Posted: 12 June 2018
Wrestling is a die-hard sport with dedicated fans. Some fans enjoy tuning in every week to see their favorite stars, while some like to dig deep into the past and discover the collectibles that made wrestling what it is today.
If you have a strong collection of wrestling memorabilia, or you’re just getting started and need some guidance, this article will give you some pointers about shopping for memorabilia online.
The world of wrestling has global appeal and is filled with thousands upon thousands of pieces of memorabilia. With such a vast array of merchandise, there is a chance that you’ll be ripped off if you don’t know your stuff.
We’ll cover some of the most reputable sources for memorabilia online, as well as a few of the classic collectibles that you need to keep an eye out for.
Things to Know Before You Buy
When you’re beginning to plan out your collection, you should know that you have a couple of options. This is the case with nearly any hobby. You can approach your collection from the bottom up or you can mix and match, selecting only your favorite pieces.
If you want to have a comprehensive collection you’ll want to understand the history of wrestling and how all of its pieces fit together. Memorabilia doesn’t necessarily exist only as action figures and trading cards.
If you dig back to the origins of wrestling you’ll find that there are a number of relics that you might be interested in.
A Brief History of Professional Wrestling
Professional wrestling as an art form began in the mid-1800s. Its origins are in the strongman category of the circus, which fixed the matches to make them more dramatic and exciting.
If you’re lucky, you may stumble across an old wrestling poster from the early 1900s online. Popularity was relatively high up until World War II when there was a marked drop in interest. The 1950s marked the first Golden Age of wrestling when George Wagner, also known as Gorgeous George, broke open the idea that a wrestler could be a superstar.
Cable television brought wrestling to a new level of popularity in the 1980s. This is when the era of memorabilia and superstar wrestlers began to emerge. The greats like Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan set the stage for wrestling as we know it today.
The 1980s brought the World Wrestling Federation, which was then changed into World Wrestling Entertainment. They are known as both WWF and WWE. The WWF gained massive popularity and dominance over the wrestling scene with its show WrestleMania.
Where to Find Quality Wrestling Memorabilia
There are a number of places to find wrestling memorabilia online. In fact, nearly any website that sells goods will sell memorabilia. The problem with sites like Amazon and eBay is that they don’t always advertise products accurately.
Different memorabilia will hold different value depending on their specifications, the region that they are being sold, and the personal preferences of the buyer. If you plan on buying a piece of memorabilia online, be sure to do adequate research and confirm the validity of the product when you receive it.
Another thing to keep in mind is that many pieces online are listed higher than their true value. Many catalogs that list the value of memorabilia are out of date. Even though the values are maintained by contributors on each site, there are so many pieces of memorabilia that it would be impossible to maintain a comprehensive list.
Collections vs Individual Pieces
You should never pay the full price when buying a collection online. If you research the price of each individual piece within a collection you will find that the price is unmanageably high.
The going rate for collections is anywhere from 30 to 50 percent of the market value of all pieces in the collection. This will all depend on the size and quality of the collection.
For example, if you’re buying two corresponding pieces of memorabilia that are more valuable as a pair, the price will be significantly higher than buying a catalog of magazines. This is because buying product in bulk notably reduces the price.
When buying individual figures or pieces, research when they were created and what company created them. Many figures were created for a limited time only or given out as specialty gifts to employees when companies go out of business. The value skyrockets in those cases because the figurines are more novel.
There are a few things that every Wrestling Fanatic should look for. The first is a t-shirt of their favorite wrestler. At the height of wrestling’s popularity, wearing a wrestling t-shirt was a sign of a counter-culture attitude.
Many of the shirts available online are vintage, showing The Hulk or Randy Savage. While it may not be something you regularly wear, no collection is complete without a t-shirt or two.
Another classic piece of wrestling memorabilia is a piece of confetti from a big victory. You probably remember seeing all of the confetti falling from the stadium as John Cena or Hulk Hogan received their championship belts.
People collect those little slips of paper and they hold some significant value. Even if the confetti that you find isn’t from an important match or championship, it’s still a staple of any collection.
Know when you strike gold
It’s nice to get a comprehensive collection going, but you don’t want to miss out on the rarest collectibles when they cross your path. Let’s cover a few of the most valuable pieces of wrestling memorabilia known to man.
Back in the days of 1991, Toys R Us and Hasbro were planning to release a Greg Valentine figure. It was advertised in that year’s issue of WWF magazine but experienced a cancellation when the tag team of Greg Valentine and the Honkey Tonk man split up.
There were figures planned for both members of the team, but Greg’s was taken off the line because he changed his slogan after the team broke up. The Honkey Tonk Man was released, but Greg The Hammer Valentine’s figure never made it to the sales floor.
Everyone kind of forgot about this mishap until recently when a collector put the Greg Valentine figure up for sale at $55,000. It’s unknown how many are floating around out there but make sure that you don’t miss out if one comes your way.
Hulk Hogan Prototype
Another one of the most valuable figures is a Hulk Hogan prototype that was an unpainted model of the actual figure. The figure was released to a few LJN employees before they stopped operations.
There is a handful of these floating around in the wrestling world, so keep your eye out. It’s definitely one that you would find sitting in an attic or garage, unknowingly holding a value of around $50,000.
Hulk Hogan Rookie
Being one of the most famous wrestlers of all time, Hulk Hogan is bound to come up on this list a couple of times. This figure was made by Popy, which is relatively unknown to wrestling fans in North America. This figure was a big deal at the time because Hulk Hogan was relatively unknown, and Popy only released figures for big-name stars.
This was the Hulk’s first ever action figure and it was released in Japan. Those factors all contribute to the fact that this figure is rare and brings in prices around $5,000.
Where to Find Your Figurine’s Value
There are a number of websites that have limited information on the value of wrestling memorabilia. While a few sites might have specific values of obscure pieces, the bulk of your research should be done on sites that deal with all action figures and counterculture figurines.
There are a number of guides online that can help you learn more about pricing, buying, and selling.
Dash Action Figures
Dash is a site that has a wealth of knowledge on figurines from all eras and companies within professional wrestling. The site has a relatively accurate and reliable thumb on the pricing and value of modern wrestling figurines.
They also have a marketplace to purchase and communicate with other fanatics. Getting in touch with others who are interested in wrestling memorabilia is a great way to get an accurate read on pricing and rarity of memorability.
The Cardboard Connection
The Cardboard Connection has loads of information on memorabilia across categories. They have a knowledge of value, as well as resources that direct you towards marketplaces to find specific figurines.
It’s a good place to start if you’re trying to add some vintage figurines to your collection.
As the wave of retro-fever has taken hold, people are revisiting their old toys and figurines to find value. Many of the old toys from the 90s are coming back with a high value.
Search some marketplaces that display vintage products and you’re likely to find a few pieces of valuable memorabilia. Many people purchased wrestling toys when they were young and just want to get a few bucks for them.
This is where you can come out with some great pieces, paying fractions of their market value.
Enter Giveaways and Auctions
If you’re looking to find some high-quality, affordable memorabilia, get into the habit of entering auctions. You may be able to find extremely valuable wrestling memorabilia for little to nothing.
Another great way to build your collection is through giveaways. Keep an eye out for these events and make your way towards owning an excellent collection!