A new price record of $250,000 was set by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue #1 in a ComicConnect sale a few months ago. Graded 9.8 by Certified Guaranty Company (CGC), it is one of 31 issues in the same exceptional grade with a Universal label.
From humble beginnings, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) have become synonymous with 1980s culture and have grown to be iconic heroes in the modern era. Since a little over 3,200 copies of TMNT #1 were printed on less-than-high-quality paper, the issue is extremely rare, especially in high grades.
Before the recent milestone, another issue graded CGC 9.8 had held the title at $245,000, set in a ComicConnect sale just a month earlier.
Written as a parody of other comics at the time, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird self-published the book, believing it to be a one-time project. This issue featured the origin story of four pizza-loving turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo. Under the guidance of their sensei Master Splinter, they defend New York City from the nefarious Shredder and the Foot Clan.
After becoming a hit TV show in 1987, turtle mania would explode with action figures, video games and movies. Today, as yesteryear’s kids are now nostalgic collectors, the revival of the TMNT has rekindled excitement for the franchise and created a new fan base of turtle lovers with new toys and cartoons.