‘With great power comes great responsibility’ – so check that attic ‘responsibly’ for rare ‘Spidey’ valuables among the cobwebs
One of the biggest movies of the Summer Spider-Man: Far From Home has just had its UK release. It’s on course to be a box-office mega-earner.
A spin-off from all the publicity and hype surrounding this latest film, starring British actor Tom Holland, is a boost in demand for the vast range of Spider-Man collectables.
It’s perfect timing for aficionados of Spider-Man comics and there’s one man I know will be watching movements in the market with great interest.
His name is Martin Morris of Newcastle-under Lyme, UK. Martin featured recently on the BBC and national newspapers because he is selling one of the UK’s biggest and most comprehensive collections of Marvel and DC comics in the UK.
Martin, 63, started his collection when he was five-years old with his dad paying a few pence each week for five or six comics. It became a lifetime obsession and he now has about 36,000 super hero comics in store. Somewhere in that carefully catalogued collection is one of the most sought-after issues in the history of comics.
It’s a 1962 edition of Amazing Fantasy featuring the debut image of Spider-Man on its cover and known as AF #15, – 15 being the edition number.
Since those early days, Spider-Man, the creation of the late Stan Lee (pictured) and Steve Ditko, has enjoyed a glorious ‘career’ generating billions of dollars from films, books and merchandising of all manner of goodies.
Comics insiders expect Martin’s AF #15, to fetch at least £10,000 when it eventually sells.
It’s only a few weeks since he announced his decision to sell-the collection following a heart attack, but I contacted him to see how the sale is progressing.
He told me: “I have only put a few hundred on e-bay to test the waters but I’ve already sold about £1,500s worth. I haven’t offered the AF #15 just yet. A local auction house has said they’ll act for me, if I wish to use their services.”
It’s probably a wise decision by Martin to hold back the sale with the movie only just out on release. As he told reporters from all over the world, although his comic jewel is in good condition rather than pristine condition, it could easily sell for a five-figure sum.
One pristine version AF #15 sold in Dallas Texas in 2016 for a cool £350,000.
Web sellers asking for $910 for Spider-Man Funko
Spider-Man has been adapted a host of times on-screen, in comics and in animation, so it’s no surprise that he is one of the most adapted Funko Pop characters.
The metallic The Amazing Spider-Man edition comes in at an estimated value of $310, but one of the most valuable of the pop web slingers is the metallic San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Marvel Universe Spider-Man which comes in at an estimated $910.
With the increase in Spidey’s stock as a character in 2018 and 2019, we can only imagine that the pops will increase in value.
£500 plus for Daily Bugle
Spider-Man movie memorabilia are quite rare. On-set promotional material such as baseball caps, T-shirts and signed posters, even some elements of original costume, are available, but one prop that stands out, is a mock-up of a newspaper front page made for director Sam Raimi’s movie version.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) tries to earn money by photographing himself on his Spider-Man adventures and selling them to the ‘Daily Bugle’ newspaper whose editor is the flaky and paranoid editor J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons.)
In one ‘edition’ the front page headline screams ‘SPIDER-MAN’S REIGN OF TERROR!’ showing a picture of Spider-Man chasing a criminal. An authentic copy of that front page is now up for sale at £569.
What about a vintage Mego company Spider-Man figurine, which harks back to the late 1970s?
It is regarded as a classic among collectors and much sought after although there were many variants during that period.
The interesting story behind this model, according to one respected reviewer, was that 1977 Mego made a blunder with the moulds, attributing Spider-Man as a DC Comics hero, on the back of the figure’s neck. The 1978 version was corrected to Marvel Comics. It’s not clear how many of the 1977 versions are still around, but you can bet your bottom dollar they are worth even more than the corrected versions.
What would a vintage piece like this go for today? The current asking price for a typical unboxed version on eBay is about £1,200 ($1,400) according to The Gamer website.
McFarlane / Campbell Superposeable Spider-Man
For years, fans referred to this figure colloquially as “McFarlane Spidey,”. Everything about it looks like a McFarlane drawing, from the shape of the eyes to the shape of the toes. But according it’s actually based on the art of J. Scott Campbell.
Todd McFarlane has a very unique take on superheroes. The Superposeable Spider-Man design was done in collaboration with Scott Campbell and mixed their two styles into a beautiful toy.
The figure was sculpted by Dave Cortes, he sculpted in all the webs on the costume. The fact that the webs are sculpted might be part of why this toy gets identified as McFarlane Spidey. The first Spider-Man toy to have sculpted webs was 1997’s “Web Net Trap” Spider-Man, which was also based on McFarlane’s art.
Over time it’s become rarer still because of the collaborative effort which brought it to life. The price varies but usually goes for about… $200-300 USD (eBay)
Thinking outside the bucket
With the latest Spider-Man movie now in UK cinemas, this is could be an ideal time to look for items that might become collectable. It could be a fairly cheap promotional item, likely to be easily forgotten but in the future, it could become sought-after, because it has gained novelty and rarity value.
For example this Spider-Man Far From Home popcorn bucket with detachable eye mask is pretty cool. I’m not sure popcorn buckets are common in the UK but they are for sale on eBay for £20. Who decides to keep a popcorn bucket for any length of time? What might it be worth 25 years from now?
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