THE SPECIALISTS COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: One Year Later - Checking in on the Value of Ultimate Warrior Collectibles (w/Chart)
Jun 23, 2015 - 3:35:33 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles Specialist
In Brief: Have Ultimate Warrior collectibles held their value over the last year?
It’s been more than a year since the wrestling world was shocked by the Ultimate Warrior’s death. At that time, Warrior’s autographed trading cards, action figures and vintage memorabilia were white hot.
It’s been noted in this column many times that interest in a wrestler spikes after his or her death, as was seen with the recent death of Dusty Rhodes. But what happens when all nostalgia and fanfare die down? Do a wrestler’s collectibles hold their value?
There are several factors that have to be considered to answer that question, such as the level of stardom of that wrestler, the circumstances around his death (such as Chris Benoit), and the availability of his collectibles. In Warrior’s case, there were plenty of action figures and vintage memorabilia available on the secondary market, but very few certified autographs because of his decades-long contentious relationship with WWE.
Warrior’s only certified autographed trading cards were produced by Donruss-Playoff (now Panini America) in 2007; these cards were the focus of a PWTorch Collectibles Column shortly after his death HERE. At the time, sales of Warrior’s autographs were erratic, which is shown in the graphic that accompanies this column.
Warrior’s most commonly traded autograph is his Private Signings Autograph from 2007 Donruss Americana. This card is serial numbered to 250, and because of that it is Warrior’s most regularly available (though still incredibly rare) autograph. In the week after his death, eBay listings of this card ended anywhere from $149.99 to $294.95.
Sales of these cards are still very volatile due to the limited supply. Two listings in June of 2015 ended at $86.00 and $152.50, respectively. Collectors who were able to snatch up a Warrior autograph for $150 or less in the weeks after his death probably made a pretty sound investment. Collectors who spent double that definitely overpaid, and it will be years before (or even if) the cards return to those prices.
The 2007 Americana set also included a scarcer Warrior card that featured an autograph and a swatch of ring-worn trunks. These cards are limited to 50 copies or less each, depending on the color of the card. In April 2014, one of these cards sold for $207.50. In May 2015, another one sold for $203.50. This card has held its value well but, again, because of scarcity, sale prices could spike or drop slightly for any given auction.
Action figures and other vintage Warrior memorabilia are still popular items with collectors as well. Some vintage licensed WWF t-shirts can fetch $75-100 depending on their condition, and some licensed WWF posters have sold for as much as $300 in recent months. One of Warrior’s most popular vintage items is a blue and white screen printed jacket that was sold by the WWF in 1989 and 1990. This jacket can sell for $50 to $200, depending on the condition.
Warrior’s LJN figure from 1988 is the key figure in that toy line. It’s very difficult to find, especially in good condition. The paint on his face and trunks regularly flaked off and figures were easily scuffed. This figure sells for anywhere from $80 to $300 loose. Carded figures are so tough to find that it’s very difficult to put a value on them.
Warrior has also been included in toy lines from Hasbro, Jakks Pacific and Mattel. Warrior’s Hasbro Series 3 figure, which features him in purple trunks, is his most popular from that line. It can sell for as much as $200 carded.
Many of Warrior’s Jakks figures from the WWE Classic Superstars line sell for $20-50, depending on condition, shipping charges and other factors. A two-pack that pairs him with Hulk Hogan and captures their WrestleMania VI classic typically sells in the $75-100 range.
Warrior’s Mattel WWE Legends Series 6 figure has grown in popularity over the last year. This figure also captures Warrior’s WrestleMania VI look, and includes a classic WWF World Title belt with a yellow strap. Most packaged figures typically sell for $90-100, with some going as high as $130.
If you’re interested in adding a Warrior figure to your collection at a more reasonable price, there are two you may be able to find at your local retail store now. The Target-exclusive Mattel WWE Hall of Fame Series 1 figure has Warrior in multicolored trunks and ring gear, and includes a classic WWE World Heavyweight Title belt with a light blue strap. These retail for $20.99 and can still be found at Target stores.
Warrior is also included in a Mattel WWE Battle Packs 31 two-pack with John Cena, which you may be able to find at your local Kmart, Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, or other retail store. This basic style figure has Warrior in patriotic red, white and blue gear and comes with an American flag. These two-packs retail for about $18.99.
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.
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