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With every key book asking for sky high prices, it is harder and harder to find under radar gems unless you are talking about villains or obscure characters. Rather than going for these, I prefer looking at well known keys and see which one still has the ability to appreciate. Granted, they are not going to be your dollar bin books but that doesn’t mean you can’t make money off them. Best of all, these kind of books are mostly untouchable by flippers such aswith his youtube haul videos LOL.
Blade first appearance – is it still worth investing in?
The reason Blade caught my attention is the coming of the supernatural side of Marvel. The trailer for Doctor Strange looks really promising which means there is a big chance of Marvel introducing more supernatural characters in the coming sequels. Of the few possible candidates, Ghost Rider and Blade looks the most promising. Since I have touched the former in this and this article, it is time to look at the latter.
Below is a comparison table showing the supply and prices of other key Bronze books that I think are in the same tier in terms of character importance.
(9.0 and above)
|Marvel Spotlight #5 (1972)||382||USD 800||USD 1100|
|Hero for Hire #1 (1972)||316||USD 950||USD 1300|
|Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973)||486||USD 450||USD 570|
|Marvel Premiere #15 (1974)||793||USD 450||USD 550|
|Werewolf by Night #32 (1975)||463||USD 1100||USD 1400|
The chart says it all. The pricing of TOD #10 is currently the lowest among the 5 key books. It is on par with Marvel Premiere #15, a book that has almost twice as much copies on the census. The reason is obvious: Blade hasn’t been as popular if you looked at his publication history. All the other 4 characters have carried their own series for as long as 50 issues but not Blade. Hence, historically, TOD #10 isn’t as much sought after as the other four.
What has changed?
The Blade movie bought the character more exposure than what he had received in the comics. With the supernatural world coming, studio executives will probably take note of the success of Blade’s previous outing and planted a role of him in the coming years. There was a Bleeding Cool rumor a couple of months back about why Marvel comics pulled back the new Blade series and it has to do with the Film/TV side of things. All these points to the possibility of Blade playing an important role in the MCU.
What makes this book prime for growth?
The demand side of the equation will come from the usual TV/Film news, like what it has did for Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The fact that TOD #10 is already an established key means the news will spark more price movement, relative to some obscure characters or books that collectors were not paying attention to.
Supply wise, it is about the same level as WWBN #32 and we have seen the kind of prices it can command. In fact, if we look at the supply outside of Marvel Premiere #15, the difference between them is around 100+ copies. Yet, TOD #10 has the lowest price point as the rest of the books are double what this book is currently going on. This indicates a huge growth potential. No matter how you slice it, the supply factor will help the book when the demand spikes due to TV/Film news.
Time to act is now
What I am saying above is not new and some parts of the market is already waking up to this under valued book. Below is the pricing trend for the past 24 months on Ebay
You can see the 9.2 and 9.4 are already showing strong growth. The opportunity now is 9.0. That is the grade I will go for as it is the right balance of growth potential and upfront cost.
My first copy of this was in 2013 where a VF raw only set me back by USD80. The latest price I checked is around USD250. That is how much this book has already grow. However, as explained above, I believe the ceiling for this book has not been reached and 9.0 condition of this book are still worth buying.
Tomb of Dracula #10 is probably one of the few key Bronze age comic book that still has room to grow, especially in 9.0 and above condition. Reasons that make this book a worthy investment candidate even at current climate:
- High chances of being in Marvel’s supernatural universe
- Supply in 9.0 and above is similar to other Marvel bronze age keys
- Price is lagging behind other bronze age characters, even after adjusting for difference in importance or popularity
- Price momentum is forming for this book