Marvel Coin Collecting 101

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An officially-licensed by Marvel 2022 Spider-Man One Ounce Silver Coin from Fiji. COURTESY OF THE CROWN MINT

Unquestionably, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is one of, if not the, most popular series of movies to be created over the last 14 years. It’s also the highest-grossing film franchise of all time at over $26 billion dollars, the next closest is around $10 billion.

From Comic Books to Filmmaker

The evolution of Marvel from a comic book producer to the MCU major filmmaker all began in 2008 when Marvel released its first feature-length movie of one of its individual superheroes and followed that with movies where multiple superheroes fight multiple villains in what they call “crossover” films. Marvel had the idea to group the films into “Phases” so that someone who bought a ticket to one of their superhero movies would feel compelled to buy tickets to the subsequent movies.

Marvel Movie Phase List

In 2008, Phase One began with the release of “Iron Man.” This was followed by “The Incredible Hulk (2008),” “Iron Man 2 (2010),” “Thor (2011),” and then “Captain America:

The First Avenger (2011).” These films culminated in the first crossover film “The Avengers (2012).”

An officially-licensed by Marvel Captain America shield.
COURTESY OF THE CROWN MINT

In 2013, Phase Two began with “Iron Man 3 (2013),” “Thor: The Dark World (2013),” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014),” Guardians of the Galaxy (2014),” “Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015),” and “Ant-Man (2015).”

In 2016, Phase Three had “Captain America: Civil War (2016),” “Dr.Strange (2016),” “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol.2 (2017),” “Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017),” “Thor: Ragnarök (2017),” “Black Panther (2018),” “Avengers: Infinity War (2018),” “Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018),” “Captain Marvel (2019),” “Avengers: Endgame (2019),” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019).”

By 2021, we had entered Phase Four with “Black Widow (2021),” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021),”

“Eternals (2021),” “Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021),” “Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness (2022)” and most recently, “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Five additional movies are planned to complete Phase Four.

Growing Marvel Demand

These 29 current movies are also bolstered by online marketing, new versions of these comics, graphic novels which are comic books with multiple stories, televised specials on the Disney+ channel, and television series on both ABC and Netflix.

Essentially, the MCU is utilizing every avenue imaginable to bring new stories to eager viewers and readers.

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Thor Bullion Coin
COURTESY THE CROWN MINT

All of this media blitz has led to a huge demand not only for these movies and television shows but also for a pent-up demand for Marvel superhero and villains’ products. And that is where silver coins and rounds come into play.

Marvel Coins & Rounds

Demand for these coins and rounds bearing the images from these Marvel movies increases exponentially as each movie is released and continues to increase as the movie gains traction and interest. The bigger the box office hit, the greater the demand for a silver coin with that superhero on it.

Demand for these licensed products is very strong and the competition for obtaining licenses from Marvel is intense.

Some dealers add these items to their inventory by buying them from the original distributors who hold licenses for these products direct from Marvel.

But most dealers who try to obtain these licenses find that it is a very expensive and difficult road to follow.

The Crown Mint

A company in Arizona has found great success with the Marvel products that they sell to their customers through their website. The Crown Mint began operations in 2008 and they have specialized in selling “A” list brands such as Coca-Cola, Harry Potter, the Rolling Stones, and, of course, Marvel. One of their very first licensed products was an expensive, very high-quality set of four Star Wars characters.

marvel-coin-collecting
An officially-licensed by Marvel 2021Black Panther Two Ounce Silver Coin from Fiji.
COURTESY OF THE CROWN MINT

As they did a deep dive into who bought these products, they realized that the audience for a small but expensive set was very active, but they also determined where the larger audience was. A subsequent venture had them create a 10-gram domed-shape Captain America shield. But even with that success, they learned that a One Ounce Silver coin was a better item to sell and had a greater demand.

“We love to find products that have passionate fan bases. These licenses might be very expensive to obtain, but they are because they have broad appeal. At the end of the day, we are fans too! We don’t make anything that we, ourselves, are not passionate about,” said Steven Harris, a principal at The Crown Mint, about officially licensed products and the competition to obtain them.

Marvel Product Licenses

The competition is fierce to obtain a product license, but so are the restrictions that a company like Marvel has as to how their characters can be portrayed.

“Once we wanted to make an Iron Man round, but Marvel didn’t like the armor that we wanted to use on Iron Man. It was changed a number of times. Pushback from top brands, like Marvel, is great. The designs we bring to those brands must accurately reflect what Marvel believes about their products. They fiercely protect their brands and their brand’s images, which is the right thing to do,” continued Harris.

Who Are Marvel Coin Buyers?

Just who is buying Marvel-related coins? Are the buyers of these products people who buy silver coins and rounds regularly or are they newcomers to these products?

“There are a limited number of bullion collectors who buy these licensed products all the time. But the overwhelming majority of these buyers are younger people, under 40, who grew up with the comics and they enjoy being reminded of their childhood. While these folks never heard of a Twenty-Cent piece, they know who Iron Man is. In addition to the under 40 group, we also wanted to figure out how to also connect with kids today who have limited opportunities to collect things as they have limited funds.

They already know who Spider-Man or Captain America are, so these products are a natural for them,” Harris concluded.

Licensed products are here to stay, especially as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to grow and expand and bring in new followers every day. With over 27,000 comics now, and growing daily, six more movies in various stages of production, and 11 television series currently in production, the future looks bright for Marvel and for those vendors lucky enough to be able to offer those licensed superheroes and villains to the marketplace.

This story about Marvel coin collecting previously appeared in COINage magazine. Story by Mike Garofalo. To subscribe to COINage magazine click here. 

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