Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom’s Revenge

by Patrick Bain

011123B-1024x536 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's RevengeIt’s an age old dilemma for collectors and investors, to keep sealed or to open.  The extreme scenario exists with a CGC slabbed comic.  Open your graded comics at your own peril and expense!  But there are other times when collectible contents are sealed but maybe there is a reasonable risk-reward to open the seal and remove contents.  That is the question I will pose to you related to my purchase of a sealed Commodore 64 Dr. Doom’s Revenge computer game.  Inside the seal, a potential 9.8 candidate of the giveaway comic book “Amazing Spider-Man and Captain America in Dr. Doom’s Revenge”.

Examples of the Dilemma – ThunderCats

Thundercats3Pack-171x300 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's RevengeI assume you don’t have my exact problem, but let’s look at some other examples where the seal/open dilemma arises.  I searched eBay for “three pack”.  These comic 3-Packs, often with a mystery book in the middle, have been around a long time.  I found two sets interesting, particularly because they present the open/stay sealed dilemma.

The first is ThunderCats, where in 1984 someone could have picked up the first three issues for 1.99 or less at the discount stores.  Recently, the ThunderCats was on the Hot List; they may have cooled lately.  Many of the ThunderCats three-packs are currently offered on eBay for Buy It Now prices ranging from $350 to $699.  One thing we don’t know is the exact condition of the contents of these sealed packs.  And we can’t be sure that issue 1 is a first printing.  From the cover, it could be a first or 3rd printing.  In this case, it doesn’t seem to matter too much because the CGC 9.8 FMW is $800 and a 3rd printing sold in April 2021 for $1,500.  With those types of prices for #1, and good demand for issues 2 and 3, would it be advantageous to break the seal?  After slabbing, it appears the value of the individuals should exceed the value of the set.  Especially for those sellers asking less than $500.  What would you do if you owned this sealed 3-pack?

Sealed or Sold Separate – Dune

Dune3Pack-e1673402633610-212x300 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's RevengeI reviewed Dune art after the movie came out.  I didn’t expect to talk about Dune again BEFORE seeing the blockbuster.  The movie adaptation in Marvel Super Special 36 was re-packaged as a three issue mini-series with new covers.  The reprint set found its way to stores for a $1.69 (or 69 cents here).  As a sealed set, a seller is asking $400 OBO.  Sealed like this, possibly they are all 9.8 candidates.  The ungraded raw set sells much cheaper, CGC 9.8s sell much higher.  GoCollect FMV: $325, $220, and $170 for issues 1 to 3 in CGC 9.8.  If you owned this, would you take a chance on breaking the seal?  There’s NO going back!  Personally, I would pick up a high-grade Marvel Super Special 36 since it was the first printing.

Opening the Seal: Dr. Doom’s Revenge

DrDoomsRevengeSealedGame-e1673402591188-265x300 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's Revenge

I fell on the horns of this dilemma while writing my preview of video game box art.  There I noticed some preliminary cover art by John Romita, Sr. of Spider-Man fame.  The sketch laid the foundation for Paragon Software’s Dr. Doom’s Revenge box art.  This is an OLD game (1989).  Apparently, game play wasn’t that great, but graphics weren’t bad for the time.  Now, this game is compatible with a Commodore 64, which I don’t own.  So, I’m definitely not breaking the seal to load the game.  But is there something inside that might be worth more than the $77 I paid for the sealed game?

The Mysterious Comic Inside

Dr-Dooms-Revenge-Giveaway-Comic-196x300 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's Revenge

The answer to my previous question is, I hope so.  Paragon Software packed an original giveaway comic inside each of these 8″ x 10″ boxes.  With cover art by John Romita and interior art by Rich Buckler, it’s a cherish-worthy story.  Plus, it doesn’t appear to have ever been reprinted.  Given that, what do you think it’s worth?  Overstreet lists it at $50 in NM 9.2.  GoCollect calls out 25 comics in the CGC census, with the most recent 9.8 sale in 2018 for $289.  That sounds promising.  Might a comic sitting in the box for thirty+ years potentially grade CGC 9.8?  If so, my $77+tax could easily net a couple hundred percent return after expenses.

Deal or No Deal on the Revenge Seal?

Dr-Dooms-Revenge-Prelim-art-by-John-Romita-Sr-500-e1673402543934-205x300 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's RevengeWe still haven’t concluded on whether it Deal or No Deal on breaking the seal.  One other piece of information: a sealed VGA 80+ NM IBM PC compatible version of the game just auctioned through Heritage.  As best I can tell, this game was marketed at the same time as the Commodore game.  I don’t think there is any difference in the comic book inside.  It sold for $660 including the buyer’s premium.  At that price, the dilemma of whether to keep sealed or break open the box to market the comic is REAL!  Also, I did read Grading Your Video Games by Sarah Thomas.  Based on her article it would run around $100 to get my sealed game graded.  So, what would you do?

DrDoomsrevengePage6byRichBucklerTonyDeZuniga-e1673402513720-196x300 Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's RevengeIn case you are curious, the Romita preliminary art sold for $526 in 2015; the Rich Buckler giveaway comic art above sold for $42 in 2009.  Given the scenario I described, would you open the seal on Dr. Doom’s Revenge?  And why not chime in to share YOUR seal/open dilemmas!

Upgrade2_Footer Opening the Seal on Dr. Doom's Revenge*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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Ed Dee January 16, 2023 - 6:54 pm

Take a chance on getting the video game graded. If it doesn’t come back the grade you expected, you can always crack it open, open the sealed box and try to grade the comic.

Patrick Bain January 16, 2023 - 7:28 pm

Thanks Ed! Your vote is registered. Only challenge is if it really is $100 to get it graded, I would hate to crack THAT seal! And for me, I don’t have any basis to determine if the grade is reasonable or not. Although, the one that sold for $660 was only graded “80”. It appears that is not that high of a grade if I understand correctly.

Nostalgia Guy January 18, 2023 - 7:05 am

I would likely lean towards getting the sealed game graded because the returns on the game as a complete package (ie game and comic together in box) looks to be a potentially higher return even if you double the last CGC 9.8 sale from 2018. Also the collectible graded game market is only now really beginning to take off so you could potentially have something of much more value there in the near future.

Patrick Bain January 18, 2023 - 12:48 pm

I like that thought. Collectible games are definitely in their infancy. But…do you think very many people are collecting the old 5 1/4 inch floppy disk type games?

Billy January 20, 2023 - 8:46 pm

I had this game for Tandy. I remember it being fun but hard. It also came with the comic which was probably the same. I may still have the comic and possibly even the game somewhere.

Patrick Bain January 21, 2023 - 12:00 am

There you go, Billy! You may want to pull that comic out of mothballs and see if it’s worth pressing.


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