Cowabunga! CGC-certified TMNT #1 Breaks Issue Record at $250,000

Posted on 1/12/2022

Originally thought of as a one-time comic, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have gone from sewers to stardom.

A new price record of $250,000 was set by an example of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 in a ComicConnect sale a few months ago. Graded 9.8 by Certified Guaranty Company® (CGC®), it is one of 31 issues in the same exceptional grade with a Universal label.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 graded CGC 9.8. Realized: $250,000
Click images to enlarge.

Turtle power

From humble beginnings, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) have become synonymous with 1980s culture and have grown to be iconic heroes in the modern era. Since a little over 3,200 copies of TMNT #1 were printed on less-than-high-quality paper, the issue is extremely rare, especially in high grades.

Before the recent milestone, another issue graded CGC 9.8 had held the title at $245,000, set in a ComicConnect sale just a month earlier.

Secret of the ooze

Written as a parody of other comics at the time, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird self-published the book, believing it to be a one-time project. This issue featured the origin story of four pizza-loving turtles: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo. Under the guidance of their sensei Master Splinter, they defend New York City from the nefarious Shredder and the Foot Clan.

After becoming a hit TV show in 1987, turtle mania would explode with action figures, video games and movies. Today, as yesteryear’s kids are now nostalgic collectors, the revival of the TMNT has rekindled excitement for the franchise and created a new fan base of turtle lovers with new toys and cartoons.

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