Before the internet, message boards, and websites a collector often depended on the manufacturer to provide a checklist of an entire line or set. For children collecting M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in the mid-80’s the poster was the official checklist. The posters will be covered more fully in Advertising 100.
Today collectors still reference the poster numbers, but the usefulness of the poster has disappeared. The internet is full of M.U.S.C.L.E. figure images and numbers, and tools like the MUSCLE Archive Search, from Nathan’s MUSCLE Page, make identification even easier.
The poster is simply a collectible, and this auction is the ideal example of a perfect poster auction. Admittedly the poster itself is not perfect, but the seller has provided a comprehensive and realistic look at the poster with plenty of clear and useful pictures.
The greatest fault of the auction is the title, “M.U.S.C.L.E.S. flesh colored figures poster.” M.U.S.C.L.E. is labeled incorrectly, but that has always been a problem for M.U.S.C.L.E. The seller also used a little “keyword spamming.” This is a Flesh version of the poster and there are not any colored figures included on the poster or with the auction.
These minor points still do not detract from the auction. The seller is very realistic with their description of the poster:
Vintage M.U.S.C.L.E.S. poster from 1985. Overall nice condition. 26 of the stars have been blacked out. Some dents, small tears, and creases. No stains, tape residue, or pin holes. See photos for description. Poster has been rolled and will be mailed in a tube.
The seller has also avoided the red-flag phrase, “It looks good for its age.” This is often a euphemism for the seller thinking, “This thing is a total mess and they should just be happy that it still exists.”
The pictures the seller has included clearly corroborate this description. The pictures show the dents, tears, creases, and blacked-out stars.
The opening bid seems high at $24.99, but not exorbitant. This higher opening bid simply removes the initial low bids that would have easily pushed the auction into this price range. The seller also states how the poster will be shipped (rolled in a tube) and charges a realistic five dollars for shipping.
While a collector will not be buying a mint condition Flesh poster, they will know exactly what they are buying.
*Note: These were not all of the auction pictures, just a sample.
Follow-Up: The Flesh poster sold for $36.78. The opening bid was certainly high, as the price only increased ~$12.