CRANSTON, R.I. – A scarce copy of Marvel Comics Amazing Fantasy #15 from August 1962 – the first appearance of Spider-Man in a comic book and signed by the legendary artist-illustrator Stan Lee – sold for $13,750 at a Fall Toy, Comic & Comic Art Auction held Oct. 28 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. Absentee and Internet bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.
The comic, graded CBCS Gold Label 2.5, is desirable to collectors because it not only introduced the iconic Spider-Man to the comic book-crazy readers of the era but also the other peripheral characters, such as Aunt May, Uncle Ben, Flash Thompson and Liz Allen. The fact that it was signed by Stan Lee (witnessed on Nov. 12, 2016) only added to the comic book’s cachet (above).
Also offered was an astounding collection of Hasbro G.I. Joe action figure dolls from the collection of a former Hasbro employee in Rhode Island, plus other rare and highly collectible comics. Over 300 lots of pop culture items, curated from collections across the country, crossed the auction block that day. Participation was strong.
“It’s amazing how every auction gets more diverse and interesting as more attention is given to pop culture these days,” said Bruneau & Co. President Kevin Bruneau. Travis Landry, the firm’s Director of Pop Culture, added, “It was a strong day for 1960s-era G.I. Joes, even though the market has been generally soft. It just goes to prove that the best of everything will always sell.”
Landry said, “It was a thrill to sell the copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 and the Action Pilot dress uniform set.” He was referring to the circa-1964 Hasbro G.I. Joe Action Pilot dress uniform equipment set, which finished at $2,688 and included a dress jacket, dress pants and dress shirt (below). Each piece was factory sealed in the original cellophane, with a G.I. Joe helmet form sticker.
Following are additional highlights from the auction, which attracted a small but powerful crowd of 14 people to the gallery. There were 49 alternate bids; six were phone bidders on numerous lots. The results for G.I. Joe went well beyond estimates. All prices include buyer’s premium.
A circa-1967 Hasbro Action Marine 7727 Rifle-Rack equipment set, in excellent condition and factory-sealed, with a G.I. Joe helmet form sticker changed hands for $2,812. Bidders were not deterred by minor blemishes but were drawn to the illustration card back that retained its vibrant colors and displayed beautifully. The lot also came with a factory sealed Action Marine mess kit.
A circa-1967 Hasbro Action Joe State Trooper uniform, factory sealed in its original Hasbro bag marked “Made in Hong Kong” and offered only through Sears, blasted through its estimate of $400-$600 and knocked down for $1,688. The uniform was part of a test market for nonmilitary G.I. Joe action figures that only produced two play sets – the state trooper and a race car driver.
Two copies of Marvel Comics Avengers #1 from September 1963 came up for bid, featuring the first appearance and origin of the popular Avengers. One of the books was signed by Stan Lee (witnessed Nov. 12, 2016) and was graded CBCS Gold Label 4.0 ($2,125). The other example was not signed but was graded highly at CBCS 5.0. It went for $2,625.
Multiple copies of Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk #181 from November 1974 – featuring the debut of Wolverine – also found buyers. One was signed by both Stan Lee and Roy Thomas (witnessed on Nov. 12, 2016) and was graded CBCS Gold Label 7.0 ($1,875). The other was unsigned but still carried a CBCS 7.0 grade and finished at a respectable $1,750.
Also sold were a copy of Marvel Comics X-Men #1 from Sept. 1963 – the first appearance of Magneto and the X-Men and the X-Men’s origin – signed by Stan Lee and graded CBCS 4.0 ($3,062); and a French-made 1978 Meccano Star Wars 20 back Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (below) graded 85 Y-NM++, with just tinge of yellowing to the bubble but a great example of a rare figure ($1,219).
To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers email the company at email@example.com.