THE SPECIALISTS COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Review of Topps adding Superstar Autographs to WWE Dog Tags
Jul 19, 2013 - 4:13:40 PM
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By Michael Moore, PWToch Collectibles specialist
In Brief: The latest set of WWE dog tags from Topps includes autographs from Daniel Bryan, A.J. Lee, Kane, and others.
Topps has been producing WWE dog tags since about 2007, and each new set adds something a little different. The first few sets of WWE dog tags featured basic dog tags and gold parallels. In 2011, Topps added relics to the mix, cutting up t-shirts worn by the wrestlers and inserting them into the backs of the dog tags.
For its latest WWE product – 2013 WWE Dog Tags Signature Series – Topps has included dog tag autographs for the first time.
2013 WWE Dog Tags Signature Series is made up of 30 base dog tags, 18 dog tag relics, 10 dog tag autographs, and 35 trading cards. There are 24 packs per hobby or retail box; each pack contains one dog tag and matching trading card. Dog tag relics are inserted 1:24 packs, and dog tag autographs are 1:108 packs. The SRP for each pack is $2.99.
Topps has carefully labeled the signatures as “dog tag autographs” rather than “autographed dog tags” for a reason. The wrestlers did not sign the tags; rather, wrestlers signed a sticker or sheet of paper, which was then inserted into the tag and visible through the back of the tag. These types of autographs - sticker autographs, cut autographs, and trapped autographs - have become commonplace in the hobby since about 2001.
The base tags consist of the usual suspects - John Cena, C.M. Punk, Randy Orton, and Daniel Bryan, among others - and a few legends, such as Cactus Jack, Kevin Nash, Steve Austin, and Shawn Michaels. The dog tag relics feature swatches of t-shirts worn by Cena, Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Ryback, Sin Cara, The Miz, and others.
The base set does not include any Divas, but there are five Divas in the dog tag autographs: A.J. Lee, Aksana, Layla, Natalya, and Tamina. The other autographs in the set are Booker T, Brodus Clay, Daniel Bryan, Kane, and Zack Ryder.
Topps’s novelty WWE products, such as dog tags and poker-like chips, tend to start off pretty hot and then cool off within a couple months. When the first dog tag relics came out in 2011, multi-colored Cena tags sold for more than $50. Within a few weeks they were down to $10 or less.
There aren’t a lot of relics in this set that collectors haven’t seen before, either in previous dog tag products or trading card sets. There isn’t much demand for dog tag relics of Del Rio, Clay, R-Truth, and Wade Barrett, but there are plenty of kids and adults who collect Cena, Bryan, and Punk.
The dog tag autographs are an interesting concept, and while there aren’t any big names like Cena or Punk, Divas autographs are always popular with collectors. The top sellers so far have been A.J. ($45-80), Bryan ($15-40), Kane ($25-35), and Natalya ($15-$30). 2013 WWE Dog Tags Signature Series includes the first certified autograph of Brodus Clay, which started out selling fairly high but has settled into the $5-15 range.
The trading cards that match the dog tags are sometimes an afterthought, but collectors may want to hang onto the Divas cards from this set. Most wrestlers’ cards can be found with the base tags and relic tags; the Divas, however, are only found packaged with the matching dog tag autograph. With dog tag autographs inserted 1:108 packs, the Divas cards will be much tougher to find.
Dog tags have their fans. Some collectors want them all, while others want just the tags of specific wrestlers. For some card collectors, dog tags are a fun product to open while waiting for the next card set to come out.
Because the autographs in this set are a first, there is no way of knowing for sure what kind of value they’ll hold three months or a year from now. Some fans may really like them, but the small, cramped signatures will probably turn off a lot of collectors.
If you’re waiting in line at your local Target or Walmart, pick up a pack and see what you get. If you’re looking for a specific signature or relic, you’re better off hitting the secondary market. In many cases, you’ll be able to find a relic for less than the price of a pack, and some autographs for less than the price of two packs.
A full checklist is available HERE at WrestlingTradingCards.com .
PWTorch Collectibles Specialist Michael Moore can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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