Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Whitman Original Art

I thought I'd put up a post before the latest eBay Roundup to talk a bit about the Whitman artwork that's made it to eBay over the course of the past year. I believe the first piece was the Coloring Book, followed by the Tray Puzzle, Round Boxed Puzzle, Big Little Book and finally the Punch-out Book (if anyone has different information, please let me know and I'll correct it). The seller is/was "goldentreasures-nyc" and appears to have been contracted to sell the remnants of the Whitman/Golden warehouse - he's been selling items periodically for the last couple of years - initially it was all file copies (if you were lucky enough to get one of these there's a stamp on the inside cover indicating that it's a file copy). Most older publishers would keep copies of materials as file copies to reinforce copyright - this could be as few as a couple and as many as 10-25, depending on the publisher. OSS examples as file copies of the MMM Whitman items started appearing and sold very well, until the market became saturated - the Press-Out book sold for $300+ when it first appeared, then eventually dropped to a final price of about $70 before the seller either ran out of them or realized that the market was saturated and stopped posting.

Bidding for the original artwork was fierce - I believe the most was paid for the Press-Out book - I managed to snag the Frame Tray Puzzle, one of my friends got the Round Puzzle, Coloring Book and Punch-out Book. Alec Peters got the BLB. In most if not all cases the artwork came complete with the original color cover illustration and color or interior line art (if a book). The Frame Tray Puzzle I purchased had a white tracing paper overlay with the puzzle title located in tape-on lettering. Alec's BLB came with all the interior illustrations plus a typed manuscript of the text. As the listing for the Punch-Out Book is still active, here are the details:


eBay Auction #120414065307
Ending Bid: $4,150.00
End Date: May 12, 200906:00:00 PM PDT

Up for auction is the original artwork for the MAJOR MATT MASON PRESS-OUT BOOK published by Whitman in 1969.

Interior Page Art 13 1/2"x 19" 3 pages
Back Cover Art 13 1/2"x 19"
Press-out Book

All art is in very good condition.

Thanks for looking and happy bidding!!

My Take:
These are all one-of-a-kind items that haven't seen the light of day previously - each sold in the thousands (yes, thousand"S") and are about as rare as a prototype item. The only thing preventing the bidding from going even higher is that most MMM collectors only search for Mattel items - so these are a bit esoteric for them.

To keep the images in a single post, here are those that were in the earlier ads.

Frame Tray Puzzle:

Stamp on File Copies:

Round Puzzle Art:

Coloring Book Art:

Big Little Book Art:

-- John

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