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Ruben Cabral is a guy who loves British pro wrestling and trading cards – so much so that he decided to design his own British wrestling trading card set. Given the buzz around British promotions like Progress and Revolution Pro, he probably won’t have any difficult finding customers for his cards.
Earlier this year, Cabral launched Golden Stars (@GoldenStarsUK on Twitter), a trading card set of some of the top wrestling talent in the UK, including Zack Sabre, Jr., Lionheart and El Ligero, among others. Each card features a close-up profile pic and is signed by the wrestler.
“British wrestling is so hot right now, and there are so many good promotions and good wrestlers that, as a fan, I’m honestly really proud of it,” Cabral said during a Torch interview. “I felt the need to create a good product which would benefit both the buyer and everyone else involved.”
Cabral noted that he had a “fantastic opportunity” to produce the Golden Stars trading cards: wrestlers, photographers and others were all very excited to work on the cards. Cabral worked with each wrestler and photographers from Turning Face (@Jim_TurningFace) and Ringside Perspective (@OliRingside) to select the best photos for the cards. Once he designed the cards and had them printed, each wrestler signed approximately 150 cards.
“Personally, I think one of the best selling points about the cards is the design, and obviously that includes all the photographs,” Cabral said. “I currently work with two of the best photographers in the United Kingdom … and I can proudly say that part of the success has been due to the amazing photographs taken by these photographers and many others.”
The first 10 cards are available for purchase now at golden-stars.co.uk: Sabre, Lionheart, Ligero, Mauro Chaves, Bubblegum, Nathan Cruz, Dahlia Black, Ultimo Tiger, Xia Brookside and Zack Gibson. Five more cards will be available for sale soon: Chris Brookes, Mark Haskins, Scott Star, Jinny and David Francisco. The 15-card set includes what Cabral called a mix of top stars, lesser known wrestlers and younger wrestlers with a bright future.
“For people who don’t really watch independent wrestling – specifically British wrestling – names like David Francisco and Ultimo Tiger might be unheard of, but trust me, they’re really talented guys,” Cabral said. “David is easily one of the easiest people to hate and his talking is just super good. Ultimo Tiger is the type of wrestler that makes you jump out of your chair moment after moment and you never know what’s coming next.”
Cabral estimates that 20 percent of his sales so far have come from U.S. customers – perhaps not surprising given the following that Sabre has amassed through his work with companies like EVOLVE and WWE. Sabre’s card has been the top seller from the set so far, but Cabral has also seen quite a bit of interest in Brookside’s card.
“For those who don’t know her, I’d recommend checking some of her stuff,” he said. “She has been wrestling for only about a year and she’s already really talented; I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.”
Perhaps the most surprising thing about Golden Stars trading cards is the cost. Each signed card is just £2.95, or approximately $3.67 per card. The first 10-card set can be purchased for £24.95, or approximately $31.02. Even international shipping costs are low; Cabral only charges the price of shipping, not the excessive handling fees that sometimes sour fans on buying from overseas companies.
“When I had the idea to start Golden Stars, one of the aims was to give the customer a product of high quality, whilst giving the wrestlers as much as possible with the lowest selling price possible,” Cabral explained. “Some people can call it bad business, but I’d rather have a lower profit margin and reach more people.”
Cabral also occasionally runs sales on Twitter, offers a 10% discount code to returning customers and sometimes sends extra random cards with a customer’s order.
Cabral’s business plan called for just 15 cards in the set. Depending on demand and interest, he said, there may be another set in the future.
“Guys like Will Ospreay, Tommy End and Jimmy Havoc are really popular amongst fans,” Cabral said. “However, because they’re really popular, that also means that it can be difficult to get to them. But as far as I know, there aren’t any (contractual) issues, which means in case that there’s a second set, there’s a possibility that they might be part of it.”
Follow Golden Stars on Twitter @GoldenStarsUK. Cards can be ordered from golden-stars.co.uk.
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.