An incredibly rare Action comic cap, given away as a Superstars Competition Prize in 1976 by the publishers of the controversial boys comic, is up for auction as part of the latest auction from Phil-Comics on eBay, which as usual also includes a wide range of British comics, some with their original free gifts.
“This is one of the rarest comic related items we’ve sold in our 20 plus years of trading,” Phil Shrimpton told downthetubes.
The Action cap which was given away as part of the “Superstars” competition in 1976.
300 “Exclusive Action Baseball Hats” were given out as ‘runner up awards’ in the Action Superstars Competition appearing in issue 4, cover dated 6th March 1976.
The cap was posted to a reader in Birmingham and the original envelope is present – posted second class with a date stamp of 11th May 76, by the looks of it (although the seven of 76 has not stamped properly).
“The note from the Assistant Competitions Manager, F. Cartland, adds real character and context to this item,” Phil feels.
“It looks unlikely the cap was ever worn by the original owner, as the peak is dead straight and it appears it’s likely been stored in the envelope since it arrived. It has quite a lot of creasing, caused by being placed and stored in the envelope for the last 47 years… Overall it’s in very good shape.
“We’re not aware of another of these caps being sold in the past and would say it’s likely to be the only surviving example.”
Unsurprisingly, unlike the 99p starting point for most Phil-Comics items, the auction house has started bidding at £250 for this rare item, based on selling a similar Whizzer and Chips cap, a prize from a competition in the comic in 1974, back in February 2021 for £147 – and that was the cap only, with no accompanying letter or envelope.
“We would argue that Action is more collectable (certainly more cult),” says Phil, “and the presence of the letter and envelope from the Competitions Manager at IPC rounds this item off very nicely indeed.”
Action comic contained some terrific strips which were controversial for their violent nature, as we’ve documented on our Action: The Sevenpenny Nightmare micro site, originally compiled by Moose Harris, and rescued from oblivion with his kind permission.
Launched in February 1976 Action lasted for nine months before being pulled from the shelves. Six weeks later it was relaunched with softer content, which proved less popular and around a year later it folded and was merged with Battle.
Comics from February to October 1976 are known as the “pre-ban” issues and are very collectable.
The latest Phil-Comics auction also includes a number of pre-ban Action comics in their current auctions, starting from Issue One.
• Check out this rare Action collectable here on eBay as part of the latest Phil-Comics auction
Run by Phil Shrimpton, Phil-Comics specialises in vintage comics and related items such as annuals, holiday specials, free gifts and original artwork.
Holding monthly eBay auctions, often with a huge number of listings, they aim to bring a diverse array of items – and are always on the lookout for vintage comic collections, either to buy or auction on commission.
• Head to www.ebay.co.uk/str/philcomics for the full catalogue
The auction house is always happy to combine postage
• Check out the Action: Sevenpenny Nightmare Micro Site here on downthetubes
This item was updated with thanks to information from “Mac Mac Anorak”
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