Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wrestling MarketWatch: Magazine Mayhem

Have there really been over thirty editions of our MarketWatch feature over the years? Sure, I just appropriated the title from CBS (my apologies to the "Eye"), but it's always a very fun feature to research and write. While I always champion the fact that collecting should be fun over profit, it is always a blast to see how much, or how little, certain items are currently selling for. It's the only way to have any sort of collectible "price guide" in this day and age. 

Seeing as that they increase and decrease in price perhaps more than any other form of wrestling memorabilia, we're once again looking at magazines. There are many wrestling magazine collectors out there, and for this edition we'll look at a variety of issues from various time periods that have recently seen movement on the market. As always, prices listed are for non-autographed versions.

*Where better to begin than 52 years ago this month? Batmania had swept the country thanks to the magic that was being created by Adam West and company on television every Wednesday and Thursday evening. Wrestling capitalized on the craze, though it was most prominent in Pittsburgh where strongman Tony Marino became "The Battman." Though he played the character for several years (and has the hair on the back of his head shaved into the Bat Signal to this day), his tag team partner dressed as Robin was short-lived. Both were captured in full costume on the October 1966 issue of Wrestling Revue magazine. While Batkids of the day probably readily scooped the magazine up from newsstands, it's a less common issue nowadays and recently sold for $31.

*Around 25 years later another colorful character would capture America's interest, that being Bart Man aka Bart Simpson. Bret "The Hitman" Hart made a cameo on The Simpsons right around what many consider to be the best era of the long-running cartoon. This appearance was immortalized on the cover of the May 1997 issue of WWE Magazine. Bret and Bart recently sold for $50 which is unusual for this particular edition.

*Going back to the late 1970's we see the fourth issue of the short lived Wrestling Action Magazine. The first in-house WWWF publication, this magazine has widely been featured here on the blog over the years, and thanks to editor Les Thatcher we've been able to chronicle the history of the highly collectible run. This issue features the war of the tag teams that was going on at the time pitting The Valiant Brothers and manager Captain Lou Albano against Larry Zbyszko and Tony Garea. The issue recently sold for $24.50 which is actually trending low for this magazine.

*Another titled to come from wrestling renaissance man Les Thatcher was the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Magazine. One of my favorite covers in a run where it's hard to choose just one is from Issue Vol. 4 No. 5 featuring "Number One" Paul Jones and The Masked Superstar. If there were ever two stars who embodied wrestling in the Carolinas for Jim Crockett Promotions, it's these two gentlemen. The issue recently sold for $51.

*Finally we head back north in August/September 1984 with the World Wrestling Federation. "Rock N Wrestling" was at full steam and in the center of the mayhem were Rowdy Roddy Piper, Captain Lou Albano, and Cyndi Lauper. The three took the cover shot here, obviously on the set of Piper's Pit. As with many of the early WWF Magazines, secondary market value has rarely waned. This classic recently sold for $49.

From cartoon characters to pop singers to wrestling versions of Caped Crusaders, these issues embody the fun of collecting wrestling magazines from the past. What do you have socked away in "Mom's attic?" There could be great reading material up there...and a lot of value in it.

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