Thursday, February 14, 2013
From The Musty Yellowed Pages--Bruno: A Collector's Item
This particular magazine about "The Living Legend" doesn't really have a title. It's essentially called "Bruno," but since there is a small "A Collector's Item" tagline under Bruno's cover portrait, we're officially going to refer to it as "Bruno: A Collector's Item." Although most items labeled as a collector's item rarely reach that status, this magazine breaks the rule.
Beginning around late 1970, ads and order blanks for this magazine began appearing in Wrestling Revue. It was not available on newsstands and thus is much harder to find some forty years later than the standard Wrestling Revue issues. At one point several years ago, this magazine sold for several hundred dollars. Some collectors still believe that they are able to sell their own copies for that much, but I have yet to see proof. The large amount was probably the result of two overzealous collectors bidding on one copy. That being said, anyone owning this magazine should know that they own one of the nicest vintage Bruno collectibles around.
One striking feature of the magazine is that the cover folds out to a full-color poster of one of Bruno's most iconic shots. On examples found today there is often much wear and tear on the cover and spine. This is most likely due to fans folding and unfolding the poster. Although there is some text, this is mainly a photo album covering Mr. Sammartino's entire life to that point.
Bruno Sammartino is one of the few 1960's stars that has a seemingly endless supply of merchandise. It's a true testament to his popularity, in an era when merchandising was virtually non-existent in wrestling. There's no doubt that we will be seeing new Bruno DVDs, trading cards, action figures, and video game appearances thanks to his new deal with WWE. As soon as they're available, you'll be hearing about it right here, but I'm not quite sure that any of them will measure up with "Bruno: A Collector's Item."