Collectibles, among the most popular of alternative investments, enjoyed another super weekend. The original Batmobile used on the 1960s “Batman” TV series starring Adam Wes, sold for—buckle up--$4.2 million.
The buyer at the Barrett-Jackson auction was Rick Champagne, 56, who told Reuters, “I really liked Batman growing up and I came here with the intention of buying the car…This was a dream come true.”
Champagne’s purchase is a testament to the nostalgia factor that makes collectibles—or “treasure assets”--ranging from classic cars to movie posters and pop culture memorabilia so irresistible to buyers.
At another auction held last month, Ralph DeLuca, owner of the memorabilia website Ralph DeLuca.com, paid $1.2 million for an extremely rare 1927 German three-sheet poster for Fritz Lang’s seminal sci-fi movie classic, Metropolis. There are reportedly only four known examples of this iconic three-sheet (posters displayed in movie theatres are usually one-sheets) poster in existence.Two are held in institutional collections; the others are privately owned.
Another famed movie collectible also sold at auction last month. One of two 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertibles used in the Oscar-winning film, Rain Man, sold for $170,500 at a memorabilia auction mounted by Heritage Auctions.
Collectibles such as these are the very essence of the principle of supply and demand. Supply is extremely limited for sometimes literally one-of-a-kind items such as the Batmobile, while demand among collectors is high.
Some collectibles are more traditional than others. Currency and coins are the most popular collectibles among Millionaire investors, according to ongoing Millionaire Corner research. At a Jan. 10 auction in Orlando, a 1792 half disme, the first circulating American coin struck under authority of the Mint Act, sold for $1,410,000.
And then there’s former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling’s bloody sock. This macabre artifact from Game 2 of the 2004 World Series, to be sold at Heritage auction’s Platinum Night Sports event on Feb. 23, carries a pre-auction estimate of at least $100,000. The sock has been on display in the Baseball Hall of Fame since the Red Sox exorcized the so-called “Curse of the Bambino and won their first World Series in 86 years.
Last May, Heritage auctioned off a more infamous piece of Red Sox history, the “Bill Buckner ball” that rolled through the first baseman’s legs in the 1986 World Series game against the New York Mets. That artifact was sold to an anonymous bidder for $418,000.