COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: By the Numbers – The Cost of Collecting

By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles Specialist


Pop quiz: If a collector bought one of every Elite-Style WWE action figure made by Mattel since January 2010 at suggested retail price, how much money did that person spend?

  1. $1,000
  2. $5,000
  3. $10,000

The answer is actually none of the above. A person who purchased every Elite-style figure at suggested retail price – including Defining Moments, Entrance Greats, Legends and various exclusives – would have spent approximately $15,700. If you broke that out by year, a person would have spent more than $1,700 per year on average – although, realistically, the person would have spent much more per year in the last few years, since Mattel has ramped up production.

A PWTorch collectibles column on October 31 noted that Mattel had made at least 720 Elite-style WWE figures as of that time, based on a living database that I have been continually updating. Since then the count has grown to more than 750, with the recent presales of Elite Series 65, the release of Target’s Hall of Champions Series 3 and some older figures that were added to the database.

For this series of articles, the majority of Elite figures were given a price of $20; Walmart typically sells its Elite figures for around $18, while retailers like Toys R Us often sold them for as much as $23. There were some exceptions, since Defining Moments and Entrance Greats figures typically have a higher suggested retail price, and online exclusives are usually a few dollars more.

 

And Your Total Is …

$15,700 – Every Elite-style WWE action figure from Mattel. This includes one of each of the more than 750 total figures in the author’s database. This includes every Elite, Defining Moments, Entrance Greats, multi-pack, exclusive, build-a-figure and more.

$5,680 – One of every wrestler with an Elite-style figure. This includes one of each character for wrestlers with multiple personalities, such as 1-2-3 Kid/Syxx/X-Pac and Tugboat/Typhoon/Shockmaster. The dollar amount accounts for the least amount a collector could have spent on each figure; for example, the $40 Target-exclusive Four Horsemen Hall of Fame pack would give a collector his one figure each of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Barry Windham at an average price of $10 each, without spending $30 on a Flair Defining Moments figure.

$1,250 – One figure of every wrestler to hold the Intercontinental Championship. According to WWE’s website, the Intercontinental Championship has been held by 80 people; of those, Mattel has made Elite-style figures of at least 62. Keep in mind that most of these figures didn’t come packaged with an Intercontinental Championship belt, so if you’re looking for a belt for each figure, get ready to spend exponentially more.

$1,100 – One figure of every wrestler to hold the WWE Championship. This includes every iteration of WWE’s top title (WWE, World, and Universal). Mattel has made Elite-style figures of at least 51 men who have held the top belt. Again, most of these figures didn’t come packaged with a title belt.

$840 – One of each championship belt. Mattel has made an astounding 46 different title belts from WWE, WCW, ECW and NXT. This count includes all of the changes to belts such as the WWE Championship and the Intercontinental Championship, excluding minor paint variations but including different colored straps, such as Ultimate Warrior’s yellow and blue winged eagle versions of the WWF Championship. Some figures come with multiple belts, such as a Steve Austin Defining Moments figure with three different versions of the WWF Championship, and Seth Rollins Top Talent 2018 with the Intercontinental and Raw Tag Team belts.

$570 – One of each John Cena figure. There are at least 27 different Elite-style figures of Cena, with all sorts of different colored shirts, hats and title belts.

$550 – One of each female figure. Mattel has made just 28 total female action figures so far, including the first Elite figures for Ronda Rousey and Nia Jax from Elite Series 65 that are now available for preorder. Taking out duplicates of Stephanie McMahon, Sasha Banks and others, there are 19 different women with figures, with a total cost of $380.

$480 – One of each Undertaker figure. There are at least 22 different Elite-style figures of the Undertaker, dating back to Elite Series 1 in 2010. There are plenty more on the way in 2019, including at least one figure of ‘Taker from his “American Badass” days.

$450 – One of each Triple H figure. He’s “the Game,” “the King of Kings,” “the Cerebral Assassin,” the COO and more. With at least 18 different Elite-style figures, Triple H has almost as many figures as he has nicknames.

$115 – Michael Cole’s only Mattel action figure. Cole’s only Elite-style figure to date is a Toys-R-Us exclusive build-a-figure from 2012. In order to assemble this figure, collectors had to buy five different figures at approximately $23 each, and each figure contained a different piece of Cole, such has head, torso, arms and legs. Other Elite-style build-a-figure exclusives have included Ricardo Rodriguez, Paul Heyman, John Laurinaitis, Jim Ross and corporate Kane.

Author’s note: PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore is compiling a living database of Mattel’s WWE Elite-style action figures. The database will serve as the basis for several ongoing by-the-numbers articles exclusive to PWTorch.com

The database is up to date as of November 23, 2018, with figures that have been released or are available for pre-order through sites like RingsideCollectibles.com. So far the database is made up of more than 750 Elite-style figures – this includes the first 65 series of Elite figures, along with other Mattel WWE toy lines, such as Defining Moments, Entrance Greats and figures exclusive to places like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Toys R Us, GameStop, Ringside Collectibles and more. 

Keep in mind that because there’s no definitive checklist available and that Mattel continues to release new figures, this list is bound to be incomplete. If you come across any figures that have been left out of these articles, please feel free to contact the author at michaelmoorewriter@gmail.com or @MMooreWriter on Twitter.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PRIOR COLUMN: COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: New Topps WWE Product Has Plenty of Firsts (with exclusive first look at Ricochet card)


PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at michaelmoorewriter@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.

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