The longest-running (at the time) British comic title ceased on its 75th anniversary. How sad. But a true reflection on the fact that kids don't read comics as much as they used to. How sad. At its height in the 1950s, this comic sold nearly two million copies a week. By 2012 it was down to 8,000. The comic will continue on-line but will no doubt quietly fade away one day.
Not quite as culty and popular as The Beano though. About 15 copies known to exist of issue #1. In his Autumn 2004 catalogue, Malcolm Phillips suggested 10 known copies and some more have surfaced since then. Compare this to 16 or 17 recorded Beano #1's, according to two different estimates that I know of (Malcolm Philips suggested 13 Beano #1's in existence up to his Summer 2004 catalogue). An issue in solid VG Plus was sold at auction in June 1996 for £2,420 which helped put this item on the map. It was described as having "tanned dusty front/back covers with three small tears. Interior pages lightly tanned with edge wear".
June 1999 saw £4,840 achieved for a Dandy #1 which had light tan pages and four two and half inch vertical tears on each of the four back pages. Interestingly it also had a light red stamp on the bottom front cover magin saying Return To Sales Department indicating that it was a publisher s file copy. Auctioneer Malcolm Phillips noted that it was one of only 8 copies known to exist. In June 2004 another copy of issue #1 was sold for £7,261 including the buyer s premium of 10%. It had light tan pages and tan edges but it also had the original half size eight page advert for the first Dandy. The auction estimate at the time was £3,500-£4,000. In September 2004 a current world record price was established for a British comic at a staggering £20,350 for a Fine Minus grade copy with the only known surviving free gift Express Whistler. A truly remarkable comic. It also included the original four page advert for Dandy #1 and #2 that was printed in the Hotspur comic at the time. A VG copy was sold at auction in May 2005 for £6,366. There is also a copy of Dandy #1 with two centre-spreads missing so it's basically the first four pages and the last four. In September 2006 it still sold for £148! In November 2006 a Good copy with margin foxing spots and a two inch back cover tear sold for £1595. In his March 2007 catalogue, Malcolm Philips sold a VG Dandy #1 with the original advertising flyer for £3,050 and it was £450 below the estimate. It was the Jun 1999 issue that had sold for £4,840. A significant drop! Add in spite of the fact that this time around the comic came with an original eight page advertising flyer. He makes the point that as more Beano and Dandy #1 s come out of the woodwork, there is a market perception that they are less rare than previously thought which is an interesting observation. And Malcolm should know as the premiere auctioneer for this kind of material. Even so, the Dandy title currently holds the record highest sale for both comic and annual, putting The Beano firmly in its place for once!
Dandy changed to Dandy Extreme and fortnightly frequency with issue #3426 in 2007. The desperation of the free gifts that are piled into the pre-bagged package immediately made you fear for this title's long term survival.
In the June 2009 COMPAL catalogue there was a Dandy #1 graded Fair with 3 spine tear and multiple edge tears. It sold for £1,820. And in the same catalogue Malcolm Philips reckoned on there being around 20 issues known to exist . My original estimate of 15 known copies of issue #1 has served for the last few years so 20 would seem about right which puts it roughly equal with Beano #1.
16/08/12. It was announced that The Dandy will cease publication after 75 years on the 4th Dec 2012 and continue as an on-line comic.
The end of an era and a sorry comment on the state of British comics - children just don't read them anymore. Computer games are more their thing. Sad.
Note: some PR issues may have no value. Selected issues in FN, VF or VF/NM may not exist in some titles.