Last month’s PWTorch collectibles column on the cost of collecting Mattel WWE Elite action figures generated quite a bit of discussion on social media, messages boards and a couple podcasts. One of the most common comments was something along the lines of, “Think how much money people have to spend to catch up.”
If you passed up or just weren’t buying wrestling figures when Mattel produced its WWE Legends line, catching up could cost you quite a bit.
From 2010 to 2012, Mattel produced six series of WWE Legends. The suggested retail price (SRP) for Legends figures varied by store, usually in the $12.99 to $14.99 range. A series of three tag team two-packs were sold at Toys R Us for $24.99 each. In 2012, Mattel’s online collectors’ group, Matty Collector, kicked off a line of exclusive figures with a two-pack of Rockers Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. From there, Matty Collector offered fans a new figure every other month for around $20 each. Ringside Collectibles produced just one exclusive figure in Mattel WWE Legends packaging, a figure of “Macho King” Randy Savage.
In 2012, Mattel advertised figures for a seventh series that was eventually scrapped as the Legends line was canceled, reportedly due to poor sales. After that, Mattel began integrating its legends figures into the regular Elite series.
Many of the figures from the first few series of Legends haven’t seen much of an increase in value. Figures of wrestlers like Kamala, the Rock, George Steele, the Iron Sheik, Terry Funk and Sgt. Slaughter all had average eBay sale prices of $32 or less, and many could be found for less than their original $20 SRP.
But some figures from Mattel WWE Legends Series 5 and 6 and the Matty Collector exclusives have become some of the scarcest and most valuable of all Mattel WWE action figures. This article provides a look at some of the top selling Mattel WWE Legends figures in 2018. Secondary market prices noted in this article are from completed eBay listings for the 90-day period ending November 30, 2018. Only packaged figures were included in these estimates. Loose, custom and signed figures were excluded. High, low and average sale prices are included for each figure.
- Kevin Von Erich Legends Series 6. High: $250. Low: $187.50. Average: $217.11. To date, this is Kevin Von Erich’s only action figure. Kevin is barefoot with red trunks and kneepads, and a removable windbreaker with the colors of the Texas flag. These figures didn’t sell particularly well at the time, and some collectors were able to pick them up for $5 or less on clearance at Toys R Us.
- Kerry Von Erich Legends Series 6. High: $174.30. Low: $159.99. Average: $169.20. This was only Kerry’s second action figure ever, and the first in about two decades. This figure resembles Kerry’s later days in World Class Championship Wrestling, with long hair, white trunks, white boots and black kneepads, along with a blue robe.
- Texas Tornado Legends Series 6. High: $200. Low: $120. Average: $150. That’s right: Mattel included two figures of Kerry in this series. It’s essentially a repaint of the basic Kerry figure that’s meant to capture his run as the Texas Tornado in the WWF from 1990-92. This figure has yellow trunks and yellow and black boots, along with a removable white jacket with “Kerry” printed on the back.
- Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty Matty Collector Two-Pack. High: $220. Low: $65. Average: $142.92. This two-pack of figures was sold exclusively through Matty Collector as a way to introduce fans to the new online exclusives. Mattel had great success with an online exclusive Masters of the Universe series of figures in the years leading up to this, but the WWE Legends figures didn’t click quite as well and lasted just one year. With their feathery hair, torn purple shirts and bright yellow tights, these figures will take you back to the days when Gorilla Monsoon told you ad nauseam that Shawn and Marty were tag team specialists. To date, this is Jannetty’s only Mattel WWE action figure.
- Rick Martel Legends Series 5. High: $169.40. Low: $100. Average: $133.48. Legends Series 5 spent a lot of time taking up space and gathering dust on retail shelves in 2011 and 2012. Aside from the first Mattel figure of Randy Savage, collectors weren’t too interested in figures of Martel, Akeem and Bam Bam Bigelow in his goofy 1995 WWF babyface gear. But apparently, so many collectors passed on the Martel figure that those who want it today can’t find one, and are willing to spend big money on it. This figure captures Martel in his days as “the Model,” with purple trunks, boots, kneepads and a bowtie, along with a removable black jacket and oversized button that reads, “Yes, I am a model.”
- Andre the Giant Matty Collector. High: $134.99. Low: $85. Average: $105.42. After the introductory Rockers figures, Andre was the first regular bimonthly Matty Collector figure. This was Andre’s first Mattel figure, with a removable black singlet and a toy belt of the popular winged eagle WWF Championship. He’s proportionally bigger than the other Mattel figures, as illustrated in this photo courtesy of 3B’s Toy Hive.
- (King Kong) Bundy Matty Collector. High: $149.99. Low: $65. Average: $103.00. Mattel was obviously skirting some copyright issues with this online exclusive, which is identified simply as “Bundy,” minus the King Kong. It’s a cool looking figure, with a removable cloth T-shirt just like the one Bundy used to model in the old merchandise catalogs in WWF Magazine. Like all of the Matty Club Legends figures, Bundy didn’t sell too well when initially released in 2012, but has since become a bit of a white whale for collectors. This is Bundy’s only Mattel WWE figure to date.
- Randy Savage Ringside Collectibles Exclusive. High: $112.50. Low: $66. Average: $86.17. This figure of the “Macho King” is the only Ringside Collectibles exclusive to feature the WWE Legends style packaging. Savage’s 1989-91 run as the “Macho King” wasn’t exactly the highlight of his career, but Mattel did a very good job with this figure, including a crown, scepter and gold robe.
- The Bushwhackers Legends Two-Packs Series 1. High: $102.50. Low: $59.99. Average: $84.62. It’s astounding that this two-pack has become such a gem for collectors. Released in 2010 as Toys R Us Exclusives, these figures sat on shelves for years, surviving markdown after markdown but never making it out of the building. Yet Luke and Butch are selling for up to four times their original SRP.
- Eddie Guerrero Legends Series 6. High: $114.00. Low: $59.50. Average: $80.73. This figure was a favorite of collectors as soon as it was released. Guerrero is decked out in the red tights he wore when he defeated Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship at No Way Out 2004, the pinnacle of Guerrero’s career in many fans’ eyes. The figure also comes packaged with the 2004-style WWE Championship belt.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PRIOR COLUMN: COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: By the Numbers – The Cost of Collecting
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter.
All pictures for this article were provided by 3B’s Toy Hive (3bstoyhive.com, or @3BsToyHive on Twitter).