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Auction Action: Goldin May Elite Review

Goldin Auction Review

Over this past weekend, Goldin closed their May Elite Auction which featured more than 500 different lots and included more than 30 direct and indirect comps to assets on fractional marketplaces. In this edition of Auction Action, we explore comparable sales, check-in on the key storylines from the auction, and review the record-baking results.

Fractional Results

This week delivered a mixed bag of results for fractional comparables. Leading this week were pre-21st century cards as cardboard printed between 1960 - 1990 continued to outpace cards from the 2000s. While it was an indirect comp, the 2003 NetPro International Series #2A Serena Williams Rookie Card that sold with the biggest difference to its comparable card on Rally, four of the top five results were cards from between 1966-1986.

Key Storylines

Comic books lead at Goldin's May Elite Auction. As we mentioned in our auction preview, there were 28 different comics that sold at Goldin and the auction house established numerous records as a comic book actually closed as the most expensive item in an event that featured multiple game worn pieces of historic memorabilia. Leading this auction was a CGC 6.5 grades copy of the 1939 DC Detective Comics #27 which sold for $1.7 million. Additionally, Goldin sold two different copies of the 1940 DC Comics Batman #1 for a combined $439,200 and struck a $450,000 price tag for a CGC 8.0 graded example of the 1962 Marvel Amazing Fantasy #15. Last summer, Goldin expanded their offerings to incorporate comic books, trading card games, and video games among other culturally-relevant assets and it has become clear that comic books have been the strongest performing sector added in the last year.

Mixed memorabilia returns. Heading into the auction, Sandy Koufax, Michael Jordan, Jackie Robinson, Bill Russell, and Julius Erving were just a few of the names who had pieces of memorabilia up for auction at Goldin. When the dust settled and the hammers finally fell Saturday night, only a few of the items had sold as multiple pieces of memorabilia failed to meet their reserve. The Koufax jersey attracted enough bids to reach seven-figures and would have become the most expense jersey from the star pitcher ever sold, but the cosigner had expectations that outpaced the willingness of bidders. Another item, the 1997-98 Michael Jordan Eastern Conference Finals Game-Used Jersey also did not sell even though it was nearing the $1 million mark. On the other side though, we had strong prices from lesser-appreciated pieces of memorabilia including a Bill Russell NBA Finals Worn Jersey which sold for $966,000. The overall issue with memorabilia could be a case of unreasonable reserves being set by consigners, but ultimately the bids are not reaching the expected price set forth by the seller which could signal a level of weakness within the broader market.

Video games continue to trend downward. There were four different video games that sold at Goldin this weekend which were direct comps to assets currently trading on fractional marketplaces. All four of those video games sold for prices that were at least 32% lower than their market caps on alternative asset platforms. Whether the results are just a case of Goldin not bringing out enough big video game buyers or a weakening of the overall market, there is no question that investors have soured towards the asset class on fractional markets and these results will not shift investor sentiment. There are currently 45 different video games trading on fractional markets and the average return is -3.23%. On a positive note, Goldin did sell a few games for record prices which could provide a level of confidence in lesser-known titles as investors search for opportunities.

Record Results

1939 DC Detective Comics #25 (CGC 6.5) : $1,740,000

This historic comic book, known for the first appearance of Batman, established a new record for the title as 18 bids drove the final price to $1.7 million with buyer's premium. Goldin continues to establish itself as a major player within the comic book sector and this result nearly matched the $1.8 million price they brokered a copy of Batman #1 for in February.

1971-72 Julius Erving Game-Used and Photo-Matched Uniform: $522,000

While their might be questions rising around the strength of the overall memorabilia market after multiple lots fell short of their reserve prices, one asset that outperformed expectations was this Dr. J uniform from his debut season with the Virginia Squires. The uniform set a new record for any piece of memorabilia from the now defunct American Basketball Association (ABA) and with 32 bids including 24 in the final day, there was plenty of demand to push this photo-matched item above the half-million-dollar target.

2003 NetPro International Series Authentic Apparel #2A Serena Williams Signed Patch Rookie Card (PSA 8): $266,400

Heading into 2022, there had never been a six-figure sale of a female sports card. Less than one year ago, the record for any female sports card was $34,440 and the top sale at the end of 2021 was $55,200. This year, we have seen multiple six-figure sales and the result at Goldin marks the first time a card female sports card has sold for more than $200,000. The bidding war for this PSA 8 graded example was intense and the lot remained open until 2:31 AM EST after the card attracted 26 bids in the final day of the auction with 20 of those occurring in the extended bidding session.

2020 Topps Chrome F1 Superfractor #4 Charles Leclerc Rookie Card: $264,000

F1 continues to stay hot as collectors and investors alike chase the top names in one of the fastest-growing sports. With 44 bids, this Superfractor was one of the most active assets sold at Goldin and the winning bid of $264,000 established a new record for any Leclerc card and is a top ten sale for F1 all-time. In 2022, Leclerc has separated himself as the top driver for Ferrari and is currently ranked 2nd overall with two wins and 4 podium appearances. There was another high-profile F1 card that was sold by Goldin this week and the buyer, DJ Skee, announced the purchase via Twitter as the card is expected to be incorporated within the Mint10 investment fund. The card is a 2006 Futera Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton which struck a hammer price of $292,266. The price is actually a drop in valuation after the other PSA 9 sold for $312,000 in March.

1991 SNES Super Nintendo Super Mario World (USA) Sealed Video Game: $181,200

While video games were mentioned above for a lackluster weekend overall, there were a few bright spots and no result was more impressive for the sector than this SNES Super Mario World. This game is the highest graded example on the market and is a pop 1 with a WATA 9.6 and an A for the seal. One of the rarest and most recognized Mario games, there are 84 graded examples in the WATA database and only 34 graded copies that are not from the "Player's Choice" re-release. While the SNES Super Mario World will forever trail other games within the series, such as Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros 2, this result was a strong showing at a time when the video game market has dipped on a macro level overall.


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