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Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 22nd
September 22, 2023

Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 22nd

By 
Keenan Flack
Altan Insights covers the most significant happenings of the week in the collectibles universe.
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Seven-Figure Brick Flipping: Most Expensive Sneakers Ever Sold Fall From Grace
Alts & Ends

Seven-Figure Brick Flipping: Most Expensive Sneakers Ever Sold Fall From Grace

This article was featured in our newsletter, Alts & Ends. Click here to subscribe for free and receive the best collectible market insights straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!

In the sneaker world, a "brick" is a term often reserved for discounted pairs that can be bought for a cheap price because they were unwanted. But maybe bricks can still be expensive. In fact, we've found our very first seven-figure bricks....two of them, in fact.

At last week's Part II of the Goldin 100 auction, two of the most expensive sneakers in history came back to the block, each in quite different circumstances from their prior sale.  In one case, the failed flip will come as no surprise whatsoever. The other pair just might raise some eyebrows.

Back in April of 2021, fractional sneaker platform Rares purchased the Nike Air Yeezy Prototype worn by Kanye West at the 2008 Grammy's for $1.8 million from Sotheby's in a private transaction. The idea was for the sneakers to serve as a cornerstone for the platform. At the time, while West certainly had his share of unappealing quirks and red flag behavior, the thesis for those sneakers becoming the most expensive ever sold had at least some merit.

The pair represented the beginning of an odyssey that would see Yeezy become one of the most powerful brands in footwear in just a few years. The Nike Yeezys are among the most sought-after sneakers in existence, and West's partnership with Adidas was a phenomenon in the late 2010s and early 2020s. This pair of prototypes was effectively the public launch point for all that would follow.

However, whether the price was merited or not, $1,800,000 is a massive offering for a fractional upstart to fill. Despite significant marketing and a veritable tour of relevant sneaker media outlets, the platform struggled to sell shares amounting to more than a few hundred thousand dollars. Keep in mind: this was before West really went off the rails. With little chance of filling the offering, Rares turned to Christie's in September of 2022 to conduct a private sale of the pair.

And then, things went south. West's behavior reached its most errratic, concerning the house enough to decline to proceed with selling the sneakers altogether. This is a house, Christie's, that sold $202 million in jewelry from the Horten Collection before only recently buckling to backlash due to the Nazi-era-related source of wealth. And apparently, they took one look at what was happening with Kanye and said no thank you. With West effectively blocking the path to exit, the sneakers were removed from the public spotlight for several months until they resurfaced as a lot in Part II of the Goldin 100.

Though Ye is no longer as frequently and prominently featured in the public discourse, the timing remains suboptimal for a sale - really, it's unclear if the timing ever could or should be "optimal" again. A photomatch from Sports Investors Authentication could not spare them from their failed flip fate. They sold for "just" $180,106. A 90% loss.

Just like with living athletes, investing in living stars of pop culture is fraught with risk, and West's risk profile was among the most volatile of all.

On the other hand, prices for Michael Jordan-worn memorabilia have mostly risen since October of 2021. That's when his Nike Air Ships, worn in his fifth regular season game, sold for what was an auction record of $1,472,000. The signed sneakers are the earliest known regular season Jordan gamers in existence, a status which the "Air" printed on the heel nods to. It's a bit odd to see an item of this caliber return to auction so soon after selling. In the case of a seven-figure sports memorabilia item, within two years qualifies as quite soon, and that typically wouldn't be seen as a positive development.

In their return trip to the auction block, the Air Ships sold for $624,000. Not too long ago, it would've been a sneaker auction record. Now? It's just 58% less than they sold for two years ago.The sneakers carried the same authentication as at Sotheby's in October 2021. There was a letter of provenance from the Nuggets ball boy who received them initially, an LOA from MEARS for game use, an LOA from JSA for the autographs, and an LOA from Resolution. The contents of that last one are important, as Resolution was unable to identify a conclusive photomatch and could only point to a possible photo match for an October game against the Bucks. But again, that was the case two years ago when they sold for $1,472,000.

So what changed? Photomatching became more important, and then even the reliability of photomatching was called into question. So absent a conclusive match - or at least some form of even more robust authentication than was offered in October 2021 - the sneakers were unable to command a bidding war amongst as many parties. However, emerging from the woodwork with new authentication for a game 40 years ago might raise some eyebrows so soon after the recent scandal.

It also bears repeating: that the sneakers returned so soon at all was likely unproductive. It similarly doesn't help that they weren't the top billed lot (Lot #3) in an event replete with lots that could vie to headline your average monthly auction. In hindsight, that structure may not be conducive to realizing the highest potential result for any one lot.

We probably won't see either pair of sneakers on StockX or GOAT anytime soon, but perhaps it's best if they're not seen for sale on any platform anytime soon. Time doesn't heal all wounds, but perhaps it won't open them further.

Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive more like it in your inbox weekly!

Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

A Quiet End to a Golden Age? Checking in on Comic Book Markets
Alts & Ends

A Quiet End to a Golden Age? Checking in on Comic Book Markets

Photo: Eric McLean

This article was featured in our newsletter, Alts & Ends. Click here to subscribe for free and receive the best collectible market insights straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!

$13 million is a lot of money spent on comic books and comic art.

Believe it or not though, it's the lowest sales total at a Heritage Platinum Session Signature Auction in the category since January 2021. That's right. A meager $13 million is actually on the low side in recent years.

Is this a market in distress?! A sign of the end times?! Holy smokes, Batman!Or...is this a market where collectors are content to hold their treasured grails, particularly through a pocket of collectible softness?

The highest sale at the event was the $408,000 result for a CGC 0.5-graded copy of Action Comics #1. That's the first Platinum auction without a sale over $500,000 since this event last year. You probably could make the case that Action #1 would've crossed the $500k mark in better times, but this event wasn't really a case of the most coveted assets falling well short of expectations. Those assets simply weren't up for grabs, and really, trophy assets haven't been the problem in this market.

We can, however, look back at this event a year ago to understand the extent of market weakness for those assets that are still trading hands with some frequency. There were a handful of books that sold in the same grade a year ago that provide some frame of reference to understand the trajectory of the market:

Batman #1 (CGC 3.5): -13.6%

  • September 2022: $264,000
  • September 2023: $228,000

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (CGC 9.8): -35.4%

  • September 2022: $186,000
  • September 2023: $120,000

X-Men #1 (CGC 8.5): -24.6%

  • September 2022: $78,000
  • September 2023: $58,800

Captain America #117 (CGC 9.8): -56.9%

  • September 2022: $78,000
  • September 2023: $33,600

The Amazing Spider-Man #129 (CGC 9.8): -21.2%

  • September 2022: $39,600
  • September 2023: $31,200

Ultimate Fallout #4 Variant Edition (CGC 9.8): -43.3%

  • September 2022: $36,000
  • September 2023: $20,400

On the whole....not pretty. At all. But not out of whack with other collectible markets over the same period.

The harshest example, Captain America #117, faced a challenging comp, as the $78,000 sale in 2022 came out of nowhere, notching the highest price ever paid for the first appearance of Falcon by several multiples. Meanwhile, September 2022 was only the beginning for Ultimate Fallout #4, which would later become the second most expensive 2000s comic sold at Heritage, fetching $43,200 in January. As in other categories, speculation in the most modern of assets has often caused the most pain in 2023.

Still, the more well-trodden examples like X-Men #1 and Spider-Man #129 are demonstrative of where the market's gone in a year. However, the pain illustrated above wasn't inflicted this month alone, instead taking place in the earlier stages of 2023. In fact, many of the prices realized last week hold up well against the most recent Platinum Session in June, where X-Men #1 sold for $57,600 and Spider-Man #129 sold for $31,200, essentially the same levels. Fantastic Four #1, graded CGC 5.0, provides a similar example: it sold for $22,200 last week and $22,200 in June.

So, while market sentiment looks rough when you zoom out to a year or more, it seems there are signs of stability in recent months. Where there was once more reticence (or at least certainly no urgency) to catch falling knives, bidders seem to be demonstrating some level of comfort with current price levels.

A rapid Spidey-swing upwards seems a less likely proposition, but while stability and boredom make for terribly unexciting comic books, they might be just what this market needs.

Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive more like it in your inbox weekly!

Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 15th
Market Commentary

Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 15th

Sotheby's wins $400 Million Fisher-Landau Consignment

Photo: Sotheby's

The News: Sotheby’s has won the right to auction the late Emily Fisher Landau's art collection, worth an estimated $400 million, over rival Christie's. The collection will be led by a 1932 Picasso painting, Femme à la montre, anticipated to sell for more than $120 million. The sales are scheduled to take place on November 8 and 9.

Why: Emily Fisher Landau, a well-known art collector and trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art, amassed her collection through strategic purchases and close relationships with contemporary artists. Her collection includes not just Picasso but also works from Ed Ruscha, Mark Rothko, and Jasper Johns, among others. The auction represents a high-stakes market event that could offset a challenging fiscal year for Sotheby's.

What’s Next: The auction will unfold over two dedicated events, featuring around 120 works from Landau's collection. Among the significant pieces are Rothko’s untitled 1968 work related to the Seagram Murals series and a 1986 edition of Jasper Johns’s Flags paintings. Beyond its monetary value, the collection showcases Landau’s knack for meaningful curation and her personal relationships with artists. THEARTNEWSPAPER

eBay Launches Luxury Consignment Service

Photo: eBay

The News: eBay, the online marketplace giant, is upping its luxury game by introducing a new consignment service focused initially on designer handbags. By providing direct access to seasoned expert sellers, eBay aims to make the listing and selling process for luxury items more seamless and professional. The company has collaborated with Linda Lightman, a leading seller of luxury goods and founder of Linda's Stuff, to facilitate this launch.

Why: As the trend of buying and selling authenticated, high-value goods gains traction, eBay is positioning itself as a one-stop destination for luxury transactions. This new service builds upon existing offerings like the Authenticity Guarantee and Certified By Brand, aiming to offer a more comprehensive and trusted platform for both buyers and sellers. The consignment process is all-inclusive, handling everything from professional photography to competitive pricing.

What's Next: The consignment service, which begins with handbags from illustrious brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton, will broaden its scope next year to include other high-end categories like jewelry and watches. eBay also plans to display an Authenticity Guarantee checkmark for eligible items listed for $500 or more. This move comes after other recent initiatives like the expansion of Authenticity Guarantee to streetwear and the acquisition of AI-powered authentication provider Certilogo. PRNEWSWIRE

Collectible Happenings

A long-lost X-wing fighter model from the original 1977 "Star Wars" film is set to be auctioned by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, with a starting bid of $400,000. Known as "the missing X-wing," the intricately detailed model belonged to the late Greg Jein, a prominent miniature-maker, and was discovered among his collection by a team of visual effects experts. CNN

A local distillery's 2.2 million-liter tanks burst in São Lourenco do Bairro in Portugal, causing a river of red wine to flow through the town until the Anadia Fire Department diverted it into a field. TWITTER

Over 130 pieces of Elvis Presley memorabilia are featured in a rock and roll history auction with 7 days left to view, register, and bid. GOTTAHAVEROCKANDROLL

The Spiegels have dismissed Juan Garcia from their case against Card Porn without stating a reason. The dismissal is without prejudice, meaning they have the option to sue him again in the future. PAUL LESKO TWITTER

Keith Haring started creating digital art in 1985 using the Commodore Amiga 1000 personal computer. Haring noted that his art style, which closely resembled the concept of pixels, was well-suited for digital translation. 5 days of bidding left! CHRISTIES

Michael Rohana was sentenced to five years' probation for breaking off and stealing a finger from a Chinese terracotta warrior statue at Philadelphia's Franklin Institute in 2017; he will pay a $5,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service, with further restitution to be determined. Rohana intends to sell his Nike sneaker collection, valued at $32,000, to help cover the expected costs for damages and reparations to the statue. ARTNET

A newly discovered painting by Italian Baroque master Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, known as Il Guercino, is set to inaugurate Moretti Fine Art’s new gallery in Paris with an asking price of $2.2 million. The painting was initially attributed to an anonymous follower of Guido Reni and auctioned last November for around $610,000, but has since been restored and authenticated as a work by Guercino. ARTNET

Richard Beale, owner of London-based Roma Numismatics, has pleaded guilty to forging provenance documentation for the sale of ancient coins, including a $4.2 million Eid Mar coin. Facing up to 25 years in prison, Beale admitted to multiple counts of conspiracy and criminal possession of stolen property related to high-profile sales conducted by his company. ARTNET

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Gagosian Gallery is not liable for unrealized profits from the sale of Richard Prince’s “New Portraits” series, dismissing photographer Donald Graham's claims of copyright infringement. This ruling is the latest in a series of legal battles involving Prince's work, which repurposes Instagram photos; previous claims against him and Gagosian have mostly been unsuccessful, as courts have generally sided with their argument that the works are "transformative" and thus not subject to copyright. ARTNET

2015-16 Connor Mcdavid card sells for $181,800 at Goldin this week potentially setting a new record for the athlete. GOLDIN

PredictionStrike, a fantasy sports app that allows users to trade athlete "stocks," has raised $10 million in a Series A venture capital round led by Bullpen Capital. The company, founded in 2019, has processed $60 million in transactions and garnered more than 175,000 users; it aims to reach a benchmark of executing $100 million in trades within the next year. SPORTICO

PSA, the industry's largest third-party authenticator for collectibles, is expanding its presence in Canada with a new submission center located at AMG Collectibles in Halifax, Nova Scotia, opening on September 14. In addition to the new center, PSA will offer on-site grading services at the Toronto Sport Card Expo in November, allowing Canadian collectors a more localized experience for submitting items for authentication. PSACARD

Sotheby’s sells Princess Diana “Black Sheep” Sweater for $1.14 million against an estimate of $50-$80,000. SOTHEBYS

Feel free to reach out to Keenan@Altaninsights.com for any questions/comments.

Enjoyed this article? Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive more like it in your inbox weekly!

Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Mercury Sale: Rockstar Provenance and Underestimated Objects
Asset Class Insights

Mercury Sale: Rockstar Provenance and Underestimated Objects

This is the fourth edition of a multi-part blog series produced in partnership with The Realest on the key events and factors shaping the modern music memorabilia market. The Realest is the first dedicated authentication standard and marketplace for music memorabilia.

Back in April of this year Sotheby’s announced a 6-part sale made up of over a thousand objects from the collection of one Freddie Mercury. Spending a lifetime as the frontman of Queen endowed him, and thereby his estate, with countless artifacts connected to one of the most beloved bands of the last century. Instruments, outfits, fine art, knick-knacks, what have you…Sotheby’s sold it all. 

The sales were a smashing success, netting £39.9 million against a low estimate of £7.6 million initially forecasted by Sotheby’s. Starting on September 6th, the House spent a week in London selling nearly every piece in Mercury’s collection, by way of his ex-fiancee and long time friend Mary Austin. 

Mercury not only collected priceless objects from his career with Queen but was also an avid auction-goer. His proclivity for bidding was evidenced by lot 665 in the ‘At Home’ sale–a collection of fourteen well-worn Sotheby’s and Christie’s sale catalogs from 1991, the year of his death. That lot, by the way, was only estimated to sell for between £200 and £300 but instead reached £12,700. Over 63 times the low estimate.

Photo: Sotheby’s

The initial evening sale that began the week of Freddie-mania, wherein a reported 140,000 people descended on Sotheby’s London to view the collection, yielded an impressive “white glove” showing, meaning each and every lot that went up to the block was successfully sold. More impressively, the estimates of between £4.8 million and £7.2 million were decimated with a sale total of £12,172,290 ($15.2mm) and an aggregate hammer of £9,613,563 ($12mm).

Photo: Sotheby’s

Even with certain higher-estimate objects like Mercury’s piano or an Eugen von Blaas canvas selling below estimates, the aggregate hammer-to-low-estimate ratio was still 1.99. Meaning: even before fees, the total sales nearly doubled Sotheby’s projections. Averaging the hammer ratios of all 59 lots in the evening sale would give you a hammer ratio of 9x, pulled up by the numerous lower end lots that severely outkicked their coverage. This phenomenon can be somewhat explained by Sotheby’s head of single client sales, David Macdonald, who said:

“When it comes to the more everyday objects, the brief to the team was to please put these things up at market value because you can’t anticipate someone’s love for it — you can’t value love”

Justification for imprecise estimates or marketing strategy to stir up bidding wars? You decide!

Photos: Sotheby’s
Graphic: Altan Insights

The real star of the evening sale was the lyric sheets handwritten by Mercury in crafting some of Queen’s most memorable tracks. Among the 27 Mercury lyric lots that were sold by Sotheby’s 14 of them broke the six-figure barrier; the house’s site only shows nine previous lyric lots to have previously done the same. 

In total, the 27 lyric lots found £4.9 million against an aggregated low estimate of just £2 million. This surge in lyric sales underscores the immense value collectors see in pulling back the curtain on his creative process. 

It is maybe an explanation into why the piano went relatively underappreciated compared to these lots. The handwritten lyrics give collectors a glimpse into the creative process of one of music’s most beloved songwriters; the piano - albeit a very nice one - may have many stories to tell, but collectors can’t see the various trials and tribulations of the songwriting journey. Not to mention it’s far easier to find a spot for a piece of paper than a grand piano. Though if you’ve got the cash for either, you probably have the real estate for it. 

Sotheby’s has become somewhat of a specialist when it comes to selling the collections of British rock stars. Before Mercury, Elton John and David Bowie both sold their collections at the house, achieving similar success to the Mercury sale. Bowie’s sold for £24.4 million against a low estimate of  £8.1 million in 2016 and Elton John’s totaled $8.22 million against a low estimate of $5.1 million in 1988. 

The context of each sale is as deep as the collections they were selling. Elton John’s is more comparable to this most recent sale, using the sale as a means to clean out his home of decades of early career memorabilia and start fresh. Freddie is sadly not alive to use this sale to “clean house”, but Mary Austin, his  longtime friend and steward of his collection did note that selling the collection will allow her to move on. She sold nearly all of Freddie’s possessions, keeping only a few photos and personal items. 

Mercury and John’s sales were replete with more than a thousand objects each. Anything and everything was on the table: furniture, mementos, clothing, sunglasses, records (platinum and otherwise). These sales gave hundreds of fans the opportunity to own a piece of the artist, however insignificant a stinky Adidas bag would have been to Mercury if he were alive today. Very curious to know what he would think about someone paying £10,795 for his sweat soaked bag though…

Photo: Sotheby’s

Bowie’s sale was much more traditional when it came to auction. His 2016 sale was made up of only 350 lots, nearly all of which were works of fine art from established artists. Bowie began collecting art in earnest in early 1993 when he began working with art advisor Kate Chertavian. 

Bowie’s tastes aligned with the modern art market much more so than Elton John’s or Freddie Mercury’s; the few paintings seen in the latter sales were mostly Old Masters that rarely receive as much attention as Impressionist and Contemporary offerings. Bowie, on the other hand, collected names like Basquiat, Hirst, Duchamp, and Picabia, along with quite a few works from modern British painters like Frank Auerbach and David Bomberg.

With big contemporary names, it’s harder to understand the impact of rockstar provenance on the value of a work. Bowie’s name was certainly additive to the price, but 2016 was a good time to sell a Hirst or Basquiat work anyway. The confluence of factors to the upside may have skewed the perception of the importance of Bowie’s name in the provenance. 

Mercury’s collection, however, featured quite a few artists that rarely see the limelight, composed mainly of 19th and early-20th century portraits. The standout among these artists is John Bagnold Burgess. Mercury owned two of his portraits, “A Spanish Girl” and “The Offering”, both exquisite oil paintings acquired in 1991 during a buying frenzy in the last months of his life. During this time, he acquired several works as gifts for close friends including Mary Austin and Elton John.

The Offering
JOHN BAGNOLD BURGESS
Photo: Sotheby’s

Freddie purchased these works for just £3,960 (The Offering) and £4,400 (A Spanish Girl), and they sold for £82,550 and £43,180 respectively, generating CAGRs of 9.95% for the first and 7.39% for the second. It’s unlikely these works would have sold for such sums if they were not owned by Mercury. This becomes especially apparent when you consider the last five recorded Bagnold Burgess sales detailed on LiveArt generated an average hammer ratio of 0.82 and an average price of around $20,000. ‘The Offering’ and ‘A Spanish Girl’ hammered at 20.47 and 8.57 times the low estimate respectively. 

Other artists like Eugen von Blaas and William Russell Flint found their way above estimates, but more narrowly, though works by these artists in the Mercury sale did notch higher prices than their works in any other sale. Flint works in the ‘At Home’ sale hammered at an average of £26,206 vs. £1,710 when sold normally. 

As far as name-brand artists go in the Mercury sales, there were at least four depending on who you count. Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dali made appearances in the evening sale, but not a single canvas was offered among them. All were either quite small works on paper or editioned works. It would seem that the Freddie provenance did the trick here as each flew past their high estimates. 

Jaqueline au chapeau noir
PABLO PICASSO
Photo: Sotheby’s

Most impressive was a Picasso print expected to sell for between just £50,000 and £70,000 that ended up finding a final price of £190,500 ($237,909) with fees. One might think it normal for a Picasso work to reach into the six figures, but it’s worth knowing that the man created countless editioned sets, and collectors regularly pick them up for low 4 figure prices. This one, depicting his second wife Jacqueline, is more desirable than most. However, it’s difficult to say whether the premium to estimate was derived more from the Mercury provenance or the scarcity of the set.

Cred: Denis O’Regan

In spite of a subdued art market, the Mercury sale offered a reprieve from the doom and gloom. The Mercury collection reminds us that the value of art and collectibles often transcends standard valuation philosophy. As Sotheby's showcases the rich tapestry of these rock stars' lives, it paints a vivid picture of the growing opportunities in merging art, memorabilia, and storytelling.

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Lorcana? More like Lorcan'ta Print Enough Cards
Alts & Ends

Lorcana? More like Lorcan'ta Print Enough Cards

Photo: Ravensburger

This article was featured in our newsletter, Alts & Ends. Click here to subscribe for free and receive the best collectible market insights straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!

Excuse us while we dodge the tomatoes hurled at us from the audience for that awesomely horrific pun in the title.

Over the past few weeks, the trading card game category has been set alight for a new product in a way that evokes memories of the early days of Pokémon. In mid-August, Disney Lorcana, a collectible card game manufactured by Ravensburger in collaboration with Walt Disney, began to trickle to market in highly limited quantities. With cards featuring characters from throughout Disney's history, these were sure to be a sought-after commodity for multiple generations of collectors.

It's common for those earlier, local game store-focused releases to carry very limited stock and for that constrained supply to inspire a secondary market frenzy. Wait for the big box retailers, they said. On September 1st, enough supply will hit the market for prices to crater, they said.

There was not enough supply.

Across collectible categories, a softer market has seen resellers starved for action in recent months. For the first time in a few years, typically popular sports card releases are just gathering dust on retail shelves, even meriting discounts. When a suddenly hot product like Lorcana comes along, that opportunity won't be squandered, and competition for the product at any retail venue will be incredibly stiff.

While big box stores wouldn't necessarily see much booster box inventory, pricing of booster boxes was completely impervious to the influx of new card supply. According to data from TCGPlayer, prices for Disney Lorcana: The First Chapter Booster Boxes have actually increased 13.5% to $413 since August 31st, versus an MSRP of $143.99.

Booster packs, which you would expect to be directly impacted by big box inventory, have inched up in price by nearly 3% to just over $16. MSRP for the packs is $5.99. In anticipation of the large retailer release, those prices did fall to a trough just above $13 in late August, but as release day approached, the market quickly realized that acquiring packs wasn't getting any easier in the short term.

The restocks aren't over, though, and it's been said there will be second and perhaps even third waves of printing for The First Chapter. It's believed there won't be any distinguishing attributes to those prints versus the initial run. In that regard, Lorcana would be a departure from Pokémon, and some of this early speculative activity could ultimately look short-sighted and foolish. Regardless, there will be rarities from this first set that might offer greater staying power than the field.

The rarest Lorcana cards are "Enchanted" cards, of which there are 12. All 12 are mostly selling for more than $200, led by Elsa from Frozen, which currently costs over $700 and has occasionally registered sales in excess of $1,000. The prices continue to climb on average as these cards make their way out of packs and onto the market.

While many Lorcana cards will find their way into decks to be used for the actual game (a novel idea!), the next stop for rarities will be a slab. While graders have begun to build a population of Lorcana promo cards, graded examples from The First Chapter have yet to accumulate. An early report from CGC Cards indicates they have graded just 47 cards from the set, inclusive of 18 Enchanted cards.

Should the game not only take off but also sustain its popularity, the promo cards could be Lorcana's forever grails. The six cards released at last year's D23 remain a hot commodity, and when in high graded condition, they routinely command four-figure sums, as does a Mickey Mouse card given out for free at the expo (the first Lorcana card ever revealed). The six cards that were available for purchase each carry PSA populations just over 400 and CGC populations below 20.

While the early fanfare is no doubt equal parts exciting for fans and hard on wallets, the success of the cards as collectibles ultimately depends on Lorcana's acceptance as a popular game. For that to be possible, cards need to be available for purchase while the buzz still roars.

Do we really want to isolate Elsa from the public again? We all know how that went. Poorly.

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 8th
Market Commentary

Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 8th

Rally and duPont Registry partner on Luxury Automotive Investment Platform

Rally/duPont Registry

The News: duPont REGISTRY, known for its luxury car legacy, has launched a new platform, duPont REGISTRY Invest, allowing enthusiasts to invest in high-end cars through fractional ownership. This initiative is in collaboration with Rally, a leading company in the fractional equity collectibles space, and supported by notable names like Jimmy Kimmel's Wheelhouse and Kevin Durant’s Thirty Five Ventures.

Why: With a long standing dream of many to own a luxury vehicle, duPont REGISTRY Invest aims to bridge the gap between aspiration and reality. By collaborating with Rally, the platform gives potential investors the chance to own a piece of high-end cars without the full commitment of purchasing the vehicle.

What's Next: Starting now, car enthusiasts can view a selection of investment-grade luxury cars on invest.dupontregistry.com. Rally will soon facilitate equity purchase and sales transactions of these vehicles. The platform hopes to expand the world of luxury car ownership, offering users an introduction to car collecting while also being a gateway to Rally's platform. As the luxury car market continues to thrive, with a valuation of $617b in 2022, the collaboration between duPont REGISTRY and Rally promises a new era of luxury car investment. MOTORSPORT

A Fraudulent Hobby Empire Continues to Unravel

The Action Network

The News: A longtime collector unknowingly traded his valuable Michael Jordan cards for a fraudulent 1986 sealed Fleer basketball box, orchestrated by an elusive scam artist named Juan Garcia. The scheme began to unravel when Garcia attempted to authenticate a game-used Michael Jordan jersey (that we wrote about last week) using an allegedly fake foundation in the name of a deceased photographer. The story further connects Garcia to various other fraudulent activities, including dubious dealings with artworks and famous artworks purportedly linked to artist Banksy.

Why: Garcia, also known by different names like Johnathan and John, consistently left a trail of deceptive activities across the sports collectibles and art world. His modus operandi involved creating counterfeit websites and using multiple social media handles. A major blunder occurred when he tried to validate the authenticity of a Michael Jordan jersey using a counterfeit foundation, leading to investigations that unveiled his other scams.

What's Next: The revelation of Garcia's schemes has auction houses and authentication companies retracing their interactions with him. Several businesses, such as MeiGray and Heritage Auctions, are now reevaluating their dealings and contemplating legal action. With his identity exposed, authorities in both the U.S. and Australia are now working together to locate and apprehend Juan Garcia, raising broader questions about the extent of his fraudulent activities. ACTIONNETWORK

Antique Advertisement Grading Service To Launch Next Week

Auction Daily

The News: A new company named Authentication & Grading Services (AGS) has been introduced by a team of esteemed experts in antique advertising. Led by Dan Morris of the Cedartown Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia and John Mihovetz, the former Head of Automobilia & Petroliana at Morphy Auctions, AGS provides authentication, grading, and current market valuations for antique advertisements and vintage collectibles.

Why: As the demand for graded and authenticated collectibles like sports cards, coins, and vintage comic books surges, there is an increasing need for expert services in the antique advertising domain. AGS offers a three-tiered service that authenticates, grades, and gives market valuations based on a grading scale of 1 to 100. This is intended to ensure transparency and accuracy in the grading process. Their services will primarily cover categories such as soda pop, automobilia, petroliana, country store, tobacciana, and breweriana.

What's Next: AGS's online platform will launch on September 15, 2023, providing users the ability to understand the grading process for each item. They will debut their services at prominent events including the Indy Ad Show and the Morphy Auctions' Automobilia & Petroliana sale. Additionally, plans for service expansion into other popular collecting categories are in the pipeline. Collectors can reach out to AGS for further inquiries and information. The company aims for complete transparency and values feedback from its clients. AUCTIONDAILY

Collectible Happenings

MeiGray officially rescinds the authentication for MGG No. 160092, the 1995-96 Michael Jordan jersey that recently sold for $1mm post-authentication. TWITTER

SGC launches new app and lowers the price of grading to $15 per card for standard submissions and $9 for TCG submissions. TWITTER

Freddie Mercury’s Piano, that he used to compose such works as Bohemian Rhapsody, sells for £1.7mm at auction. TWITTER

Freddie Mercury Evening sale blows the doors off. 93% of lots sold above estimate. TWITTER

A PSA 10 1998 Pokemon Japanese Promo Silver 2nd-2nd Tournament #2 Trophy Pikachu  sells for $444,000 TWITTER

A WATA 10 graded copy of Ocarina of Time, packaged with a sealed guidebook and a t-shirt,  sells for $156k at Goldin Auctions. GOLDIN

Panini America will pay $25 million to settle a copyright infringement case filed by the bankruptcy creditors of AAA Sports, Inc., the makers of the original Wild Card Football trading cards, over alleged copied designs from the early 1990s. This settlement comes amid a tumultuous year for Panini, which has faced multiple challenges including employee losses, termination of a deal with the NFLPA, and other legal issues. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

A Joan Mitchell work is coming to auction, predicted to fetch $20mm which would break her current $16.6mm auction record. ARTNEWSPAPER

Feel free to reach out to Keenan@Altaninsights.com for any questions/comments.

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Fading to a Fraction: Big Updates in the Fractional Collectibles Space
Alts & Ends

Fading to a Fraction: Big Updates in the Fractional Collectibles Space

Photo: Collectable

This article was featured in our newsletter, Alts & Ends. Click here to subscribe for free and receive the best collectible market insights straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!

According to an SEC filing made last week, fractional sports collectibles marketplace Collectable is set to be sold for $1,353,000 after transaction expenses.

While details on the transaction are scant, the filing notes it was sold to Fractional Ownership Holdings, LLC, with the company's full board of directors resigning and being replaced by a sole director, Philip Neuman. The acquisition has no direct impact on the underlying series offerings at this time. However, as series shareholders know, ownership of the series "Manager," in this case CS Asset Manager, LLC, can have a significant impact on outcomes.

The acquisition follows the steady stream of Collectable offerings to auction in the midst of a market downturn. At present, approximately 110 assets remain in trading on the platform, net of those that have been halted for sale, so future plans will remain of interest to still-invested shareholders. The outcome for the parent company is demonstrative of the roller coaster in fractional over the past three years.

Armed with significant venture capital and emboldened by incredible collectibles interest in late 2020 and early 2021, fractional platforms scaled their offerings quickly, outpacing the investor interest that would ultimately be sustained as the market turned. In May of 2021, Collectable raised $5.5 million as part of a Series A. In May of that same year, Rally raised $30 million in a Series B funding round, while also securing a $50 million debt facility to assist in asset acquisition for fractional offerings.

It's hard to imagine now, but at a time, activity was bustling enough where it could've merited all three features in an edition of Alts & Ends, and that's more or less what it did in this newsletter's fractionally-focused predecessor. However, with an abundance of assets offered at or near the height of the collectibles market boom, eventual losses made investor interest challenging for fractional platforms to sustain. Moreover, as platforms rolled out more sophisticated and frequent means of secondary market trading, the path to the exits beckoned. Absent sufficient liquidity from willing buyers in a more dour market environment, investor selling begat more losses, which in turn begat more selling.

Towards the beginning of the 2022 exodus, in March of that year, Otis was acquired by Public, having previously raised $16.5 million in total. Unconfirmed estimates for the exit suggest a mid-eight-digit outcome. Viewed against venture money raised, it's perhaps not staggering. Viewed against the sum paid for a rival platform last week, it's pretty darn staggering.

Since the acquisition, Public has also exited several fractional, collectible assets, with no recent offerings in the space. In a choppier market, the platform's focus has been directed elsewhere, particularly the opportunity to introduce investors to T-bills offering north of 4 and even 5%. Suffice it to say, it's a very different investing environment today than it was in 2020 and 2021.

Similarly, Rally hasn't launched a new collectible IPO in 2023, leaving many to wonder if we've seen the end of at least the first generation of fractional collectibles. Trading activity has lulled; even in the most popular assets - like the $3 million Declaration of Independence - volume is limited.

The platform has offered a car in 2023: the Unimog in collaboration with Daniel Arsham. Yesterday, an interesting announcement indicated more could be on their way. duPont REGISTRY announced a joint venture with Rally in which it will offer fractional shares in premium automobiles, leveraging Rally's infrastructure while also displaying the cars on its site. Cars were at Rally's genesis (hence the name), and many car investors on the platform knew a Rally that existed before daily trading, NFTs, and the events of the last few years. Whether a new audience can find similar enthusiasm for the opportunity to own shares in these luxury vehicles remains to be seen.

Rally's own announcement suggests they'll pursue this type of partnership across other asset classes, ideally partnering with best-in-class brands to bring new assets to existing users and bring large audiences to the existing platform. These partnerships may be a necessity to reignite the flame of fractional interest that has faded to a dim flicker in the legacy audience.

In any case, it seems that this particular chapter in fractional collectibles is reaching its end. While there could surely be more chapters written, they would have to rise from the learnings of the early 2020s for platforms, investors, and constituents alike.

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

Sneaker Markets' Dystopian Utopia: Travis Scott Stretches Sneakerheads' Suspension of Disbelief
Alts & Ends

Sneaker Markets' Dystopian Utopia: Travis Scott Stretches Sneakerheads' Suspension of Disbelief

This article was featured in our newsletter, Alts & Ends. Click here to subscribe for free and receive the best collectible market insights straight to your inbox on a weekly basis!

Over the last 18 months, the unraveling of sneaker markets has been well documented. What seemed so unlikely a couple years ago is now reality: huge declines in price, pairs not selling out, and pairs flipping for discounts to retail price. The sneaker market frenzy, escalated into hyperdrive by pandemic-related supply chain issues in 2020 and 2021, has cooled and continues to do so.

You might think: Good. Finally, sneakerheads are acting more rationally.

Ah ah ah, not so fast, my friends. Because like collectors in other categories, it turns out sneakerheads will still go absolutely nuts for the most minute differences in product, as long as they're co-signed by their influencer of choice.

The white Nike Air Force 1 Low '07 is one of the most ubiquitous sneakers of the past few years. They're absolutely everywhere. In the last 12 months, StockX has sold nearly 79,000 men's pairs and over 10,000 women's pairs. Those are just secondary market sales of a shoe that's an absolute retail monster.

The volume is so significant that resellers will utilize the white AF1 as a vehicle to exploit market inefficiencies in a practice known as brick-flipping. They'll see the shoe for sale at a low price in one venue, and they'll sell it in another at a higher mark. The margins aren't enormous, but at times, there's enough volume to do it at scale and accumulate profits.

The white Air Force 1 is not hard to find, nor is it particularly expensive relative to other popular, less available Nike silhouettes. It retails for $110 and can be commonly found for resale prices ranging from $70-90. If you want a pair, you can have 'em, and you won't be gouged.

A popular and readily available sneaker?! In this market?! That cannot stand!

Travis Scott would not simply sit idle and let this relatively pure trend go unexploited.

This summer, Scott released a "Cactus Jack Utopia Edition" of the Air Force 1 Low '07. The shoe retailed for $150, 36% higher than the price of the original. The only difference? It features the Cactus Jack insignia and "Utopia" printed on the rear of the shoe. That's it.

In fact, once the sneakers were delivered to customers, they noticed the SKU of the sneaker actually precisely matched the SKU of the original Air Force 1 '07. The public perhaps assumed that because Scott is a prolific Nike collaborator, this shoe was a special collaboration with the brand. Nope. The matching SKUs indicate that this was instead a custom, with alterations made to existing shoes which were then released via Scott's own channels.

Laughably, the StockX description calls the sneaker "the embodiment of Travis' creative genius." That shoe? That's the embodiment? Okay, good to know. His creative genius is embodied by printing the word "Utopia" on a white sneaker. While Scott has received backlash for this "finesse," the market speaks for itself, and what it's voicing is...confusion. Some popular sizes are reselling for $300 or more, while others resell narrowly above the $150 retail price. The latter activity seems a bit more in-tune with what feels more like the embodiment of weak-market desperation than creative genius.

It's not always enough to tweak some details and slap an endorsement on a sneaker. A brand's efforts to create a successful collaboration are significant and often resonate as a result of myriad strategic decisions. Scott's actual Air Force 1 collaborations with the Swoosh have held value well and even gained value in some cases over the last 12 months, with some remaining four-figure sneakers. Consumers ascribe value to collaborations with people of influence, but that support isn't unconditional. Printing a word on one of the most ubiquitous sneakers in existence and charging $150 is asking a lot of a fanbase, basically imploring them to suspend disbelief and see this shoe as something more than what it is.

That's a loopy utopia even many of the most diehard sneakers aren't willing to visit.

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.

From Pikachu to Charizard: What Makes Pokémon Cards Worth Six Figures at Auction?

From Pikachu to Charizard: What Makes Pokémon Cards Worth Six Figures at Auction?

We pulled the top 50 lots from three large players in the Pokémon TCG space. PWCC, Heritage, and Goldin all have significant Pokémon card businesses; hosting monthly sales with lots that regularly find low to mid five figure sums. But sometimes, these houses will sell lots well in excess of six figures. 

In these top 50 lots from each house 42 of them reached a price of greater than six-figures. 28 of which were single, graded cards. While the remaining were anything from sealed boxes to sheets, card sets, and even original art.

Lets slice and dice these 150 lots to better understand what determines the value of some of the highest priced Pokémon cards:

Houses

average/median lot by house

The largest house of the three, Heritage Auctions, had only three lots in the top ten, but ten of the top twenty; pulling up their average up to $149k, way above their $91.5k median price. Both PWCC and Goldin experienced similar phenomena. 

While their averages only differ by around $3,000, PWCC’s median is $17k greater than that of Goldin’s. Almost entirely explained by Goldin’s wealth of low-ticket lots; among Goldin’s top 50, 16 prices fall  under 20 thousand dollars–both PWCC and Heritage’s lowest prices in the top 50 are $31,200 and $40,800 respectively. 

Goldin more than makes up for this in the average through selling four of the top five lots across houses. These four lots heavily skew Goldin’s average price, making up $2.2M–more than half the sum from Goldin’s 50 lots. 

Grades

average/median lot by Grader

Of these 150 lots, 96 of them were single, graded cards. Among these 96 the three graders represented were CGC, PSA, and BGS. CGC’s foothold within Pokémon is evident here, with the grader having by far the highest average and median of the bunch, at a whopping $138,050 and $87,500 respectively. Interestingly enough, these CGC cards have the lowest average grade received among the three. An average of 8.75 vs. around 9.5 for both PSA and BGS. Note that each grader’s scale is slightly different, so grader to grader is not perfect apples to apples comparison. For reference though, only 7% of CGC cards were graded a 10 (1 out of 14) whereas the remaining graders top cards saw 61% graded at a ten (49 out of 80).

The price differential in CGC vs. the rest can be explained by some highly sought-after cards having CGC slabs. A CGC 9.5 Pikachu Illustrator for $672k, as well as two CGC 6.5 Blastoise test prints selling for $216k. The prices behind these cards comes more from the rarity, and less so the grade. 

As mentioned above, many of these cards are valuable due to their scarcity as opposed to the grade itself. There are approximately 20 graded Pikachu Illustrators out there and only around five to ten graded Blastoise Test cards. So it does not need to be a ten for it to garner high-end prices.

average/median lot by grade received

Which is the exact reason for 6.5 topping this chart; the only 6.5 grades came from those two Blastoise Test cards. The 8 average was significantly affected by a $480k PSA 8 Pikachu Holofoil as well as a few more ultra-rare trainer cards that are only given out to people who place top 3 in a tournament; whose value again is more tied to the scarcity than it is to the card’s grade.

Production Year

average/median lot by production year

The older the card, the pricier it tends to be–pre-1999 cards boast an average lot price of $246k. Mainly due to the rarity of cards printed prior to . These cards were released before the 1999 English version, meaning that they were printed a bit before ‘Pokemania’ began in the west. Interestingly enough, the median grade for these ancient cards is 9, suggesting that collectors have kept them in pristine condition.

Now, let's talk about 1999—the year that saw the English base set make its grand entrance as well as the year Pokémon began taking over North American schoolyards. This set is a gold mine, with an average lot price of $100.2k. Remarkably, 31 of these cards depict Charizard, the fire-breathing icon of the Pokémon universe. Problem #1: Their count is 76, but only 34 cards fall under the 2000-2009 bracket. The numbers reveal that the most recent two-year ranges (2010-Present) have a lot of catching up to do, with an average lot price of $52.8k. Given that they've had less time to grow in value and collectability, can they ever match the glory of their predecessors?

Asset Type

average/median lot by type of asset

Let's break down this dataset by categories, shall we? First off, Single Cards. These beauties have an average lot price of $108k, yet a closer look reveals their median year is 1999, the year of the ever-present English base set. 

Boxes aren't far behind, with an average lot price of $115,080.65. But here's the kicker: 14 of the 23 boxes are first edition base sets, not all English though some French and German as well. And oh boy, those top five prices for sealed boxes? They're all First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Boxes. The price of these boxes has seemed to have tracked quite precisely with the prices of well-graded 1999 first edition cards. 

Moving on to Sets, which have an average price of $82.4k. Don't be fooled by the lower number; 10 out of the 19 sets here are 1999 first edition base sets–11 of which are PSA. Now, Sealed Games and Original Art take us into different territory. The former, the lowest grade of which was a 9.4, have an average lot price of $58.9k. The latter, well, let's just say it's a Pikachu party. Two out of the three original artworks are crystal Pikachu sculptures, one of which sold for a whopping $73,000. And lest we forget, Sheets, those beautiful nostalgia-inducing canvases, where 3 out of 4 are made up of 1999 first edition cards, have an average lot price of $120,490.

Subject

average/median lot by subject

First, let's talk about the big players. Pikachu, the electric mouse we all adore, tops the chart with an average lot price of $296,585; despite only appearing in the list 11 times, those assets received stellar valuations. 

Charizard. With an average lot price of $115,135, it might seem like it's trailing behind Pikachu, but don't be fooled. As far as TCG subjects go, Charizard is the GOAT. The dragon’s cards have been graded a million times, the only subject to have more graded copies? Michael Jordan.

Next, ‘Multiple’, meaning the lot featured more than one character, whether it be a set, box, or a card with multiple Pokémon. With 46 appearances and an average lot price of $88,454, boxes and sets surprisingly fall below the likes of singular assets representing only one subject.

And then there's the "Trainer" category. These cards are exceedingly rare, due to how they were initially acquired. Given only to top 3 players in a Pokémon TCG tournament, they have an average lot price of $115,484, and often have a population of just one. "Other" subjects? Well, those are the unsung heroes, appearing only once or twice in the top 150 list, but still commanding an average lot price of $52,085; names like Gyarados, Lugia, Arceus, and Torchic (among many others) have all experienced mid five-figure sales, but the chart would be nigh unreadable if we listed each one. 

Top 150 Subjects by total Sum ($)

In the high-stakes arena of Pokémon card auctions, we see a complex ecosystem shaped by multiple variables—rarity, grading, year of production, and subject. Older cards, particularly those pre-dating the 1999 Pokémania, enjoy premium valuations, often eclipsing newer counterparts. Grading, while crucial, isn't the end-all-be-all; cards like the CGC 6.5 Blastoise Test prints and tournament-awarded Trainer cards fetch astronomical prices due to their extreme rarity. Major houses like Heritage, PWCC, and Goldin navigate this landscape differently, with Heritage leaning into its volume of mid-tier lots, PWCC enjoying a higher median price point, and Goldin making headlines with a few top-dollar sales that significantly skew its average. Subjects like Pikachu and Charizard command awe-inspiring prices, yet it's often the less-expected categories like "Multiple" or the underrepresented "Other" that provide nuanced insights into the market's depth and diversity. Whether you're a collector, investor, or just a nostalgic fan, the Pokémon card market offers a compelling narrative, as intricate and varied as the Pokémon universe itself.

NOTE: The data used was collected on September 1st.

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Disclaimer: You understand that by reading Altan Insights, you are not receiving financial advice. No content published here constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. You further understand that the author(s) are not advising you personally concerning the nature, potential, value or suitability of any particular security, transaction, or investment strategy. You alone are solely responsible for determining whether an investment, security or strategy, or any other product or service, is appropriate or suitable for you based on your investment objectives and personal financial situation. Please speak with a financial advisor to understand if the risks inherent in trading are appropriate for you. Trade at your own risk.