On The Square

Top 5 Picks with Travis Landry: December Auctions

By Travis Landry, Director of Pop Culture at Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers

Dec 08,2021 | 11:00 EST

One of the reasons I love living in New England is the way our daily, seasonal weather acts as a natural calendar. Snow is beginning to fall, the sun is set by 4:30 and the drive-through line at Dunkin’ is at an all-time high! All signs that we are headed into the New Year bringing on resolutions and new trends to track in the collectibles market.

If you refer back to our previous Top Pick’s articles, I’m happy to report it was a phenomenal year for Pop Culture. While it certainly contained a lot of quick-changing peaks and valleys, overall, it's ending significantly in the black. Comic books, trading cards, toys, and related collectibles on average are trading at an all time high. We've experienced some market correction with Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and modern era sports cards and comic books though. Prices have slightly softened for the more common high population items, but sealed product like booster boxes and packs remain consistent. In comics for example a Marvel Comics New Mutants #98 in CGC 9.8 condition had a market average of $2,200 between January and June but has now returned to it’s pre-covid average of $1,500. But true gems like an Amazing Fantasy #15 remain at an all-time high with records continually being broken. It shows the good ole saying never fails, quality over quantity.

With that being said, on Saturday December 11th, Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers will host their December Comic, TCG, Toy, and Sports Auction starting at 10:00am est.

Here are our Top Picks with some useful collector-investor tips!

Lot 1: Marvel Comics Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 1.0

Lot 1: Marvel Comics Amazing Fantasy #15 CGC 1.0

When it comes to the world of Silver Age comics, it doesn't get any better than Amazing Fantasy #15. The book featured the first appearance of Spider-Man! Arguably the most recognized and collected superhero in the present day. There is no doubt that Superman started it all in Action Comics #1 back in 1938, but he wasn’t your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man that was also a high school teen just like you. Spider-Man also graced the silver screen with Tobey Maguire in 2002, six years before the Marvel Cinematic Universe existed. He’s been the face of countless cartoons, video games, comic books, graphic novels, t-shirts, souvenir mugs, you name it, he’s been on it. Everyone loves Spider-Man, and this is where it all began. Last year the market average for a 1.0 graded copy was $8,803.00 based on 6 transactions, for 2021 the most recent transaction was $15,600. However, most recent above all sales was a 0.5 for $24,000! This book just doesn’t stop. The next Spidey film is being released this month with more screen time planned over the next three years. In my opinion this book will only continue to rise.

Lot 113: Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk #180 CGC 9.6

Lot 113: Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk #180 CGC 9.6

Every age of comics has its one, two, or three characters that outshine the rest. For the Bronze Age of Comics there is no question that Wolverine is the undisputed king. For as long as Wolverine has been canonized there has been the debate as to what his true first appearance is. The truth is that it is Incredible Hulk #180 on the last page in cameo, but Incredible Hulk #181 has the iconic Herb Trimpe cover and featured his first full appearance. There is no question why Hulk #181 has always been the grail, but it’s nice to see #180 finally getting the recognition it deserves. When being sold in CGC 9.8 condition, #181 has a market average of $66,425 and #180 a single sale at $40,800. When analyzing the results for CGC 9.6 the last sold for a #180 is $9,600 with a three-month average of $8,925 while #181 is averaging $29,400. It seems that #180 still has a lot of room to grow, plus population wise it is a rarer book in high grade. Seems like a no brainer for the comic book portfolio.

Lot 316: Rare German Fischer Tin Clown Tricycle Windup Toy


316: Rare German Fischer Tin Clown Tricycle Windup Toy

For readers of my previous Top Picks articles, this may seem slightly left outfield, but this is one rare toy, and the condition (considering it’s nearly if not over 100 years old) seems irreplaceable. While interests change with time, toy collectors will always appreciate an early toy for its ingenuity and quality. If it were not for early mechanical developments in toys, everything we know, and love would not have come to be today. I know for sure I wouldn’t mind looking at this clown on my shelf every day, it’s a great toy.

Lot 361: 1933 Goudey Baseball Babe Ruth #53 Card BVG 2

361: 1933 Goudey Baseball Babe Ruth #53 Card BVG 2

The man needs little introduction, the one and only Great Bambino, Babe Ruth! Anything early Babe Ruth is a hot commodity today, and this 1933 Goudey certainly fits the description. The #53 card is the first Babe Ruth of the 1933 set numerically, and very few remain. So, while you might think a BVG 2 GOOD is a low grade, it’s a hard card to find and very respectable with a presale estimate of $7,000-$10,000. Babe is considered the greatest player to have played the game, and was one of the first five players elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. If you’re reading this and saying I wish they had the orange back instead of yellow, make sure to check out lot 359.

Lot 486: 2000 Upper Deck SP Authentic Football Box

486: 2000 Upper Deck SP Authentic Football Box

Just as Babe Ruth is the undisputed king of Baseball, there is no question that Tom Brady has rightfully earned his mantle of the G.O.A.T. That being the Greatest Of All Time! His 19-year run with the New England Patriots earning six super bowl victories is one of the greatest feats done by any NFL team and player. Not to mention he’s still going with Tampa Bay wining his seventh super bowl with the Buccaneers. The man is a machine, and this factory sealed box potentially holds his true rookie card. It’s one of those items to buy and live with the mystery, you’d hate to open it and miss!

View the full catalog for Bruneau & Co Auctioneers 'December Comic, TCG, Toy & Sports Auction' coming up on December 11 and register to bid live on Bidsquare.


Travis Landry is the Director of Pop Culture and Auctioneer for Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers of Cranston, Rhode Island. He is also an expert appraiser on PBS' Antiques Roadshow in Collectibles and Toys & Games.