The first auction highlights the passion and desire of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting. The auction, Vintage M.U.S.C.L.E. Wrestling Figures – Over 90 Figs!, was actually submitted to the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. by Jason Speth. He noted that the #186 figure appears to be similar to his #186 missing both hands.
Overall the first auction looks like a pretty routine mix of approximately 90 mixed figures. The two most desirable figures in the lot are probably the Dark Blue #153 and the #186 that appears to be missing both hands. However, based on the picture alone it is very difficult to differentiate between a Manufacturing Error Figure #186 and a mutilated #186. Given that a similar error has been discovered before, it certainly increases the likelihood that the #186 is an authentic manufacturing error.Sadly, the greatest deterrent in this auction is probably the seller, scout098. The two negatives and one neutral are from collector specific auctions and had final prices of more than a few dollars. Very disconcerting when making a purchase of a collectible item from this seller.
Regardless, this auction will sell. The questions that need to be answered when suggesting a final price are:
1. Does any collector put added value on the #186?
And if the answer is yes, then:
2. What kind of value do they place on it?
The answers are probably yes and no more than a maximum of $15~$20. The final price of this auction will be $69.50 (he he, sixty-nine).
The second auction highlights the name calling.
When this figure was originally listed it featured a starting bid of $4,500 and a Buy-It-Now price of $8,000. Those prices are certainly astronomical. However, the seller, through his own admission, needs the money for personal reasons and wanted to insure the figure would not be sold at too low of a price.
The seller then reconsidered and adjusted the starting bid and Buy-It-Now price. The new starting bid is $1,100 with a Buy-It-Now price of $4,000.The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. does not believe the Alpha Non-Poster figures are worth anywhere near that amount of money. Admittedly, the current price of Alpha Non-Poster figures appear to be in that neighborhood based on the nost recent private sales.
The auction description does not offer much information, but that is unnecessary with this auction. The vast majority of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are fully aware of the provenance of this figure and its history with the current seller, doc_moore_j. The seller’s eBay feedback is spotless, and he has a long history as a member of the Littlerubberguys.com message board – also as doc_moore_j.
The questions that surrounds this auction have very little to do with the seller or even the figure. The questions focus on the behavior of the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. Will this auction run its course without distrust, fear, frustration, and anger? The likely answer is, “no.”
An Alpha Non-Poster figure has not sold without collective collector upheaval since approximately 2004. Based on the level of discontent level of discontent and “name calling” that has already surfaced, there can be hope that the rest of the auction is handled with far more mature conduct.
This auction will sell because there will be at least one collector unable to pass up the opportunity to own an Alpha Non-Poster figure. The mystery lies in whether there will be, at least, another collector that is willing to drive the price higher.
This auction will sell for $1,850.
Follow-Up: The first auction sold for $83, which is $13.50 more than the predicted price of $69.50. One still has to wonder what the specific impacts of the Manufacturing Error figure and Dark Blue #153 were on the final price.
The second auction sold for $1,202.77, which is $647.23 less than the predicted price of $1,850.