Let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to get your hands on a convention exclusive, a hot new Funko Pop!, or a retailer-exclusive Star Wars The Black Series figure — The idea of owning something as rare (and expensive) as a copy of “Fantastic Four No. 1” or the legendary Alpha Black Lotus Magic: The Gathering card is almost laughable. But a company called Mythic Markets has created a new way for fans to own the one-in-a-million, nerdy collector’s items that sell for a small fortune… or, rather, to own part of them.
Mythic Markets offers fans shares in these valuable items, and those shares are available to buy, sell, and trade on the Mythic Markets platform. Usually, the items are broken down into about 1,000-2,000 shares, which makes the price far more accessible. Few people can invest $50,000 in an A-grade Metroid cartridge, but how about $25 to own a share of it? And, as in any stock market, you may be able to sell that share at a higher price if the value of the cartridge goes up. (Mythic Markets determines the value of its shares via peer-to-peer bid and ask activity.)
To learn more about this new way of collecting, we chatted with Mythic Markets co-founder and CEO Joe Mahavuthivanij about the company, its goals, how interested fans can get started, and more.
The Pop Insider: Where exactly did the idea for Mythic Markets come from?
Joe Mahavuthivanij: My collection of Magic: The Gathering cards was stolen 20 years ago. Over the years, the value of my stolen cards increased to about $3 million and became a mainstream asset class. Millions of fans trade cards like stocks, so I wanted to create a way for anybody to invest in the rare, high-value, appreciating collectibles they love.
PI: What have been the greatest challenges in establishing Mythic Markets and getting fans interested in investing? How did you overcome those challenges?
JM: Educating investors and building trust with fans has been the biggest challenge. We work with partners (influencers, marketplaces, and others) to share educational content like our investing guides and — pre-pandemic — we would exhibit at various industry conferences.
PI: How much does a fan need to know about investing or trading before investing in a Mythic Markets collectible?
JM: Familiarity with the stock market, as well as the particular collectible assets, is helpful in understanding the value of what they’re investing in. We’ve created several investing guides — for comic books, video games, and fantasy art — that are designed to educate new investors on how to invest in this market.
PI: How would you describe the target audience for Mythic Markets?
JM: Although our largest investors are high-net-worth individuals, Mythic Markets was designed for the average fans who love these collectibles.
PI: How does Mythic Markets acquire the collectible items in which fans can invest?
JM: Some of our assets are sourced from private collectors, whereas some items come from dealers or brokers. We’ve acquired some assets at auction and also accept inbound opportunities to acquire collections.
PI: Where are the collectibles physically stored, and are shareholders allowed to see them in person?
JM: Our collectibles are stored in Oregon. Pre-pandemic, we toured the collection at various events and conventions. Post-pandemic, we are determining whether a storefront or museum makes sense to showcase the assets full time.
PI: What, in your opinion, is the value of investing in shares of a collectible as opposed to a physical item?
JM: The assets in our collection range in value between $30,000 to $6.5 million, which is out of the capacity of most people. As an asset class that has been outperforming alternatives, it’s an attractive investment that was previously only available to the very rich. The assets are professionally stored, maintained, and insured as well, ensuring that the asset and its value are protected.
PI: You recently held your first trading day (when shareholders could sell their shares). Can you talk me through why that was significant and what happened on that day?
JM: Trading has been our most-demanded feature since we originally launched. It’s significant because it allowed investors to get liquidity on their investments for the first time. During the trading period, most of the assets traded up between 35-135%.
PI: Over the past year, we’ve seen a significant increase in the demand for valuable trading cards, with celebrities and internet personalities making big, public purchases. Has that influenced Mythic Markets and, if so, how?
JM: The growth of the collectibles market has created new awareness and demand for fractional shares as people seek opportunities to hedge against inflation. Pokémon cards in particular have experienced enormous growth and are an area we’re currently exploring for upcoming offerings.
PI: Has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Mythic Markets? If so, how?
JM: In general, the pandemic has had a positive effect on the business. People have sought out alternative assets to invest in to hedge against inflation, especially as they’ve skyrocketed in value.
PI: Do you personally hold stock in any of the Mythic Markets collectibles? If so, which ones?
JM: I’ve been a lifelong fan of Magic: The Gathering, and have invested in our MTG collectibles. However, as a related party, it’s important to note that I am prohibited from selling my shares on our liquidity platform.
PI: Which item in the Mythic Markets collection is your personal favorite?
JM: The Black Lotus has been a personal grail asset since 1994, and remains my favorite.
To learn more about Mythic Markets or to invest, head to mythicmarkets.com.