Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wrestling MarketWatch: Action Figures

"That's not a doll, it's an action figure..."

"It IS an action figure!"

If you grew up in the '80s or '90s, chances are good that your wrestling memorabilia collection started with an action figure or two. From LJN to Remco to Hasbro to Jakks. WWF to WCW to AWA. Poseable, rubbery, statuesque. You know you had them. You know you rassled em. You know you had a ton of fun.

With Mattel's new WWE Legends line recently starting to reach the hands of collectors, it's all but guaranteed that many wrestling fans will jump on the "toy" bandwagon just as they did when Jakks released their Classic Superstars line. This is a good thing, as high sales will help ensure the depth of characters in the Mattel line as similar to the Jakks line.

What about the old stuff? How are the vintage items fairing in the price market? As usual with MarketWatch, I'm going to highlight some recent pieces and the prices they're selling for.

*One item that seemingly always does well is actually only about a decade old. The ECW toy line from The Original San Francisco Toymakers was a hit with collectors because of the stars it included, the good likenesses on a lot of the figures, and the mind blowing idea that the adult-oriented ECW product had a toy line to begin with. In addition to several series of figures, a ring and cage playset was released that included exclusive figures of Sabu and Rob Van Dam. While the ring and cage were redone versions of toys from Toymakers' previous WCW line, it was a popular item and one which did not see as wide of a release as the single carded figures. A boxed example recently went for $100.

*Prices on carded WWF LJN figures have seemingly dropped a bit as of late, with a number of the figures selling anywhere from $20-$50. This is a far cry from just a few years ago. Some collectors tend to blame the WWE Classic Superstars line for this drop, however I don't agree with that assessment. This does not include the 1989 "black card" series of which prices have largely remained the same.

*Carded examples of the 1990 WCW Galoob figure line have also dipped in price. Most of the figures have recently sold on an average of about $10-$15. I think any collector would make a wise investment picking these figures up at these prices. Always an underrated line and, as I described in a past entry, the closest thing we'll ever have to an action figure line FROM the glory days of NWA wrestling. The WCW Galoob United Kingdom exclusive figures remain very expensive to be found carded.

*With its 14-year run, the Jakks WWF/WWE line will probably always be the most varied. Like 90% of the wrestling merchandise from the "Attitude Era," the figures produced during that time are dead in the water and seem doomed to stay that way. 100+ different releases of Austin, Taker, and Road Dogg simply don't equal collector demand. That said, certain figures of The Rock and Austin from more recent series such as those included in the Classic Superstars line can sell for well over $50.

The best way to tell what your items are worth? As I've said time and time again, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Remember, the best collectibles are the ones that are priceless to YOU.

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