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Hoard of 23 Mad Magazine Promotional Pin Sets (552 Pins/24 Pins Per Set)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $812.00
Tremendous hoard of twenty-three complete 24-pin Mad magazine premium sets. In 1987 Mad magazine offered these pins as a special premium to subscribers. Three Mad pins were sent by mail to individuals who subscribed for three years. These pins were part of a 24-pin set which was produced by Mad specifically for this promotion. Each pin features a classic Mad magazine cover of the past. Complete sets were virtually impossible to put together due to the fact that only three pins could be obtained at a time, and only as a premium for ordering a three-year subscription. Most subscribers weren't even aware that there were 24 different pins to the set. Later, some of the remaining stock of pins was marketed for direct sale in stores in packs of two. These pins are an official Mad magazine promotional issue. Each pin reads "Copyright 1987 E.C. Publications, Inc MAD & Boy's Head Are Reg. T.M. of E.C.Publications, Inc" on the curl. Also on the curl is the manufacturer's credit, which reads "Bi-Rite Enterprises, Inc Chicago, IL 60632." These pins were manufactured by Bi-Rite Enterprises of Chicago, a premium company which manufactured souvenir pins, posters, and various give-away premiums for hundreds of different companies. When Bi-Rite went out of business, approximately 350 complete sets were among the millions of items representing the liquidated stock of the company. The sets in this lot originate directly from the purchasers of Bi-Rite's assets in the early 1990s. If it were not for this find, there would be virtually no complete Mad pin sets in the entire collecting world. When the sets first appeared at auction, they were selling for well over $1,000 per set. (In fact, the first set offered in a major catalog auction sold for over $2,000.) As sets continued to be offered, and with the uncertainty of exactly how big the find was, the price quickly dropped to the low hundreds. Although 350 sets may sound like a lot, based on similar finds of desirable issues of the past, this is not a tremendous number of sets. Despite several groups similar to this lot being sold at auction over the past several years, these sets have failed to resurface in the secondary marketplace. These few sets represent the last of the remaining balance of the original hoard. All the others are long gone. Collecting history suggests that with desirable issues there is often great merit to the old saying that it is wise to "buy on the find." Mad subscriber pins are a significant and highly collectible official Mad premium issue which will always have a wide appeal to many different types of collectors. The fact that pin collecting has in recent years begun to "come into its own," and the fact that the grading of pins has begun and is now in its infancy make this substantial lot all the more interesting for the investor or dealer. All are in Nr/Mt-Mt to Mint condition. Total 23 complete sets (24 pins per set) for a total of 552 pins. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $812.00
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