2023 MARKET REPORT: GIDDY HIGHS, LOWLY LOWS
For a while, this book was six figures in CGC 9.8. Then, it very clearly was not.
Meanwhile, in other grades, prices have softened.
So, why's it still so close to the top?
Simply, everybody who's anybody wants a copy of this book.
It's still a crazy hot book. Even if prices are a little more realistic at the moment.
2022 MARKET REPORT: THE MOST POPULAR BOOK IN THE WORLD, MAYBE?
If you ask comic book collectors what's on their Grail list, then many will say they want to own a Hulk #181. The first Wolverine is such an iconic book.
As an investment, how well it's done for you depends on when you bought it. Three years ago, it had softened significantly from the mid-Teens highs. Now it's on the rise again. It can't QUITE outdo the top four Hot 100 books, but you cannot argue with the legacy of this classic 1970s Hulk issue.
CGC 9.8 sales were lagging for a very long time, but not anymore. Six figures is starting to look possible if the market continues like this.
There has been a recent drop in hotness on this book, with VF range books selling for less than before. High grades are still very hot.
2021 MARKET REPORT: WOLVERINE'S FIRST APPEARANCE IS CLOSE TO THE TOP OF THE HOT COMICS LIST, AGAIN!
While Hulk 181 isn't quite as crazy as it has been in 2017 or 2018, keeping it from being #1 this year, it's still a powerful performer, with price increases in most grades.
The biggest change has been seen in high grades, especially CGC 9.4, 9.6 and 9.8, with new record prices being set multiple times since last year. $50,000 is not far away.
2020 MARKET UPDATE: STRANGE PRICES SEEN AS THE MID-MARKET SETTLES
Nothing goes up and up forever. Incredible Hulk 181 has turned -- at least in some grades. We had seen some pretty spectacular prices for a couple of years.
It's probably a good thing that it's settled down a bit, especially in grades from 6.0 through 8.5, which had been out of control.
Meanwhile, the first brief appearance of Wolverine in Incredible Hulk 180 is doing rather nicely this year also!
We may see more consolidation, as gravity takes hold of the prices for lower-grade books. There is still some pretty gnarly price compression around the $2K mark, which should resolve itself within a few months.
I would not be surprised to see the entry level drop to below $500 again and VG books to be firmly under $1K by the end of 2020. Recent sales:
2019 MARKET UPDATE: BREAKOUT YEAR ACROSS THE BOARD
It was the year when Incredible Hulk 181 went completely mad. Just as sanity was beginning to be restored, Stan Lee died, and more people entered the comics market overnight.
We bought and sold this book in all grades from 0.5 through 9.4, all year long, with more copies coming out of the woodwork than ever.
Without question, the book was over-priced in early Fall. Books which would have struggled to reach $800 a year earlier were smashing through the $2K barrier.
Here are the low-grade results. It's gone insane.
In the mid-grade range, book which were comfortably under $1K in 2017 are double the price now.
This mania for a book in any grade led to price compression and weird results for half grades. Collectors don't seem to value the extra half a grade, and I think it might actually lead to confusion in some minds.
Now we enter the upper grades.
To put the 9.8 sale into context, you could buy an Incredible Hulk #1 6.0 for $2K less!
Prices have continued to rise. This is, bar none, the world's hottest comic book.
2018 MARKET UPDATE: HOT COMIC IN EVERY GRADE!
The big news this year is that high-grade copies of Incredible Hulk 181 have broken out of their holding patterns. Prices of CGC 9.8s were especially sticky up until the very end of 2016, before gradually moving up.
Now you will see that price resistance, previously established in the $13,000-$14,000 range, has moved up towards $20,000 for CGC 9.8 copies.
The rising tide is lifting all ships, especially in grades above 9.0.
At the bottom end of the market, where the really silly trades occur, we continue to see ridiculous decision-making on low-grade copies, as collectors want a copy, ANY copy, of the first appearance of Wolverine:
2017 MARKET UPDATE:
Prices of this book are hotter than hot, and there is so much turnover in this market that we had to move it up the 100 Hot Comics list. Here are some recent sales:
The poor man's #181 is Incredible Hulk #180. That book is also on the Hot 100 list, and although Wolverine does appear in cameo on the last page, the REAL first appearance is this one.
Prices of this book continue to astound. CGC 9.8s are into the $15,000 territory.
At the other end of the spectrum, an INCOMPLETE 0.5 copy sold for $550!
(I hate to call somebody out, but whoever paid that was a total numbskull. For $100 more, they could have at least bought a complete 2.0 copy. But low-grade examples are common. Avoid this end of the market.)
We recommend a crisp CGC 9.0 with white pages. Buy it now before it gets even more brutally pricey.