Hulk Hogan Rookie Cards and Other Vintage Cards
Hulk Hogan Rookie Cards
Wrestling cards were not issued every year by major card companies like Topps. When considering which card is Hulk Hogan’s rookie, a good deal of judgment is required. The card we see as his best rookie is the 1982 Wrestling All Stars card #2, but some collectors would dismiss this as a minor issue set and look at the Topps cards that came a few years later as the “true” Hulk Hogan rookie cards. This post will discuss both, and a few other issues we believe can be reasonably considered Hulk Hogan rookies.
Hulk Hogan 1982 Wrestling All Stars card #2
The 1982 Wrestling All Stars Hulk Hogan rookie card #2 (series “A”) may be the most valuable wrestling card ever made. Wrestling cards were once considered a novelty, but this set has proven to be very collectible. Of all the superstars in the set, Hulk Hogan is easily the most recognizable.
In 1982 Hulk Hogan had not yet moved to the WWF (now the WWE). At the time of printing, he was a heel (the wrestling term for ‘bad guy’) who feuded with Andre the Giant, who was easily one of the most popular wrestlers of the era. But just a few years later, in 1984, Hulk Hogan’s popularity skyrocketed to an unimaginable high after he transformed into a fan favorite and won the WWF World Championship Belt. Hulk Hogan was made into toys, was featured in a Saturday morning cartoon, starred in movies, and, yes, appeared on trading cards. But there are a few reasons why this card is the most sought after Hulk Hogan by collectors:
- Mail Order Only: 1982 Wrestling All Stars cards were never available in stores. Instead, they were only available through a mail-order offer in a magazine called Wrestling News. For this reason, they are much more scarce than other sets of wrestling cards that would follow just a few years later.
- The Value of Wrestling Cards: Collectors in 1982 viewed baseball, football, and basketball cards as investments. Because of this, cards went straight from packs into protective sheets to preserve mint condition. Collectors of wrestling cards, on the other hand, didn’t usually expect the cards to be worth much money. For many, it was much less important to keep the cards in pristine condition, which makes it hard to find high-grade cards from this set.
- Pre-Hulkamania: When Hulk Hogan became a worldwide sensation it was called Hulkamania. It wasn’t just Hulk Hogan who got more popular, everything related to wrestling did. If the Wrestling All Stars cards had come out a few years later, wrestling set with a Hulk Hogan card would have attracted a lot more attention. But in 1982, he was just another wrestler who was well-known in his region but who meant nothing to fans in other parts of the country. For that reason, fans and collectors did not order this set in large numbers.
1982 Wrestling All Stars Set Details
The 1982 Wrestling All Stars set is generally regarded as one of the best wrestling sets ever made. It has 2 series (A and B) that each contain 36 cards. In addition to Hulk Hogan, Series A featured Ric Flair, Andre the Giant, and Bruno Sammartino. The B series didn’t have quite the same star power as the A series but did have some huge stars including Ricky Steamboat, Sargent Slaughter, and The Iron Sheik.
1982 Wrestling All Stars card #2 Details
- Year: 1982
- Manufacturer: Topps
- Series: Wrestling All Stars
- Series: A
- Card no: #2 of 36
- Name on Card: Hulk Hogan
- Home: Venice Beach, California
Front of the card
The front of the Hulk Hogan 1982 Wrestling All Stars card (#2) has a clean and simple layout. The card has a yellow border and a photo of a young Hulk Hogan on the front inside of a white shape that is similar to a shield or crest. The text “Wrestling All Stars” appears above Hogan’s head, and his name appears at the bottom of the front below his photo. Hulk Hogan would have been in his late 20s in this photo. His hairline is receding, but he has more hair than he did in his WWE wrestling prime.
Shop for the 1982 Wrestling All Stars Hulk Hogan card #2 on eBay (affiliate link)
Back of the card
The back of the Hulk Hogan 1982 Wrestling All Stars card (#2) card has a horizontal layout. The card number is in the upper-left corner inside a circle. The card has a very simple layout that consists of only text and a few colors with no graphic elements. The name “Hulk Hogan” appears at the top of the card and his home city, Venice Beach, California, is listed below. A bio takes up the middle of the card with copyright information at the bottom.
The incredible Hulk Hogan along with Andre The Giant is among the foremost of the super heavyweight class of professional wrestlers. He has one of the most impressive physiques in the sport and is extremely devoted to training. At different points in his career, his affairs have been handled by managers Fred Blassie and Johnny Valiant. His stiffest competition in recent years has come from Andre the Giant in a series of celebrated ring duels.1982 Wrestling All Stars Series “A” #2
Hulk Hogan Rookie Card Value
The Hulk Hogan “rookie” card is one of the most valuable wrestling cards ever made. The chart below was pulled from the PSA website on 10/24/2021. It shows prices for the Hulk Hogan 1982 Wrestling All Stars card.
Keep in mind that prices fluctuate. While PSA is a great way to find out the value of a card, we recommend going to eBay to see what cards are currently selling for on the world’s most popular auction site. Click here to view current auctions for the 1982 Wrestling All Stars Hulk Hogan rookie card #2.
Other Relevant Hulk Hogan Cards
The 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A card #2 is the most sought-after Hulk Hogan card. However, because it was a mail-order card from an obscure manufacturer, it’s pretty common to consider some of his other cards from the more mainstream 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars set as rookies. It should also be mentioned that there was an O-Pee-Chee version of this set released in Canada that was essentially identical other than the trademark.
There are also a few cards that predate the 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A card #2. One is hand-cut card from the Wrestling All Stars magazine and the other came with a Japanese wrestling action figure. Both are obscure and extremely rare.
Here are the other Hulk Hogan cards you should know about:
1981 Wrestling Superstars Hulk Hogan
The 1981 Wrestling Superstars Hulk Hogan card came in an issue of Wrestling Superstars magazine. The card was on a piece of cardboard that was stapled in the magazine and had to be removed and had cut along the border. This one is extremely rare and even more difficult to find in great condition because the staple usually crossed over the border of the card.
Shop for the 1981 Wrestling Superstars Hulk Hogan on eBay (rare) (affiliate link)
1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars Hulk Hogan #1
The Hulk Hogan card #1 from the 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars set is one of two premier cards to have in this set because it is considered Hulk Hogan’s “singles” card. It has a photo of “the Hulkster” holding his championship belt in front of a yellow background. But if you can’t get this card, there is another card in the set that has an almost identical look and value. If you consider the 1982 Wrestling All Stars card too obscure to be his rookie, then this one is.
Shop for the Topps Pro Wrestling Stars Hulk Hogan card #1 on eBay (affiliate link)
1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars Hulk Hogan #16
The Hulk Hogan card #16 from the 2985 Topps Pro Wrestling stars card is the other premier card. The front of the card uses the same photo but has a greenish-blue background instead of yellow. Instead of a bio on the back, this card has “World Wrestling Federation Champion” in large letters. It would be fair to consider this a Hulk Hogan rookie if you conclude that the 1982 Wrestling All Stars card is too obscure or “fringe.”
Shop for the 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars Hulk Hogan #16 (affiliate link)
1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars – Other Hulk Hogan Cards
The 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars set was created at a time when Hulk Hogan was incredibly popular. For this reason, there are a lot of Hulk Hogan cards in the set. Here are a few of our favorites. You will frequently see these cards listed as “rookie” cards.
Shop for cards from the 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars set on eBay (affiliate link)
1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars – Hulk Hogan Stickers
Every pack of 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars cards came with a sticker. Again, because of the popularity of Hulk Hogan, there were a lot of different stickers with his likeness. You will see these sometimes listed as rookies. For that to be accurate a collector must first conclude that the 1982 Wrestling All Stars card is too obscure and must also be willing to count a sticker as a rookie. It does appear that sticker #1 is a little more valuable than the others.
Shop for stickers from the 1985 Topps Pro Wrestling Stars set on eBay (affiliate link)
Hulk Hogan’s Legacy
Hulk Hogan is one of the most popular wrestlers who has ever lived. He parlayed his in-ring popularity into a successful career in moves and television acting as well as multiple reality TV shows. When listing a person’s accomplishments in a “sport” that admits it is scripted for entertainment purposes it’s just as important to mention the awards given for entertaining fans as it is the championship belts. You’ll see in the list below that Hulk Hogan was both loved and hated — and ranks very highly on lists of single wrestlers during one of professional wrestling’s most popular runs. Here’s a list of some of Hulk Hogan’s accomplishments:
- 2 time Royal Rumble Winner
- 6 time WWF/WWE World Champion
- 1 time WWE Tag Team Champion
- 2 time PWI Most Hated Wrestler of the Year (1996, 1998)
- 3 time PWI Most Popular Wrestler of the Year (1985, 1989, 1990)
- 3 time PWI Wrestler of the Year (1987, 1991, 1994)
- Ranked No. 1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 1991
- Ranked No. 1 of the top 500 singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003
- Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 (as individual)
- Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2020 (a member of NWO)
- Class of 2021 inductee into the International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
Get Your Hulk Hogan Rookie
Do you want to own a 1982 Hulk Hogan Wrestling All Stars Rookie (#2)? If so, we recommend starting your search on eBay – the world’s #1 card trading place. Even if you’re not planning to buy one just yet, it’s fun to look at all the great cards currently for sale.
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All About Hulk Hogan Rookies Infographic
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