Updated: Aug 23, 2020
DTF: How did you start collecting?
AG: Honestly, I do not even know. I remember when I was a little kid, so like 4-5 years old, watching the Attitude Era with my older brother and his friends. I was lucky enough to be able to watch every PPV we had at my house. Our house was always the home of the WWF PPV watch parties.
I remember going to school for an orientation for Kindergarten. I brought my X-Pac figure my mom got me that morning.
I do not remember my first figure, but I do recall one of the earliest memories receiving a figure. My mom used to work 3rd shift at Kmart, and she would bring my brother and I something home every pay day. I loved wrestling figures because my brother did and my love of wrestling stemmed from him as well. So one morning my mom brings home Jakks BCA Series 1 tag team Legion of Doom as well as a Superstars Series Undertaker. I remember my brother took the Undertaker right away and I got to open the LOD, and from there, it just continued.
DTF: What all do you collect (just wrestling or other areas, figures, memorabilia, cards, etc.)?
AG: I collect lots of stuff. Wrestling figures are my number one pride and joy, and then my wrestling belts. I also got into Marvel Legends, Cleveland stadium giveaway bobbleheads, Ghostbusters, some Hot Wheels, and Funko. I want to shift my main focus back to wrestling though.
DTF: What is one wrestling figure you want, that is not yet in your collection?
AG: Let me check my eBay saved listings, just kidding lol. Man this is a tough one. I would say it is probably the Straight Edge Society CM Punk, or the Deluxe Classic Superstars tribute to Stone Cold Steve Austin. I always wanted one of the Hasbro mail away figures, but I might have a deal in place for a Hogan. I want to finish off my Classic Superstars collection so the Austin would fill a big hole in it. For the record, I have a list of Classic Superstars I need to finish my collection up, so if anyone can help out, I appreciate it.
I also want to attempt to obtain every CM Punk MOC Mattel figure and even a couple of Jakks ones. CM Punk is one of my favorites because he represents some of the later memories I had with my brother surrounding wrestling.
I think Punk was one of his favorites too. I remember coming home from school one day and I found the first ever ECW series CM Punk figure in my room left for me by brother. We used to go to shows at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown and we would have “This Fire Burns” or “Cult of Personality” stuck in our heads. We saw some great matches with him vs John Morrison in ECW. One of the last shows we went to together was the Royal Rumble in Pittsburgh, which was Punk’s last match. Right now I have the ECW Exclusive and the Series 16 with the best in the world shirt, so I’m on the lookout for CM Punk figures. I am also trying to complete a MOC Macho Man display if anyone has any leads. I have Legends Series 5, and the Legends Ringside Exclusive.
DTF: What figure do you have that you never thought you would get?
AG: Man, this is a tough question. I would say probably the MOC “Macho King” Randy Savage legends figure or the all pink Bret Hart Ringside Exclusive. They were on my want list for years. I never got them when they came out because at one point in my life, I thought I wasn't collecting. Boy was I wrong. I am glad that I have both of them in my collection now though. I was supposed to get the Bret signed at Wrestlecon in Tampa this year, but it looks like I will have to wait until next time.
DTF: What is your favorite figure in your collection?
AG: My number 1 that is more current is definitely my Undisputed Era 3 pack my fiancé, Lauren, bought me for my birthday. She asked me what I wanted one year and I sent her the link. I was actually really surprised that she ordered it. Hopefully she’ll order me some more figures in the future!
My custom Owen Hart and Gobbledy Gooker stand out too since they are my first customs I have made. I always wanted figures of those two, so it is satisfying to finally have them in my collection.
Other than that, I would say my signed defining moments Stone Cold Steve Austin figure right now. I got it signed at Wrestlecon in NOLA while I was talking to Hova. We conversed for like 3 hours. When I look at that figure, I just think about the unforgettable experience I had that weekend. Not to mention its signed by the toughest SOB there is.
The defining moments Bret Hart I have signed is another figure from that weekend that I love. They are both displayed in a detolf.
To be honest, all the figures I got signed that weekend represent one of my favorite weekends of my life, so those all mean a lot to me. Classic Superstars, I am going series 1 Undertaker, Bret Hart, and Ultimate Warrior, and then the Ringside Collectibles exclusive DX 2 pack with Triple H and Shawn. I will get into those later on though because some of my favorite stories come from those figures.
DTF: MOC or loose and why?
AG: I do both. Classics I do MOC, or any valuable figure that I have to go back and get. I love the packaging on Classics, Legends, and Defining Moments. The stuff that comes out at the stores or online now, I do a little bit of both. I am exploring figure photography and am really enjoying some of the shots I have taken.
If I like the figure in the package, or want to get one signed, I buy a second one. Perfect example, the little bit of the bubbly Chris Jericho exclusive. Packaging is awesome so I want one to open and one to keep MOC. I did the same thing with the Slim Jim Macho Man.
DTF: What is the best deal you have ever gotten on a figure?
AG: Loose I have to say the Elite Legends Series 5 Rick Martel with no accessories for $5 at a local Comic Con. I bought the accessories loose for $25 on eBay, so I completed it for $30 total. I’d say that’s a steal if I’ve ever seen one. I recently got a loose Legends Series 3 Vader for $6 as well. MOC I would say Defining Moments Undertaker Series 4 and Defining Moments Stone Cold Series 4. I picked up both of them MOC for $20 each at the exchange while their value increased.
Recently, it has to be my recent haul from my friend. He sold me an Ultimate Edition Bret Hart, Slim Jim Macho Man, and here’s the real gem, a MOC Hasbro Macho King Randy Savage for $110. It’s an incredible deal to me since I always wanted a MOC Hasbro.
DTF: Do you have a favorite #Legwork store/website?
AG: I typically hit up Target, Walmart, and the Exchange. I use ringside collectibles and Ebay a lot but I really like going to conventions and shows because you never know what you are going to find. Just like all the other collectors out there, I miss toys r us! I also have been using some of the facebook groups I am in for good deals. I acquired a 1 of 3000 signed Roddy Piper through one of those pages. I can’t wait to see what the first figure I acquire from the Doing the Favor buy, sell, trade page will be!
DTF: Is there a #Legwork experience that stands out as a favorite, or your most memorable?
AG: Where do I begin? I have a plethora of stories, but I will share a couple. First, the one that started off my Classic Superstars collection. It was Wrestlemania XX season and I wanted an Undertaker figure. My brother and I went to Toys "R" Us and we found the Classic Superstars Series 1. My brother bought it for me. He suggested I should keep it in the box in case it was worth something one day. Plus it looked cool in the package.
A couple days passed and I was like, “Man I really want Bret Hart and the Ultimate Warrior.” So my brother made me a bet and that was if I beat him in a game of NBA Live, he would take me to Toys "R" Us and buy them for me. I remember using the San Antonio Spurs with my boy Manu Ginobili and somehow, I won!
As I got up to get ready to go to the store, he reaches over for a bag that was sitting directly in front of me the whole time we were playing the game. In it was the Bret Hart and Ultimate Warrior! I had no idea they were sitting in front of me. After he gave them to me I was like, “Can we still go to Toys "R" Us?” Of course, we ended up going. From there I remember him saying, well, you might as well get the rest of the series to finish the set.
I remember we went to a sports card show and one of the local toy dealers who has gone on to become one of my good friends 16 years later told me and my brother that Toys "R" US had new two packs of the Legion of Doom, Hart Foundation, and the Rockers. So what does he do? We drive right over to Toys "R" Us and he grabs them for me!
I don’t think he realized how many Classic Superstars series there would be! This was around the time of DX coming back and Ringside Collectibles announced their exclusive DX Classic Superstars 2 pack. My brother knew I wanted it. So again, he made me a deal. If I beat him in a game of basketball (typically I lost) he would order me the DX 2 pack. Somehow I ended up beating him. As I asked him to go order it, I found out he already ordered it before the game.
He did not have to buy me the Classic Superstars. Deep down I think he wanted to buy them for me because he knew they meant a lot to me. We had so many great memories going out to stores, some even an hour away just to go look for the new Classics. Between collecting, going going to wrestling and going to Cleveland sporting events (mainly watching the Browns lose), I wouldn’t trade these memories for anything in the world.
DTF: Where do you see the evolution of figures in the next 5 years?
AG: Man, I’m not sure. I like what they’re doing with the Ultimate Edition figures with the interchangeable heads, arms, and accessories. I always thought it would be cool if they could somehow do interchangeable attires which we have seen some glimpses of with the two in one figures like the upcoming “Superstar” Billy Graham or the Stooges.
Personally, I would like to see more accessory packs like Jakks used to put out, or more playsets. Heck, even an entrance stage would be nice for all the figure photographers out there. I am looking forward to what new ideas will be coming with AEW and NJPW figures being made in addition to WWE. I like that AEW is doing 1 of 1000 and 1 of 500 chase figures. I was lucky enough to score a couple 1 of 500 Jakks figures back in the day. Regardless of what happens to the product in the future, I will always look forward to collecting.
If you would like to share your collection in an upcoming Collector Spotlight, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!