Valuable Dick Tracy comic, radio, television and movie collectibles include film posters, radio premiums, lobby cards, detective sets, Whitman Big Little Books, original Chester Gould comic strip art and Marx friction toy cars.
The venerable Dick Tracy has been on the popular culture scene since the early 1930s. Created by Chester Gould (1900-1985), Dick Tracy made his comic strip debut in the Detroit Mirror on October 4, 1931. He later branched out into radio, movie serials, television and feature length films, where he battled such colorful criminals as Cueball, Gruesome, Flattop, Splitface and Big Boy.
Here are ten valuable Dick Tracy radio, comic, TV and movie collectibles that are sure to please fans of the popular, square-jawed police detective. Got your two-way wrist radio handy?
Dick Tracy 1930s Detective Set
J. Pressman & Co. of New York produced the handsome Dick Tracy Detective Set No. 119 in the 1930s. One partially complete example still in its original box sold at auction for $180.90.
Dick Tracy 1930s detective set $180.90 - Hake's Americana & Collectibles
Dick Tracy 1930s Big Little Books
Whitman produced the popular Big Little Books in the 1930s and '40s. Two titles, The Adventures of Dick Tracy (#4055, 1935) and Dick Tracy and the Mystery of the Purple Cross (#4071, 1938), in very good condition brought a top bid of $203.73 at auction.
Dick Tracy 1961 Snub-Nose .38 Pistol & Holster Set
Mattel, Inc. made the Dick Tracy snub-nose .38 pistol and holster set in 1961, an official item licensed by the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. One example still in its original box sold at auction for $189.75.
Dick Tracy 1961 .38 pistol & holster set $189.75 - Hake's Americana & Collectibles
Dick Tracy 1938 Secret Service Patrol Radio Premium Badge
Dick Tracy ran on the radio from 1934 to 1948. In 1938 Quaker Oats, one of the show's sponsors, produced the Dick Tracy Secret Service Patrol Sergeant's Badge. One surviving example in near mint condition fetched $139.15 at auction.
Dick Tracy 1938 radio premium $139.15 - Hake's Americana & Collectibles
Dick Tracy 1948 Friction Motorized Squad Car
Marx Toys made the nifty Dick Tracy friction squad car in 1948, whose police siren whines and lights flash when pushed. One example in excellent condition with its original box sold at auction for $287.50.
Dick Tracy 1937 Movie Serial One Sheet Poster
Dick Tracy first came to the silver screen as a 15-episode movie serial in 1937 courtesy Republic Pictures with Ralph Byrd in the starring role. Byrd later played the famous comic strip sleuth in ABC-TV's Dick Tracy (1950-51). A restored one sheet poster (27x41-inches) from Episode I "The Spider Strikes" in very good/fine condition on linen brought a top bid of $1,912.
Dick Tracy 1937 one sheet poster $1,912 - Heritage Auction Galleries
Dick Tracy 1945 One Sheet Movie Poster
Morgan Conway had the title role in Dick Tracy (1945), the first in a series of four Dick Tracy films made by RKO Radio Pictures. A restored one sheet poster (27x41-inches) in very fine condition on linen sold at auction for $478.
Dick Tracy 1945 one sheet poster $478 - Heritage Auction Galleries
Dick Tracy 1931 Original Comic Strip Art
A Chester Gould original Dick Tracy comic strip panel dated December 24, 1931, brought $1,792.50 at auction.
Dick Tracy vs. Cueball 1946 One Sheet Movie Poster
Morgan Conway's Dick Tracy takes on Dick Wessel's Harry "Cueball" Lake in Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, released by RKO in 1946. A one sheet poster (27x41-inches) in fine+ condition and preserved on linen sold at auction for $262.90.
Dick Tracy vs. Cueball 1946 one sheet poster $262.90 - Heritage Auction Galleries
Dick Tracy 1990 French Grande Movie Poster
Warren Beatty garnered the title role in Warner Bros'. 1990 big budget screen spectacular Dick Tracy, with Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman and James Caan also on board. A French grande poster (45x61-inches) in folded very fine/near mint condition brought a reasonable $16 at auction.
Dick Tracy 1990 French poster $16 - Heritage Auction Galleries
Dick Tracy Credits & Top Image
- Auction results and images courtesy Hake's American & Collectibles, York, Pennsylvania, and Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas
- Top image: Dick Tracy's Dilemma 1947 title lobby card $119.50 - Heritage Auction Galleries