The Toys are Back: 1980s Action Figure-Inspired Comics

by Matt Tuck

G.I.-Joe-21-195x300 The Toys are Back: 1980s Action Figure-Inspired ComicsThose 1980s relics are hot commodities these days, and it pays to have kept those old G.I. Joe, Transformers, and even Masters of the Universe comics for all these years.

G.I.-Joe-Real-American-Hero-1-195x300 The Toys are Back: 1980s Action Figure-Inspired ComicsG.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #1

What child of the 1980s didn’t like G.I. Joe? Sure, the toy has been around since the 1960s, but the ’80s resurrected the line and took the franchise to new heights.

The cartoon series could delve into dark territory at times, at least for a kids’ show, but it had nothing on the comic. It was still based around the Hasbro toys, but the comics could be dramatic and violent and appealed to an older audience. It all began with G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #1.  Now there’s the upcoming Snake Eyes solo film that is helping fair market values for the team’s first comic appearance.

Most collectors have been aiming for the graded 9.6. Since this time last year, 66 copies have sold online. It averages close to $150, although one sale on January 12 matched the record high of $225.

G.I.-Joe-21-195x300 The Toys are Back: 1980s Action Figure-Inspired ComicsG.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO #21

Speaking of the Snake Eyes movie, G.I. Joe #21 is bound to get the rub from the film’s press.

This is the famous “silent issue” that featured a story told with no words, which is remarkable in itself. Not only that, but this also is the first appearance of Storm Shadow, Snake Eyes’ ninja antagonist who will be in the new movie.

This is the G.I. Joe issue to have. If you’re lucky enough to have a 9.8, it recently set a new record high of $1,400 on February 26. The most popular grade has been the 9.6, which sold 25 times in the past 12 months for an average of $373.

 

DC-Comics-Presents-47-200x300 The Toys are Back: 1980s Action Figure-Inspired ComicsDC COMICS PRESENTS #47

This has been a surprisingly hot issue as of late. The sales have been on the incline, and prices are gradually picking up as well. The 9.6 has been the biggest seller. Over the past 12 months, collectors have dealt 42 copies at that grade. In the last 90 days, it has averaged $265. While most 9.6s have sold for under $300, a February 27 sale netted a record $452.

Why all this attention on DC Presents #47? It’s the first comic book appearance of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. In this issue, Prince Adam meets Superman for the first time in what was clearly a marketing ploy. Still, it makes for great nostalgia. With the talk of an updated Masters of the Universe movie, collectors are more keen for He-Man keys, and it starts with this issue.

Transformers-1-196x300 The Toys are Back: 1980s Action Figure-Inspired ComicsTHE TRANSFORMERS #1

Ever since the Transformers movie franchise kicked off in 2007, anything you have from the first generation of Transformers has been red hot. Nearly all the GI action figures fetch top dollar, particularly if they’re in the original boxes (but what kids didn’t take their toys out of the boxes?). On the horizon is a new crossover comic with the Terminator franchise, and that should be entertaining.

As far as value, this issue is always in demand. Personally, I love the Bill Sienkiewicz cover, but I’m partial to his art on any title. Since last year, the 9.6 has been the most popular grade, selling 67 times. Although it has averaged $168 in the past 90 days, a March 9 sale saw a 9.6 bring $245, which isn’t far from last year’s record-setting high of $270.

 

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