The first auction, MUSCLE MEN by Matel Inc. 1985 Lot of 269 with poster, is most interesting because of its starting price, size, and poster. The M.U.S.C.L.E. poster is arguably the most unpredictable M.U.S.C.L.E. item regarding price. The poster prices fluctuate even more than the quality of posters that come up for auction.
Because of this factor it could make the lot of figures either very attractive or totally laughable to a collector. The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. would probably be classified in the latter category because of the severely damaged nature of the poster.
Even with 269 figures and a poster (in almost any condition) the $230 opening bid price is incredibly high. If the seller, cindycole58, had a long-standing track record it might cause collectors to be a bit more optimistic about the condition of the 269 figures. However, they do not. It might also reassure collectors if the auction description did not read as if it was trying to avoid responsibility when the seller is disappointed. But it does:
Muscle men are in good condition with no missing limbs. If there are any duplicates I don’t know which they are. I spread them all out and I couldn’t tell. Some of them have scuffing on them from either age or playing with them. It might be able to be cleaned off.
Even if an impassioned and impatient collector came across this auction it seems unlikely that a price could be assigned to the poster which would make the opening bid attractive. This auction will not receive any bids and will not sell. It will be very interesting to see if the auction is relisted and what the new opening bid becomes.
The second auction, CUSTOM Freddy Krueger M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Figure Muscle, is interesting because of its current price. Auction Watch #55 featured several custom creations by Muscle_Things (Alec). The average price of the figures was $12.51, and the actual price of an identical figure was $15.50.
While there isn’t anything wrong with this auction, it raises the issue of sustainability with custom M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. While M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors have benefitted from an utter explosion of custom figures (at least by M.U.S.C.L.E. standards), it is important the artists creating these figures reap the rewards. It would be nice if artists were driven solely by the intrinsic desire to create figures. However, for many of them the monetary gain is also important – and in some cases most important.
That is one of the main reasons why the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. is starting The School Store – 100% of the sales go to the artist. There are already a few artists aware of this arrangement, and a more formal announcement will be coming soon.
With the current price already 50.9% higher than the original sale price, it makes it incredibly difficult to predict a final price. The final price of this auction will be $26.75 (which would be a 72.6% increase from the original sale price).
The third auction, LOT 147 VINTAGE M.U.S.C.L.E. MEN FIGURES ! rare muscle, is also interesting for only one reason – the potential inclusion of the Non-Poster Alpha figure Chain Man.
The simplest explanation for the appearance of this figure is that it is some type of Japanese Kinnikuman figure. The coloring seems a bit off and the sheen is not quite right. However the auction states:
THIS AUCTION IS FOR A LOT OF 147 M.U.S.C.L.E. FIGURES!
THESE TOYS HAVE BEEN PLAYED WITH BUT THEY ARE STILL IN GOOD CONDITION (some are better than others so please see pictures, items pictured are the exact items you will receive).
SOME OF THEM MAY SHOW MINOR TO MODERATE SIGNS OF PLAYWEAR (ie. minor scuffs and/or discoloration) BUT NONE OF THEM ARE DAMAGED OR CHEWED ON, AND THERE ARE ONLY A FEW DOUBLES IN THIS LOT (see pics).
The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. has already contacted the seller, droids_dungeon, to ask about the specific Chain Man figure. As stated before, it is most likely a Kinnikuman figure. Even if the figure is a Kinnikuman figure he lot is still quite attractive.
However given the feedback of droids_dungeon and the apparent error of omission, some bidders will be apprehensive about this auction. The final price of this auction will be $88.25.
UPDATE: This message was just recieved from the seller,
hi. yes, the flesh-colored spagetti-looking figure is indeed made of a softer type of plastic than the majority. it feels more like rubber than plastic, and that one is also lighter in color. in this lot there are a few other figures that are like this (made of a softer type of rubber or plastic than the rest).
Follow-Up:As predicted, the first auction did not receive any bids and did not sell. There is not any evidence that suggests the auction has been relisted.
The second auction sold for $23.39, which is $3.36 less that the predicted price of $26.75.
The third auction sold for $162.50, which is a stunning $74.25 more that the predicted price of $88.25.