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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Phantom Detective Badge

I remember when I was ten years old, I bought a g-man badge from somewhere. Not sure if it was from the back of a pulp or comic book. Darn, it might have even been this one. I used to send off for trinkets at about that age. Wouldn't it be nice to have one of these today? FRIENDS OF THE PHANTOM was always mentioned in the back of the Phantom Detective magazine. Someone probably has one of these in their childhood attic sixty years later.


  1. "Someone probably has one of these in their childhood attic sixty years later"...

    You'll find very little on the internet when you do a search for "Friends of the Phantom" Pin Badge or Premium, aside from a couple HAKES AMERICANA auction results (3 through the years/decades), that's how scarce this pulp item is.

    That being said, I don't have one hidden in my attic, BUT I got one Jan. 5TH, 2013 at the lowest minimum bid, and by chance another showed up a couple of weeks later that I also won on Feb. 10TH :)

    Now I doubt another will show up in a loge while.


  2. Thanks David, you're right, these are very rare and quite expensive when they show up. I'm not really into pin and premiums, but I was tempted with this one (sigh). Someone should have a mold made of the badge, and make new ones like The Spider Ring, and other items. Nick Carr sent me an Operator #5 skull charm and G-8 pin years ago, and I think Steranko may have made some of these things. Not sure. With this year being the anniversary celebration of The PD, Doc and others at PulpFest, a replica of the badge would likely sale fast.

  3. Ebay had several pins for auction. I think they were asking over $50.00, but it's been awhile and my memory is faulty.

  4. --- FRIENDS of the PHANTOM Pricings ---

    If you really, really, really need this Phantom Detective Badge there's one listed now (05/25/2015) on for the unbelievable (read: outrageous) price of $275.00 (PLUS $13.00 postage for something this small; Pulps I've won from the U.K. are so much more cheaper to ship).

    If there are no 'good' Pulps on eBay in a 2 week period, and a Phantom Badge happens appears, I'll go for it every time if the price is right. (Working for the State I get paid every other week, so have to time my winning bids within a 3-6 days paying gap).

    This happened last week. The seller had a badge listed April 2015 at a starting bid of $95.00 or 'Buy It Now' at $140.00. I didn't think the condition was there, and others thought the same, so it had no bids.
    I messaged the seller to see if he'd sell for $65.00 but said he'd try again.
    Two weeks later, in May, it was up again with a starting bid of $75.00. There still were no takers, so 6 seconds until the auction ending I placed a bid (thought, "Hey, it only $10 more").
    It sold at $76.00, as one other bidder tried in those last seconds also.

    So this goes into my collection...and, arriving yesterday, it's in very fine shape, much better than what the photos showed.

    Before that win, one of the Ruby Lane shops had one listed at $197.00 or 'Make Offer'. I offered $125.00, the average price, figuring they'd counter somewhere in the mid-range.

    Their 'system' automatically countered with $187.50 or contact owner (not much of a counter-offer). I offered $135.00 to the owner, knowing they'd counter a better offer than $187.50.

    All-in-all we settled on $150.00, which wasn't bad compared to the prices below.

    It was in great condition and the seller said they had only seen one other in 20 years !

    On eBay - Nov. 2013 $217.50 to an unknown buyer;
    Dec. 2013: one sold for $155.00 to Matt Moring of Altus Press;
    Feb. 2014 for $177.50 to William Lampkin of ThePulp.Net ("...needed one to go with my Friends of the Phantom membership card").

    And in Nov. 2014, one started out on eBay at $9.99 and, again, I got this at $100.00. (My first 2 were on Jan. 5, 2013 at $49.99 and Feb. 10, 2013 at $95.00.

    That's FIVE I have sitting nicely under glass. Just great extra and unique Pulp items to have.

    ENJOY PULPS - David Lee Smith

  5. As bad as I would love to have one, I think I'll pass on the prices they want. I was in contact with a company planning on making replicas of the badge, but never continued with the project. I could have paid for the new mold and bought a hundred badges for what the originals are selling for. I thought this would be an ideal gimmick for PulpFest to purchase 500 copies to give to every member who attended as a bonus. But I decided they would want to spend the money for no return in capital.

    1. You know I actually thought about the same thing about having 250-300 made to give away at PULPFEST as gifts for coming, but looking at the prices (usually, it seemed, from a foreign country and minimums of at least 500-700 items) it was just too much. I had prices like $700.00 - $1,200.00 for 500 Badge Pins.

      ENJOY PULPS - David Lee Smith

  6. I meant to say, "They would NOT want to spend the money for no return of capital.