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Holy ‘Comic Book’ Batman!

September 30, 2021

1940 DC comic book featuring BatmanGoldin Auctions held its first non-sports-oriented auction featuring comic books, video games, and trading cards – and boy did it deliver. Leading the sale was a rare, first edition 1940 D.C. comic book starring Batman (#1); this was the first issue dedicated to the Dark Knight and the legend of how he came to be. In addition, it is the first time that the Joker and Catwoman appear in a D.C. comic. This copy received a grade of 8 by CGC (Certified Guaranty Company), one of the leading grading services for comic books, trading cards, magazines, and concert posters. The comic book was in very good condition with possibly a moderate defect or an accumulation of minor flaws. Bidding started at $250K and topped out at $1.2M ($1.47M w/p), which set an auction record for a Batman #1 comic with this grading. In January of this year, a copy of the same comic book, with a 9.4 grading from CGC, sold for $2.2M (the second-highest price ever paid for a comic book at a public auction.)

There were quite a few items in the sale that had impressive results, some of which set new auction records… here are just a few. A 1962 Marvel “Amazing Fantasy” #15, where Spiderman makes his first appearance, sold for $575k ($707K w/p). The Mighty Thor made his first appearance in the 1962 Marvel Comic “Journey into Mystery #83,” which sold for $260K ($320K w/p). And this one surprised me… a copy of Avengers #1 graded CGC 9.6, which is nearly perfect and one of only five copies to receive such a high grade, set an auction record when it sold for $300K ($369k w/p) – I thought it would have gone for far more.

As for video games, the highest price went to a sealed 1996 N64 “Super Mario 64′ video game, graded by WATA (one of the leading grading companies for video games) with a 9.8/A++; it sold for $650K ($799.5K w/p). While this game cartridge did not set a record (a copy of the same game sold just a few months earlier in July for $1.56M), I still think $800K is impressive! Another Super Mario Bros. game cartridge from 1985, still in its sealed package, sold for $550K ($676.5K w/p); it received a 9.2 grading from WATA. Finally, a 1991 copy of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, still sealed and in mint condition, made $350K ($430K w/p) which set a record for any SEGA Genesis game. One of the co-creators of Sonic, Yuji Naka, was so stunned by the price that he questioned on Twitter whether the winning bid was a scam. Goldin’s has responded to the inquiry stating that the sale is ‘absolutely genuine’!

Of course, I should also mention that some trading cards had a good day too. The top lot in this category was a 2002 1st Edition  unopened box of Yu-Gi-Oh! ‘Legend of Blue Eyes White Dragon’ trading cards, which sold for $475K ($584K w/p). Sorry, I don’t know what these are, but apparently, you kids collected Yu-Gi-Oh! cards or Pokémon cards – we had a Pokémon household.