Two STUNNING collectibles sales occurred lately. Did you hear about them? 1- An original Super Mario video game sold for $660,000 in Dallas on Friday, April 2, 2021. Then, an Action Comics #1 sold for 3.25 million! It’s been a wild last few days for collectors, and two of GoCollect’s own collector experts are here to give their take on it.
Any collector keeps an eye on what’s going on in the auction world. Given that Super Mario is one of the most well-known and iconic video games of all time, it’s no surprise that a 9.6 WATA A+ seal, near-mint condition with an intact hang tab commanded a GREAT deal of interest. But what do the GoCollexperts think?
Let me introduce you to Jeff and Dan! Jeff, if you don’t know him already, is the founder of GoCollect. The head honcho. The big cheese. The MAN. He’s also a HUGE collector and expert in all things collectible. The man has forgotten more about collectibles than most of us will ever learn.
Then, there’s the one and only Dan. No one had to tell Dan to go collect, he’s been doing it his whole life! Dan has been involved in multiple facets of the collectibles industry for the past 25 years. He brings a broad range of enthusiastic knowledge to any collectibles conversation.
These two met at a card/comic store they both worked at for a bit, I think summer of 93. Thus, a bromance through a passion for collecting was born.
Both are chatting from their collecting vaults as they share some insight into these two HUGE sales. There also might have been a little bit of show-and-tell too tempting to resist.
A look at Super Mario Brothers Selling for $660,000
Dan: “I wanted to chat to you about this crazy, but I don’t really think it is crazy, Super Maro bros sale for 660,000. Last year in the summer, a sealed1985 version of Super Marie Brothers sold for $114,000, making that the record at the time. And then later in the year, a copy of Super Mario Brothers 3 sold for $156,000. The copy that sold just now is a 1986 Super Mario Brothers.
It’s not the one with the sticker; it’s the sealed one, but it sold for $660,000. And that’s quite a leap, from $156,000 to $660,000.”
Jeff: “It’s amazing. “It really speaks to how quickly the market is maturing. There are a lot of folks who have spilled over from sports cards and comic books, and they’re quickly realizing how scarce the sealed stuff is. Because Mario is so iconic and there are past sales that are going through the roof, you just can’t get your hands on sealed; everyone’s hanging onto them. However, the fact that it went for over half a million dollars now is more rapid than I think I would have predicted.
When I saw the guy on Pawn Stars asking for a million dollars for his copy, knowing that it was the only sealed sticker copy, I still thought the market was a way out for that. And I don’t think he’d even take two million dollars right now.”
Jeff: “I thought it was a big leap. I am and I’m not surprised. For instance, you had a Mickey Mantle rookie take a million-dollar leap over the course of two months from November to the end of January, so it’s absolutely crazy. “ Jeff continues, “But, relatively speaking, that was a 25% jump and that’s still huge. It speaks to rarity playing with an iconic nature and emotion running wild at the moment.”
Dan: “I know that’s the big headline to the world, but also in that auction- a Megaman sold for $144,000, and I think it was this Megaman here…”
Jeff: “Are you trying to make me feel bad, Dan?”
Dan: “No! And a Mike Tyson Punch-Out went for $102,000. Those are AAA titles, though they may not have the name recognition of Super Mario Brothers. That kind of speaks to the depth that’s out there as far as the marketplace goes and what it will sustain. That’s a big deal; that would have been the headline last year, Megaman selling for $140,000. It’s exciting to see what’s upcoming.”
Action Comics #1: Sold for $3.25 Million
Dan: “Another interesting thing that happened this week was a copy of Action Comics #1 being sold for $3.25 million. It was sold by ComicConnect; with 8.5 white pages, I believe it was the second-highest census copy that was not restored. 3.25M is just slightly above what the 9.0 sold for. What are your thoughts on that? I know you’re a self-described Golden Age comics addict, so I can’t wait to hear you pontificate about that.”
Jeff: “I love the Golden age, man. It’s awesome. You’ve got a comic sale that’s hitting heavy like the sports card sales. However, there is SO MUCH BUZZ going on in the sports card field, that there are collectors crossing over hard from sports cards. It’s absolutely insane what’s going on over there. The upticks and multiples, it’s nutty.
I had to spend about an hour in the sports card shop yesterday because my son wanted to sell a few of his basketball cards. I had my GoCollect shirt on and one guy asked about comics and we had a whole conversation about the values in comics. From my perspective, they’ve been jumping nicely. From everybody else’s perspective, not even close. The comics market has been on an upswing, I mean, when it comes to Golden Age stuff, I’m not sure if it ever actually saw a downswing.”
Dan: “That’s a valid point. The golden age market seems to be almost its own beast in comparison to the later Silver, Bronze, Copper markets. I mean, Giant-Size X-Men #1 just went from the floor all the way to the ceiling. In Golden Age, you see almost a steady upward trajectory.”
Of the 200,000 printed copies of Action Comics #1, an estimated 50-100 are all that remain in known existence. Very few of them are in quality condition. It’s easy to see why these books continue to gain value.
Jeff: “Yeah, Golden Age has always been slow and steady. The folks who collect the rare, heavy-hitting stuff like Superman, Spider-Man, Batman, that kind of stuff, these old-school dealers have been around everything and knew they were rare in the 70s. They love all of these classic covers and what they depict. I think the Golden Age comic scene is a great buying opportunity, even though I get cranky when I miss out on sales that go too high.
I think the sale is awesome; it eclipses the 9.0.s. But at the end of the day, I would have actually liked to see it sell for more. It really is just a matter of exposure from the cross-collecting audience.
You have the Batman #1 selling through Heritage for 2.2 million; that was great. But again, you hear about Mickey Mantle’s rookie and Batman #1 and I think a lot of people think there is the same number of each of them and they are SO wrong. There are so many more Mickey Mantles than the couple hundred Batman #1s.”
Dan: “The thing is, the Batman #1- that’s not even a Detective Comics #27. Not to minimize Batman in any way, but for that to go for $2.2M, that’s almost a poor man’s Detective #27, if that makes sense. I think it depends on what comes to the market. I always figured it would be an Action Comics #1 to break the 5 mil barrier, which I think is coming at some point. But if an Action doesn’t come up for auction for a while and a high-grade #27 does, is that a possibility too? I don’t know. This is all speculation, but speculation’s fun.”
Jeff: “You know, those high grades are so incredibly rare. I’m pretty sure the best-known copies of Action #1 and Detective Comics #27 have never been graded. In other words, I just don’t think they’ll actually come to auction. In order for people to explode on things the way they have with sports cards, there has to be a FOMO.”