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Last week, I was looking at Completed Auctions out on "the bay," and noticed a final price for a Marvel Universe 1 promo that surprised me. It went for just under $55. I figured it was one of the ones with the gray Diamond logo on the back or one of the Toy Biz logo cards but I checked the original listing out of curiosity. It turned out to be yet another promo version of a card from the base set. These Marvel promos did not come up in a search of Card Talk and are also not listed in PCE2008 but they are listed in the old NSU price guides from 2016 and before.
Like the better-known promos with the gray Diamond logo on the back, there are 20 different cards and they might be best termed as prototypes as they are not marked as promos anywhere. They look just like base cards except on the back at the bottom they do not say "Exclusively distributed by Impel marketing, Inc." Instead they say "Produced and distributed by Impel Marketing, Inc." At least one of these cards also does not have the same card number as the base card it resembles.
I was wondering if these cards could actually be just pack-pulled variants that were in packs and someone was just trying to sell them as something more exotic but the old 1994 price guide, "Comic Cards and Their Prices," notes their existence, provides a checklist, and confirms that the cards were given out in 5-card cello-packs by Diamond.
I've noticed that more of these cards have appeared for sale asking even higher prices but that $55 sale price might have been just one collector willing to overpay to finish or nearly finish the set.
I should note that the 5 4-card sheets with promos with the gray Diamond logos can be found as singles but it does not appear that singles were ever officially cut and distributed.
Here's the auction:
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