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Way back in 1993, an ad in WWF Magazine gave fans the chance to order exclusive Hasbro action figures of Bret Hart, the Undertaker, and Hulk Hogan. Today those figures are three of the scarcest – and most valuable – wrestling figures ever made.
Hasbro’s line of WWF action figures from the early 1990s remains one of the most popular wrestling toy lines of all time. The figures debuted in the fall of 1990 and continued through late 1994, when a limited number of green carded figures capped off the Hasbro series.
In addition to the three mail away figures, there are many other rare Mattel figures from different waves. This column looks at the five highest selling Mattel figures on eBay (U.S. listings only) over the 90-day period ending May 31, 2019.
1. The Undertaker Mail Away Sealed. Highest sale price: $2,850 on 29 bids, April 13. The mail away figure is very similar to Undertaker’s Series 8 Red Card figure from 1994, with a few noticeable exceptions. The head sculpts are somewhat different, and the mail away figure has red hair and purple bags under his eyes, while the Series 8 Red Card figure has darker hair and no purple bags. Recent sales have ranged from $832 and $990 for loose figures to $1,825 and $2,800 for sealed figures.
2. Hulk Hogan Mail Away Sealed. Highest sale price: $820 on a Buy It Now, May 15. Of the three mail away exclusives, Hogan is the most unique because there isn’t another basic figure like it. The figure has Hogan in a red Hulkamania tank top and red pants, along with yellow boots and a red bandana. Recent sales for loose figures have been in the $500-$600 range, with sealed figures in the $700-$800 range.
3. Dusty Rhodes Series 2 Mint on Card. Highest sale price: $700 on a Buy It Now Best Offer, May 7. Dusty’s Mattel figure was released in 1991, just after he left the WWF and returned to WCW. Unlike the mail away figures, Dusty’s figure is fairly common, but finding one on a mint card is quite challenging. Loose, worn figures have recently sold for around $30-$40, while loose figures in better condition have sold for $60 and higher. One other carded figure sold in the last 90 days for $100, but that figure was on a damaged SummerSlam card, which is somewhat less desirable for some collectors.
4. Bret Hart Mail Away Sealed. Highest sale price: $655 on 30 bids, April 13. Some collectors have argued that Bret Hart is the scarcest of the three mail away figures, but also the least desirable. While the figure pictured in the ad was similar to Bret’s Series 8 Red Card figure from 1994, the actual to that was sent to collectors was nearly identical to his much more common Series 4 figure from 1992. Both the mail away and Series 4 figures have pink shades, a black top and pink trunks. Some collectors insist that the mail away figure has a paler skin tone, brighter pink sunglasses and a more purplish heart on the chest, but it can be nearly impossible to tell the two apart. There were only two other completed U.S. listings in the last 30 days, with loose figures selling for $99.99 and $152.50. Two UK listings ended at over $1,000 each.
5. Andre the Giant Series 1 Mint on Card. Highest sale price: $515 on a Buy It Now, April 13. The first series of Hasbro WWF figures included most of the big names from the late 1980s: Hogan, Randy Savage, Ted Dibiase, Demolition and others. The scarcest and most valuable of the first series is Andre. Loose Andre figures are even easier to find than the previously mentioned Dusty Rhodes from Series 2, with recent sales ranging from around $15 to $84 depending on condition. But finding an Andre mint on card can be very difficult. Recent sales ranged from around $300 to $500.
On a related note, wrestling fan and artist Nick Camia (@ExtraCooler on Twitter and Instagram) recently produced his own rendition of the famous ad for the mail away figures, along with other wrestling figure related artwork, which can be seen at https://www.extracoolerart.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PRIOR COLUMN: COLLECTIBLES COLUMN 5 COUNT: Topps WCW Luchador Cards
Five Count is a new format for the Pro Wrestling Torch’s long-running collectibles column, which began in 2011. Each week will feature a new top five list: items of a particular wrestler, hot cards or figures, collectibles news items and more. If you have a topic you’d like to see covered in the new Collectibles Column 5 Count, contact Michael Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org or @MMooreWriter on Twitter.