Thirty participants. One ring. One winner. The legendary Royal Rumble. The brainchild of the late, great Pat Patterson is once again upon us. Even in the modern era where a lot of the charm of wrestling is gone, the Rumble still brings excitement and enjoyment to countless fans around the world. Three years ago this month we featured Rumble memorabilia in our recurring MarketWatch feature. In this entry we revisit those same five items. Have the prices soared their way to WrestleMania levels or have they plummeted lower than Brawl For All? It's time to find out. As always, prices are for unsigned examples unless otherwise indicated.
*Kicking it off is the program from the first Royal Rumble presented on pay-per-view in 1989. The first televised Rumble was one year earlier and aired on the USA Network. '89 featured the Rumble match itself, a (not very) Super Posedown between The Ultimate Warrior and Ravishing Rick Rude, a six-man tag, a WWF Women's Championship match, and a "King's Crown" match pitting Heenan Family members Haku and Harley Race against each other. It's a solid show even if the Rumble match itself sort of falls flat at one point. The program recently sold for $40 which is $5 more than in 2018.
*There have been several figures and toys with a Royal Rumble theme. In 2002 Jakks released a series of figures featuring stars and looks from that years event. It was a fun set including Ric Flair and Tazz among others. One of the highlights was referee Earl Hebner. Mattel could take a lesson with more referees in their line. The figures were in bright packaging echoing the colors of the 2002 Rumble. In 2018 the famous referee, with picture of twin brother Dave on the box, sold for $26. Recently the price dropped to $18.
*One of the nicest looking DVD sets that WWE has put out was that of the Royal Rumble. Including the events from 1988 to 2007, the master set was later sold individually in collections of four. With the larger outer box and some collectible extras, the big one is still the one to have. It may require some real estate on your shelf, but you'll be thankful the next time that you suddenly can't stream WWE Network. In 2018 the set was selling for $100. Despite the rise in streaming, the set has appreciated with it recently selling on average of $120.
*The arena-only WWF programs are among the rarest. Several Royal Rumble publications can be included in this group including 1995. The oversized program is bright, bold, and has a Floridian theme just as the event itself did. Even though the Rumble match had a surprise appearance from the legendary Dick Murdoch, it's still one of my least favorites from the first ten years of the Rumble. Either more copies have surfaced or the demand has just simply gone down as selling prices have dropped from $100 to $40.
*A holy grail for many collectors is the Hasbro Royal Rumble Mini Ring. It's been featured here on the blog many times as I've been a proud owner since Christmas 1992. A Royal Rumble ring scaled for the standard Hasbro WWF line would've been a blast, but this is what we received. Including Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Ted DiBiase, Sgt. Slaughter, Big Boss Man, and Jake Roberts, some of the best mini figures were only available here. Thankfully for collectors it does appear often. Just as in 2018 it sells for on average of $350.
It will certainly be a different event this year, but the Rumble MUST go on...I declare!