THE SPECIALISTS COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Did Ryback's HIAC PPV loss hurt the value of his collectibles? (w/Chart)
Nov 16, 2012 - 3:02:05 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles specialist
In Brief: The secondary market value of Ryback's lone action figure began climbing steadily as WWE moved him into a main event spot. But, what happened after his loss at Hell in a Cell? The answer might surprise you.
When WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view ended with Ryback celebrating on top of the cell, it felt a little bit like SummerSlam ’93. Lex Luger celebrated in a downpour of red, white, and blue balloons, even though his count-out victory over Yokozuna left viewers with an empty feeling. In both cases, WWE attempted to protect the babyface challenger with a screwy finish, yet didn’t pull the trigger and give him the title.
Wrestling fans and experts have been debating just what that loss meant for Ryback. Did the cheap finish protect him? Or, did it turn him into just another WWE Superstar?
What did it mean for Ryback’s collectibles? Did collectors stop spending money after the loss, or did they continue to pick up Ryback memorabilia?
Collectors began to warm up to Ryback in late September, after he saved Mick Foley and confronted C.M. Punk at the end of one episode of Raw. With Ryback positioned for a potential main event slot, collectors began to scoop up his stuff.
The best way to track the value of Ryback’s collectibles is to look at his Mattel WWE Series 11 figure, which is his most commonly traded collectible. Because Topps has yet to release a Ryback autograph or memorabilia card, sale prices on Skip Sheffield and Ryback cards have been very volatile and difficult to analyze. Interest in his 2010 Topps WWE card – which some collectors have labeled Ryback’s Rookie Card – has picked up the last couple months, but sales have been infrequent. Collectors do seem willing to spend a decent amount of money on low numbered parallels and professionally graded copies of the card.
Tracking Ryback’s Only Action Figure
Ryback’s only action figure was released in 2011, and presents him as Nexus member Skip Sheffield. With only one toy available, collectors didn’t have much choice. If they wanted a Ryback figure, they had to pay what the secondary market demanded.
Each month since Ryback’s push began, the secondary market value of his figures has grown steadily. Loose and packaged figures generally have sold in the same price range, although a few packaged figures have ended considerably higher.
In August, the average price for a Skip Sheffield figure that sold on eBay was $24.20; one packaged figure sold as low as $12.99. Prices were similar in September, with an average sale price of $25.57. However, after Ryback’s big moment on September 24, prices began to jump.
The average price of this figure increased each week during Ryback’s big build-up in October. During the first week of the month, the average price of the Skip Sheffield figure was $28.81. By the last week of the month, the average price jumped to $45.82. For all of October, the average price was $36.74.
By all indications, Ryback’s loss at Hell in a Cell did nothing to hurt the value of this figure. In fact, the average price for the first half of November was $48.16 – 31 percent higher than the average price for October and nearly double the average price for August. In November, figures have sold has high as $60, $61, and $75.
Collectors haven’t soured on Ryback and are spending more than ever on his only figure. Prices could very well continue to increase throughout the rest of the year as people buy this figure as a gift.
Ringside Collectibles released images of a new Ryback toy from Mattel a couple weeks ago. When this figure hits the shelves in 2013, it will be interesting to see the impact it has on the Skip Sheffield toy. Multiple Ryback toys from Mattel could very well drive down the secondary market value of the Skip Sheffield figure.
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at email@example.com .
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