Bust open your piggy banks: The first sketch of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is up for auction

Some would say that childhood memories are priceless. Others would say they’re worth $6,500.

That’s how much the sketch to your left is worth, according to the most recent bid. Yes, it’s true: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman is auctioning off the first sketch of the reptiles who became Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo.

If you’re a true Turtlehead, you may recognize the image from early press coverage of the series and a few comics. Eastman and his partner, Peter Laird, drew and inked the pic in November 1983. Soon afterwards, they came up with a back story for the characters they’d invented. Eventually, these weapon-wielding terrapins would become heroes in a half-shell who starred in three animated series — including an upcoming show from Nickelodeon — and four feature films.

Sure, dropping four figures — or even five, depending on how the bidding goes — for an 8.5-by-11-inch piece of paper might seem extreme. But in a world where the next generation of turtles is neither mutant nor teenage, I can understand why someone would pay to hold on to a simpler era — a time when glowing ooze had the power to transform humble pet shop refugees into pizza-loving crime fighters. Those were the days!

Do you want to add this sketch to your collection of pop culture curiosities, PopWatchers? How much would you pay for it? And, come to think of it, what’s the most expensive pop-culture-related object you own?

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