How much would you pay for James Bond's Aston-Martin, Audrey Hepburn's "Breakfast at Tiffany's" dress or Babe Ruth's baseball jersey?
The collectibles market received another superpowered jolt recently when a copy of Action Comics, Number One, featuring the debut of Superman, fetched $3,207,852 in an eBay auction. The original price of the 1938 comic: 10 cents.
Action Comics, Number One is to comic books what the T206 Honus Wagner is to baseball cards; the most valuable and sought-after item by collectors and keepers of the faith. For that $3.2 million, the buyer received an especially prized edition of what is an estimated 50 to 100 in existence. This copy is one of two with a grade of 9 out of 10 (the other one counted Nicolas Cage as one of its owners and was sold at another auction for $2.1 million).
Collectibles are second only to real estate as the alternative investment of choice for Millionaires, according to a 2013 fourth quarter wealth level study conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner.
Comic books are not considered kid’s stuff in the collectibles market. The comic books featuring the debuts of Batman and Spider-Man have also fetched more than $1 million at auction.
Never mind Picasso or Rembrandt; iconic time capsule pop culture pieces have established their ever increasing value among savvy investors and memorabilia collections. Here are a few:
- A Babe Ruth jersey worn during his first season with the Yankees sold for more than $4.4 million in 2012.
- Michael Jackson’s red leather outfit that he wore in his classic “Thriller” video sold for nearly $2 million in 2011.
- Marilyn Monroe’s so-called “subway dress” which she wore in “The Seven Year Itch” was purchased at auction in 2011 for $5.6 million.
- Considered to be the holy grail of all Hollywood memorabilia, a pair of Judy Garland’s ruby slippers, one of only four surviving pairs, sold in 2000 for $660,000. In 2012, Leonardo DiCaprio was instrumental in purchasing another pair for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Their value is now said to be in the millions.
- And speaking of “The Wizard of Oz,” Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume, made from real lion pelts, sold for $805,000 in 2006.
- James Bond’s Aston Martin D85, used in “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball,” drove away with $4.1 million in 2010. Another racy little number, Audrey Hepburn’s black dress from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” scored $923,187 in 2006.