May 11th, 2012
09:52 AM GMT
(CNN) – Dust off your old comic books: a collector has sold a near-mint copy of the first issue of the Batman comic book for a whopping $850,000.
The seller reaped a stunning return on investment, after paying $315,000 for the No. 1 issue two years ago, according to the auctioneer. The comic book was priced a mere 10 cents when it was published in 1940.
The sale to an investor partnership was arranged privately by Dallas-based collectibles auction house, Heritage Auctions. The identities of the buyer and sellers have not been revealed.
Playing on nostalgia, vintage comic book sales have been on the rise in recent years. A rare comic book collection reaped Heritage Auctions over $8.9 million in February, breaking the company’s own world record of $6.03 million from May 2011. According to Heritage, comic auctions grossed no more than $2.2 million when the company began auctioning comics over a decade ago.
Popular comic book characters have also made big cash on the silver screen. The last decade has seen a slew of comic-based blockbusters, including Batman, Spiderman, X-men, Hellboy, and The Fantastic Four. The Avengers, which made their comic book debut in 1963, grossed $207.40 million last weekend when it opened, breaking the all-time weekend record set by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part II.
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