Monday, April 27, 2009

Signamania IV Is In The Books

As I mentioned early on in the life of this blog, autographs have become a big part of my wrestling collection over the years. There are several (sane) ways to obtain these autographs, one of which is the recent trend of wrestling conventions/fanfests that have popped up along the east coast in the past decade or so.

This past weekend was the fourth offering from the fine folks at Signamania. Signamania is a convention held by George's Cards and Collectibles in Levittown, Pennsylvania. Starting in October of 2007, Signamania has quickly become one of the "Big Three" of sorts, in regards to wrestling fanfests. George Nahm and Marc Rapport have worked hard to build a reputation among not only the fans, but the wrestlers themselves. With names such as Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Mick Foley, Harley Race, Roddy Piper, and most recently Dusty Rhodes among many others appearing at Signamania, their hard work has obviously paid off.

This past Saturday was Signamania IV with Rhodes, Hart, Jim Neidhart, The Dudley Boyz, The New Age Outlaws, The Midnight Express, Matt Bourne, Bob Holly, Buff Bagwell, Scott Norton, Trevor Murdoch, and Colin Delaney all appearing as Superticket guests. In the world of conventions, a Superticket will usually get you an autograph and photo from each of the guests included. Vendor guests included Cowboy Bill Watts, Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko, Ron Simmons, Victoria, Sunny, The Rock n Roll Express, Jim Cornette, Jimmy Hart, and The Nasty Boys to name a few. Vendor guests are stars who are at the show separate from the main ticket, meaning there is a fee for autographs or photograph opportunities (also known as "photo ops"). Often, a "combo" is offered for each guest, offering an autograph and photo at a reduced price. Others, especially stars who attend the shows themselves without the middleman of a dealer or agent, will offer bulk prices on multiple autographs.

The above picture shows the items I had signed at the show. All but two (The Rock & Roll Express and Victoria figures) were items I had brought with me. While there are vendors selling photos and various other items to get signed, a lot of the more serious collectors already have items. I, personally, usually bring a variety of items ranging from action figures to promo photos to magazines and programs. In the coming weeks I will be highlighting some of these items in separate entries. In the meantime, please check out Signamania for information on Signamania V, which is scheduled for this Fall!

Last but not least, I present my personal favorite item that I had signed at the show...

The Bunkhouse Stampede '88 Program

Usually when I get a program signed, it's the beginning of a "project." A project consists of an item, usually a poster, magazine, program, book, or vhs/dvd cover or box, that you get signed by the stars who are featured on that particular item. When I purchased this program off of NWA Fanfest promoter Greg Price (more on his Fanfest weekends in a future post) a few years ago, I knew immediately there was only one signature I wanted on it--"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.

In all, I had seven items signed by my all-time favorite wrestler, Rhodes, at Signamania, and this was by far my favorite. The fact that he signed it with a full signature and was in great spirits made it all the more special.

I leave you with what is, to me, the most special photo op in my hundreds of pictures with wrestlers. Myself, and The American Dream, recreating Dusty's famous "Million Dollar Smile."

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