Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman in 1984 by Mirage Studios. They named the four turtles after the Italian Renaissance artists (Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello and Leonardo).
Kevin was doing a brainstorming and came up with turtle dressed in a mask with nunchucks. Instead of having one, four turtles were born. Using a tax refund and a loan from Kevin’s uncle, they self-publish their first comic book. However, the first book was a magazine size instead of a standard comic book size, that’s why there is black border. Second issue onward, they are all in comic book size. The inside of the comic book was all black and white to keep the costs down.
Many movies were made from this quartet of turtles. The first live-action film came out in 1990 titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and was a commercial success. With the success of the first film, two more movies were developed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze came out in 1991 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III came out in 1993. A fourth film came out in 2007 but it was 100% CGI. A fifth film titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rebooting the franchise came out in 2014 with Michael Bay as director. The sequel titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadow arrived in 2016. All 6 films have generated over $1.2 billion worldwide. A 7th film is in development which will be mostly CGI.Nowadays, movie coming out or in development will cause the first issue to go up in value. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles issue 1 is not cheap.
Some recent sales
CGC 9.4 sold for $35,900 on Feb 7
CGC 9.2 sold for $27,000 on Feb 27
CGC 7.5 sold for $18,000 on March 5
CGC 7.0 sold for $13,000 on Jan 31
First print is not so affordable to a lot of collectors. First print has limit count of 3,250 copies. Second print is around 6,000 copies and third print is around 30,000 copies.
Third print CGC 9.8 can be bought for a fraction of those prices below because a recent sale of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1 CGC 9.8 3rd print sold for $5,999 on March 16.
With first, second and third print, how can you tell the difference? With second and third printing, there would be a note in the interior cover indicating “second printing” or “third printing” How can you tell by just looking at the cover? The first and second printing is hard to tell. The third printing will look more pink on the cover while the first printing will look more red. First printing on the left and third printing on the right in picture below.
When they print the comic books, the ink could fade and/or when looking at the cover, the angle of lighting make is hard to tell. Another key to telling the difference between first and third printing is the second “T” in TURTLES on the cover. First printing on the left and third printing on the right in picture below.
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