Wrestling collectors are always looking for firsts: the first figure of a new star, the first figure of a Hall of Famer, the first figure of an old wrestler’s new personality.
Mattel and WWE gave collectors plenty of firsts in 2015: the first NXT toys, the first WWE Sting figures, and the first (and probably last) Mattel Hulk Hogan figures.
Here’s a look at ten figures and sets that garnered attention in 2015. Keep in mind that this list only includes figures released in 2015, not older figures that got hot.
(10) Four Horsemen WWE Hall of Fame Box Set (Target Exclusive). Just before Thanksgiving, WWE dumped a whole bunch of 1980s Jim Crockett Promotions shows onto WWE Network. The shows – often referred to as “6:05 shows” – drew interest from older fans who lived through the original airing and newer fans who may have heard about how great the promos were on those shows. The Four Horsemen were often the stars of those shows, and coincidentally Mattel and Target released this exclusive four-pack in the fall.
While this set doesn’t represent the original Horsemen line-up (you didn’t really think you’d ever seen an Ole Anderson WWE figure, did you?), it’s the next best version in many fans’ eyes: Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham. This set marked Windham’s Mattel action figure debut, and also offered the first widely available Mattel figures of Tully and Arn. Figures of both men were offered as online exclusives through MattyCollector.com back in 2011, but those toys are quite pricey today.
Target stores offer this set for $44.99, and over the holidays Target heavily advertised a $30 sale for the set. Judging by the volume of many of these sets still sitting on shelves, Target may be looking to clearance them out soon.
(9) Charlotte Basic Series 55. Divas revolution or not, there’s no doubt the daughter of the “Nature Boy” became a star in 2015. Her first action figure hit store shelves in late 2015. Collectors are making due with her basic figure as they await an Elite-style figure.
(8) Yokozuna WWE Hall of Fame Series 2 (Target Exclusive). Mattel and Target offered up some pretty cool Hall of Fame figures in 2015, including Steve Austin, Ultimate Warrior, Trish Stratus, Ted DiBiase, and Sgt. Slaughter. This figure of Yokozuna – only his second from Mattel – captured his look from his days teaming with Owen Hart, with white and black attire. It also came with two detailed classic WWF Tag Team Title belts.
(7) Earthquake Elite Series 35. Big John Tenta was a headliner almost as soon as he entered the WWF in late 1989. He feuded with Ultimate Warrior and was one of the last monster heels fed to Hulk Hogan. But Mattel added an interesting twist for ‘Quake’s debut figure: Damien the snake and a bag, capturing the infamous angle in which Earthquake squashed Jake Roberts’s beloved python before turning Damien into Quake Burgers for Lord Alfred Hayes.
(6) Stephanie McMahon Elite Series 37. Stephanie may be the star of Raw, the alpha of all alphas, but it took nearly six years for her to surface in a WWE toy set from Mattel. She had two figures released close together: a basic figure wearing a power suit and this one, capturing her look from SummerSlam 2014. Many fans are tired of Stephanie’s domineering heel act, but she’s always been a favorite with collectors, and this figure is no exception.
(5) Sami Zayn Elite Series 39. Mattel and WWE capitalized on the popularity of WWE’s developmental territory by releasing the first NXT toys in 2015. Throughout the year Mattel released figures of Finn Balor, Charlotte, Hideo Itami, Tyler Breeze, and others. But it was this Elite figure of Sami Zayn that stood out with collectors. It’s a cool, detailed figure and also comes with the first toy NXT Title belt. The figure was just released around Thanksgiving, so prices may be slightly inflated online. Keep an eye out for the figure in retail stores in early 2016.
(4) Paige Elite Series 34. To date, Mattel has made close to 300 Elite-style figures, but only seven of them have been women: Kelly Kelly, Miss Elizabeth, A.J. Lee, Trish Stratus (twice), Stephanie McMahon, and Paige. This was Paige’s first figure, and collectors began snatching them up as soon as they popped up online in the spring. Accessories are sometimes more appealing to collectors than the figure itself, so the inclusion of both the WWE Divas and NXT Women’s title belts made this figure even hotter.
(3) Scott Hall Ringside Collectibles Exclusive. Give the folks at Ringside Collectibles credit: they know what their customers want. They’ve been teaming with Mattel to offer limited edition exclusive figures since 2010, and almost all of them have gone on to at least triple in value on the secondary market. In 2015 Ringside Collectibles offered exclusives of Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan, but it was this figure of Scott Hall decked out in NWO attire that really stood out. The figure is still available at ringsidecollectibles.com for $24.99.
(2) Sting Defining Moments. Fans waited for decades for a quality Sting action figure, which Jakks Pacific gave them in 2010 with Sting’s first TNA figure. Mattel upped the quality in 2015 with Sting’s first ever WWE figure. The Defining Moments figure, which usually retails for $29.99, captures Sting at his Crow-era best, with black and white face paint, black attire, and a black trench coat. You may be able to find one of these figures at your local Target or Toys R Us, but it is considerably more difficult to locate than other Defining Moments figures.
(1) Seth Rollins WrestleMania 31 Toys R Us Exclusive. As soon as images of this figure first surfaced in later summer, collectors salivated. When word spread among the action figure community that it had hit shelves in late fall, collectors began hitting social media hard to ask for help locating them and to share their own success (or failure) stories finding the figure.
The figure celebrates Rollins’s crowning moment of 2015 when he cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and crashed the main event of WrestleMania 32, becoming the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The figure depicts Rollins with the same attire he wore that night, and also comes with a Money in the Bank briefcase and WWE World Heavyweight Title belt.
The figure usually flies off of the shelves when it is in stock, and can sometimes be found online at toysrus.com for $19.99. If you can’t find it there, the Rollins figure can usually be found on eBay for $30-35.