CRANSTON, R.I. – A rare copy of Marvel Comics Amazing Fantasy #15 from August 1962 – the first appearance of Spider-Man in a comic book, signed by the legendary artist-illustrator Stan Lee – sold for $13,750 at a Fall Toy, Comic & Comic Art Auction held October 28th by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, online and in the firm’s gallery at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston.
The comic, graded well at 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.
Amazing Fantasy #15 was the star lot of the sale, but 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. 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 pre-sale estimates. Internet bidding provided by LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com and Bidsquare.com. 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 non-military 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 to a determined bidder for $2,625.
Multiple copies of Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk #181 from November 1974 – featuring the debut of Wolverine – also came under the gavel. 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 wasn’t signed by anyone 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 graded 85 Y-NM++, with just a little yellowing to the bubble but a great example of a rare figure ($1,219).
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has a slate of auctions planned for November. It will hold a live-only on-site auction on Saturday, November 18th, at 11 am (address to be released one month before the auction); and a live-only DiscoverIt sale followed by a huge fall auction on November 25th.
# # # #
63 Fourth Avenue
Cranston, Rhode Island
About Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers
Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers is a full-service auction company based in Cranston, R.I. The firm specializes in fine art, antiques and collectibles in the liquidation of estates and collections.