The Best Hulk Hogan Rookie Cards to Collect 

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To any ‘HULKAMANIACS and jabronie marks’ interested in checking out the best Hulk Hogan rookie cards, here’s everything you need to know about his top options that were released in the early 1980s. 

Hulk Hogan is possibly the most famous wrestler of all-time, and a true pop culture icon. A star of films, reality TV, and the ring itself, he entered the International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2021. Hogas is also a two-time WWE Hall of Famer.

There’s no denying that he’s been through some tough times in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped his rarest rookie cards selling for four-figure fees. Here’s a rundown with four of the best options to collect. 

The Best Hulk Hogan Rookie Cards

You’ll have to head back over 40 years to find the first batch of licensed Hulk Hogan cards. They were released during his time with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, and the now defunct American Wrestling Association. If you’re looking for a HH WWE card, you’ll have to wait until 1985. (Some collectors consider this to be another rookie card, but he was an established name years earlier.)

4. 1982 Cosmos Hulk Hogan RC (eBay)

My personal favourite of the cards to make the list, the 1982 Cosmos Hulk Hogan RC is a lesser-known Japanese release with an understated design. The borders are full bleed, while there’s Japanese text listed vertically on the bottom right corner. It features a great action shot of the wrestler in basic black shorts, with both hands raised in the air. It can be tough to locate, and was originally issued through vending machines. They’re smaller in size compared to normal cards, and come with rounded corners. 

Check prices of 1982 Cosmos Hulk Hogan RC on eBay

3. 1981 Wrestling Superstars Hulk Hogan RC (eBay)

What about this black and white release from 1981? The Wrestling Superstars magazine is where you’ll find a smaller pre-rookie Hulk Hogan card, featuring the star perched on one knee. It notes his organization as the WWF at the bottom, while the reverse contains basic info such as his most hated opponent (Andre the Giant.) It originally came in a collection of 44 cards, and had to be hand cut. Expect to pay big bucks to add a copy to your collection.

Check prices of 1981 Wrestling Superstars Hulk Hogan RC on eBay

2. 1982 Gong Magazine Hulk Hogan RC (eBay

This perforated card had to be hand cut from a sheet, and was released with the 1982 Weekly Gong Magazine. Once again, this is a Japanese release, produced in a set of six. (It also includes boxers as well as wrestlers.) The reverse is blank, and it’s one of the easier Hogan rookie cards to find.

(Weekly Gong is a local Japanese wrestling magazine.)

Check prices of 1982 Gong Magazine Hulk Hogan RC on eBay

1. 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A Hulk Hogan RC #2 (eBay)

The top spot is reserved for Hogan’s 1982 Wrestling All Stars release. It’s fair to say that it isn’t the most inspiring design, with a close-up profile shot of the Hulkster. 

The card was only available via mail-order from The Wrestling News. However, it doesn’t have to be cut from a sheet, and some collectors prefer the US release compared to Japanese cards. You’ll be able to find copies signed by the wrestler at a later date, but we’d stick with graded copies given the sheer number of reprints on the market. 

Check prices of 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A Hulk Hogan RC on eBay

Why are Hulk Hogan rookie cards so expensive?

Hogan was able to weather a number of controversies over the years, including a racism saga that saw him removed from the WWE Hall of Fame. (Although he was later inducted for a second time in 2020.)

You have to remember, his rookie cards were released over 40 years ago, and many were distributed strangely. For example, one was found in a Japanese vending machine, while another was mail-order only. 

Hulk Hogan Rookie Cards: Final Thoughts 

Hulk Hogan’s cards from 1981 and 1982 are some of the best if you’re looking at wrestlers from the era. I can still remember his later runs, and the pops he got from the crowd despite being in his 50s. There’s clearly a market for his rarest rookie options. 

Recent reports suggest that Hogan is now walking with a cane, so there’s probably no chance of one last match. However, a representative was quick to deny this, claiming the 69-year-old was doing well after undergoing the 11th back surgery of his career.

Published by James Milin-Ashmore

Journalism gradate, freelance writer. Sports, tech, online security, collectibles.

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