There are times when it is difficult to select items for Auction Watch. It feels as if the same handful of sellers are listing the same ridiculous auctions with a random sprinkling of nearly identical auctions filling-out the rest of the M.U.S.C.L.E. offerings.
And then a seller makes it easy.
Collectors across hobbies have varying opinions regarding graded items. Regardless of the opinions of collectors, it is fair to say that M.U.S.C.L.E. items have been largely left ungraded. Perhaps the most famous graded M.U.S.C.L.E. items were the two Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Rings offered by Cloud City Collectibles and left unsold for several years.
The first auction, 1985 MATTEL M.U.S.C.L.E WRESTLERS 4 PACK MOC AFA 85 , features an AFA graded 4-pack. The auction description is incredibly boisterous and oddly predictive:
WELCOME TO ANOTHER SUPER AUCTION FROM STIRLOSVINTAGETOYS….THIS WEEK UP FOR AUCTION IS THE SUPER HARD TO FIND AND ULTRA RARE 1985 MATTEL M.U.S.C.L.E MINIATURE WRESTLERS 4 PACK WITH ASSORTED COLOURS MOC AFA 85 [ C85 B85 F90 ]….AFA NUMBER 12857950….THESE VINTAGE GRADED M.U.S.C.L.E FIGURES ARE GETTING SUPER HARD TO FIND IN CASE FRESH CONDITION….THE PICTURES YOU SEE HERE IS WHAT THE WINNING BIDDER WILL GET….THIS IS A SUPER INVESTMENT….THE WINNING BIDDER IS TO PAY VIA PAYPAL WITHIN 3 DAYS FROM THE END OF THE AUCTION….SHIPPING FOR THIS ITEM IS WORLDWIDE AND THE WINNING BIDDER ALSO IS TO PAY THE FULL AMOUNT FOR SHIPPING [ COMBINE ITEMS FROM MY OTHER AUCTIONS TO SAVE ON SHIPPING COSTS ]….STIRLOSVINTAGETOYS WILL ALSO ONLY CHARGE THE SHIPPING COSTS IN WHICH THE POST OFFICE QUOTES ME FOR EACH ITEM WON / ITEMS WON [ NO EXTRA ]….ASK ME FOR SHIIPING COSTS BEFORE THE END OF THE AUCTION TO SAVE ON TIME….PLEASE CHECK OUT MY OTHER AUCTIONS FOR THIS WEEK [ ALL AUCTIONS ARE STARTING AT THE SUPER LOW $0.01 US ]….NO RESERVE….EVERY SUPER HARD TO FIND FIGURE MUST SELL AND ALL ARE IN CASE FRESH PERFECT CONDITION….
It is difficult to point out the most outlandish statement; however it probably comes down to one of these three:
1. …UP FOR AUCTION IS THE SUPER HARD TO FIND AND ULTRA RARE 1985 MATTEL M.U.S.C.L.E MINIATURE WRESTLERS 4 PACK…
2. THESE VINTAGE GRADED M.U.S.C.L.E FIGURES ARE GETTING SUPER HARD TO FIND IN CASE FRESH CONDITION
3. THIS IS A SUPER INVESTMENT
While the auction description might be outlandish, the seller has a very enticing starting bid. However, the listed shipping price of $0.01 is especially troubling. Especially since the seller states:
SHIPPING FOR THIS ITEM IS WORLDWIDE AND THE WINNING BIDDER ALSO IS TO PAY THE FULL AMOUNT FOR SHIPPING [ COMBINE ITEMS FROM MY OTHER AUCTIONS TO SAVE ON SHIPPING COSTS ]….STIRLOSVINTAGETOYS WILL ALSO ONLY CHARGE THE SHIPPING COSTS IN WHICH THE POST OFFICE QUOTES ME FOR EACH ITEM WON / ITEMS WON [ NO EXTRA ]….ASK ME FOR SHIIPING COSTS BEFORE THE END OF THE AUCTION TO SAVE ON TIME
The seller has the costs, which can be requested early, but does not choose to list them in the auction. This peculiar choice is only compounded by the seller’s somewhat spotty feedback as stirlosvintagetoys1975. Especially disconcerting are the several complaints about shipping.
Hopefully this auction is a good opportunity for a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector that values AFA grading. However, potential buyers should email the seller with any and all questions prior to bidding.
There are two important factors that will impact the final price of this auction. The first is that there is a second auction, by the same seller, with another AFA 85 graded 4-pack. The second is that grading a 4-pack would likely cost approximately $50. Given these factors, this auction will sell for $40.
The first featured auction may not appeal to M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors for a variety of reasons. The second auction should appeal to all M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. The auction, Custom M.U.S.C.L.E Yama-Bito Keshi 10 Pack!, features ten original figures from Halfbad Toyz – who have been featured several times recently.
The auction description states:
Up for auction today is a 10 pack of my MUSCLE Keshi figures. These toys are one of a kind, hand crafted and hand painted. They will never be reproduced.
You get 10 figures, amongst them are one of our Fruit Fighters, and a custom made glow in the dark Claw! You also get an original MUSCLE trash can to put them in.
They represent the Yama-Bito, mythical mountain creatures from Japan’s folklore. They have been painted to a high level of detail, and would go great with your MUSCLE, Monster in My Pocket or Keshi collection.
Please allow up to ten business days for delivery. Thanks!
Given the recent attention on other websites (Example #1 and Example #2), the attention here, and the fact that the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. will be bidding – it seems inappropriate (and incredibly difficult) to suggest a final auction price.
Follow-Up: The first auction, for the AFA 4-pack, sold for $72.01 which is $32.01 more than the predicted price of $40.
The second auction, for the custom M.U.S.C.L.E Yama-Bito Keshi 10 Pack, sold for $66. A final auction price was not predicted.