The Last Ronin: Turtle Time

by Norman Robinson III

last-ronin The Last Ronin: Turtle TimeThe turtle creators are back at it again, Eastman and Laird have created The Last Ronin. Along with the writing skills of Tom Waltz and his over nine years on the turtle series. This time it is the last of the turtles fighting for truth, justice, and a slice of pepperoni pizza. Now obviously The Last Ronin comic book is going to be sold out before they even print it. Apparently, it comes out in October so you have a little time to get your order in and at least grab an A copy.

The original creators developed a story around the last living mutant ninja turtle. Which turtle I was unable to establish. Though many fans on YouTube seem to like Michelangelo. I figure that is a good bet. The hype and positive vibes surrounding the creators of one of the biggest Copper Age keys coming back to continue the saga; well it makes me want to shout “Cowabunga!” No, no… don’t throw the rotten fruit at me just yet! After all, everyone loves the turtles and this article deserved at least one “Cowabunga!” (Oh, okay two!)

The turtles on average have been a good investment over the last 30 years. Can The Last Ronin be that far behind? Though this story is going to be fun to read and a big plus for fans of all ages. Ultimately, has The Last Ronin positively impacted the market price and desirability of the existing big turtle keys. How much have the trend returns improved for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, 2, and 3 comics?


TNMT-202x300 The Last Ronin: Turtle TimeThe first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 was so popular the series was printed several times, and even several counterfeit copies were created to steal some of the popularity. Fair warning! Make sure you read up on your books and don’t make a $1,000 error. I haven’t looked this book up in awhile. It was a shocker to see that someone paid $50,000 for a first print of the original back in December 2019!

Furthermore, interest in The Last Ronin has percolated the investment turtle soup and has all three original keys up in value. It seems to have encompassed the entire genre. Let there be no mistake the turtles are a genre unto themselves. Thanks to a sprinkling of Eastman and Laird’s creative genius. Could their Black Belt Hamsters be far behind? Kidding, of course probably not. However, it has definitely impacted at least the first three key turtle books over the last year.


Title Grade Last Sale CGC Census Return
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 9.6 $25,000 52 (out of 932) +38.9% – YTD
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 9.6 $698 340 (out of 1250) +56.3% – YTD
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 9.6 $269 423 (out of 1739) +8.6% – YTD

tnmt-2-201x300 The Last Ronin: Turtle TimeTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 has a positive +38.9% return year to date. This is phenomenal when you are talking prices at the $25,000 range. With only 52 slabs (grade 9.6) outstanding we see how the rarity of an object can support steep price increases.

This could partly be the impact from The Last Ronin comic book due out in October. It certainly hasn’t hurt this genre. In addition, my premise was that both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 and the final high-value turtle Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 would participate in this runup of prices. Apparently, they have increased returns as a group. Over the last year, TMNT #2 has seen a positive+56.3% increase in price. TMNT #3 has also had a positive return of +8%. Who knew turtles could be so profitable?



tmnt-3-207x300 The Last Ronin: Turtle TimeConclusion:

To quote the previous owner of Viacom Communications, Sumner Redstone (RIP), “Content is King!” The Turtles offer an entire world, based on the comics, animation, and films over the last thirty years. It appeals to children. It appeals to adults. It appeals to an entire generation that grew up on this stuff in the 90s. It has had moderately successful movies. This franchise is going to continue to expand and grow and could lead Viacom to relevance in the Disney Age.

The Last Ronin should be in your shopping bag for the Fall. If you own any Turtles; now is the time to dust them off and price them. I wouldn’t sell any turtle books right now. My top pick of the bunch is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2. This first print is still under $1,000 and seems a little low in price compared to its predecessor TNMT #1. The multimedia space is crowded and dominated by Disney. This Turtle Universe is perfectly positioned for the times and ready to take on the House of Mouse. There is no doubt they will be used in the fight to come. We have at least five years of multimedia battles to go through. We know one thing about these turtles; they know how to throw down.

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