Still going strong over 75 years later, it's what everyone gets for Christmas. I do anyway. The first issue has no date or number on the cover and can be identified from Big Eggo and other characters on a see-saw supported by Pansy Potter. Very healthy trade in Beano books though watch out for restoration on early ones, both professional and amateur. A FN copy was sold at auction in March 1996 for £4,000 which really put this on the map. A VG copy of the first annual sold at auction in September 2007 for £3,437. #2 (1941) is a rarer item for a long time there were thought to be 5 known copies. One sold, again in Sep 2007, on Comic Book Postal Auctions in VG for £1,601. A 6th copy came to the market via eBay UK in Mar 2008. Offered at £1,600. No sale. But 7 offers. It looked about a VG/VG Minus. And in Apr 2008, another copy from a very respected vendor. Looked nice, in VG bordering on Near Fine. Offered at £2,799.00 but didn t sell. Is that 7 known copies now? Nope. In the latest COMPAL catalogue another first annual was found in a charity shop in Scotland and sent into auction to raise money. I make that 8 known copies now.
Beano annuals fall into distinctive categories thus: The Beano Book 1940 to 1942. It became known as The Magic-Beano Book from 1943 through to 1950. And then again The Beano Book from 1960 onwards. In 1961, the annuals were laminated for the first time which is a protective clear plastic covering. This gives the annual a nice shine rather than the traditional matt finish but there are attendant problems. The laminate can split and lift, sometime in great patches. The laminate often splits or flakes off in the 'gutter' area, the groove on the front and back cover spine area. Always ask you vendor about the state of the laminate covering as photos don't often show the close detail. A Very Fine copy should have only the slightest laminate defect. And a Near Mint copy should be near flawless, ie very difficult to spot any defects or problems. Very very hard to find a true Near Mint Beano annual pre 1960.
Stop Press! Comic Book Postal Auctions achieved a second best ever price for a Beano Book #1 at £4,265 for a copy that was found in a charity shop in Scotland. A magnificent result, and all for charity so well done all round. 9 known copies now?
Note: some PR issues may have no value. Selected issues in FN, VF or VF/NM may not exist in some titles.