Wrestling aficionado amasses huge memorabilia collection
Jason Langille’s shelves lined with hundreds of action figures, photos and more
He caught the pro wrestling bug during the entertainment genre’s explosion in popularity in the mid-1980s and has been collecting memorabilia ever since.
Jason Langille has a collection that would be the envy of any pro wrestling aficionado. You can find action figures and pictures – many autographed – literally all over his Black Rock home. Some rooms have shelves from floor to ceiling filled with collectibles. Although he has all sorts of other sports and entertainment memorabilia, there is no question that the collection centres on pro wrestling.
“I was always big into Marvel comics. I was always big into collecting cards and that but wrestling really is what I enjoyed the most,” Langille said.
Although he has never taken the time to gather all of his wrestling action figures together to get an accurate count, a simple look around will tell you that Langille owns hundreds of them, many in duplicate or triplicate. He said he’s never costed out the collection because he’d probably scare himself.
You can hear the excitement in Langille’s voice as he talks about his collection and reminisces about pro wrestling’s storied past and stars. He recalls looking on in awe as a five-year-old boy when he saw one of his all-time favourites, “The Eighth Wonder of the World” Andre The Giant, live at the old Berwick Arena in the late 1970s.
At 7’4” and weighing almost 500 pounds at the time, the giant stepped in over the top rope, reached up and touched the arena lights.
“Seeing him certainly had an impact on me to become a wrestling fan,” Langille said.
His love of wrestling was cemented with the World Wrestling Federation’s expansion, explosion in popularity and mass marketing of LJN action figures and Coliseum home videos. This began following Hulk Hogan winning the world heavyweight championship in January 1984. Suddenly, the WWF (now WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment) was accessible to anyone with a VCR or who wanted to take the action home in the form of rub- ber wrestling figures.
Langille’s grandmother gave him a Hulk Hogan action figure that Christmas and his obsession with collecting the solid rubber grapplers was born. He said his favourite memory associated with collecting was when his grandmother gave him a Tito Santana for Christmas a couple of years later. Langille wonders what his grandmother would think if she were still alive today to see what his collection has grown into.
Langille said collecting brought him a lot of happiness as a child and his inner child still loves it. His passion has rubbed off on his son and daughter, particularly his son Tyler. They go to the shows whenever wrestling comes to the Valley – or anywhere else within reasonable driving distance.
Langille has a whack of autographed photos and other memorabilia of wrestling stars from the past four decades. Some people don’t understand how he was able to meet so many top stars but most of them wrestled in the area at some point and Langille met them in person at the arenas.
He said promoter Emile Dupree of Grand Prix Wrestling fame and his predecessors don’t get enough credit for starting this trend of bringing top stars from around the world to the Maritimes to perform. It’s a practice that today’s Maritime promotions, including Ultimate Championship Wrestling and Victory Championship Wrestling Can-Am, have continued.
Wrestling memorabilia collector Jason Langille of Black Rock with what is perhaps his favourite item: a 16-inch posable Hulk Hogan figure from the mid 1980s. He now has three of them in his collection.
Some of wrestling memorabilia collector Jason Langille’s wrestling figures. The two top shelves are mainly filled with eight-inch solid rubber LJN figures produced between 1984 and 1989.