Thursday, November 12, 2015

Wrestling MarketWatch: Hasbro WWF

If you were following this blog back in January of this year, you remember that we did a month long celebration of the Hasbro WWF toy line. 2015 is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the figures that many consider to be their favorites. The line definitely captures the early-1990s WWF feel with its over-the-top characters, bright colors, and slightly cartoonish look. There hasn't been a line of wrestling figures quite like it since and may never be again. That's probably a reason why, in the past few years, the line has become insanely popular among characters young and old.

In MarketWatch entries we look at recent sales of specific items. After all, if you're looking to sell your collection or just want to gauge its monetary worth, the only way to get a true market value is by checking the last known sold examples.

*The largest figure in the Hasbro line was the mighty Yokozuna. The two-time WWF Champion saw a unique sculpt from a company that was fond of reusing previous designs. Yoko had two figures in the line with a debut in the red carded series and a repaint in the final series packaged on a green card. The latter had a white paint scheme and was just as popular as the first, although all of the final series are sought after due to low distribution. A carded example of the second Yokozuna recently sold for $81.

*In the Hasbro line, foreign cardbacks can often make a difference. Late in the line some American stores such as Kay-Bee Toys received shipments of these European figures. Some collectors just collect the overseas variants, some don't collect them at all. At times it can cause a difference in price, sometimes it does not. In the case of the first figure of The Undertaker, it seems that he is wanted no matter the language. A recent foreign carded example sold for $30, with American versions selling for the same.

*Autographed items can be tricky. While any item can sit, unsold, for months and then suddenly have two interested parties who drive the price up, it is especially true for autographs. There is very little value in taking the time and effort of forging a wrestling autograph, so most are actually on the up-and-up. Those that aren't kosher are easily detected. The Hasbro figures are a lot of fun to collect autographed thanks to the large photo of the real wrestler right next to the figure. "El Matador" Tito Santana and Marty Jannetty autographed examples recently sold for $25 each. At that price, you're paying just a bit more than what the autograph itself would cost.

*In my early days of writing about wrestling memorabilia, two of the items that I was most asked about were the Hasbro King of the Ring wrestling ring and the Royal Rumble mini-ring. Both saw a very limited shelf life in stores. Before word spread on the Internet, some collectors doubted that either even existed. Complete examples can bring major money, especially when the boxes are present. That being said, it's no surprise when just odds and ends from both show up and sell. Just the red WWF flag from the King of the Ring set recently sold for $20, while one of the Royal Rumble mini-ring "action plungers" sold for $16. It goes to show that you should hold on to whatever you have. It could be the exact piece that another collector is looking for.

*Many collectors often op for loose figures. After all, toys are meant to played with. Many loose Hasbro WWF figures can be had for under $10 each, but as usual the final series commands a higher amount. The 1-2-3 Kid has always been the most popular figure from that series. Although the body was designed for Rick Rude and was poorly reused for Ric Flair, it works perfectly on The Kid. A great face sculpt works in his favor, too. A loose example recently sold for $93.

Even though we are nearing the end of 2015 and the twenty-fifth anniversary, the Hasbro line will live on. It's a set that many of us grew-up playing with, and it's now being collected by fans who weren't even around for the original run. From Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes to Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon, Hasbro covered a lot of ground and history in just around five years. Little did they know that the thought, care, and ambition put into the toys would live on, decades later.

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