Bid Smart: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collectibles are no joke

A copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 signed by co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird achieved $55,000 plus the buyer’s premium in April 2021. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

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A copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 signed by co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird achieved $55,000 plus the buyer’s premium in April 2021. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.
A copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 signed by co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird achieved $55,000 plus the buyer’s premium in April 2021. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions and LiveAuctioneers.

NEW YORK — The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) franchise is something of an accidental success. Artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird collaborated on a comic book that parodied some of their favorite comic series, and inadvertently gave rise to a multibillion-dollar franchise about four baby turtles that were transformed into human-like mutant superheroes and learned to be ninjas from a sewer rat that named them after the Renaissance artists Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael.

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Collection of pop culture insider Andy Yanchus continues at Bruneau & Co. Oct. 18

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CRANSTON, R.I. — Bruneau & Co. returns Wednesday, October 18 with part four of the Andy Yanchus collection, a trove of pop culture, toys and internal Marvel Comics items that reflects the depth of knowledge only an industry insider would have. The catalog is now available for online-only bidding at LiveAuctioneers.

Yanchus (1944-2021) had a remarkable pop culture life. He served as head of model kits at the legendary Aurora Plastics Company, then later moved to Marvel Comics, where he served as staff colorist on a number of well-regarded titles during a nearly 20-year period, including Uncanny X-Men and Alpha Flight.

An avid model builder as a youth, Yanchus never lost his love for toys, creating a collection with a keen eye for uniqueness and rarity, as seen in this sale.

The auction’s top lot comes from Mego, the 1970s-dominant action figure and playset maker. The 1981 Greatest American Hero Convertible Bug is a simple playset from a largely forgotten superhero television show, but its rarity in the market commands an estimate of $800-$1,200.

One of the stars of the sale is Yanchus’s collection of Marvel color guides. These were hand-drawn and -colored comic book covers, stamped and marked for approval by Marvel, and retained by Yanchus in his collection. A total of 33 color guides appear in the sale, with estimates ranging from $200-$500.

Created in response to the early-1980s onslaught of Mattel Masters of the Universe toys, Kenner’s Super Powers Collection was an early release in their partnership with DC Comics. Based on various DC universe characters, the line is not well known today except among ardent collectors. The Cyborg carded action figure in the Yanchus collection is estimated at $400-$600.
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Marvel Spectacular Spider-Man #6 cover color guide, estimated at $200-$300 at Bruneau & Co.
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1981 Mego Greatest American Hero convertible bug playset, estimated at $800-$1,200 at Bruneau & Co.
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1971 Mattel Hot Wheels Redline team trailer, estimated at $300-$500 at Bruneau & Co.
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1986 Kenner Super Powers Cyborg, estimated at $400-$600 at Bruneau & Co.
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1980 Takara Microman Blizzard Rolling Thunder, estimated at $400-$600 at Bruneau & Co.
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Comic books, Star Wars figures and video games at Bruneau & Co., May 6

Copy of DC Comics ‘Sensation Comics’ #13 from January 1943, graded CGC 3.0, with a classic wartime cover by H. G. Peter showing Wonder Woman at a bowling alley, estimated at $2,000-$3,000
Copy of DC Comics ‘Sensation Comics’ #13 from January 1943, graded CGC 3.0, with a classic wartime cover by H. G. Peter showing Wonder Woman at a bowling alley, estimated at $2,000-$3,000
Copy of DC Comics ‘Sensation Comics’ #13 from January 1943, graded CGC 3.0, with a wartime cover showing Wonder Woman at a bowling alley, estimated at $2,000-$3,000

CRANSTON, R.I. – Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers will present an auction titled Graded Showcase: Comics, Toys & Video Games on Saturday, May 6. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.“This will be a fun, 154-lot auction,” said Bruneau & Co.’s Director of Pop Culture Travis Landry, adding, “The focus is on professionally graded comics, toys and video games.”

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Battle Cat ride-on toy could bounce to the top at Bruneau, March 11

1985 Wonder Masters of the Universe Battle Cat ride-on spring bouncer, estimated at $800-$1,200
1985 Wonder Masters of the Universe Battle Cat ride-on spring bouncer, estimated at $800-$1,200
Wonder Masters of the Universe Battle Cat ride-on spring bouncer toy dating to 1985, estimated at $800-$1,200

CRANSTON, R.I. – Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ Winter Comic, TCG (Trading Card Games) & Toy auction is slated for Saturday, March 11, beginning at 10 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers. Bruneau’s Director of Pop Culture Travis Landry described it as “certainly the most diverse sale we have ever had for the department.”

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Top dealers from 10 states to set up at The Big Collectibles Show, Oct. 21-22

Pair of 1936 Landon & Knox political license plate toppers, offered by Lon Ellis, $1,600 for the pair

NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Where can a $5 bill buy collectors an entertaining day of antiques and collectibles shopping, free expert appraisals, and admission to one of America’s most exciting museums? At The Big Collectibles Show taking place October 21 and 22 at the MAPS (Military Air Preservation Society) Air Museum.

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Wonder Woman’s debut comic book may lasso $50K at Bruneau, Oct. 1

D.C. Comics Wonder Woman #1, with the first appearance of Ares and a retelling of the origin of Wonder Woman, estimated at $30,000-$50,000

CRANSTON, R.I. – The Henry Anderson collection of Golden Age comic books – modest in size at just 150 lots but important in content, with comics that include Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) and Wonder Woman #1 (Summer 1942), both from D.C. Comics – will be offered on Saturday, October 1 by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, beginning at 10 am Eastern time. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Scarce Magic: The Gathering cards in play at Bruneau, Feb. 26

Magic: The Gathering Beta Black Lotus card, graded CGC 9 Mint, est. $40,000-$60,000
Magic: The Gathering Beta Black Lotus card, graded CGC 9 Mint, est. $40,000-$60,000

CRANSTON, R.I. – Anyone who doubts the soaring popularity of Magic: The Gathering (MTG) trading cards should look no further than Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers’ Winter Comic, TCG (Trading Card Games) & Toy auction slated for Saturday, February 26, starting at 10 am Eastern. The top five lots – all MTG cards – have a combined high estimate of $135,000. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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PBA presents pre-Code Horror, Golden & Silver Age comic books Feb. 3

Seven Seas No. 4, est. $10,000-$20,000
Seven Seas No. 4, est. $10,000-$20,000
Seven Seas No. 4, est. $10,000-$20,000

BERKELEY, Calif. – PBA Galleries will host an auction titled Comic Books: Pre-Code Horror, Golden Age, Silver Age and Undergrounds on February 3. It will be PBA’s fourth comic book sale, and as with the three previous outings, this sale’s focus is on pre-Code horror, crime, and related genres. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.

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Even CGC low-graded Spider-Man comics triumphed at Bruneau

Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), featuring the origin and first appearance of Spider-Man, graded CGC 1.0, $25,000
Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), featuring the origin and first appearance of Spider-Man, graded CGC 1.0, $25,000
Marvel Comics’ Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962), featuring the origin and first appearance of Spider-Man, graded CGC 1.0, $25,000

CRANSTON, R.I. – Vintage Spider-Man comic books – even ones in poor condition – can still bring dizzying prices at auction, as was proven in Bruneau & Co.’s Comic, TCG, Toy & Sports Auction held December 11. Two early 1960s comics featuring Spidey – one graded CGC 1.0 and the other CGC 2.0 – brought a combined $36,562.

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Heritage sales exceed $1B in 2021 – a first for the Dallas-based auction house

J.C. Leyendecker, ‘Beat-up Boy, Football Hero,’ $4.12 million. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.
J.C. Leyendecker, ‘Beat-up Boy, Football Hero,’ $4.12 million. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

J.C. Leyendecker, ‘Beat-up Boy, Football Hero,’ $4.12 million. Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions

DALLAS – Heritage Auctions recorded $1.4 billion in sales in 2021, marking the first time in its 45-year history the Dallas-based auction house has surpassed the billion-dollar mark. Heritage also set numerous auction world records during the past year, including ones for the world’s most valuable comic book, J.C. Leyendecker painting, video game, Michael Jordan jersey, Peanuts artwork, hockey trading card and Harry Potter book. And it did not take a magic wand to reach this extraordinary benchmark.

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