Why is Harbinger 1 more expensive than other Valiant keys?
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Just wanted to know why compared to other Valiant keys, Harbinger 1 was so expensive. I'm basically comparing it to the first Bloodshot appearances, XO Manowar 1, first Ninjack, Shadowman, ect. Why would interest on this property (demand) be higher? Or is supply lower?

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3 hours ago, divad said:

Greg will chime in soon with the definitive answer, but wasn't it first??? hm 

That's my take - first Valiant original property. And there's the nostalgia factor. Those of us who were around in 1992-93 remember its meteoric rise to $100 in what - 13 months?

So it was a grail wall book for awhile right before the big crash of 1993.

And also notoriously hard to find in 9.8 due to bindery issues until a few years ago, when CGC standards for the book seem to have loosened a bit. So you've also got folks who remember when 9.8s sold for $2,000+.

It popped back in 2015 with the Sony movie announcement, but I think that project's now dead.

I've got a slabbed 9.2 and about six raw copies and am passively looking for a 9.8.

That said, I'd still take Solar 10 in 9.8 over Harbinger 1 any day of the week

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11 hours ago, William-James88 said:

Just wanted to know why compared to other Valiant keys, Harbinger 1 was so expensive. I'm basically comparing it to the first Bloodshot appearances, XO Manowar 1, first Ninjack, Shadowman, ect. Why would interest on this property (demand) be higher? Or is supply lower?

Preunity Harbinger was awesome.  

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9 hours ago, divad said:

Greg will chime in soon with the definitive answer, but wasn't it first??? hm 

It was the first Valiant title that was a new property (after Magnus and Solar, and a month before X-O Manowar). I think the value has to do with a number of things.

• As mentioned, it has condition issues, probably stemming from the coupon insert.

• Coupons were removed from a number of copies to redeem the limited pink version of Harbinger 0.

• Hype at the time. In his editorial in issue 1, Jim Shooter compared the book to Avengers #1. (A bit of a stretch, but clearly Shooter thought more of the property.) I don't recall a similar comparison being made for other titles.

• First appearance of the 5 main characters. Other original Valiant creations were teased in other books. The X-O armor (but not Aric) popped up in Solar. Rai debuted in Magnus. Jack Boniface had a cameo in X-O before becoming Shadowman in his first issue.

• The story at the time was a huge departure from other mainstream superhero comics at the time. In my opinion, it doesn't quite hold us so well on a re-read now, since comic storytelling has evolved a lot since then, but it was unique for the time period.

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It is kind of interesting in how the pre-unity issues are viewed as having low print runs. Those supposed low print runs  are 3x or more times higher of what a typical Valiant book does now. I started accumulating them in 1997, and have never found any regular issue as low print/hard to find. Low print back then is a decent to good selling book now.

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27 minutes ago, kimik said:

It is kind of interesting in how the pre-unity issues are viewed as having low print runs. Those supposed low print runs  are 3x or more times higher of what a typical Valiant book does now. I started accumulating them in 1997, and have never found any regular issue as low print/hard to find. Low print back then is a decent to good selling book now.

I heard some if the Rai books were low print, (compared to the rest) is that false?

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3 hours ago, William-James88 said:

I heard some if the Rai books were low print, (compared to the rest) is that false?

They are, but it is relative to the print runs back then. If I recall correctly from the last time I looked on Greg's old price guide (which was an amazing effort by him to pull together and maintain) they were in the 25K-35K range. Now, it is difficult for a Valiant issue to hit a 10K print run. Basically, those low print pre-unity Rai issues would be a middle of the pack selling book from all publishers today.

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22 hours ago, Qalyar said:

The (estimated) 3k+ copies with clipped coupons certainly cut -- pun intended -- into supply.

That is why the Harby #0 was not as easy to track down. However, I was able to find a few at two stores that clipped the coupons to redeem themselves. The owners held them for too long, so I was snagging them with their leftover Harby 1s (with coupons) at 3 for $1 in the 1997-2001 timeframe. 

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Just now, kimik said:

They are, but it is relative to the print runs back then. If I recall correctly from the last time I looked on Greg's old price guide (which was an amazing effort by him to pull together and maintain) they were in the 25K-35K range. Now, it is difficult for a Valiant issue to hit a 10K print run. Basically, those low print pre-unity Rai issues would be a middle of the pack selling book from all publishers today.

Basically this. When I was last checking comichron numbers a couple of years ago (before covid, and before DC changed their distribution, when all comics were distributed by Diamond and a lot easier to track), typical sales for a Valiant comic were maybe 5K or so, and that's split between all of the variant covers. If Valiant ever takes off again, I think any key issue or decent cover of the post-Dinesh era could be a goldmine.

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Harbinger was awesome.  It deserves to be one of the most expensive Valiant keys (been sitting around $900 for quite a while).

Valiant, Image, Defiant Comics (Warriors Of Plasm was fantastic!!!)...that was a great time to be collecting.

 

***I have a CGC 9.8 copy and happily paid for it

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7 hours ago, kimik said:

They are, but it is relative to the print runs back then. If I recall correctly from the last time I looked on Greg's old price guide (which was an amazing effort by him to pull together and maintain) they were in the 25K-35K range. Now, it is difficult for a Valiant issue to hit a 10K print run. Basically, those low print pre-unity Rai issues would be a middle of the pack selling book from all publishers today.

This.

And holds true for most of the pre-unity Valiant line, unfortunately - back in 1992 <40k was a really low print run for books when even middle-of-the-road Iron Man issues were doing 80k-100k per issue and titles like X-Men and Spawn were doing close to 1 million a month.

Today, the new market's shrunk so much that 40k puts it squarely in the middle of the pack of the top 150 monthly titles.

Rai was the worst-selling pre-Unity title, with Valiant themselves noting that the rarest normal issues were Rai 2-5.

Harbinger # 1 had the 16th or 17th lowest print run, but 1) It was the lowest print run # 1 among the 6 major pre-Unity titles (thus, biggest key); and 2) as noted above, 10-15% of the print run had coupons cut out.

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On 7/17/2021 at 12:20 AM, divad said:

Greg will chime in soon with the definitive answer, but wasn't it first??? hm 

All good answers already in this topic before I got here. lol

It was the first original Valiant title, earlier than X-O Manowar, Shadowman, Archer & Armstrong.

It had lower print numbers than Magnus and Solar (the only other Valiant titles at the time of Harbinger #1). 

Rai was the first original Valiant character, but Rai #1 was easier to get than Harbinger #1 (and Harbinger #1 was earlier).

It had a coupon inside that is often cut out.

Probably very important additional factor today:  There are no variants, not even newsstand.

One more aspect:  Nostalgia.

When I began collecting Valiant in late 1992, I had missed the earlier Valiant books and comic shops were sold out. 

1992 and 1993 price guides clearly told me which Valiant books I had missed and Harbinger #1 was at the top of those price guide lists.

Collecting the missing issues in my collection years later, I followed the information I had memorized.  Harbinger #1 was the biggest book I was missing.

Harbinger #1 is "THE Valiant book" the way that Amazing Fantasy #15 is "THE Marvel book" even though it isn't the first or lowest-printed Marvel. 

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On 7/20/2021 at 12:41 AM, Broke as a Joke said:

So after all these years, Solar 10 is the most expensive book in that early Valiant run in 9.8?  Not counting crazy error variants?

Yeah.

90-day GPA average for Solar 10 is $785, whereas Harbinger 1 is $648.

And 8-9 months ago the spread was bigger -- Harbinger was ~$600 whereas the Solar was ~$900.

Makes sense, as the Solar is still a bear in 9.8.

Census shows about 3x as many Harbinger 1s as Solar 10s (451 Universal vs. 153 Universal).

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On 7/20/2021 at 12:41 AM, Broke as a Joke said:

So after all these years, Solar 10 is the most expensive book in that early Valiant run in 9.8?  Not counting crazy error variants?

I was looking at go collect and right now, Harbinger 1 is listed as higher in 9.8, hence my topic title. Plus, in 9.6 and 9.4, Harbinger 1 is double the value of Solar 10.

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Edited by William-James88
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On 7/20/2021 at 7:23 AM, Gatsby77 said:

Yeah.

90-day GPA average for Solar 10 is $785, whereas Harbinger 1 is $648.

And 8-9 months ago the spread was bigger -- Harbinger was ~$600 whereas the Solar was ~$900.

Makes sense, as the Solar is still a bear in 9.8.

Census shows about 3x as many Harbinger 1s as Solar 10s (451 Universal vs. 153 Universal).

Solar 10 is awesome

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