Investing in 1980s Cartoon-Inspired Comics

by Matt Tuck

Voltron-1-194x300 Investing in 1980s Cartoon-Inspired ComicsWould you pay for a live-action Thundercats movie? How about Voltron? I would wager that I am not the only one pondering those questions, and that’s why it’s a great time to invest in the 1980s’ cartoon firsts.

With the effects of the coronavirus pandemic shutting down movie theaters and draining the box office, studios will be looking for sure-things when production is back up and running. Historically, the big-budget, CGI family-friendly epics bring in huge dollars, especially when it stays true to its roots. That also raises the values for their first comic appearances, which is why today we will speculate on four franchises that could make for box office cash.

Thundercats-1-194x300 Investing in 1980s Cartoon-Inspired ComicsTHUNDERCATS #1

It’s only a matter of time before the Thundercats are brought to live-action.

Of all the 1980s cartoons, the Thundercats hold a dear place in the hearts of many adults. Since the original saw its end in 1989, Cartoon Network has tried twice to resurrect the Thundercats. I haven’t watched the new comedic interpretation, Thundercats Roar, but I thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 version. It was fun to see their world explored and developed into its own mythology. Besides, if Cats can be brought to life, then someone needs to get to work on the Thundercats movie.

At a 9.8, this is one expensive comic that is only getting more valuable. Last year, it averaged $255, but its 90-day average has jumped to $340, and it set a new record high with a $510 sale in October. If you need a cheaper option, the 9.6’s fair market value drops to under $100.

MASK-1-196x300 Investing in 1980s Cartoon-Inspired ComicsM.A.S.K. #1

IDW has been promoting M.A.S.K. for a new generation, complete with a crossover featuring several classic franchises, most notably the Transformers.

For years, Hasbro has touted a M.A.S.K. movie franchise with an interconnecting cinematic universe for several of its properties, including G.I. Joe. However, the development of the movie never seems to move forward, so it’s anyone’s guess as to whether or not this will happen. If it does, that will bolster prices for the team’s first comic, 1985’s M.A.S.K. #1.

A 9.8 tied the record-high sale of $175 on February 26, so don’t wait too long if you’ve been on the fence about getting a copy of your own.

Voltron-1-194x300 Investing in 1980s Cartoon-Inspired ComicsVOLTRON #1

Oft imitated but never duplicated, Voltron continues his intergalactic fight on Netflix. One day, I envision him being brought to live-action, and it will be glorious.

For many kids of the 1980s, this was the first venture into anime. We’ve got Akira in the mix for the live-action treatment, so why not Voltron?

This is a good time to invest in Voltron’s first comic. At a 9.8, 1985’s Voltron #1 has a 90-day average under $100. It was only a year ago that it had an FMV of $131, so get it while no one is looking. I feel confident that sooner or later, this will become a major American film franchise.

Visionaries-1-194x300 Investing in 1980s Cartoon-Inspired ComicsVISIONARIES: KNIGHTS OF THE MAGICAL LIGHT #1

How many of my fellow Gen-Xers remember this short-lived franchise? Somewhere in my garage, there’s a Leoric action figure. If only he were still in his box, I might have something valuable.

This forgotten franchise could translate into an epic and visually appealing tale for kids. The core of the story is that a technologically advanced planet one day found that their tech stopped working. They were forced to rely on the old magical sources, thus producing the Knights of the Magical Light. I think this would be a hit with families, and I can picture it on the big screen.

As far as the franchise’s first comic, Visionaries #1 is largely overlooked by collectors, but it featured the talent of legendary creators Mark Bagley and Joe Sinnott. Want one of your own? A 9.8 last sold in December for $95, but that is up from the $80 average from 2018.


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1 comment April 4, 2020 - 7:55 pm

Out of the four you mentioned, I am looking forward to a Thundercats movie if they ever going to make it. That was one of my favorite afternoon cartoons along with Transformers and G.I. Joe.


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