Auction Action by Altan Insights: September 8, 2021
Goldin Auction Preview
Goldin Auctions steps into a new realm next weekend as they close their first-ever event dedicated entirely to comic books, trading cards, and video games. From sealed Pokemon boxes to graded comic books, there are plenty of items available for bidding that are direct comps to assets currently trading on alternative asset marketplaces. Altan Insights will complete a full preview of the event with a focus on the offerings fractional investors should follow next week.
Fractional Wish List
This section highlights assets that would fit in the fractional world but have not been offered as of publication.
Rally has offered two Superman comics: #14 and #21. Investors accepted a buyout offer for $149,084 in July for the #14 example, which resulted in a 14.7% ROI, while the #21 version has gained 130% since IPO. Goldin has a Superman #1 up for auction with a current price of $46,000. The comic is graded CGC 1.0 and there are only 68 total graded examples for the pre-war comic that was published in 1939. The Goldin comic is missing a section of the top right corner and the second half of the title is ripped. The Origin of Superman is considered a grail in the comic book world and although the Goldin copy has defects, it is incredibly difficult to find unrestored examples that are 100% in their original state. The 1st edition of Superman sold for ten cents when it hit shelves in 1939 and was not the debut of the hero. Superman first appeared in a copy of Action Comics #1 a year earlier and gained enough attention to warrant the creation of this standalone comic. Rally previously IPO'd a copy of the 1940 Action Comics graded CGC 5.5 for $28,000.
Speaking of grails, it is likely that no item at the Goldin event will outpace the final price struck by the 1940 D.C Comics Batman #1 (CGC 8.0) which has already soared to $860,000 through 11 bids. There are 128 graded examples of the original Batman with only seven unrestored examples graded higher than the comic featured at Goldin. Batman debuted in a different series called “Detective Comics” in 1939 but the superhero received his own stage in 1940. The iconic cover was designed by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson and also introduced characters including Batman’s sidekick Robin who is pictured soaring through the air beside Batman on the cover. Infamous villains Catwoman and The Joker also made their debuts in this first edition copy. The Goldin Batman is signed by renowned collector Lamont Larson, the original owner of the 1st edition copy. The late-Larson passed away in December and his incredible story did not become public until later in his life. Larson began collecting at age 9 while living in a quiet town in Northeast Nebraska. He purchased comics from a local drug store and after reading, stored them in a barn throughout the 1940s. His mother ultimately sold his collection to an antique dealer. Today, mint condition examples of 1st edition gems such as this Batman occasionally appear on the auction block with a young Larson’s signature prominently placed on the cover. Rally currently has a Batman #1 graded CGC 1.5 trading at an $85,000 market cap, up 17.1% from IPO.
There are a few examples of the 1989 NES Tecmo Bowl available for bidding at Goldin Auction but none carry the quality and distinction of the WATA 9.6 copy that has reached $12,000 through the first 9 bids. Tecmo Bowl was the first console game ever produced to feature real NFL players and the first game to receive a license from the NFL Players Association. The 1987 game included 12 NFL teams and was famous for featuring an unstoppable Bo Jackson. Tecmo Bowl would also be the first sports game to be fractionalized as the asset class has consisted primarily of Pokémon games.
We have seen Pokémon, Magic, and Yu-Gi-Oh cards fractionalized, leaving investors to ponder: What’s next? Goldin has a lot that features 2019 Dragon Ball Z cards from the 2019 National Tournament that would introduce a new series to the world of Reg A assets. These cards were produced specifically for the top three finishers at the event which provides added value to their extreme scarcity and limited print run. The game also has a potential catalyst on the horizon with a new movie scheduled to be released in 2022. The Dragon Ball Z cards are currently priced at $80,000 and could continue towards six figures with less than two weeks remaining in the auction.
This feature includes cards that we find particularly interesting and are still available at an affordable price.
While he was dominating the NBA with powerful post moves and vicious dunks, Shaquille O’Neal was already carving out career opportunities outside of basketball. Although Shaq has found success in the booth at TNT and in some of his business ventures, the production of Shaq Fu in 1994 was largely considered a flop. Writers at IGN ranked the game as one of their 10-worst 1990s games ever produced and Allgame called the controls “sluggish” and Shaq, “unrecognizable”. Even with the poor reviews, the legend of Shaq has made copies of this 2D fighting simulator a hit among collectors. Goldin has a copy of the game graded 9.6 by WATA that also includes a Shaq Rap CD tucked inside the sealed case. The buyer would need to break the plastic to hear Shaq’s lyrical talent though and the price to acquire this sealed game sits at $1,000 through one bid.
Goldin has an auction lot that highlights another NBA legend who built a career while donning the gold and purple Lakers jersey. A young Kobe Bryant is the featured athlete on the copy of Nintendo’s 1998 NBA Courtside which is available for bidding with a price that has hit $1,200 with 10 days remaining. Bryant was just 19 when this game was produced, emphasizing his talent and skills even at a young age. This game made Kobe the youngest NBA player to have a game named after him and featured the rising star in only his second season. Unlike Shaq Fu, the Kobe Bryant branded Courtside received high praise from gaming publications. While the game featured full NBA rosters, two players are notably missing from the lineup. Michael Jordan is not included in the game due to a licensing disagreement and Latrell Sprewell was omitted since he was serving a 68-game suspension prior to the release date. The game includes a fictitious player named "Roster Player #98" who was used to replace MJ.
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