A lot of collectors probably don't realize just how big the wrestling market is in the action figure industry. The figures take up huge swaths of toy aisles across the world, and took up a huge chunk of Mattel's display room at Toy Fair 2013.
Of course most collectors either collect wrestling figures almost exclusively or don't collect them at all. There simply isn't a lot of crossover, which is a real shame, because Mattel is putting out some extremely solid WWE figures with regularity these days. Anyone who is a fan of Masters of the Universe Classics or any of Mattel's DC Comics lines will find a lot of similarity in style and substance to the wrestling figures they're constantly pumping out. For someone like me who simply enjoys figures for what they are, the world of wrestling is a huge new frontier to explore and enjoy.
Mattel's WWE collection at Toy Fair 2013 showed off its size and breadth with more figures on display than any other brand in their showroom. I'll admit that I don't hold any belts in the realm of wrestling trivia, but I sure enjoyed wrestling figures as a kid, and Mattel has this collector pinned on the mat right now. I might have to pick up a random figure here and there to quench any lingering wrestling cravings from my childhood. Just take a look at how cool some of these figures are!
As collectors we often complain about rising price points, constant repaints and redecos, and the lack of character diversity in many lines. But Mattel's WWE figures buck all of those trends in many ways. The basic figures have remained pretty affordable, often availfable for less than $15 at retail. There are lots of unique characters, loads of new tooling on display, and a bunch of cool accessories included with most figures. And there are just a lot of figures! It goes to show what a popular retail line can still accomplish, and almost lends creedence to many of Mattel's claims that their collector lines simply don't have the support to calm fan demands.
If you're a diehard WWE collector, don't take your line for granted. In the greater scheme of things, it's one of the most successful and promising lines in the market today. I was reminded of that fact at Toy Fair, and I might just be the newest recruit to join the ranks of WWE collectors.