It's amazing how time can both appreciate and depreciate an asset. If you own a home, you might make a profit on it if you complete a variety of renovations and maintain its modernity. Vice versa, you can lose a lot of money if you go to sell it in the future without much upkeep. The same thing applies to collectible items such as baseball cards and, for our purposes, wrestling figures. As kids, 99 percent of us couldn't wait to get home from the store to rip open the package that contained our newest wrestling figure - Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and even Doink the Clown. It didn't matter how popular the wrestler was; in fact, you might have even sought out lesser-known figures to complete your collection. Not that you'd actually do much collecting. The figures would be scratched and even broken within weeks after playing with them non-stop.
However, a small percentage of people had the presence of mind to maintain the pristine condition of certain figures, especially ones that were already rare to begin with. Those people are either now the owners of incredibly-rare items or made themselves a substantial amount of money through the sale of those figures. Below are 15 figures that have been sold or are being sold for a mind-blowing price.
15 Ultimate Warrior Jakks Pacific
The Ultimate Warrior was one of the most over wrestlers in the WWE during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Iconic for his face paint and multi-colored flare, Warrior was - and is - also one of the most popular action figures. He was reportedly involved in the process of developing figures released by Jakks Pacific in 2004 and was adamant that special edition figures be released, one of which was the One Warrior Nation-themed WCW attire figure; only 20 were released and they have since been sold for an average of $3,500 each.
However, the most prolific Warrior figure released by Jakks is the marble statue-like figure that has been sold for at least $5,000.
Heck, even the regular Warrior figures, of which there are hundreds of thousands, are going for upwards of $100 on Amazon.
14 Macho Man Wrestling Superstars '89
In addition to poorly-made licensed video games, LJN was a toy manufacturing company that produced a line of wrestling figures dubbed Wrestling Superstars. Much of the figures in the 1989 collection are rare given that the company was purchased by Acclaim Entertainment the following year, but one of the most valuable figures is the "Macho Man" Randy Savage unopened, mint condition.
The poster alone that came with the figure has been sold for more than $200, while the actual figure itself has been priced at nearly $10,000.
The figure is so rare that one poster on WrestlingFigs.com noted that he keeps $5,000 in a bank account for the sole purpose of purchasing one. Given Savage passed away in 2011, it's likely that the figure will only increase in value as well.
13 Miss Elizabeth LJN
Miss Elizabeth was just as iconic as "Macho Man" Randy Savage as wrestling fans were heavily interested in their real life and on-screen relationship - Elizabeth was married to Savage from 1984 to 1992, but unfortunately passed away due to an overdose in 2003. While she may not have bared all her assets in the way Attitude Era divas did, she always looked stunning at ringside in flashy dresses. She didn't wrestle in the WWE, but did make history by becoming the first female wrestling star to have her own action figure.
Mint condition packages with the removable skirt can be sold for thousands of dollars.
LJN released the figure and, if we're being honest, it isn't exactly flattering to the real beauty of Elizabeth, but history is history, right?
12 Hasbro WWF Magazine Mail-Aways
Hasbro is one of the more recognizable brands in regard to board game production, but it's also heavily invested in toys and was once the premier developer of WWE figures. The Hasbro WWE action figure line existed from 1990 to 1994 and it included rare figures of stars such as Giant Gonzalez, Big Boss Man, and Fatu of the Headshrinkers. Those aren't being sold for thousands of dollars these days, but the figures advertised in WWF Magazine are, particularly The Undertaker and Bret "The Hitman" Hart.
Fans who owned a subscription to the magazine could send a check and receive a rare variant of its regular figure line. For instance, the Bret Hart mail-away figure has a purple hart on his black tank top, while the regular one has a pink hart. The Undertaker mail-away figure, still in its original packaging, has sold for as much as $1,200.
11 Hulk Hogan Wrestling Superstars '89
It shouldn't be much of a shock, but a lot of the most expensive wrestling figures are of Hulk Hogan. Nobody in wrestling was more popular than Hogan during the mid-to-late 1980s and early 1990s; while he remained popular in WCW as "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, it's hard to even express the popularity of Hulkamania before then. As such, his figures were high in demand and several companies produced versions, including the now-defunct LJN, which was purchased a year after releasing its Wrestling Superstars line in 1989.
While the original Hogan action figure in this line is still worth a few bucks in auctions, you can earn yourself more than $1,000 if you happen to own one of the white-shirt Hogan figures re-released by LJN and distributed by Grand Toys of Canada.
10 Popy Tiger Mask II
While most wrestling fans in the '80s and '90s sought after WWE action figures (as it was the preeminent wrestling company at the time), they weren't the only figures available. In fact, the Tiger Mask character, which started out as a work of fiction popularized by the Japanese manga and anime series and was later purchased for use by All Japan Pro Wrestling, was first developed into a wrestling figure in the 1980s. Interestingly, it was based on the character in the anime and not the actual wrestler first portrayed by Mitsuharu Misawa.
The figure has sold at auctions for over $700 and has only increased in value given the 2009 in-ring death of Misawa.
It's also rare for the fact it was produced by the Popy, a Japanese company that is no longer in existence.
9 Hart Foundation Box Set LJN
Long before Bret Hart had established himself as "the best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be", the alumnus of Stu Hart's Dungeon was part of the Hart Foundation tag team alongside Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. The team debuted at WrestleMania II in a 20-man battle royal and later enjoyed a 10-month reign as Tag Team Champions.
LJN, which produced lines of wrestling figures in the mid to late 1980s, released a rare box-set edition of the Hart Foundation, which included both Bret and The Anvil as well as two mini Tag Team Titles. It also released tag team sets of the Killer Bees, Strike Force, and Dream Team, but none of those are as valuable as the Hart Foundation set, which opened sets going for as much as $500 and mint condition, unopened sets going for as much as $2,000.
8 Popy Hulk Hogan Rookie Figure
Popy didn't only produce Japanese wrestling figures. During the early 1980s, it reached a deal with WWE to make figures of the company's most popular stars. Timing was everything in creating one of the most expensive wrestling figures of all-time as Popy, which would go out of business a few years after reaching a deal with WWE, was one of the first toy manufacturing companies to create a Hulk Hogan wrestling figure.
Most WWE Hogan figures you'll come across these days include his iconic red and yellow shirt and bandana, but this one is about as generic as you can get.
The figure, which has black tights and black kneepads as well as silver boots, looks nothing like the Hogan we're now accustomed to. Because of that, the figure has sold for upwards of $5,000 in online auctions.
7 Jakks Special Edition Ric Flair
Jakks Pacific figures aren't all that rare, at least generally speaking, but the company did release a number of limited edition figures. One of the most notable - and expensive - is the Ric Flair employee special edition figure, of which there were only 25 released. The silver-robed figure is a beautiful sight to behold and even includes a specially-cut window on the back of the package so you can appreciate the design of the robe.
We're certain the figure - and the robe - was made with much more quality materials than regular Jakks Pacific figures, but even if that's not the case, it's still incredibly value based on its scarcity alone. There's currently one available online for a hefty figure of $3,000 and that will likely only increase given Flair's recent health scares.
6 Hasbro Brutus Beefcake Zebra Tights
It's often the weird variants that make a figure so expensive in present day. A regular Hulk Hogan with more than one million distributed worldwide isn't going to be worth much today, but a Hulk Hogan figure without his iconic red and yellow attire, like the one produced and distributed by Popy, is going to be worth a substantial amount. The same logic applies to the Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake figure released by Hasbro in the late 1980s.
The figure is nothing special in itself, other than the fact it comes with his hedge clippers. But this variant has him wearing zebra print tights instead of the pink tights he often wore that were included in the regular edition of the figure. The zebra print tights edition has been sold for upwards of $1,500 at auctions.
5 Hasbro Dusty Rhodes
If you were a wrestling fan and not simply just a fan of the WWE, chances are Dusty Rhodes was one of your favorite wrestlers. Along with Ric Flair, "The American Dream" established himself as one of the most popular wrestlers in the world through his work with the NWA and Jim Crockett Promotions. He even wrestled for WWE during the tail end of his in-ring career. There aren't many figures of Rhodes given he didn't join WWE until 1989, after which several years of figure lines had been released by companies such as LJN.
However, after LJN closed operations in 1990, Hasbro took over production of WWE wrestling figures and had the fortune of creating one to resemble Rhodes. Production didn't necessarily meet demands and, because of that, an unopened, mint condition version of the figure can be sold for as much as $2,000 today.
4 Star Toys Big Boss Man
The Big Boss Man was a prominent mid-card worker during the late 1980s and 1990s and, while fans of the Attitude Era might recognize him with his SWAT-like gear, he previously worked in traditional police gear. It isn't necessarily hard to find figures of either versions of the Boss Man, but the 1991 Star Toys of Spain collector's edition is one that can be virtually impossible to find.
If you happen to find it laying around in an attic or a basement, you could sell it for upwards of $3,000.
The 14-inch plush figure is lauded for its attention to detail with its craftsmanship and stitching, but it's mostly so valuable given how hard it is to find. Conversely, you can purchase Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior Star Toys figures for as little as $40.
3 LJN Hulk Hogan Prototype
It's hard to get your hands on LJN figures from the 1980s, which is why they're so expensive at auctions. The now-defunct toy manufacturing company is the creator of some of the most coveted wrestling figures of all-time, but none are worth as much as its ultra-rare Hulk Hogan prototype figure.
Regarded as the holy grail for collectors, numerous prototype figures were taken by LJN employees before the company closed its doors in 1990. While it's unclear how many prototypes exist, chances are there aren't more than a handful.
One in particular is being sold for $50,000 on eBay by Toy Hunter star Steve Savino, who has more than 200 collectible toys for sale.
If the $50,000 for the Hulk Hogan prototype is too much, you can purchase a Virgil figure for $28. We're not sure which is more overpriced.
2 AWA Mat Mania
By now, you're well aware of how valuable any LJN wrestling figures are, but they weren't the only toy manufacturing company producing wrestling figures. In fact, Remco actually produced the first ever line of wrestling figures to be released in the United States - and they weren't even WWE wrestlers. In 1985, Remco released its first of four AWA Mat Mania line of figures, which included past AWA stars like Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, and Marty Jannetty, among others.
Loose figures opened from the packages can still be sold for hundreds of dollars as long as they come with all original accessories - Flair had his iconic robe, for instance - while unopened, mint-condition figures have been sold at auctions for as much as $1,500. That's a down payment on a new car.
1 Kamala W/ Moon Belly
You probably read this list and, from the group of legends named throughout, anticipated someone like Hulk Hogan or Bret Hart having the most expensive wrestling figure of all-time. But that isn't the case. Instead, that distinction belongs to Kamala, specifically the moon belly variant released by Hasbro in the early 1990s.
The regular edition of the figure depicted Kamala with a star on his stomach instead of the crescent moon that he actually had painted on during his matches. To correct the mistake, Hasbro put out an extremely-limited release of 25 figures that included the crescent moon on his stomach. One of those 25 figures was later sold at an auction for $10,000. It's too bad none of that money went to Kamala, because he could certainly use it right now.