THE SPECIALISTS COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: How will the value of Del Rio's collectibles be affected by his face turn & World Title run?
Jan 18, 2013 - 2:46:41 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWTorch Collectibles specialist
In Brief: New WWE World Champ Albert Del Rio's collectibles are affordable now, but that could change if his run as a babyface is successful.
Alberto Del Rio’s babyface turn caught many wrestling fans off-guard. When fans discussed which WWE heels could make good babyfaces, Del Rio’s name rarely came up.
But, in 2013, Alberto Del Rio is the new centerpiece babyface for Smackdown. What has his babyface turn – and latest main event push – meant for his collectibles?
Sales of Del Rio’s merchandise and collectibles has been solid but unspectacular since he arrived in WWE in 2010. But, if Del Rio catches on with fans the way WWE hopes – particularly the growing Hispanic audience – some of his early items do have the potential to heat up.
Topps has released several sets since Del Rio debuted in WWE and has produced dozens of different cards. But so far, Del Rio’s signature has only been included in one set. Topps produced Del Rio’s first certified autograph card in its 2011 WWE product, and that card typically sells in the $15-30 range.
That card can be tough to find, and many collectors may not have caught on to its scarcity. At the time this column was published, there were no copies available for sale on eBay or several other sites like beckett.com or checkoutmycards.com. Only four have sold on eBay in the last 90 days, with the most recent one selling on December 17 for $15.
If Del Rio takes off, the value of his 2011 Topps WWE Autograph could soar. Topps will likely offer more Del Rio signatures in the future, but right now there aren’t very many to go around.
The 2011 Topps WWE product also included a dual autograph that paired Del Rio with former nemesis Christian. That card is even tougher to find; it’s limited to 70 copies, and the only recent auction ended at $51.77 on December 27.
Topps has also produced several memorabilia cards that incorporate items worn by Del Rio. Topps’s 2012 WWE Heritage set includes a memorabilia card with a piece of a shirt inserted into it. Basic one-color cards usually sell for under $3, but there are some cool gold and multi-color swatches that can fetch up to $15.
The 2011 Topps WWE Classic set featured a memorabilia card that contained a piece of Del Rio’s white scarf. The card was initially hot with collectors, as it was one of the few cards in that set that contained something other than a swatch of t-shirt. Upon its release the card sold for around $20, but has since dropped down to about $5.
Mattel cranked out numerous Del Rio action figures in 2011 and 2012, and there are probably many more to come. There is little variation among these figures; most feature Del Rio in some combination of white or gold trunks, kneepads and boots. If you walk into any local retail store that sells wrestling toys, you’ll probably find a basic Del Rio figure for under $10.
Mattel also included Del Rio in its 12th and 14th series of Elite figures. The Series 12 toy comes with a scarf and a masked chihuahua that Del Rio dubbed “Rey Pequeno.” This figure originally retailed for $16.99, and still sells at or below that level.
The Elite Series 14 figure has become the figure of choice for collectors. This particular figure comes with a Money in the Bank briefcase and a detailed WWE Title belt. This figure also retailed for $16.99, but in most cases now sells for $30-$35. The belt and briefcase may have as much to do with the secondary market value as the Del Rio figure itself.
Finding a signed Alberto Del Rio card or his Elite Series 14 figure might be a bit of a challenge, but both are still very affordable. That could change if he becomes the star that WWE is hoping for.
Seeking Reader Input
An upcoming PWTorch Collectibles Column will include answers to readers’s questions. Send your questions or comments about your own autographs, trading cards, action figures, or other wrestling memorabilia to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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