DC Universe Logo UPC Variants
Over the last few years collector’s attitudes towards reprints have changed. Buyers are no longer turned off by these printings, instead they are looking to the print run as a determining factor when it comes to buying. These printings are often manufactured in lesser quantity so when demand rises certain reprinted titles can see significant increases in value. Changes in color or art help denote the difference in printing and are now often seen as unique variants.
In the past many of these comic types were despised by collectors and relegated to the quarter-bin wasteland. As a result there are many reprints which have become significantly hard to find in high grade.
One particularly interesting subset of such reprints are the DC universe UPC printings. These reprints are only discernible by the logo printed in the UPC box. They are rare, often the last printed edition and were limited to distinct retailers in comic packs or multipacks like this:
This rare Batman collector’s pack contains 3 DCUs and one regular edition ( LOTDK 50 )
The logo also helps to drive their popularity because it’s freakin’ awesome!
Be careful when buying though, not all packs have them
And try to remember that they came in a multitude of different packs, not all 20 packs have DCU UPC editions. Because the packs were manufactured by month it’s likely that DC included reprints with the UPC logo to fill the packs and even went back to press to print DCUs to fill gaps. 20 packs from Toys R Us were packed by month so the packs have the same books.
Earliest known 20 pack: 12/92
Last known 20 pack: 12/96 ( included DCU Universe comic or comics )
- March 1993 contains a direct Wonder Woman 72.
- September 1993 ( BA 12 )
- The 12/93 pack contains a MOS 18 2nd print NOT a UPC variant.
Also, not all packs ( if you are lucky enough to find them ) have them same books inside even if it looks like they do! The images below are pics of two packs each with the same comic on the front but different comics on the backside:
Here’s some video on what these packs look like when you open one, courtesy of DCU guru Steve Horn!
Creating a comprehensive list of these comics has proven to be difficult. Over the years their popularity has been limited to diehard comics fans. Go do a search on Ebay for DC Universe UPC and you won’t see many books but you can easily find some of them unlabeled because even sellers do not know what they have! In this article we will try to provide a resource for both long standing fans and the new collector.
These books can sometimes be mislabeled as DC Universe UPC Walmart variants/printings/packs. While they were available in Walmart packs around the country, they were also available at Costco, Sam’s Club, Kmart and other retailers. What follows is a list which was assembled through various resources including forums from around the internet, Ben S ( who also assembled a detailed checklist ), Trey and Steve Horn. As far as rarity goes it appears that comics with this logo printed prior to 1994 appear to be much more common but still much more rare than their first printings.
Value-wise, each issue must be evaluated on the same criteria as any other comic: demand, condition, rarity and content.
Remember, the logo must be INSIDE the UPC box.
A final word…..
So I want all the readers to understand, this work is our best effort to inform collector’s about these books. At this point the list and information is always changing. It is certainly possible that some of these books on the list do not exist. Getting confirmation on every single issue is a daunting task despite our best efforts. If you have any information to contribute please do so and we will do our best to reflect it through constant updates. We used a wide variety of sources to compile our list and correct errors from those sources including Ebay, online forums etc.
ADDITIONAL KEY CONTRIBUTORS: Trey Kenyon, Ben Stein, Steve Horn, David One