Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wrestling MarketWatch: Creepy Collectibles

Clowns, the walking dead, voodoo priests, and morticians.  Standard symbols of Halloween...and professional wrestling!  Let's face it, without these crazy characters there would be a whole legion of fans who may never have discovered wrestling.  The Undertaker, Sting, and Mankind are just a few of the masked and/or costumed superstars that have inspired both dreams and nightmares for their fans, not to mention countless pieces of memorabilia.  In the spirit of the season, this latest edition of MarketWatch takes a look at recent market values of some of the "spookier" wrestling memorabilia ever to grace the shelves.  All values listed are for unsigned examples.

*We start with a figure set that we last visited in MarketWatch about one year ago.  No doubt countless children (and adults) in the '80s and '90s went "Trick or Treating" dressed as Hawk and Animal, The Road Warriors.  The leather, spikes, mohawks, and facepaint of the Legion of Doom was enough to terrorize anyone and has left a lasting imprint on pro wrestling to this day. 

Their very first action figure set was produced by Remco for the AWA line in 1985.  Although Hawk and Animal were released in a two-pack, their manager Paul Ellering was later included as well.  Complete with collars, chaps, belts, and Ellering's shirt, the trio recently sold for $49 out of the package.  A year ago, the set in the same condition sold for $100 which even at the time I had noted was rather high.  I will forever contend that if you're going to include the Road Warriors in a figure collection, this is the set to have.

*If the nightmarish tag team list is topped by the Road Warriors, the list of singles stars can only be headed by The Undertaker.  For over two decades The Undertaker has captivated fans by taking what could have been a one-dimensional gimmick and turning it into a wrestling legacy.  Countless cosmetic changes have helped keep the character fresh over the years and those looks have translated well into memorabilia.

As part of a special FYE store exclusive set, the WWE Hell In A Cell DVD collection was packaged with mini busts of either The Undertaker or Kane.  The likenesses on these busts were incredible and quite the deal when found on clearance.  Recently the set with The Undertaker mini bust sold for $56 in the box.  Outside of the package, the bust alone went for $15. 

*In the past ten or fifteen years, it seems to be almost fashionable to announce that you're afraid of clowns.  I, personally, never understood the fear, but to each his own.  The WWF may have been a bit ahead of it's time in late-1992 when they introduced the character of Doink the Clown.  Though the character later became a fan favorite, the original Doink was an evil clown played to the hilt by the late Matt Borne.

The first action figure of Doink is also the best.  Hasbro went out of their way to make the figure unique and included rooted green hair and a completely new mold.  The figure has always been popular, but in my opinion is still undervalued.  Recently selling for $25 on the card, the figure is one of the many highlights of the Hasbro WWF collection.

*You can't talk about Halloween and professional wrestling without mentioning WCW's Halloween Havoc pay-per-view event.  The October spectacular often included special gimmick matches, themes, and even whacky wrestling stars.  Havoc is one event that I always had hoped WWE would bring back as they did The Great American Bash for a short time, but it was not to be.

Turner Home Video's WCW releases were always a bit quirky, whether it be having the wrong years printed on the box or odd composite photos of wrestlers.  The second Halloween Havoc event is a great example of this.  Halloween Havoc 1990 is called "Terror Rules The Ring" on the official video release.  The Halloween Havoc title is listed nowhere on the box.  Since the tape was, after all, released during the Jim Herd WCW regime, any crazy guess as to why this happened might be accurate.  My best theory is that since the actual video was obviously going to be released way outside of the Halloween season, the Turner execs reasoned that sales and rentals would do better without it being labeled "Halloween."  Nevertheless, many of the Halloween Havoc videos still command a large secondary market price, with 1990 recently pulling in $50.

*One of wrestling's most beloved "creepy" characters left us earlier this year, but is still with us in spirit.  Paul Bearer, forever to be remembered as The Undertaker's macabre manager, passed away this past March.  His legacy has already continued in wrestling with a controversial inclusion in the Undertaker-CM Punk feud that culminated at WrestleMania 29.  A WWE Hall of Fame induction is set to follow in 2014.

One of Bearer's first action figures was produced in the Jakks WWF Managers two-pack series.  Packaged with Mankind and the famous urn, Bearer is as ghoulish as ever with the infamous pale face and jet black hair.  These managers sets are still among the more desirable figures in the "Bone Crunching Action" collection, and Mankind and "Uncle Paul" recently sold for $20.

They're creepy, kooky, mysterious, and maybe even spooky, but any wrestling collection just isn't the same without them.  In fact, they top any pieces of candy that might fall into your treat bag.  Happy Halloween!


bubblegum casting said...

Love the blog keep up the good work!

J\/\/ said...

Thanks, glad you're enjoying it!