THE SPECIALISTS COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Figure Five Tuesday - The Top 5 "One and Done" Remco AWA Figures
May 21, 2013 - 4:02:15 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles specialist
Remco’s line of AWA wrestling toys from 1985 produced the first toys of some of wrestling’s top stars, including Ric Flair, the Road Warriors, Curt Hennig, the Fabulous Freebirds, and the Midnight Rockers. But that line also gave fans the only action figures to date of many top stars of the AWA and other territories from that era. Since 1985, no other toy companies have released figures of Jerry “Crusher” Blackwell, “Playboy” Buddy Rose, Baron Von Raschke, or Carlos Colon.
This week’s Figure Five looks at the top five wrestlers from Remco’s AWA line who never again appeared in another toy line. A similar top five for LJN’s WWF Wrestling Superstars line appeared in the May 13 PWTorch Collectibles Column.
(5) Jimmy Garvin. “Gorgeous” Jimmy was a world title contender in the AWA, main eventer in World Class Championship Wrestling, and a singles and tag team star in Jim Crockett Promotions and WCW. He appeared twice in Remco’s AWA line, first in a Series 2 three-pack with “Mr. Electricity” Steve Regal and Precious, and then in a Series 3 “Greatest Grudges” two-pack with Scott Hall. There are actually two types of the Garvin figure, one on a flabby body and one on a muscular body.
(4) Sheik Adnan Al-Kaissie. The Sheik was one of the AWA’s most nefarious villains, first as a challenger to Verne Gagne’s world title and then as the leader of an evil army. His only figure was included in the rare Mat Mania series and is one of the most valuable and scarcest wrestling toys on the secondary market.
The figure came with several accessories, including a red robe and white agal, which are almost impossible to find today. Rare packaged figures sometimes sell for more than $1,000. A loose figure with no accessories recently sold for $222.59. In the mid-2000s Jakks made a Sgt. Slaughter-Col. Mustafa two-pack in its Classic WWE Superstars line, but never made a toy of Gen. Adnan.
(3) Boris Zhukov. Like his manager, the Sheik, Zhukov was also included in the Mat Mania series and is incredibly rare. The figure came with a removable singlet and a silver chain that was easily broken and lost. Loose complete figures rarely surface but when they do are incredibly expensive; one eBay seller is currently asking $750. Zhukov wrestled in the WWF while LJN and Hasbro made wrestling toys, but neither company ever made a figure of Nikolai Volkoff’s comrade.
(2) Larry Zbyszko. “The Living Legend” was a perennial world title contender in the AWA until finally capturing the belt in a battle royal during the company’s dying days. Before that, he was engaged in a feud with Bruno Sammartino in the WWWF that made him a star. In the 1990s, he was a member of the Dangerous Alliance in WCW before becoming one of the main voices of Nitro.
Zbyszko’s only toy was included in a two-pack with Ric Flair in the first series of AWA toys, complete with a red entrance jacket. The same figure was re-released in the third series, this time sporting a white jacket.
(1) Nick Bockwinkel. When wrestling fans think of the AWA, two names usually come to mind: Verne Gagne and Nick Bockwinkel. Remco never made a toy of the elder Gagne, but Bockwinkel’s only figure was included in a Series 3 “Greatest Grudges” two-pack with Larry Zbyszko. He came with a white entrance jacket and removable white kneepads.
A loose figure in very good condition with all accessories will usually sell for $35-50. Jakks made a lot of Hulk Hogan toys in its Classic WWE Superstars line; a two-pack with Bockwinkel would have captured the birth of Hulkamania.
- Other one and done AWA figures from Remco: Greg Gagne, Paul Ellering, Steve Regal, Precious, the Long Riders, Doug Somers, and Dick Woehrle.
Contact PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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