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Few wrestling figures are as iconic and well-known as King Kong Bundy’s LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars figure from 1986.
“That thing was like a weapon,” form Pro Wrestling Torch contributor Jim Valley joked on an episode of Saturday Morning Wrestling in 2016.
Ever since learning of Bundy’s passing on March 5, collectors and fans have taken to social media to show their favorite action figures, trading cards, T-shirts, photos and magazines of the man Gorilla Monsoon often called, “the condominium with legs.” Bundy was a huge part of the WWF from 1985 to 1987 and, as such, has been a key part of collectibles lines ever since.
Bundy’s now infamous LJN toy was released in the second series of WWF Wrestling Superstars figures. All of the LJN WWF figures were solid, heavy chunks of rubber, but none matched up to Bundy. The body was at least twice as thick as many other figures and incredibly dense. Bundy cracked many a Sling ‘Em-Fling ‘Em Wrestling Ring and was probably responsible for just as many black eyes among fighting siblings and friends.
Bundy’s LJN figure is very common, so finding one at a reasonable price isn’t a challenge. You can expect to pay $10 and up, depending on the wear and tear on the figure. Finding a Bundy LJN figure mint on card will be much more difficult; recent completed listings have ranged from $300 to $600.
Bundy was also part of several lesser known Jakks WWF toy lines in the 1980s, including the smaller Bendies, Thumb Wrestlers and Stretch Wrestlers. Of those, the LJN Stretch Wrestlers are the most difficult to find today. They were similar to the Stretch Armstrong figures of the day, made of flexible rubber and full of a white powder that kept them from drying up, along with cloth singlets and trunks. The Stretch Wrestlers can be incredibly tough to find because not a lot survived the last 30-plus years.
Figures Toy Company included Bundy in its original Legends of Wrestling line back in 1998, with regular and bloody variations. These aren’t tough to find and should cost you no more than $20 in package. Bundy was also featured in Jakks Pacific’s Classic WWF Superstars Line, first as a single figure in Series 5 and then as part of a three-pack with Nikolai Volkoff and the Iron Sheik. Again Bundy’s figure was very large and came with a removable black singlet. The Jakks figure can be found for around $20 loose, depending on condition, and $40 mint in package.
Most recently, Mattel made a figure of Bundy in its online-exclusive Matty Collector line in 2011. The WWE Matty Line never really caught on, and was canceled after just one series. Because of that, Bundy’s lone Mattel figure is very rare and incredibly expensive. It’s very similar to Bundy’s Jakks figure with a removable black singlet, but also includes a removable cloth Bundy T-shirt. It’s worth noting that the Mattel figure was only marketed as “Bundy,” minus the “King Kong.” Loose Mattel figures start at around $50, and packaged figures usually sell in the $150 to $200 range because of their scarcity.
For a guy who was in and around the wrestling business for more than 30 years, Bundy has surprisingly few trading cards. His first cards were made in 1985, three of which can be found in the 1985 O-Pee-Chee WWF Pro Wrestling Stars Series 2. This was a Canadian-exclusive set that was a follow-up to the more common first series from Topps in the U.S. Bundy is featured by himself on card #7, applying a chin lock to Tony Garea on card #50 and with Hulk Hogan in a steel cage on card #75. Bundy can also be found on 1985 Wrestling All Stars card #23, which was available on a perforated sheet inside the Wrestling Annual publication. These 1985 cards aren’t too terribly expensive, but they can be tough to find in good condition.
A variety of other products featured cards of Bundy over the years, including 1986 Monte Gum, 1987 Topps WWF, 1995 Action Packed WWF and 1995 Merlin WWF. Bundy’s signature can be found in 2014 Leaf Originals Wrestling and 2016 Leaf Signature Series.
Bundy’s signed cards have skyrocketed over the last couple days. Just a few weeks ago, a 2014 Leaf Signature Series Base Autograph of Bundy sold for $9.99. Over the last 24 hours, the average sale price for this card has been in the $40-$50 range.
Autographs almost always increase in value when a wrestler passes away, but the increase in Bundy’s has been much greater than usual. Part of the increase is due to Bundy having very few certified autograph trading cards. Bundy’s signature was never included in a WWE product, so collectors looking for an authentic King Kong Bundy autograph will have to chase after the two Leaf cards.
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Michael Moore is a writer and collector living in Casper, WY. He has been a collector of sports cards and wrestling memorabilia since 1985. He has contributed articles on pro wrestling collectibles to PWTorch.com since 2011, and his work has also appeared in Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Tuff Stuff Sports Collectibles, Beckett sports publications and more. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter, or contact him at email@example.com.