Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Full Color #1 ERROR / MISPRINT 2009

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 MISPRINT / Error Edition

Mirage Gives Collectors a Final Gift

One Last Amazing Misprint to Collect

Published: November, 2009
AKA: TMNT #1 Full Color One Shot
Print run: 1,000 copies
Destroyed in recall: ?????
Estimated remaining: 100’s
Total on CGC census: 48
Recent sale: $137.50 CGC 9.8

In November of 2009, Mirage Studios was celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That year also marked the sale of the TMNT to Nickelodeon, and the wind-down of Mirage Studios. As a ”last hurrah” of sorts, Mirage decided to do one last re-print of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, but with a twist: full color. The original #1 issue was printed completely in black-and-white (other than red ink on the cover), and had never before been released in full color.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 Recall Notice

The recall notice issued from Diamond Comics asked retailers to Please Destroy all copies.

So Mirage invited long-time colorist Steve Lavigne to return and add his ”blazing hues” to this classic. This would have been collectible enough for collectors as it was. But Mirage gave us one final gift, a misprint variant to collect.

The initial print run of 1000 copies came back from the printer with a strange hatch pattern on some interior pages, as well as some font problems which made the inside front cover copy hard to read, prompting a swift ”please destroy” recall notice [”TMNT 1 Full Color One Shot Misprint Advisory”]. It is not known how many copies survived the recall, but estimates are in the 100’s.

Collecting this Comic Book
Recognizing a Misprint Copy

There are only 48 CGC graded copies of the error edition on census, so that suggests you’re probably not going to easily find a graded copy for sale… but graded and ungraded copies do exist. Mirage had some for sale at one point, and they have come up on eBay as well.

Mirage Studios TMNT Volume 1 For Sale Page

Mirage Studios had some misprints for sale at one point on their website.

A great find would be to come across an ungraded copy for sale somewhere, where the seller does not realize that their copy is in fact a misprint / error variant. The front cover is identical, with the differences only in the interior pages — so at a glance, someone may not actually realize their copy is a misprint. There are two primary differences between the misprint, and the regular edition. The first of these differences is more subtle — the font is different on the interior front cover:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 Regular/Normal Copy Vs. Misprint/Error Edition Variant

At left, the front interior cover of a regular/normal copy; at right, a misprint/error edition variant.


That font difference (above) may be too subtle to rely upon…. Luckily, the other difference is much more stark and easy to spot. Many of the interior pages of the misprint edition have a ”hatch pattern” going diagonally across the pages. The center pages, 20-21 have this problem, so a good strategy would be to ask a seller for a picture of the centerfold so that you can examine the condition of the staples — but really, you’re looking for the hatch pattern. Here’s what that will look like in the error variant:

Error Edition Misprint Pages 20-21

Centerfold of error edition misprint

And here’s what those same pages look like in the regular / normal edition:

TMNT Color Special #1 Pages 20-21

Regular edition centerfold pages.


Finding a Copy

If a CGC graded copy, or an ungraded copy come up for sale on eBay, it may not be available at the particular moment you’re looking for one, so your best bet is to set up an eBay alert

[click this hyperlink to search eBay for ”turtles 1 misprint” and then click ”save search” at the top of the results list]

…or you could also set up a wantlist on Comic Link in the hopes that one may come up for sale there.

Here’s what an example graded copy looks like, which was posted in a thread on the Comics Price Guide Missing Issues Forum:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Error Edition CGC 9.8

An example graded copy in CGC 9.8

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Color Special — Misprint Value

The extremely low print run of 1,000 copies — a third of the print run of the original 1984 first printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 — and unknown count of surviving copies, makes this misprint hard to find. As of March 2014 [I am editing my original post of 7/21/2011 on 3/3/2014 to update the link to Mirage’s eBay page as their username has since changed from ‘tmnt_toys’ to ‘mirage-studios’, and am also updating the CGC census number while I’m making this edit, which was only 3 copies at the time of the original post] CGC had graded a total of just 48 of them. An example of a public sale of a graded copy was recorded at auction for $137.50 (in CGC 9.8). As of this writing, the ComicsPriceGuide values this comic in the various grades, ungraded versus graded, as follows:

TMNT 1 Error / Misprint Value in Various Grades

Values given to this issue in various grades by ComicsPriceGuide as of this writing

TMNT #1 Color Special — Sources & Resources

Comic Book Database TMNT #1 Misprint Page: www.comicbookdb.com/issue.php?ID=223038
CGC Census Page: www.cgccomics.com/census/index.asp
Comics Price Guide Forum: www.comicspriceguide.com/boards/132299/Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Full-Color-One-Shot-1B-Misprint
Mirage’s Online Store (lots of great turtles comics): www.miragelicensing.com/paypal/mirage.html
Mirage’s eBay Page: ebay.com/usr/mirage-studios
Mirage’s TMNT #1 Page: www.miragelicensing.com/comics/mirage/volume01/01/01.html


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