What did all that clipping cost you?

What did all that clipping cost you?
In an April 1974 Bullpen Bonus page, the future value of a Marvel Value Stamp collection was touted, using the illustrative example that:

"FANTASTIC FOUR #1 is now selling for up to $50 in many back-issue comic-book stores...."

They didn't mention how much less Fantastic Four #1 would have been worth if someone had taken the scissors to it back in 1961.

While Marvel Value Stamp Books do have collectible value, cutting up your comic collection in 1974 wasn't necessarily the most cost efficient way to own a complete set in the long run.

Let's look at a few painful examples, shall we?

For purposes of these examples, we're going to assume that cutting out the stamp did not damage the story pages (as some stamps did), and that a missing stamp would cause an otherwise VERY FINE copy to drop to an Overstreet grade of GOOD, which may arguably still be too high. The prices below are quoted from the Thirty-Second Edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (copyright 2002).

Let's say you bought Incredible Hulk #181, Marvel Two-in-One #4, and Sub-Mariner #72. These contained, respectively, Shanna the She-Devil (Stamp #54), the Leader (Stamp #88), and the all-important Galactus stamp ("rare" #100).

Here's how the numbers broke down, circa 2002:

Incredible Hulk #181 $584 $69 $515
Marvel Two-in-One #4 $11 $2 $9
Sub-Mariner #72 $6 $1 $5

The total difference on these three issues is $529. Basically, with just the difference in value on Incredible Hulk #181, you could have bought yourself several complete Marvel Value Stamp Books on eBay in 2002.

Kidding aside, and excluding the extreme example of Incredible Hulk #181, your collection is probably worth somewhere in the vicinity of 80% less with the stamps cut out.

Ouch, indeed!

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