EBay (nicknamed “feeBay” by many) may get the most attention, but they are not the only game in town when it comes to comic sales. Over at ComicConnect, there’s a true gem by every definition being offered on ComicConnect’s fixed-price marketplace: a CGC-graded 9.4 Star Wars #1.
Wait? Expensive, sure, but a Star Wars #1 is nothing uncommon. This happens to be one of fewer than 300 Star Wars #1 35-cent variants, and it’s even harder to come by in the near-mint range. Suffice to say, this is a rare find, and it will undoubtedly fetch an equally rare price tag.
Back in 1976-1977, Marvel Comics quietly experimented with raising prices on its comics. To test the reception, the company sold select titles for 35 cents in specific markets. In comparison to the full run of published comics in that span, the ones that got the 5-cent markup were few, and that is what makes them so coveted.
To say this comic is rare is an understatement. According to Keycollectorcomics, there are fewer than 1,000 35-cent variants of Star Wars #1 in existence. What’s even more significant is the grade. CGC’s census data has just 266 35-cent variants cataloged; CBCS has just one listed in its population report, and it’s an 8.0. Of the 266 graded by CGC, just 15 of those reached 9.4, and one of those has the dreaded purple restored label while another has the yellow Signature Series logo. That means that only 5% of all the Star Wars #1 35-cent price variants are 9.4s.
To truly appreciate the 35-cent variant’s rarity, you have to put it in the right perspective. Going back to those CGC census figures, the grading company has 10,716 Star Wars #1s listed. Out of that number, there are 2,010 that were slabbed as a 9.4, and that includes eight restored copies. CBCS reports 491 total copies of Star Wars #1 in its census.
By no means does this reflect the only copies of the 35-cent variant in existence. Rest assured, there are plenty of ungraded “raw” copies floating around, though I can’t imagine a large percentage of serious collectors not encapsulating a gem like that just for preservation purposes.
THE PRICE TAG
There’s no question that the lucky owner of that 9.4 is in for a handsome payday. You don’t see a lot of the higher grades up for sale or at auction. So far this year, there have only been three different grades that have sold online. The last time a 9.4 was auctioned off was 2018, and it earned an eye-popping $27,111. What’s more impressive is that this will be only the 17th sale of a 35-cent variant at a 9.4.
Even if you don’t have the budget to make a bid, it will be fun to see how high this one goes. I can assure you, it will eclipse that $27k record. In fact, there’s already an offer on the table for $30k as of May 14, and the buy-it-now is $85k. We are immersed in the Star Wars renaissance, and virtually every SW key – both major and minor – has an inflated fair market value. At this point, collectors are buying up all the first comic appearances just on the off-chance that a character appears in one of the many live-action series that are on the Disney+ slate. Here you have the original Star Wars comic, which brings $700 for the standard 30-cent cover.
SHALL WE PLAY A GAME?
Let’s see who can guess the final price for this auction, which has already begun. I’m not sure if it will get to that $85k, but it will at least get close. I’m predicting the highest offer will be $75,000. If you happen to have $75k that you aren’t using, feel free to buy it for me. Thanks in advance.
Need more 35-cent variant info? Check out my post from the archives, Marvel’s 35-cent Price Variants.