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (1984)
- A printer's proof is a sample that is printed to examine the correctness of the issue before printing the entire run
- This one-of-a-kind, historical proof was found in a small print shop in Biddeford, Maine a few years after the publication of issue #1, after the Turtles had already exploded in popularity
- The men who found it traded it to Downeast Comics which operated between the years of 1986 - 1994, in Brunswick, Maine
- The owner paid for the proof with store stock and held onto it before auctioning it on Comic Link in 2020 for $12,472 with 77 bids
- 1st appearance and origin of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo).
- 1st appearance of their mentor, Splinter, and arch nemesis Shredder.
- Back on the list with a bang at number 2.
- It's nearly impossible to overstate how important this book is to the collecting world, or even pop culture at large.
- So, because it's impossible to overstate, let's try understating and looking at this monster by the numbers.
- 6 first appearances: Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Splinter, and Shredder.
- 6 printings. All of which are posting record-breaking numbers.
- 3,000 copies of the 1st printing.
- 5 different comics publishers spanning nearly 40 years.
- 4 Animated tv Series. 1 Live Action tv Series. At least 400 metric tons (we think) of toys, video games, RPG games, theme park rides, and on and on and on....
- There is no other book like this one. It's responsible for three entries on this week's list alone.
- But as with all monstrous books, 9.8s are few and far between which is why this week a 7.0 got scooped up for a new record in grade of $16,500 (huge jump from the previous record of $9,600).
- There are a handful of notable sales for the reprints that you should be aware of as well.
- CGC 7.5 2nd printing (reprinted cover) sold for $1,050 (up from $585).
- CGC 9.2 3rd printing (reprinted cover) sold for $1,325 (up from $1,050). 4th printing, ungraded (variant wraparound cover) sold for $220 (up from $170).
- And, this is all far from over. When we call this one a Blue Chip, it's because it has never gone down in value. Never. Not once.
- 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.
- Second printing
- With first printings financially out of reach for many collectors, second and third printings have skyrocketed throughout 2020
- Later printings of #1 have sold significantly over guide
- 2nd team appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- 1st appearance of Baxter Stockman the Scientist and his Robot Mousers
- 1st appearance of April O'Neil
- [November 2020 - an auction for an ungraded, imperfect copy closed at $1,026 with 18 bids]
- Third printing is nearly identical to the first except there is an ad on the interior back cover for iron-on t-shirts
- Interior front cover reads 'third printing'
- Forgeries exist with a discolored white in the interior cover below a note to Quentin Eastman (uncle/benefactor)
- Print run: 36,000
- First Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one-shot spin-off
- 1st appearance of Casey Jones
- Why are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books SO popular right now?
- The reason why is because the creative team behind the Turtles delivered a one-two punch of innovation that we hadn't experienced to such a degree since the Turtles donned their multi-colored bandanas
- In July 2019, the 5th turtle, a mutated human named Jennika was introduced
- The second event that created a Turtle fandom frenzy began with the marketing and publication of The Last Ronin #1
- The promise of a post-apocalyptic, darker tale of a lone-surviving turtle connected with a more mature audience who grew up with the Turtles but mostly grew away from the safely navigable, familiar waters of TMNT
- The creators breathing new life into the comic book foundation of their empire caused high-key turtle books to skyrocket
- This super-charged renewed interest cascaded down to much of the Mirage, TMNT Adventures and IDW line of comics, causing a handful of books to spike
- Raphael #1 has enjoyed a spot on the Hot 10 for 6 weeks now and continues to turn in notable sales week after week:
- This week, there were 15 ungraded sales which is well over average
- Two of these books became the 2nd and 3rd highest dollar, ungraded copies sold, eclipsed only by the $2,025 auction from November 5th
- Twice this week, a CGC 9.2 broke past the $1,000 milestone with a new all-time high of $1,200, bypassing the previous record of $993
- Most impressive though is the CGC 9.6 2nd printing $700 sale (previous record: $130)
- The 2nd printing has been lost in the flurry of so many Turtle books-a-poppin' and as of this list being written, there are no 2nd print graded books for sale
- There are 8 CGC 9.8 graded copies on the census so expect a real barn-burner if or when a 9.8 goes up for sale
- Color error that affected approximately 500 issues
- Identified by the white lettering in Laird's name as seen in the image in the red box
- *for clarity, the color error is superimposed next to the non-error Laird's Photo sign
- Crossover appearance of Cerebus from publisher Aardvark-Vanaheim
- 1st appearance of Renet, a human who stole the Time Scepter from Lord Simultaneous
- 1st appearance of Lord Simultaneous, a Time Master
- 1st appearance of Savanti Romero, a demon and apprentice Time Master
- Early full color story featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- Guest appearance by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles who visit Munden's bar
- Turtles story written and illustrated by Eastman and Laird
- Error edition
- The cover art seen in the image was intended for the reprint of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 but due to confusion on behalf of the printer, it was used for the reprint of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4
- The title and issue number were correctly printed on the wrong cover therefore the entire print run of nearly 60,000 copies were recalled and destroyed with approximately 1,000 error copies remaining in circulation
- Debut of multi-colored bandanas to differentiate between turtles in a comic book
- 1st appearance of Bebop, Rocksteady and Krang in comic books
- Canadian price variant with a $1.25 cover price
- One-shot of two Christmas-inspired stories with additional themed content including a double page pin-up
- Retelling of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol featuring Raphael being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future - in the future, Raphael is a one-eyed savage living alone in a swamp
- City At War: Part 1 of a 13-issue story arc
- The issues that comprise the City At War story arc (#50 - #63) all have black borders on the cover resulting in difficulty in attaining a 9.8 when grading. Books graded 9.8 command approximately 10x the value of ungraded issues
- 1st cover appearance of Karai, the granddaughter of Shredder
- Karai appears in costume
- City At War: Part 7 of a 13-issue story arc
- 5 copies graded 9.8 reported on the CGC census
- With increasing demand from Turtle fans to collect the first full run of the original series, finding this late-in-the-run issue with its black border is challenging
- City At War: Part 8 of a 13-issue story arc
- 4 copies graded 9.8 reported on the CGC census
- With increasing demand from Turtle fans to collect the first full run of the original series, finding this late-in-the-run issue with its black border is proving to be difficult
- Premiere issue of the fourth and final Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series published by Mirage
- The series was interrupted multiple times by outside media deals that required the attention of the creative team
- Beginning with issue #4, the estimated print run is below 10k
- Beginning with issue #17, the estimated print run is below 5k
- Issues #29 - #31 are limited to 1,000 copies, specially printed by Peter Laird
- Copies ordered by retailers of the first issue: 12,361
- Variant gold cover limited to 10 copies, signed with an original sketch on the back cover
- *in May 2019, a CGC graded 9.0 with a Peter Laird sketch sold for $58,000