Posts Tagged ‘reproduction’

Don’t Fall for the Hype

March 15, 2012

Recently, a comic book collection was sold at auction by Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Tx for $3.5 million. The collection was discovered by Michael Rorrer of Virginia. He was cleaning out his great aunt’s home when he found a collection of comic books from the 1930’s and 1940’s in a basement closet. Those comic books included:

  • Action Comics No. 1 from 1938, which features the debut of Superman. It sold for $299,000.  (Yes, the Holy Grail of comic books. Many experts feel that there are only 100 Action Comics No. 1 still in existence out of the 200,000 that were printed.)
  • Detective Comics No. 27 from 1939, which features the debut of Batman. It sold for $523,000.
  • Captain America No. 2 from 1941, which features a frightened Hitler on the cover. It sold for $114,000.

Before you start volunteering to clean out the homes of older relatives, it is important to note how lucky Rorrer is. Comic books from that era were throwaway items. They were printed on newsprint, so they were subject to wear and tear. They were also shared among friends, thrown out by Moms and collected as a part of wartime paper drives. Yet, the comic books in this collection survived all these years in good condition—good enough to get the prices in the hundreds of thousands range.

In addition, there are many comic books that aren’t that valuable. Yes, this collection featured Action Comics No. 1 and Detective Comics No. 27 two of the most valuable comic books out there.  What if the comic book collection contained Richie Rich or Casper The Friendly Ghost comics? One website sells Richie Rich comic books from the 1960’s for between $1.25 to $20.00. As for Casper, another website states that issue #60 from September 1952 sells for between $150.00 and $200.00. You can’t make enough money to quit your job by selling old Richie Rich or Casper comic books.

Which leads to this, it is great that Rorrer found the old comic books in his great aunt’s home, most of us won’t be that fortunate. Not every old item has value. Also, there are a lot reproductions out there. Taking Superman as an example, in 1974 DC Comics published an oversized exact reproduction of Action Comics No. 1. As you can guess, that comic book isn’t as worth as much as the original.

So, be happy for Rorrer that he found the comic books and made as much money as he did from them. Yet, don’t start seeing dollar signs when an old relative asks for your help clearing out stuff when he or she decides to move to a smaller home.



What To Look For When Buying A Movie Poster

March 31, 2010

Since I sell movie posters, I’ve learned a few things about what to look for when buying a movie poster and I want to share them with you. My tips are for those who are buying a poster via an Internet auction site, like eBay or Movie Poster Bid. Still, they are applicable for an offline purchase, as well.

Learn the lingo
If a seller states that he or she is selling a Midget Window Card or a Lobby Card and you have no idea what those things are, do a little research. Since you are spending your hard earned money on something, know what you are buying. Google any other unfamiliar terms to find out what they mean. FYI: A Midget Window Card is a 8 x 14 inch movie poster. It is a smaller version of the movie’s One Sheet poster, which is 27 x 40 inches, and it was used as a promotional item. The studios distributed the Midget Window Cards from 1932 to 1947. So, if you get your hands on a Midget Window Cards, know that you have something that is very rare. As for the Lobby Cards, you are going to have to look that up on your own.

Ask questions
If you can’t find what you are looking for or if there is anything you aren’t sure of, ask questions.  Ask questions of the seller and again go on Google and look up people who can give you the information that you need. Also, get second and possibly third opinions. Don’t stop until you get your answer. If you don’t get an answer, then go elsewhere for the item. On a related note, don’t feel that you are bothering the seller with your questions. As a seller of movie posters myself, I welcome questions. To me, questions are a sign that someone is interested in an item and is very close to making a purchase. So, you can ask me as many questions as you want, I won’t get annoyed.

Expect some condition issues

Movie posters are made of paper and they aren’t always treated with care. So, expect pinholes, creases, small tears and for older posters, some discoloration. If a poster looks pristine for its age, particularly if it is 10 years old or older, chances are that it is a reproduction. If the seller clearly states that the item in question is a reproduction, don’t feel like you are being cheated. Technology is such that you can get a high quality reproduction of a movie poster at a good price.

Know when things were done
Taking One Sheet movie posters as an example, One Sheet posters were printed on both sides starting in 1990. This is done so that when the posters are put in lighted display case, the poster colors stand out. So, if you run across a One Sheet movie poster from 1990 or later and it is not double sided, it is either a reproduction or a video/DVD release poster.

Deal with a reputable seller
Related to asking questions, if you are buying from an online seller, look for lots of positive comments. The more positive comments from different people, the better. If you are dealing with a seller offline, get recommendations from friends or go to Google, to do a little research on the seller. If after doing research, still aren’t sure about the seller, try someone else.  Of course, it is always good to remember two things when it comes to making purchases:

1)    If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
2)    You lost nothing if you walk away from a deal you don’t feel good about with your money still in your pocket.

Source: Heritage Magazine “Mini Movie Posters” page 25, Summer 2008