Rare comics, comic art, Star Wars figures top Hake’s $1.5M auction

‘Showcase’ #4, Sept./Oct. 1956, CGC-graded 8.0 VF, featured origin and first appearance of the Silver Age Flash (Barry Allen). Sold for $75,284

YORK, Pa. – Hake’s first pop culture memorabilia auction of the new decade scored a solid $1.5 million, bolstered by sales of key comic books, rare original comic art, Star Wars action figures, political memorabilia, and other prized collectibles.

The March 11-12 sale boasted more than 1,600 comics, including 300+ issues that were certified (mostly by CGC). The selection was led by Showcase #4 CGC 8.0, a coveted title that introduces the Silver Age “Flash,” one of several superheroes DC Comics reinvented in the post-WWII era. It landed within its estimate range at $75,284.

Comic books continued their impressive run with Incredible Hulk #1, CGC 5.5, with the Hulk’s origin and first appearance, powering its way to $19,275. A CGC 6.0 example of Fantastic Four #1, Signature Series Stan Lee, introducing Marvel’s first superhero team, commanded $17,700.

Winsor McCay, original Jungle Imps art for 1903 Sunday comic strip, ‘Why the Parrot Learned to Talk,’ 19¾ x 23 1/8in., mounted on illustration board. Sold for $49,973

The auction included very rare original comic art by the legendary cartoonist Winsor McCay (American, circa 1866/71-1934). His 1903 mixed-media Sunday color page titled “Why the Parrot Learned to Talk,” featuring mischievous characters known as “The Jungle Imps,” brushed its high estimate with a selling price of $49,973. Also, McCay’s 1911 linen-mounted cartoon poster for Little Nemo reached the midpoint of its estimate range at $15,576.

Extremely rare Darth Vader 12 Back-A double-telescoping lightsaber action figure from Kenner’s 1978 Star Wars toy line, unpunched, white stand denoting early production. CIB LOA. Sold for $47,200

A Darth Vader double-telescoping 12-back-A action figure, graded AFA 75 Ex+/NM, made $47,200. Created for Kenner’s 1978 toy line, it was factory-packaged with an unpunched card and, significantly, a white cardboard stand beneath the figure’s feet. “It was a very early production. Only a prototype could have pre-dated it,” said Alex Winter, president of Hake’s Auctions.

Howard Chaykin, original pen-and-ink art from the Marvel comic ‘Star Wars’ #2, Aug. 1977, Pg. 27. 10½ x 15¾ in. Sold for $24,272

Mustering many franchise favorites in a single pivotal scene – including Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and C-3PO – the original art for Page 27 of the comic book Star Wars #2 surpassed expectations at $24,272. Drawn by Howard Chaykin and inked by Steve Leialoha, the page comes from the second part of the A New Hope comic adaptation published in August 1977. Also, the original Nick Cardy cover artwork for Superboy #197, with a terrific image of the Legion of Super-Heroes battling Timberwolf, flew to $14,746.

Superman poster linked to 1968 comic book promotion inviting guests to visit Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey, 82 x 42 inches. Sold for $14,927

America’s original superhero, Superman, dominates a colorful, larger-than-lifesize poster inviting guests to visit Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey, which was entered in the sale with a $5,000-$10,000 estimate. Measuring 82 by 42 inches, the poster references a 1968 comic book promotion for which three styles of posters were produced – the other two depicting Batman and Wonder Woman, respectively. “All of the posters from this promotion are very rare. This was the first example of its type that Hake’s had ever offered,” Alex Winter said. The final selling price was $14,927.

Original box art for Remco’s 1980-81 series of six Universal 9-inch monster action figures, including L to R: Dracula, Wolfman, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, plus (not shown) Frankenstein, Mummy, and Phantom of the Opera. The six paintings sold in total for $49,119, with “Creature” leading the group at $13,565.

An exceptional opportunity presented itself in the form of six original paintings created as the box art for Remco’s 1980-81 series of Universal 9-inch monster action figures. The framed paintings of Frankenstein, Dracula, the Mummy, Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, which were acquired directly from sources at Remco, attracted huge pre-sale interest. They sold in total for $49,119, with “Creature” topping the group at $13,565.

Highlights from the music memorabilia category included a pair of Ringo Starr’s personally-used Gretsch drumsticks, $9,767; and a rare 1978 promotional album for AC/DC’s “PowerAge” autographed by all band members, including original vocalist Bon Scott (1946-1980). It exceeded high estimate, selling for $5,428.

Grant and Colfax 1868 campaign parade flag, glazed cotton, 5.25 x 8.25in. Sold for $7,139

Flying high over Hake’s parade of early political memorabilia, a Grant and Colfax 1868 campaign parade flag rose to $7,139 against an estimate of $2,000-$5,000. The glazed cotton flag is overprinted in bold black ink along white stripes: “U.S. Grant For President. S. Colfax For Vice President.”

An 1801 Liverpool Creamware pitcher with a portrait of Thomas Jefferson and an early version of the American Seal hammered $6,567. Hake’s catalog noted that it is likely the plate example listed in Arman’s Anglo-American Ceramics.

Rare Theodore Roosevelt ‘The Winner’ real-photo portrait button, previously unlisted in Ted Hake’s ‘Political Buttons’ price guides. Sold for $4,997

The March 11-12 auction was packed with desirable political campaign buttons, including a rare Theodore Roosevelt “The Winner” real-photo portrait button. Previously unlisted in Ted Hake’s Political Buttons price guides and estimated at $1,000-$2,000, it spurred competitive bidding that pushed it all the way to $4,997.

The best of pop culture memorabilia included entertainment-related toys like this James Bond Secret Agent 007 Action Puppet on original card, made by Gilbert, copyright 1965. It sold for $7,496.

Hake’s is currently accepting consignments for a July 2020 auction. For additional information, call 866-404-9800 (toll-free) or 717-434-1600. Email hakes@hakes.com.