Phantom That – Australian Comic Breaks Auction Records

The Australian printed edition #1 of The Phantom sold at auction over the weekend for over $20,000 almost doubling its estimated expectations.

Editions #2, #3, #4 and #5 also broke record prices individually for their editions with all comics selling for over $50K in a single auction.

“Comics are just another form of a passion investment that we have seen rise in value over the years, and today this auction proves that investments that people can enjoy are still proving highly collectable,” said Mr. Lee Hames, Chief Operations Officer for Lloyds Auctions.

The Phantom #1 “Enter The Phantom” released in September 1948 is usually estimated at $8,000 – $10,000 at auction.

“Who knew that 32-page comic books could be worth so much in the future, just like original Holden or Ford Classic cars or even limited-edition pinball machines, we are seeing retro items on the up at Lloyds,” said Mr. Hames.

“We come across hundreds of stories of people finding rare and original collectables each and every day right around the country, we encourage anyone who think they might be sitting on something unique that has history or a story, to give us a call right away,” continued Mr. Hames.

Comic books are not the only collectable item Lloyds has seen break records this year at auction, the list extends from artwork through to high end watches and classic cars.

In April Lloyds saw an extremely rare piece of fine art by Jeffrey Smart break records selling under the hammer for over $210,000 setting a new benchmark for iconic Australian artists.

In February one of the most iconic high-end watches of all time, a stainless Rolex Daytona sold for over $50,000 where the original retail was just over $13,000 when it was released.

Holdens broke Australian records in February also where a 1968 Holden HK Monaro sold for $330,000.

“What these prices reflect is that these rare collectables are not being made any more, or they are subject to long wait lists to get your hands on, so people are paying a premium to jump the queue and own something truly unique and enjoy it as the item appreciates over time,” said Mr. Hames.

It isn’t a new trend that Lloyds are witnessing they have seen broken records and rising prices across their divisions including classic cars, number plates, pink diamonds, handbags, fine art, whisky, wine, pinball machines, mancave memorabilia and classic spares over the past 3 to 4 years.

Knight Frank reported in their 2021 Wealth report that some of the most popular passion investments were classic cars, rare whisky, wine, watches, and art over the last 10 years. The Knight Frank Wealth report can be found here.

Matt Kalinski

Head Of Valuations

Qualifications & Affiliations

American Society of Appraisers Candidate Member

Certified Practicing Valuer AVAA


Matt has been in the valuations space for many years and has extensive experience in the space across an abundance of various industries. He now leads the valuations teams for Lloyds Auctions with a passion for encouraging his team to set and achieve high goals and produce great results for the company whilst growing the team’s skills starting with a great culture and team mindset.