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Greetings! My name is Darrin Lilly and I’m a contributor to the Pro Wrestling Torch; I do the weekly Impact Wrestling TV report and make occasional podcast appearances. I’m a lifelong wrestling fan and by extension, I’m obsessed with wrestling merchandise. My first piece of wrestling merch was a Thunderlips/Hulk Hogan figure from the Rocky 3 movie (I’m showing my age). I haven’t looked back since. With this column, I aim to cover news about wrestling merchandise, figures, cards, t-shirts, autographs, meet & greets, and more. So let’s get started!
Sting action figure (AEW Unmatched Series 2): I pre-ordered this figure in September from Ringside Collectibles and I received it a couple of weeks ago. The figure is amazing and an easy contender for Figure of the Year. Decked out in his AEW t-shirt, a long robe, bat, and an extra set of hands, this figure has a spot-on facial likeness as well. It’s a must-have for AEW Collectors or if you are just a Sting fan. I imagine it’s going to be in high demand at the retail stores (Wal-Mart, Target), and in fact, it looks to be sold out at Ringside Collectibles as of this writing, so you may need a little luck on your figure hunt to find this one.
NXT War Games Set: The last thing in the world that I need is another wrestling ring, yet here we are. I’ve seen a War Games set online and even once in a Target store, but not in recent times. A few days before Christmas, I saw this version on Amazon as a Deal of the Day for $44.29 and I couldn’t pass that up. In addition to two rings and a really nice cage, the set includes a Keith Lee basic figure (tennis skirt not included). The set is still available on Amazon but the price is now $84.99. It’s a nice set, but it’s going to take up a lot of real estate in your setup.
WWE Royal Rumble Elite Collection: This annual collection is hitting Target shelves around the country right now. The set has an eclectic lineup including Big E, Dakota Kai, Earthquake, and Yokozuna ($21.99 each). Each figure includes a piece for a Build-A-Figure of Jimmy Hart. This is a fun set. I was able to find the Big E. figure (which should be the easiest to find of the group) and I’m hoping to find the rest soon. The Rumble figures are currently not available for purchase on the Target website, so you’ll likely need to venture out in person.
In The News
The Impact Wrestling 2021 Series 4 Trading Cards sold out at shopimpact.com. Wrestlers in the set included Matt Cardona, Matthew Rehwoldt, Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Robert Roode, and more. Each pack came with an autographed card of Tasha Steelz, Matt Cardona, or Chris Sabin. The set went for $29.99 plus shipping. With the success of this collection, I suspect we’ll be seeing more series in 2022.
Things have picked up a bit over at wweshop.com. New arrivals this week include a replica of the WCW belt that Ron Simmons, Vader, and Lex Luger wore (circa 1992/1993) for $399.99. This year’s first entrant in the men’s Royal Rumble, Johnny Knoxville, also has a new shirt available.
Shopaew.com debuted new championship shirts for new TBS Champion Jade Cargill and new AEW Tag Team Champions the Jurassic Express.
I’m really excited about the Major Bendies. This set from The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast is inspired by the popular “Bend-Ems” WWF figures from the 90’s. The set of four includes Matt Cardona, Brian Myers, Smart Mark Sterling, and Swoggle and goes for $100 at majorpodmerch.com. It’s really cool to see independent companies putting out figures, especially a fun concept like this.
The funniest item I’ve seen all week is a new t-shirt available at prowrestlingtees.com featuring Chelsea Green at poolside with Joey Janela. It’s a parody of a WWF angle from the early 90’s where Ric Flair doctored photos to appear that he was at poolside with Miss Elizabeth. Pro Wrestling Tees also has a sale on its Superkicks shoe line, which looks to be discontinued.
Fun Find of the Week
I was paging through the recently released coffee table book about singer Amy Winehouse (Amy Winehouse Beyond Black) and was surprised to see a photo of her holding a Kurt Angle WWF Jakks Pacific action figure (page 87). Perhaps the legendary singer was a wrestling fan.
The WrestleCon convention in Dallas over WrestleMania Weekend continues to announce guests. Ted DiBiase, Mike Rotunda, Ron Simmons, Bull Nakano, Barbie Blank (a.k.a. Kelly Kelly), Ultimo Dragon, and Marina Shafir have all been added over the last week. Tickets are on sale now at wrestlecon.com.
If you are looking for more wrestling activities to do in St. Louis during Royal Rumble weekend, Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff are having the Hall of Fame Supershow at the South Broadway Athletic Club on January 29th. VIP and general admission tickets are available at jeffandericlive.com.
Highspots.com has announced the return of its Turbo Tuesday Facebook Live show and a virtual signing for Tony Schiavone for this week.
I would like to send well wishes to former Impact announcer and pitchman Don West, who is battling cancer for a second time.
You can follow Darrin Lilly on Twitter at darrin_lilly and on Instagram at dklstl