Archive for WWF

Wrestling cards are bringing the joy back to collecting

Posted in Newspaperman, wrestling with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So here’s the deal, I’ve been a card collector since I was 7 years old. Baseball has always been my focus, but I’ve ventured into other sports over the years, including professional wrestling.

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I dug the 1980s Topps WWF sets; loved the 1990s Classic WWF sets; chased the ice cream man each summer to get some of the WWF ice cream bars that included a card in the packaging; always wished I had enough to buy some of the 1994 Action Packed WWF cards; and in the late 1990s and early 200s, I really enjoyed all the different WWF products produced by Fleer, which started to incorporate autographs and memorabilia cards.

I followed wrestling as a kid, and then stopped for a few years when I learned it wasn’t real. I then got back into it around WrestleMania IX (9) and watched pretty strong for about 10 years until I got consumed by college and life. I was away from pro wrestling for another 10 years as I got married and started a family.

But when WrestleMania XXXI (31) came to my hometown, I had to be there  — even though I was out of the game for a while, I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  And with my decision to buy tickets, my passion for wrestling was rekindled and it’s going strong again today, almost 18 months later.

Since my return to watching wrestling, I’ve started to buy some of the cards as it seemed like a natural extension of my hobby.  I bought some 2014 Topps and some 2015 Topps and Topps Chrome. And then later in 2015, Topps and WWE partnered to bring the hobby a high-end product in Undisputed, which made autographs and memorabilia cards fairly accessible to wrestling card collectors. Needless to say I was hooked.

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I bought into a “draft your box” break of 2015 Undisputed at Blowout Cards and wound up with a box that contained a Bret “Hitman” Hart autograph redemption. When the cards arrived I was floored by the quality.  Sure, I have owned many high-end baseball cards, but seeing the wrestling stars on this type of product was amazing.

I then bought more singles to add to my collection.  I’ve pretty much repeated the same pattern again here in 2016 and with the recent release of the latest Undisputed, it’s really put wrestling cards back in focus for me.

But here’s the premise under which I operate and why I chose to share this with you:

I know that wrestling cards will never have the prestige that baseball cards have. The factors that make a card rise or fall in baseball, or any sport for that matter, aren’t exactly there for wrestling. When a ball player breaks into the Bigs and takes the sport by storm, his cards experience a massive swell. In wrestling, the value of the card is really tied to the character’s following. In my opinion, this is a more realistic expectation for a collectible, and for the modt part eliminates the “risk” or gamble in collecting.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love baseball and baseball cards.  And I still love some of the stuff — not all — that has come out in the last decade. But sports cards as a whole have become such a damn gambling man’s business that at times it disgusts me. The joy is there, but it’s short lived at times because while we tell ourselves that we are collectors, the monetary “value” of  card is always there in the back of our minds because everything is so damn expensive. We have to justify our expenses sometimes to ourselves.

And yes, you can choose to collect low end, but we all know that the value of cards is usually somewhere in the equation because collecting baseball cards has become a game of “how much are they worth.” We can thank the collecting boon of the 1980s for this.

For me, wrestling cards have rekindled the joy in collecting. When I open a pack of basic wrestling product I’m not necessarily worried about “getting my money back” in a pack or box.  I enjoy looking at the cards, reading the backs and collecting the guys I like. And, the hits are fun and relatively cheap by comparison to other sports. And even in the high-end products, the packs are about $20 (boxes about $200 for 10 packs) and the hits in the packs are fairly evenly priced on the secondary market. This makes the risk relatively small and the ability to collect what you want so much more attainable. And really, isn’t this what collectors all want anyway, like this rainbow of 2015 Topps Undisputed Ted DiBiase cards or these autographs.

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This is my story and this is the way I collect. Some of you will get it; others will not. I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below, or reach me on Twitter or via e-mail:

In Memoriam: Dusty Rhodes, The American Dream, Oct. 12, 1945 – June 11, 2015 

Posted in In Memoriam with tags , , , , on June 11, 2015 by Cardboard Icons


What I’d like to have right now …

Posted in Instagram Portraits with tags , , , , , on January 14, 2013 by Cardboard Icons


Thrift Treasures XLV: 2012 San Francisco Tri-Star Show Haul 1/3

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by Cardboard Icons

It’s a beautiful thing when you wake up on a Friday, have the day off work and the only real plan is to hit the first day of an annual three-day major card show.

It may have been Friday the 13th, but there was no bad luck for me when it came to cards.  I was headed to the annual Tri-Star Productions card show in San Francisco with a pocket full of cash and a plan that included bargain hunting. The end result is one that will be absolutely impossible to match in the future.

In fact, my haul included some 300 cards, some of which will blow your mind given the prices at which they were purchased.  But because there was so much acquired at the show, I’ll have to break the haul into three blog posts. They’ll all be documented as “Thrift Treasures” because the prices I paid were pretty much on par with what I would have paid at a thrift store. Unbelievable.

This is Part One of Three:

Where do I start? We’ll kick things off with a dealer who had a vast array of clearance items.  He had probably six 5,000 count boxes full of cards priced at a dime each, a box of cards in Top Loaders that were 2 for $1 each, and then some PSA graded cards he wanted a buck each.  Insane.

The following cards are ALL from this one dealer:

How ’bout a little PSA 10 action?

There were at least 50 cards in the PSA bargain bin, but a lot of them were 7s, 8s and 9s.  Had I not already been jaded by some other deals, I probably would have went to town on this one box.  Instead I bought only the pictured Gem Mint 1990 Topps TV All-Stars Dwight Gooden.  There is one on eBay for $17.99 Buy It Now, and the description says there are 4 graded as Gem Mint by PSA.  I guess I have one of them now. Cost: $1


We’ll work backward and show the cards that were the most expensive next.  These next two were 50 CENTS each.  Seriously?!

1964 Topps League Leaders card featuring Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal

1977 Topps Andre Dawson rookie card


In one of the 5,000 Monster Boxes, the seller had  about 3,000 1975 Topps cards all in plastic sleeves.  There wasn’t much quality left in there when I hit those, but I did locate a few Steve Swisher rookies.  Until yesterday I had been unable to obtain even one of these. Cost: 10 CENTS each

4 1975 Topps Mini Steve Swisher and 1 1975 Topps Steve Swisher rookie card


In a small sandwich bag stuffed in a two-row shoe box were some over-sized cards that everyone seemed to pass on, probably because they had no clue what they were.  Me?  I knew EXACTLY what they were.  They were 1989 Topps Baseball Talk!  I had only seen people play with them, and had never owned any personally because they were too expensive and not readily available to me.  The bag contained 30 of these cards, which feature plastic record-type discs on the back which play audio clips when inserted into the machine that plays them.  I thought about buying them all, but really, there were only 10 that felt like must-haves.  The seller didn’t care if I only took the ones I really wanted, so … I did! These were all 10 Cents each.

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Don Mattingly

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Cal Ripken

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Nolan Ryan

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Ralph Kiner

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Al Kaline

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Eddie Mathews

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Roberto Clemente

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Ty Cobb

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Babe Ruth

1989 Topps Baseball Talk Hank Aaron

How awesome was that?  Got all ten of those for a buck.  And because I like to have fun with numbers,  want to guess what the Beckett high book value of that small lot of Baseball Talk cards is? Just $103.50.  Yeah, a C-Note.


Anyone like hockey?  I don’t actively collect hockey, but I do know rookie cards.  Did I mention these were 10 cents each?

197701978 O-Pee-Chee Mike Milbury rookie card

1982 O-Pee-Chee Steve Kasper Rookie Card

1986-1987 Topps Gary Suter rookie card

1977-1978 O-Pee-Chee New York Rangers checklist

1992-1993 Upper Deck Hockey Heroes Wayne Gretzky Header Card SP

1972-1973 Topps Guy LaFleur


A pair of football rookies — 10 cents each

1981 Topps Dan Hampton Rookie Card

1987 Topps Randall Cunningham Rookie Card


Let’s move onto some baseball …

I like Nolan Ryan. I like his cards. I really like his cards when they are ten for a buck.

1990 KayBee Nolan Ryan

1992 Topps Gold Winner Nolan Ryan

1992 Topps Gold Winner Nolan Ryan Record Breaker

1991 Stadium Club Nolan Ryan -- I actually got two of these.

1982 O-Pee-Chee Nolan Ryan


…And Rickey Henderson …

1983 Topps Rickey Henderson

1988 Starting Lineup Rickey Henderson

1992 Flopps Stickey Henderson


Eight baseball stars …

1993 Upper Deck George Brett / Robin Yount SP

1992 Topps McDonald's George Brett

1992 Topps McDonald's Ken Griffey Jr.

1988 KayBee Cal Ripken Jr.

1995 Summit Nth Degree Cal Ripken Jr. CL

1981 Kellogs Steve Henderson

2011 Topps Diamond Ichiro

2001 BBM Best 9 Hideki Matsui


Some baseball rookies/prospects:


And we’ll close the first part of this series with a slew of “vintage” wrestling cards.  This is where good gets awesome.

2 1987 Topps WWF Stickers WWF Logo

1987 Topps WWF Stickers Andre The Giant

1987 Topps WWF Stickers Randy Savage and Elizabeth

1987 Topps WWF Stickers Hulk Hogan

2 1987 Topps WWF Stickers Bret Hart

1985 O-Pee-Chee Bobby "The Brain" Heenan

1985 O-Pee-Chee Jim Neidhart rookie card

1985 O-Pee-Chee Hulk Hogan and Vince McMahon

3 1985 Topps "Macho Man" Randy Savage In Action cards

1985 Topps WWF Sticker Lou Albano

1985 Topps WWF Sticker Jesse Ventura

1985 Topps WWF Sticker Iron Sheik

1987 Topps Macho Man Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth

7 1987 Topps Hulk Hogan cards

4 1987 Topps Bret Hart rookie cards

And the grand finale … a flying elbow from the top rope …

1985 O-Pee-Chee Randy "Macho Man" Savage w/ Elizabeth rookie card.

Oooooh, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!  That Macho Man Canadian rookie card is in great condition and might be worth grading.  Raw copies of this card are upward of $20 easy.

Total cost of these treasures: $9.50

Think those were awesome?

I’m just getting started.

Stay tuned for the next part of this special Thrift Treasures series.

Part One // Part Two // Part Three

“Everyone has a price” By Cardboard Icons

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on March 24, 2012 by Cardboard Icons