Since When Did Hydro-Man Matter? Apparently Now

by Matt Tuck

The first appearance of Hyrdo-Man has quickly ascended to major key status with most grades of Amazing Spider-Man #212 tripling in fair market value since October. 

Back in the summer, “leaked” Spider-Man: Far from Home footage (let’s face it – most studios release these so-called “leaked” videos and pictures to generate publicity) gave us a hint that Hydro-Man could be featured in the villains’ lineup, and that’s set collectors into a feeding frenzy.

Hydro-Man made his debut in ASM #212 back in 1981, and in nearly 40 years, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase, “Hydro-Man is my favorite.” Suddenly, collectors and investors are pouncing on this issue, which is driving prices through the proverbial roof. Now what was once a minor key for a minor villain has been given major key status. Of course, Marvel Studios has a way of making odd-ball characters into fan favorites. Before the Doctor Strange movie, who among us was a huge fan of Wong? Now seemingly everyone loves him.

Marvel Studios’ reputation for making characters more intriguing to mainstream audiences is what’s created this Hydro-Man boom, and it will keep going until the movie premieres. However, as high as prices are at the moment, if you are looking to flip an ASM #212 for a profit, you’re likely too late.

ASM-212-195x300 Since When Did Hydro-Man Matter? Apparently Now

At the top of the heap is the 9.8. Last year, only 11 copies were sold on eBay, and it ended 2017 with an FMV of $111. Over the past 12 months, the volume sold has swollen from 11 to 44 and nearly half of those have been within the last 90 days. What’s most impressive is that since October, the 90-day FMV is an astounding $368, which is more than triple last year’s average. Prior to this year, no 9.8 had ever topped $275, yet there hasn’t been one to sell below that mark since the first of August. What’s more is that the new record high is $480.

Last year, the 9.6 averaged $46, and one hadn’t sold for more than $75 in four years. Then came the great Hydro-xplosion of 2018, and those figures are ancient history. A new record-high sale of $300 was reached in mid-September, and there hasn’t been a sale below three figures since July. At the moment, it’s averaged $171 over the past 90 days, and the latest sale was for $150 this month.

Moving down the ladder, there’s the 9.4, which has equally impressive numbers. As with the two higher grades, the 9.4 has more than tripled in FMV in a year. It’s also eclipsed the previous record-high of $80 with a $139 sale just this month. Considering that the three most recent sales have all been for over $100, we’ll soon see that record broken.

Nothing below an 8.5 has been sold in the past 90 days, and everything from that to a 9.2 have had the same result: they’re soaring. The 8.5 may be the cheapest option at the moment, but even that has jumped to a 90-day FMV of $50 when it was averaging $25 a year ago. Take into account that the latest sale of $75 on December 11 was the new record high, and you’ll understand why $50 could be a bargain in the coming months.

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