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Auction of superhero memorabilia nets $70,000

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A vintage Superman costume worn by actor George Reeves in the 1950s superhero television series sold at an Indianapolis auction over the weekend for $5,250—a mere fraction of its estimated value.

The costume, said to be worth $120,000 to $150,000, was one of a few thousand Superman items that overall brought more than $70,000 at the Saturday sale.

George Reeves' Superman costumeGeorge Reeves' "Superman" costume is among items to be sold. (Photo courtesy Antique Helpers)

The mementos were owned by Fishers collector Dane Nash, who in March 2007 opened his American Super Heroes Museum in downtown Indianapolis. The museum closed just 10 months later after encountering legal and financial problems.

Items offered at auction were seized by court order and were offered without a reserve price, which likely led to more than a few bargains.

“Nothing sold for the kinds of values that were promoted by the museum,” said Dan Ripley, owner of Antique Helper Auctions, the local auction house that conducted the sale.

Still, Ripley considered the auction a success, judging by the number of bidders and interest from overseas.

Roughly 200 bidders attended the sale, in addition to about 150 others who either registered to bid online or by phone. Some of those submitted bids from as far away as Australia, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Canada, Ripley said.

“Any time we have that amount of active bidding, we have to assume that we did our job, meaning we exposed it to the market,” he said.

The top-selling memento was a full-size Batmobile replica that fetched $12,000. A replica Batboat sold for $5,000.

Other big-ticket items included a costume worn by Dean Cain in the “Lois and Clark” TV series that brought $3,250, and another worn by the late Christopher Reeve in his “Superman” movies that reaped $3,000.

The auction lasted seven hours. Several smaller items were bundled together and sold in “lots.”

The assortment was considered to be the second-largest collection of Superman-related memorabilia in the world.

For reasons unknown to him, Ripley said, the entire collection had been offered and then removed twice at auction, in 2009 and 2010.
 

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  1. We gotta stop this Senior crime. Perhaps long jail terms for these old boozers is in order. There are times these days (more rather than less) when this state makes me sick.

  2. One option is to redistribute the payroll tax already collected by the State. A greater share could be allocated to the county of the workplace location as opposed to the county of residency. Not a new tax, just re-allocate what is currently collected.

  3. Have to agree with Mal Burgess. The biggest problem is massive family breakdown in these neighborhoods. While there are a lot of similiarities, there is a MASSIVE difference between 46218 and 46219. 46219 is diluted by some stable areas, and that's probably where the officers live. Incentivizing is fine, but don't criticize officers for choosing not to live in these neighbor hoods. They have to have a break from what is arguably one of the highest stress job in the land. And you'll have to give me hard evidence that putting officers there is going to make a significant difference. Solid family units, responsible fathers, siblings with the same fathers, engaged parents, commitment to education, respect for the rule of law and the importance of work/a job. If the families and the schools (and society) will support these, THEN we can make a difference.

  4. @Agreed, when you dine in Marion County, the taxes paid on that meal go to state coffers (in the form of the normal sales taxes) and to the sports/entertainment venues operated by the CIB. The sales taxes on your clothing and supplies just go to the state. The ONLY way those purchases help out Indianapolis is through the payroll taxes paid by the (generally low-wage) hourly workers serving you.

  5. The government leaders of Carmel wouldn't last a week trying to manage Indianapolis. There's a major difference between running a suburb with virtually no one below the poverty level and running a city in which 21+% are below the poverty level. (http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/data/interactive/#view=StateAndCounty&utilBtn=&yLB=0&stLB=15&cLB=49&dLB=0&gLB=0&usSts_cbSelected=false&usTot_cbSelected=true&stateTot_cbSelected=true&pLB=0?ltiYearSelected=false?ltiYearAlertFlag=false?StateFlag=false?validSDYearsFlag=false)

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