A vast collection of out of this world memorabilia, mainly comprised of sports cards and comics, valued at approximately $2.5 million, is up for auction this weekend at Vancouver’s Able Auctions.
During the 90s, comic sales had slowed down to the point where Marvel comics filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and collectors had shifted their interests to sports cards, which had exploded in popularity.
It was commonplace in Vancouver during this era to have major comic book and sport cards conventions at venues such as Robson Square and Heritage Hall. With thousands of attendees, eager to purchase the latest products from a growing number of card-producing manufacturers and comic companies fighting for survival by offering a wide range of diverse titles.
The vast majority of the items in the auctioned collection were produced during this period and the variety shows.
A massive selection of sports memorabilia and geek culture
“We have over 100,000 items and 800 lots,” says Jeremy Dodd, owner of Able Auctions.
“This collection is very extensive, he has everything from CFL to basketball to Vampirella. I mean, where do you see that kind of variety?”
On the comics side of the auction, Daina Vecmanis, an office clerk, offers a friendly warning in regards to Lady Death, Vampirella, and the girls of Gen 13. “These ladies are very buxomous. I don’t think young kids should be looking at some of this stuff.”
Investing in a hobby can reap significant financial rewards
“He bought a lot of this stuff on spec in large volumes with the intention that they would gain value over time,” said Linda Dodd, operations manager with Able Auctions. “It is definitely one of the biggest private collections we have ever seen.”
According to Jeremy Dodd, the sports collection houses one of the more valuable items. “We have a LeRoy Neehman painting of Wayne Gretzky, there are only 50 ever made. It is signed by both the artist and Wayne Gretzky, and is valued at $20,000.”
For the science fiction fans, Dodd says, “The 1967 Star Trek European trading cards are very unique. They are valued between two and four thousand a set and we have 29 sets. There is a lot of controversy around these cards because there are a lot of duplicates, but these are the real deal.”
The collection is so vast that the auction is broken up into two days. The sports side of the auction will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 10 a.m. and the comics will be sold the following day at the same start time.
Auction items can be previewed at Able Auction’s location at 1055 Vernon Drive in Vancouver or online at AbleAuctions.ca, advance bids are already being taken.
The online auction, including items from the CFL. NFL, NHL, Marvel Comics, Star Wars, Star Trek and more, can be viewed here.
Reported by Dennis Page and Sascha Porteous
In this video, Langara Voice reporter and photographer, Sascha Porteous showcases many of the items up for auction.