Published: April 14, 2020
Review by Greg Smith, Catalog Photos Courtesy Bruneau & Co
CRANSTON, R.I. – Right on time for spring, Bruneau & Co’s quarterly Comic & Toy auction whisked bidders away to faraway lands with 432 lots of fantasy on April 4. The sale passed only five of those lots for a 99 percent sell-through rate. The overwhelming majority of the sale was offered up from four collections, with a handful of other consignors contributing lots in small quantities.
“The sale went over our high estimate, better than our expectations,” said Bruneau & Co.’s director of pop culture Travis Landry. “There were some middle range books that did very well, some of them that don’t trend very often, so it shows the interest is strong. I don’t know if everyone was just cooped up in their house, but at least for us, there’s no sign of a weakened economy. Anything that was a key issue sold at the latter half of the high estimate.”
The sale was led by a Marvel comics Tales of Suspense #39, CGC grade 4.5, that sold for $9,688 after 19 bids. This 1963 comic represents the origin and first appearance of Iron Man. The result handily broke the record for that grade of that issue, which was set at $7,100 in 2019.
“We estimate in accordance with GPAnalysis, Comic Link and GoCollect,” Landry said. “We had dealers messaging us asking how we were getting these prices, because comics usually only sell within ten to 15 percent of the value, they’re like a commodity. But a lot of our buyers are end users, so it speaks to the strength of the market and the marketing we put on the sales.”
Other Marvel comics did well, including a Tales to Astonish #27, CGC grade 3.5, that took $3,875. The January 1962 comic was the first appearance of scientist Hank Pym, who would become Ant-Man after developing a size reduction serum. The issue in this grade also broke a record, which was previously set at $2,450. Tales To Astonish #14, CGC grade 5.0, also set a record for that issue in that grade when it brought $3,750. The previous record for a 5.0 was $3,100. The issue features the first appearance of Groot. Both of these issues sold to the same buyer.
Toys performed strong. Leading the category was a five-piece 1969 Mattel Hot Wheels redline group with cut cards that brought $1,188 on a $400 estimate.
A collection of Japanese tin toys, including robots, brought in some good results. Landry said many of them are shipping to international buyers.
A Bullmark Mirrorman Ultraman tin lithograph toy took $875, a Takatoku Akumaizer 3 Zabitan tin lithograph robot brought $688, a Bullmark UFO Diapolon key wind tin robot took $625 and a Yoshiya Chief Robotman battery operated tin toy took the same.
On their postsale routine, Landry said the firm is operating with just four people right now but is shipping things out with haste and cataloging items for future sales. The team took advantage of the downtime and painted their gallery. “How things shape up in the next month or two will dictate our sales going forward,” he said. The firm intends to hold an online-only trading card sale dedicated to Pokémon, Magic: The Gathering and Yu-Gi-Oh! cards at the end of May.
All prices reported include the online buyer’s premium. For information, 401-533-9980 or www.bruneauandco.com.
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