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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. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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