Newsstand Rarity: Skate To Where The Puck Is Going

Slide from Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates; discussion below.

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This slide is part of my post entitled
Newsstand Rarity Discussion & Estimates where I have collected quotes and graphics related to the discussion of relative newsstand rarity over the years, compared to direct edition copies. This slide is a great quote attributed to Wayne Gretzky:

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.”

The reason I find this to be so applicable to newsstand comic books is that historically, collectors have been buying mostly direct edition comics after the mid-1980’s, with some of the other slides showing estimates like 85% direct edition by 1990, and 86% direct edition by 1999. That’s where the puck was, i.e. where collectors were focusing their comic-buying-dollars.

But where is the puck going to be as far as newsstand vs. direct edition comic book desirability in the future? My own conclusion is that the rarity data and discussions show beyond a shadow of doubt that newsstand comics in later years are drastically more rare than their direct edition counter-parts: fewer of them were sold, fewer of those were preserved, the result is that surviving collectible-grade copies are more rare out there relative to collectible-grade direct edition copies — and the best part is that you and I can tell the two types apart and we can pay roughly the same price for the more rare of the two types.

Much like 35 cent variants were overlooked for decades yet proved in the fullness of time to be the more valuable type versus their prevalent 30 cent counter-parts, I believe newsstand comics will come to be prized by collectors for their relative rarity in much the same way — especially the Canadian Editions, Newsstand Variants, and $3.99 Newsstand Editions where CGC recognizes them as distinct variants on census. These more rare versions give us a second way to win: the issue number itself may rise in value — that’s the first way — and the relative rarity may command a premium in the distant future, just like 35 cent copies now command a premium — that’s the second way.

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