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Superhero sale gets Marvel-lous results

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When Michael Bain, auctioneer and one of the directors at British Toy Auctions, brings out his white cotton gloves, you know that you are about to share in an extraordinary moment and that was certainly true of Runcorn’s sale in April.

A private collection of vintage Marvel and DC comics, the largest and most prestigious to become available in recent years, went under the hammer with impressive results. The collection comprised 217 separate, high grade comics of some rarity. A large number of these were professionally graded and all were in extraordinary collectable condition.

The immense size of the collection meant that it was broken up into many lots, which sold on the day in batches of fifty, but the superhero of them all was Lot 285 – The Fantastic Four comic which featured for the first time ‘The Thing’, ’Mr Fantastic’, ‘Human Torch’ and ‘Invisible Girl’. Numbered at #1 and dating from November 1961, it sold, eighteen bids later, amid considerable international internet excitement, for £6,500, despite not having yet been professionally graded and sealed - had that been the case, a comic such as this could have been expected to fetch in excess of £200,000. Bids were received from Germany, Hungary, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Italy, Thailand and Dubai. The sale had clearly drawn more collectors than ever and there were a number of smartphones making videos of this historic moment, yet there was so much more in store.

A Marvel Comics Group comic, The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine, featuring Fantastic Four, The Coming of Galactus! #48, approved by the Comics Code Authority and contained in a plastic wallet, fetched an exceptional £1,900 and a further seven single comics fetched prices in excess of £300 each. One, a Superman DC National Comics production featuring ‘Hawkman’, reaching £650.

Further lots from the collection fetched, on average, prices in the range of £200 per lot, bringing in a total hammer price of £23,600 for the collection as a whole.

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