Updated: Aug 23, 2020
DTF: How did you start collecting?
DV: I went through a divorce in early 2016. I needed a hobby to keep my mind off of the things going on in my personal life. The first thing I started collecting was Funko Pops and at the same time I was getting two different wrestling crates each month. In one crate I got a Big E figure and from there I decided to get back into collecting wrestling figures. I had a ton of figures growing up that I handed down to my nephews as they started to get older and into wrestling. About 8 or 9 months after getting back into the hobby, I discovered Fully Poseable and the #FigLife community and I have been fully invested ever since.
DTF: What all do you collect (just wrestling or other areas, figures, memorabilia, cards, etc.)?
DV: As I got back into collecting I was very heavy into the Funko Pops and wrestling figures, and as time went on I also started to collect horror figures and memorabilia as well as Wonder Woman figures. My figure room in my basement is fully dedicated to my wrestling collection, my office is filled with my horror collection and my guest bedroom is where I keep my Wonder Woman items displayed.
DTF: What is one wrestling figure you want, that is not yet in your collection?
DV: If you would’ve asked me this question a week ago it would’ve been the Straight Edge Society exclusive CM Punk elite from Mattel. I was blessed to have the community get that figure for me as an amazing birthday gift and I am still in shock to now own that figure. Two others that come to mind are the 1/100 Eddie Guerrero Jakks Classic Superstars figure as well as the Rey Mysterio/Eddie Guerrero Halloween Havoc two pack also from Jakks. Eddie is one of my all time favorite wrestlers and that match will always be top 5 all time in my opinion. Seeing that match I instantly fell in love with both guys and I was hooked on the Cruiserweight division that WCW had on display each week.
DTF: What figure do you have that you never thought you would get?
DV: I could also go with the SES CM Punk for this answer but the other that immediately comes to mind is the LJN Ultimate Warrior. My first main goal when I got back into collecting was to get all of the Ultimate Warrior figures that had been made since he was my first favorite wrestler as a kid. The LJN is extremely hard to come by and I was lucky enough to buy a lot through a mutual friend last year and that figure was a part of it, and in great condition as well!
DTF: What is your favorite figure in your collection?
DV: This one is easy because I don’t think any figure I get in the future will ever be able to top it. The Undertaker is my all time favorite performer. I’ve been mesmerized since the first time I remember seeing him as a three year old kid back in 1991. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to meet him in Niagra Falls in June of 2019. The whole experience was something I will never forget. I met Hova and we waited in line together for almost 3 hours just talking figures, our collections, fun #Legwork stories and talking wrestling in general. That dude is an absolute legend by the way. The day we met him was two days after the debacle with Goldberg in Saudi Arabia so I was very nervous as to the mood he would be in and if it would be a good experience or not. We got the autograph first and I had him sign the 1996 Survivor Series Defining Moments figure. I handed the figure to his handler, he looked at it for a second, signed it, gave a half smile and that was it. I was like “oh no he’s not happy to be here”. We then went and got in line for the photo op and while we were in line we were told no small talk, no handshakes, that you would have about ten seconds to take the photo and be on your way. So I was kinda disappointed, but once it was my turn I walk up to him, he puts his hand out to shake mine, thanked me for being there and I was blown away. The Undertaker was thanking me?! It became at that moment the perfect day and one I will never forget. That figure will always be the crown jewel of my collection.
DTF: MOC or loose and why?
DV: My collection is a mixture of both MOC and loose. To me it depends on the series first and foremost. The Jakks Classic figures in that amazing packaging will always be something that stays MOC. Same for the Defining Moments which is my favorite series of all time. My biggest accomplishment in collecting has been completing that set. For older guys that have passed away and I will never have the chance to keep MOC and get autographed, I will display those loose. Also if I have multiple figures of the same wrestler, I will open and display. So I would say that my collection is probably 50/50.
DTF: What is the best deal you have ever gotten on a figure?
DV: When I really got back into the hobby full go, I was really trying to fill my collection with some of my favorite superstars. One of those guys is Ravishing Rick Rude. I happened to be at my local flea market and a vendor there had his Unmatched Fury figure there MOC and in great condition. There was no price on it so I asked how much he wanted for it and he told me he had been bringing that with him every weekend to the flea market for probably two years and no one had ever bought it. He told me 3 bucks and my jaw just about hit the floor. So I’m not sure that I will ever be able to top that STEAL.
DTF: Do you have a favorite #Legwork store/website?
DV: Well it’s gonna be hard to top doingthefavor.com and the #Legwork section, but I have two local toy shops within about 10 minutes of my house that I have purchased dozens of figures from, and not just wrestling. I always try to support small businesses and I’ve always found great deals at those types of stores. We also have a bunch of stores in Ohio called The Exchange and many times you can find some really good deals on wrestling figures.
DTF: Is there a #Legwork experience that stands out as a favorite, or your most memorable?
DV: Our Ohio Players meetup in Columbus where we went to Big Fun. To finally meet Barry and have so many of us there doing what we love to do which is looking for figures was just such a memorable experience and one that I will always remember.
DTF: Where do you see the evolution of figures in the next 5 years?
DV: I think you can start to see the boom in the wrestling figure industry right now with so many companies either entering the mix or continuing to put out great products. I think the AEW figures as well as the NJPW figures from Jazwares and Super 7 are gonna be game changers. Competition in any industry is good because it brings out the best in each company and I think in the next few years we are gonna see everyone really continuing to try and outdo themselves with each new wave. I really think that this current day is the best time to be a wrestling figure collector, because we have so many options. Hopefully the pandemic pricing will calm down soon, but I really truly believe the future is bright for this amazing hobby.
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