Hey there, how’s it going? So I guess if you made it this far you’re interested in reading some guy’s opinion on WWE’s contribution to the POP! world, right? Well, we have something in common! I’m glad we got that out of the way, introductions can be so awkward. I’m more of a, “let’s get down to business” kind of person, soooo….
WWE fans and POP! collectors alike have a lot to love with this series of pops, after all what is there not to love about taking the biggest, baddest, toughest competitors in the WWE and shrinking them down to small, adorable, collectibles. At times it can be difficult to decide where to begin, but luckily for us POP! gave WWE a dedicated series so we’ll just jump in with #1.
01 John Cena
Pop Price Guide Value: $10 – $120
I suppose to anyone familiar with WWE, this does not really come as a surprise. That’s right, the series is lead off by none other than The Face of the WWE, the only man to my knowledge to hold a PHD in Thuganomics, yes The Prototype himself, John Cena.
Over the course of time, there have been a total of four Cenation Leader variations. This particular version pictured above was only available to lucky fans attending WWE Live events and according to poppriceguide.com, is the most valuable at $135. As with the real-life John Cena, you can count on consistency, hat, wrist bands, headband worn around bicep, shorts/jorts, sneakers, dog tags, flying shoulder-block, sit-out hip toss, side-release spin-out power-bomb, Five Knuckle Shuffle , Attitude Adjustment, 1-2-3, your new 17-time WWE Champ.
02 CM Punk
Pop Price Guide Value: $75 – $185
Fittingly enough at #2 is the Second City Saint and Cena’s Best in the World Rival, CM Punk. The first WWE Pop! I ever received, gifted to me by my loving wife, who had no idea what sort of monster she had unleashed. She knew that CM Punk was my favorite wrestler (is that ok? I really don’t care for the term sports entertainer) and that I had often looked at various brands of POP! Vinyls while we were out and about. Little did she know, my latent “Got to catch them all” phase from late 90’s Pokemon would reemerge and take over a large portion of our den.
We were treated to two different versions of Punk. One widely available at most retailers (black trunks, black boots, trimmed with Chicago stars) and the Hot Topic Exclusive Punk in pink trunks (really, what says Hot Topic more than bright pastels). Much to my chagrin, in the early days of my POP! collecting, I did not understand the importance these various variations. I saw 02 on both packages and considered that a box checked. Later, my POP! Obi Wan (hi Matt!) dropped the “pipe bomb” of the increased values of exclusives. While I love my standard CM Punk from my wife (valued at a respectable $80), I kick myself for not picking up that Hot Topic Exclusive (valued at $165) at the Cross Roads Mall in Beckley, WV that afternoon.
03 The Rock
Pop Price Guide Value: $34
The People’s Champ makes his *spoiler* initial appearance at number 3. I have to say, when I see Cena, Punk and my Rock pops together I can’t help but to think how great a triple threat match with these three guys would have been at Wrestlemania 29. Don’t get me wrong, I consider the Punk/Taker match to be the third best Undertaker Wrestlemnia match but how good of main even could this have been?
I think there are individuals who just lend themselves into being made into a POP!. CM Punk, good looking POP!, Rey Mysterio…well now we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The Rock, I don’t know, just not a great looking pop (this version anyway). POP! WWE 03 is your standard return Rock, bald, tattooed, and the trade marked brama bull. I will give credit where credit is due and say the tattoo work on this pop is really nice and a great detail. Our friends over at poppriceguide.com have this entry valued at $36, I’m really glad I found this in the “bargain bin” at Wal-Mart for $3.50.
Pop Price Guide Value: $35
So we’re given Cena, CM Punk, The Rock the next logical entry is of course…Sheamus? Don’t get me wrong, I think Sheamus will be a Hall of Famer but if you’re playing, “which of these is not like the other?” you have your answer with 04 (and wait till you see 05).
Aside from seeming very out of place with this release, something else really did not feel right with this pop. The complexion of the pop is not nearly pale enough. If you are familiar with Sheamus (especially circa 2013 when this was created) the guy is really pale. The pop Sheamus has nearly the same skin color as Cena. I guess this just really bugs me considering the amount of detail Funko will pay to getting minute tattoo details correct but Sheamus isn’t pale? C’mon! Even with this glaring lapse of attention to detail, this guy comes in valued at $32.
05 Stone Cold Steve Austin
Pop Price Guide Value: $16 – $22
*Glass Breaks* Making his entry at #5 is the most popular superstar of all time Stone Cold Steve Austin. We were given two versions of Austin the standard bald, goateed, black vest with Austin down one side and a Skull with 3:16 below on the other, black trunks, black knee braces, and black booted toughest SOB on the planet that we all know and love. Gamestop was awarded the exclusive for the Rattlesnake, giving us a goateed, black vest with Austin down one side and a Skull with 2k16 below on the other, black trunks, black knee braces, and black booted toughest SOB on the planet we all know and love.
Austin’s pops are among my favorites in the WWE series. Something about those dark eyes and the way the eye brows were painted give this guy and intimidating look that I would like to think The Rattlesnake would approve. What he may not approve of is the low value of his pops. These pops suffer from over abundance, especially the exclusive at $14, barely besting its retail listing. This is a rare instance of the standard holding a higher value than the exclusive at $25 (once again thank you poppriceguide.com).
So brings an end to our introduction to POP! WWE and a look at the first five characters. While there are a couple characteristics I think are a miss, I have to say the versions I have of each of these vinyls are a solid contribution to my collection. What do you think? Please feel free to let me know @chuckonwrestling on Twitter. A big thanks to The Good Brother’s for giving me an outlet to share two of my many joys in life, pops and wrestling.