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The world lost one of pro wrestling’s greatest characters and a true all-time great with the passing of “Handsome” Harley Race last week.
Many modern day collectors are of the generations that most recognize Race as the WWF’s “king” in the Hulkamania years, or as the manager of WCW World Champion Vader in 1993. Those years of Race’s career are well represented in action figures, trading cards and other memorabilia, but fortunately, so are the prime years of Race’s career, when he was the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and “the greatest wrestler on God’s green earth.”
Here’s a look at five of the most popular Harley Race collectibles.
- LJN WWF Wrestling Superstars Series 4. Like many others, Harley’s first figure was in the classic LJN line of WWF wrestlers in the 1980s. Race was part of Series 4, which was released in 1987. The figure has a purple and white king-like jacket and an oversized removable crown. This is a tough figure to find, especially with the removable crown included. Loose figures have been selling in the $150-$200 range, while mint-on-card figures command a whopping $500-$600.
- Mattel WWE Elite Flashback Series 3. Mattel made this figure just last year, and many collectors called it the best figure of 2018. The Elite Flashback Series 3 line, which also included a really cool Ricky Steamboat figure, was a Walmart exclusive and nearly impossible to find. This figure almost immediately sold for $200 on eBay, and in recent weeks has climbed to over $300.
- 2018 Topps WWE Legends Autograph. For someone of his historical stature, Race has relatively few signed trading cards. His signature appeared in the 2004 Pacific TNA set and in 2016 Leaf Wrestling Signature Series. But Harley’s coolest signed cards can be found in the 2018 Topps WWE Legends product. Race always had a clean, crisp signature, which was fully on display on these cards. The blue parallel, serial numbered to 25 copies, is especially nice and really makes his autograph pop.
- 1982 Wrestling All-Stars Series A #8. This isn’t Harley Race’s first trading card; he also appeared in the 1976 Yamakatsu series from Japan and the 1978 Wrestling Annual set. But ’82 Wrestling All-Stars is such an iconic set, this card is a must for any collector of Race memorabilia. The card features an old school head shot of Harley against an orange background. Prior to Harley’s passing, ungraded copies were selling in the $20-$40 range, depending on condition. The only ungraded copy listed on eBay right now has a Buy It Now of $107.89. These may be tough to find for a while.
- Jakks Pacific Classic WWE Superstars Series 10. The other two Harley Race figures on this list share one common flaw: they both feature him in the goofy “King” attire that Vince McMahon gave him in 1986. In contrast, this figure is more reminiscent of Harley Race in his prime as NWA World Heavyweight Champion, with dark hair and a blue and red ring jacket. This figure isn’t as valuable as the other two on this list ($25-$30 loose and a little more in the package), but might be more desirable for fans of Harley’s pre-WWF days.
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PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MMoorewriter.