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  • SubZero Comics

How Grading and Investing in Comics Can be Important

Updated: Oct 20, 2021

About 7 years ago, we were running low on comic bags and decided to go to another local comic book store to purchase them, rather than waiting. While in the store, one of us noticed a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 on the wall of the store. We saw a price tag of $150 and the store owner said it was the 2nd print. They told us that the 1st print had sold for $1200 a few days prior. This was sad to hear since the 1st print is very hard to find. We decided to purchase the book, as the 2nd print has a rather low print run as well.

This particular copy looked like a nicer book and we sent it to CGC for grading. We waited and when the comic returned it came back as a 9.8. We were ecstatic to see this since at the time there were only 3 9.8 copies of the 2nd print on the CGC census (less than the 1st). However, the book was not selling for much based on previous sales.

We put the book up for sale online for $1700, thinking it would be a great return on investment (especially since we only went to the store that day to buy comic bags). The book would not sell for a long time, and after a year of trying, it finally sold for $1500 to a collector online.

Now this story might sound like we made out very well, despite the time it took to sell the book, but we mentioned earlier that the 2nd print of the book in 9.8 is rather difficult to find. Today a 9.8 is valued by GoCollect as a $38,000 comic. We have not owned another 1st or 2nd print of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 since then. This goes to show that while many books are not good investments, a few are better to hold for the long term. This comic was one of them.

A vintage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder action figure from the 1980s.
Vintage TMNT Shredder Figure

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