On November 14-15, 2023, Hake’s Auctions closed their premier Auction #239 with $2.4 million in results. The auction saw many impressive sales for comics and original art, Star Wars memorabilia, and Americana and baseball items. One of the auction’s biggest headline makers was the non-sports cards, particularly the gum cards.
The auction’s biggest seller was the 1936 Wolverine Gum “Strange True Stories” complete gum card set, featuring “The Bat Man” card. The PSA-graded set that also includes the wrapper sold for an incredible $64,905 – more than triple its $20,000 estimate. The 24-card set, which deals with strange and macabre subject matter, is highlighted by “The Bat Man” card, which came out three years before Batman debuted in Detective Comics #27.
A 1940 Gum Inc. Superman gum card #1 PSA 6 brought $23,600, besting the $20,000 estimate. According to the PSA census, there are 125 total graded #1 cards with just six graded a PSA 6 and only seven graded higher. Hailing from a set of 72 cards, this Superman card is one of the most sought after from this set.
The 1970 Topps Hee Haw test card set complete PSA graded saw competitive bidding more than double the $10,000 estimate when it sold for $22,066. Based on the country music/comedy variety show, Hee Haw, the rare 55-card set features images of the cast and cartoon characters.
A Pokémon Unlimited Edition Base Set factory sealed booster box captured $11,422. Released in the US in 1999 by Wizards of the Coast, this set ignited the collecting Pokémon collecting craze that continues today. The base set contains 36 booster packs, each with 11 cards, for a total of 396 cards.
The 1940 Gum Inc. Superman gum card complete low number set PSA graded cleared $10,994. The set of 48 cards display detailed and colorful art of the Man of Steel during his many heroic adventures. It includes two cards graded 7 NM, one at 6 EX-Mint, one at 5.5 EX+, and ten cards graded 5 EX.
The 1962 Topps Mars Attacks gum cards complete set PSA graded took aim at $6,649. The set of 55 cards feature exciting and sometimes gruesome art of the aliens attacking Earth with story text on the backs. It includes two cards graded 9(OC) mint, two at 8 NM-Mint, two at 8(OC) NM-Mint, and seven at 7 NM.
A 1935 Gum Inc. Mickey Mouse with the Movie Stars complete gum card set PSA graded sold for $6,359, besting the $5,000 estimate. The set of 24 cards are rarer than most gum card sets of the era due to licensing issues concerning the likenesses of the stars used on the cards that resulted in a shorter distribution run. Celebrities featured on the cards include Groucho and Harpo Marx, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Greta Garbo, and others.