January 30, 2014

Comics Without Digital Codes: Is it 'Mint Condition'?

The impact of digital codes on comic-book values.

During the 1990s, the comics industry saw massive changes and innovations when it came to marketing comic-books. At some point back then, covers adorned with various gimmicks such as metallic ink, foil-stamped, and holograms were the sudden rage. Comics were also bundled in plastic bags containing items such trading cards and coupons.  It was truly a time of innovation in design and marketing.

Fast-forward to today's comics which still feature some of those gimmicks but are now published with current technologies at the crux.  Certain titles from Marvel Comics (shown below) feature a digital code that allows the purchaser access to a free digital comic of the same title. Polybagged DC Comics also feature a digital code redeemable for the same digital code. Are comic-books that lack the digital code sold through third-party avenues such as eBay or Amazon, still considered "mint condition"? Does the inclusion of the digital code affect the value of the comic-book?

This is a debate that will no doubt continue as collectors, retailers and others offer diverse views on what is considered a high grade comic-book that contain these codes. Share your thoughts below.

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