As we’ve all seen, the collectibles market has been thriving for the last year during the worldwide pandemic. Now, to be more specific, the comic market has been on an upward rise for quite some time. Do we believe this is sustainable? The question we all have going forward is, Will the boom continue? Are we hitting a comic wall?
A few other bloggers have voiced their opinions about the future of the comic book collecting market. Here’s my take.
I believe this explosion is primarily due to the success of television shows and movies based on comic book plots and has been magnified as a result of the pandemic. Just look at Marvel Comics. Their books and collectibles were already on an upward trend, but one can’t deny the effects the pandemic has had on sales. Some books have skyrocketed in value! Forecasters could never have predicted this kind of growth.
Let’s take a look at Ultimate Fallout #4. This comic is a modern age key with one very important detail – This issue notates the first appearance of Miles Morales. Even before the “pandemic boom”, this particular comic was priced very high. To illustrate my point, look at a timeline from March 2020 to April 2021. Each high-grade copy of this issue (8.0 to 9.8) spiked tremendously. Each grade rose over 100% over its current value during this time. A 9.8 graded copy had an increase in value of 150.3%. The craziness is that each grade had that type of increase.
The comic market for investing had been pretty steady even before the pandemic. Steady, yes, but the increase in value took place in a manner that still allowed collectors to obtain books for reasonable prices. Unfortunately, we all know what’s happened since the pandemic has landed. It’s changed the landscape of comics across all ages.
But What Changed?
As several of us have speculated, I believe the change in peoples’ lifestyles is a huge reason for the spike in prices for comics. Individuals decided to use their extra income on the collectibles genre. Generally, before the pandemic, these individuals would use their spendable money on traveling and other extracurricular activities. Yes, books such as Ultmate Fallout #4 would undergo spikes in price, as the book is a valuable key. Post-pandemic, however, it exploded. Now, it appears we are getting to the end of the pandemic. (Hopefully?) We are starting to see signs of book prices starting to flatline and even drop.
Yes, I am comparing a small sample of data, but I do feel the trend in prices does make sense. The timeframe I will be discussing is from May 2021 to our current date (07/10/2021, the time of this writing). To start, there are three grades (9.0, 9.2 & 9.6) that are showing a negative trend during this time. For example, a 9.6 graded copy of UF #4 showed a negative trend of 13.3%.
During the height of the pandemic, it was reaching prices as high as around $1,200. As we are reaching this current month, the last four sales have dropped to near $1,000. With a sale on 06/30/202 hitting this grade’s lowest sale price of $720.
The same reasons that spiked the prices of comics are probably the same reasons why prices are flatlining or dropping. Lifestyle. With the increase in individuals receiving the COVID-19 shots, people have confidence in traveling again. It also helps that many of the states are pretty much opened up in all aspects, at least for now. In addition, the dropping of mask mandates provides more confidence for the public to resume normal activities.
All in all, comic values should continue to go up as intended, but a spike as we have seen in the last year is probably coming to an end. I do believe the comic wall has been hit, or is at least nearing our position. As a collector myself, that is a good thing. Prices will be affordable for me to start obtaining some key books!
What do you think? Are we hitting a comic wall? Let us know in the comments!