1981 Popy Super Puroresu Hulk Hogan MOC with Hogan card showing...
What a crazy night last night was. I was hanging out at home having a few drinks and watching some old wrestling on YouTube and heard my phone ding. I had a notification on my Twitter account and went to go see what it was. As soon as I opened it up I was like you have got to be kidding me!!! A collector had contacted me and posted a photo of a mint on the card 1981 Popy Hulk Hogan wrestling figure with the Hogan card showing and saying he had just got it and to educate him. I immediately responded I want it and sent him message saying I had no problem having him make money on it and made a strong offer. A lot of the nice Japanese wrestling collectibles trade on auction sites there and make their way to the U.S. This collector specializes in rare wrestling autographs and saw the item and won it and had just received it in the mail. He didn't bite on my first offer and we went back and forth for an hour or so and he wasn't jumping on it so I sent him a higher offer and said lets get this done. Once more it wasn't an immediate yes and so I was trying to send him responses to his messages but for some reason my internet connection to Twitter was awful and I said call me. I wasn't sure if he would get it and then the phone rang and it was him. We ended up chatting for awhile and discussing various hobby related items and as we were about to get off the phone after at least 45 minutes I once more said I really I need this for my collection and if you do decide to sell it at least give me a shot. We made a little more small talk and just as we were about to hang up the phone I thought I was going to sleep with out buying it he said I tell you what if you will send me this number it is yours. I said done and got his information and fired off the funds. It spent one day in NJ and now it is on its way to Orlando!!!
A little background on this item. At the end of 2013 a thread was started about the wrestling cards from the Popy figures. Each figure comes with I believe seven cards and the figure is to the left and their card is in the pack to the right. When the thread was first started it was debatable if Hogan had a card because he is the only figure in the set that doesn't have him on the front all of the time and no photos were available online with one. In his place for some reason is Mil Mascaras. A few days later it was indeed confirmed that Hogan had a card and Rob (WCK) had tracked down some figures from Japan with a Hogan showing and he busted his open and then got his Hogan Popy card graded shortly after. Fast forward five plus years later and I still don't own a copy! I had a shot to win the first one ever listed on EBAY as a single last year and put in what I thought was a strong bid of $1,000 and was toppled for close to $1,100. So far PSA has only graded four of them and no one truly knows why there are so few. The 1981 Popy wrestling figures are the first made wrestling action figures and feature some of the most famous U.S. based stars that were wrestling in Japan. For those not familiar Hulk Hogan spent a lot of time in Japan in the early 80's and debuted there in May of 1980 and gained significant fame while working there. In the middle of 1981 he was really making head way in the AWA and he was making big bucks off his Japanese merchandise and at some point him and Vern Gagne had a big dispute over it. Once again it is unknown why this card is so much more rare than others from the set and it seems to be the case with his 1982 Cosmos card as well so it may have something to do with money. We can speculate all we want but so far no real evidence exists. When you do Google searches and read forums talking about figures most do not even realize Hogan has a figure with his card showing.
I am beyond thrilled to be adding this item to my collection. I think it is not only one of the marquee wrestling collectables that exist but a tremendous investment item. In a few days I will now finally own a copy of Hogan's first produced card on card stock and what most advanced wrestling collectors call his rookie card. The rarity is truly off the charts. I will indeed have to keep searching for another copy because it is just not wise to crack this out of the case at this point. I did that with many LJN figures I purchased in the past and they have skyrocketed in value and while I don't regret it I certainly killed off value. This is too special of a piece to do that and will easily be one of the best items in my collection. I literally had a hard time going to bed last night because of so much excitement. The item is being shipped today and I will have it in a few days. Here is the pic from Twitter and I will update when I get it. I may get it signed. I may get it graded or buy one of the protective cases. I will make that decision at some point. The backer card is bent and you can see the Hogan is twisted a little in the bubble so not sure if grading is the right way to go. I will just have to do some more research on that front. The figures are wildly popular and when a Hogan shows up on EBAY loose it is snatched up in no time. This right here is what makes collecting fun. You never give up and you keep moving forward and sometimes you real in the big fish. I can't wait to get this in hand!