Tanknator

This is my second Tanknator. (My first was in dark olive green.) It has a rotating turret. I had earlier blogged that “[a]lthough it belongs to the HW Daredevils series (and not the HW Ride-Ons series), it seems that it can hold a LEGO Minifigure in its turret.” It seems that I was mistaken. According to the Hot Wheels Wikia, a LEGO Minifigure doesn’t fit; this model was made for Mega Bloks figures.

DHW91-D7B3

Alice fails to sell

A few months ago, I learned from Fine Books & Collections that the auction house Christie’s was selling a copy of the first issue of Alice‚Äôs Adventures in Wonderland in a stand-alone sale on June 16, 2016. They estimated it to sell for $2,000,000 to $3,000,000. The copy “is one of ten surviving copies still in original red cloth, only two of which are in private hands, the other described as “heavily worn.””

After the auction, I was excited to see what price the copy would realize, but a quick internet search did not yield any information. Even the Christie’s website was silent about what had happened.

It was only a few days ago that I learned from FB&C that (even though the bidding reached $1,800,000) the copy “failed to meet its reserve and did not sell.”

Unrestored is better?

I understand why amateur restoration (such as putting tape over a tear or trimming an edge) can seriously decrease the value of a comic book, but given a choice of a damaged comic book or the same comic book with the damages repaired using professional restoration (such as leaf casting), I would prefer the latter.

That’s why I’m a little uncomfortable with the recent case of an unrestored Action Comics #1. (Of the around 100 copies of Action Comics #1 that still exist, only 37 have been certified by the Certified Guaranty Company (CGC) as unrestored.) The copy was graded 5.5 (from a scale of the lowest 0.5 to the highest 10.0), and was sold by Heritage Auctions last August 4, 2016 for $956,000. (The image below is an edited version of one from here.)

action55

The price that was realized is a little high considering that it was estimated to sell for $750,000 and that an unrestored Action Comics #1 graded 9.0 was sold a few years ago for (only) $3,207,852.

But the thing that disturbs me is that this CGC 5.5 comic book was originally graded an apparent 7.5 when it was bought in the 1990s for $26,000. (The CGC uses the word “apparent” in its grading to indicate a restored copy.) Quoting from Heritage Auctions:

This copy was previously certified Apparent 7.5 by CGC, with tear seals being the only restoration noted. The tears at the top and bottom of the spine had been sealed using an archival quality glue, which bonded to the spine without degrading the integrity of the paper. The book was recently submitted to Classic Collectible Services (CCS), who were able to safely remove the glue, returning the book to its former state.

It thus seems that removing the glue resulted in the value being multiplied by almost 37 times.

This veneration of unrestored copies is also seen in the unrestored coverless 0.3 copy sold in the same auction for $65,725. (The image below is an edited version of one from here.) (CGC does not grade coverless comic books, so this one was certified by Comic Book Certification Service (CBCS).)

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But it seems that CGC is making some effort to recognize the value of professional restoration. In 2014, it updated its restoration grading scale to differentiate restoration from conservation.

Attack Track

DJW08-2B10

When I was a child in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Matchbox made scale models superior to those of Hot Wheels. The bases of the Matchbox models I had were made of highly detailed metal while those of the Hot Wheels models were made of extremely cheap looking plastic. A few decades later, the quality of Matchbox models dropped. When I started collecting scale models as an adult, I favored the weird-looking (“fantasy”) models of Hot Wheels over the boring normal vehicles of Matchbox.

But lately Matchbox has been making quality models that look really cool. I bought this Attack Track because I like affordable nice-looking military vehicles and because it has a detachable missile. In my experience, toys with detachable missiles quickly get discontinued, possibly due to complaints about choking hazards.