Auction Watch #84


Last week’s Auction Watch (#83) tried something new. A prize was offered for making five predictions – either the prize wasn’t enough and/or the task was too hard. The winner, and sole entrant, was Bill Raeth. Auction Watch contests will have to go back to the drawing board.

This week’s Auction Watch only has two auctions. However, these two auctions nicely illustrate the dichotomy of modern M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions. The first auction, m.u.s.c.l.e. complete color muscle set 1-233, represents the positive end of the M.U.S.C.L.E. auction dichotomy.

While some collectors may not be advocates for buying a complete set of figures, there would be little objection to the execution of this auction. The seller has great feedback, a $0.99 starting bid, fair shipping, and a fine auction description. This format seems to be emerging as the preferred and profitable model for knowledgeable M.U.S.C.L.E. sellers.

The uniqueness of this auction worth mention is the pictures. The first auction picture does its best to show the figures, but a single group shot of that size is very difficult to accomplish. The full size picture often has to be hosted on a website outside of eBay. This first picture’s shortcomings are rectified by a brilliant second picture. The seller has included a picture focusing on many of the most popular sculpts. This second picture could have a profoundly positive impact on the final price of the auction.

But what is a fair price for a color M.U.S.C.L.E. set? Many Flesh set auctions have struggled to sell with Buy-It-Now prices in the low-200’s. And, unless there is a Class A figure, most collectors value Color figures like Flesh figures.

The final price of the first auction will be $156.50

The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E MAN FAMILY 122 ORIGINAL ACTION FIGURES, represents the negative end of the M.U.S.C.L.E. auction dichotomy. A “negative end” that should be viewed as a positive indicator of the health of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting.

The ridiculous M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions, like this one (or this one, this one, or this one), indicate that some people recognize M.U.S.C.L.E. items are selling. Admittedly it is often auctions like Dr. Bombay, Class A figures, #153’s, or Satan Cross auctions – which require a little extra knowledge about the hobby. An uninformed seller likely just looks at the lot and thinks, “Wow, over a $100 for a few of those little things! I have those in the basement.”

They never understand something very specific has likely driven the price up.

$2.45 per figure is simply outrageous for this lot of Flesh figures. The auction description may be even more outrageous:

29 M.U.S.C.L.E MAN FAMILY ACTION FIGURES!
93 M.U.S.C.L.E MAN ACTION FIGURES!
TOTAL 122 ALL RARE!

However, these silly auctions and their silly claims are a good thing for M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. They indicate people are paying attention to the hobby. Hopefully naïve collectors aren’t duped by these sellers, but at least that would mean new collectors are entering the hobby.

The second auction will not sell.


Follow-Up: The first auction sold for $128.49, which was $28.01 less than the predicted price of $156.50.

1st Auction
Final Screen Shot


As predicted, the second auction did not sell.

2nd Auction
Final Screen Shot

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  1. #1 by Leitmotiv on October 27th, 2011

    Do you ever go out of your way to inform these sellers of their atrocious prices and why they’re atrocious?

  2. #2 by vette88 on October 27th, 2011

    Awesome. Thanks for the figure!! I know I was wayyyyyyyy off on the Claw auction. I didn’t think it would go for that much. Wow.

  3. #3 by Chad Perry on October 27th, 2011

    Leitmotiv :

    Do you ever go out of your way to inform these sellers of their atrocious prices and why they’re atrocious?

    No. I already have enough responsibilities.

    There were quite a few collectors that used to do that years ago. And sellers were almost never happy to receive the feedback.

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on October 27th, 2011

    vette88 :

    Awesome. Thanks for the figure!!

    My pleasure!

  5. #5 by vette88 on October 27th, 2011

    The full color auction seems about right I guess. I was thinking $.85 – $1. I’m probably high.

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