News-stand Vs. Direct editions posted by bagofleas

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Something to consider!


Once Dazzler #1 came out in March of 1981, there were countless 80's issues that have two versions of covers. Those with the barcode on the cover(news-stand editions) and those with an image in it's place(Direct editions). They also vary slightly in the spot where the issue number and price are.


A fellow collector, TNerb, recently wrote in a journal that he will pass up on any graded comic with the barcode on the cover. Personally, I agree with the choice on a purely cosmetic level. The direct editions are definitely prettier to look at, however, another thing to consider is the simple fact that if the comic was a news-stand edition, it was sitting on some metal rack in a convenience store or on a shelf in some regular bookstore.


That means that countless people (mainly kids) would handle them or flip through them causing damage of some sort in almost every case. As a result, there are nearly NONE of the news-stand editions that could EVER reach a 9.8 or better grade.


The art on the cover remains exactly the same between editions, so while I prefer the direct editions, I have no problem purchasing a news-stand edition since in my mind, it is actually A MUCH RARER THING TO POSSESS!


I would never presume to say that because of this, news-stand editions should be worth more registry points than direct editions. This will more than likely never happen due to the difficulty of updating all the comics involved in the registry, as well as the fact that not everyone will agree with me, but I think it's worth at least talking about.


So while my copies of New Mutants #17, Alpha Flight #10, Thor #374(in my Mutant Massacre set), and even my Star Wars #103 are news-stand copies, they are THE RARER copies of these issues in 9.8! I might get direct edition copies of some of these down the road, but a 9.8 is a 9.8 no matter which version it is.


Hopefully this gives you something to think about and gets your mind working considering the possibilities. I've loved comic collecting for most of my life, and having a chance to express my views in a community like this is fantastic.


Keep up the collecting everyone!





See more journals by bagofleas

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  • Location: Northern California

I myself am a UXM completest. Basically, i try to own all books to the series including the dreaded newsstands. In my own personal view, the newsstand market is a challenge for not only high grade books, but for the books themselves.


Let me give you an example; UXM #522 - by itself, not a overly difficult book (marvel printed the better part of 60K copies), but the newsstand version had sales of approx 2000 to 3000 copies (based on data from other issues); knowing that the bulk of these books went to a different demographic that your standard collector (i.e. kids and others that don't care for the books and throw them away when done), the absolute rarity factor for it increases dramatically.


I mean really, how many kids will be taking their newsstands to the LCS to sell and of those, how many will show up on eBay or these boards? UXM #522 was released in March of 2010. I found a single copy, grade 7.0 to 7.5 approx 2 months ago. It is the only copy i have ever seen despite vigorous looking. Figure it took a year to find it. That is a scarce book.


The other factor to note is simply if the newsstand doesn't sell, it's returned to manufacture and subsequently destroyed ... thereby increasing the difficulty of the book. In addition, the newsstand market is dying and the major publishers are moving to digital books. Marvel (via Diamond distributors) has a random way of releasing the newsstands such that there is no thought process behind it. My newsstand outlet will carry one title for 3 months, then it'll disappear for two, then reappear again for a while longer. Fortunately, i am not alone in my hunt and i advise those collectors that are interested to find a friend in another city - corrodinate on titles and do trades; its the only way to secure the particular book that you may have interest in... and i can tell you from experience that it's a darn good thing. Several of my UXM's would be lost forever if it wasn't for a particular collector working with me. :D


In the end, if you want the book, buy the direct. If you want a challenge ... go try to find the newsstand version. It's very gratifying.

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