Has there been a hotter topic of discussion in the wrestling figure community over these past two weeks than that of talk about AEW Unrivaled variant Chris Jericho and chase Cody? If you’ve just returned from Parts Unknown where there’s notoriously bad internet, let me catch you up.
On October 7th, Ringside Collectibles hit the collectable community with an RKO outta nowhere in the form of a surprise drop of the AEW Unrivaled 1 of 1,000 variant Chris Jericho, a week later on October 14th they did another surprise drop of the 1 of 500 chase Cody. Ringside charged a premium for the rare figures, both which sold out swift like. Naturally, not all of these went to homes of passionate collectors, some made their way to eBay selling for up to five times higher than bought for. This result was like a 2007 John Cena win, inevitable. Yet, some people were blindsided.
A common part of microeconomics is supply and demand. We all know what this is. If something has a low supply and high demand, that thing fetches a higher price. Collectors have known since February that there will only be 500 units of the Cody figure and 1,000 units of the Jericho. Unless you’re living life like a Jake Roberts/Rick Martel Wrestlemania 7 match, most of us could have guessed that there are far more than 500 – 1,000 people interested in these figures. The demand was far higher than the supply. Anyone thinking about being a completist should have known that this was going to be harder than getting Roman Reigns over as a babyface. Which is to say, very hard.
Completists are the minority anyhow. How many people buy every single Elite? How many people own every single Bone Cruncher? Every single Classic Superstar? Do they exist? Absolutely. But any completist of a line will be more than happy to tell you it wasn’t easy or cheap. Why would Unrivaled be any different, especially knowing who runs the line.
The Classic Superstar line is the most adequate line to compare the Unrivaled series to. The “Vince McMahon” of both of these lines is Jeremey Padawer. If you’re unfamiliar with that Classic Superstars, just know there are even rarer figs to come in the Unrivaled line. Classic Superstars had 1/100 figures, 1/25 figures, employee exclusives, etc. You can best believe that Padawer will employ these same tactics with the Unrivaled line. The amount of people that will be able to be true completists will be slim if this line lives for a long time.
There is a lot of frustration with the secondary market as well. It’s easy to be bummed that there are really cool figures that are out of price range. Trust me, I have a wish list full of things that will forever elude me like a WWF tItle reign for Roddy Piper. For fans of the Unrivaled series that want the line to live a long time, this is good. You’re seeing passion from fans, you’re seeing collectors help these sell out in quick time, and you’re seeing passionate collectors with a large stream of income willing to pay a premium. This is showing a lot of excitement in the line.
It’s the excitement that gets people talking too. This is a topic of conversation. The collecting world is all talking about the same thing. More eyes are on these figures because people are seeing the collectability of the line. Will it deter some people that wanted to collect every single figure? Sure, but there’s countless other lines begging for peoples money so that’s bound to happen for one reason or another. Excitement and value will drive people to the line as well.
Scalping is Thanos, it’s inevitable. We’re only a few months removed from a time where you could search eBay for toilet paper and Clorox wipes only to see them at an incredible markup. If butt wipe isn’t immune to scalpers, collectables won’t be either. It sucks. As someone that was hoping to be a completist, it’s a bummer. Yet, there are so many other places that I can put my money towards that it’s not the end of the world. It’s definitely not the end of my collection like some people are declaring.
We’re collectors. That’s what we do. Our collections are never finished. These rare figures just give us new grails to hope for, new figs to hunt for, new treasures to see. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Try not to get hung up on what you don’t have. If your collection will never be complete then there’s no reason to get worked up about what you don’t have right now.
Toying With Words is written by Corey Yuman
Corey has been a lifelong figure lover, short time “serious” collector. After attending Minnesota State University, Minnesota to pursue a creative writing degree, he’s since spent his time writing short stories, poetry, articles, and reviews. You can find more of his work on Instagram @thecoreyyumanlibrary where he nerds out about the books, movies, toys, games that he’s loving while using it as a platform to post poetry or on Twitter @coreyyuman.