1940 Gum Inc. Superman Trading Cards
These were my husband's, he passed away in July, and he was 91. And I think they were collected in '40, '41-- I'm not sure.
I'm very sorry for your loss, for your husband, but he left you an amazing collection of cards right here. So these are the 1940 Superman trading cards, released by Gum, Inc., which later ended up turning into the Bowman Company, which went on to produce tons of baseball cards. There were 72 cards in the set when it was fully released. You have 56 of the cards here. When it comes to collecting these cards, collectors look for them individually, because they're so rare. These cards were released in 1940, so especially with paper drives during World War II, the odds of them surviving are really, really tough. Out of the 56 cards that you have here, you have the number one card, which is the most important out of all. Now, when it comes to grading a card's condition, there are a lot of factors that we look at. We look at the color of it. We look at the creasing of it. We look to see if it's even off-center. When we look at the Superman one card here, it is intact, and it presents very, very well. But when you dissect the condition of it, you'd see that it's rather poor. We have this crease coming along the lower third corner right here. And, actually, when you get to the lower half of this crease, you see what we call a color break. So that white coming through, that's the actual paper material. There's no color-- it's gone. There's a lot of yellowing and tanning to the paper. At one time, when this would have been released, it would have been a bright white. And now the other thing that we talk about is off-center. Now, when a card comes out of a print, there's no way, even if this card, when it was printed in 1940, it wouldn't be a ten out of ten, because of the margin right here. So you can see how this margin is definitely and very obviously a lot thinner than the margin up here.
And that's just because of the process when it was cut off the sheet in the factory. When we grade cards, we do a numeral scale. So instead of just saying, "Good," "Very good," it's a little more precise. It's at a scale of one through ten, with half-point intervals. This card, I would say, off the cuff, looking at it in a grade, it would be about a 2.0 to a 2.5 condition, which, it's not the greatest condition, but to have a card from 1940 in that shape, to even survive to this day, is incredible. So to have that card in this condition alone is worth $200 to $300. If it were a perfect-condition card, it could easily reach, you know, $20,000 at auction in perfect condition. Now, let's talk about the remaining 55 of them. You have some great action scenes of Superman here. For a Superman collector today, this is the birth of what has grown to be this monster of an entertainment property. For the entire collection in today's world at auction, including the number one card, you'd be looking at $2,500 to $3,500...
(laughing) You're kidding.
No! It's Superman! Come on, he's awesome.
I didn't even know he had them till we started cleaning out.
I had no idea.
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