Epilogue – Week of November 4th

I’ve got, what I hope is, a fun little game. Each M.U.S.C.L.E. collector has their idiosyncrasies – and the probably vary greatly from collector to collector. Some people might like the blue specks from 4-packs, others may hate them. Some collectors may love clearance stickers, and others may hate those. But I would be willing to bet that when you look at a M.U.S.C.L.E. auction you have some almost subconscious habits, or some things that you tend to notice first – no matter what.

I had an odd self-awareness of my habits when I looked at this auction. So I encourage you to check it out too!

What are the first things you notice? My answer is at the bottom of the Epilogue; please share your observations in the Comments section.

If I see you on stage with this, just know that I am coming to punch you in the face.
Poor kid, his dad’s a stupid asshole. $45.99 plus $27.80 shipping?!?!
Not too long ago, we had never seen this – now we always see this.
“LOOK CLOSELY..SEVERAL HARDER TO FIND MUSCLE MEN” You don’t have to look at all.
Terrible, terrible, terrible, like the warp.
“Very RARE” and #180 at the forefront, is this the perfect auction?
Magenta #135 – Class A.
Purple #77 – Class A.
Purple #106 – Class A
Red #116 – Class A.
Purple #1 – Class A (or the only one people will actually care about).
Ok, 62 color figures.
Who doesn’t like a little Sunshine?
– What is more tired? Satan Cross or #153?
Hey, it’s one dollar.
At least one collector out there needs this, right?
What is the really, really small figure? And is that a FLAF too?
At first glance, that does not look like 90 figures.
Not too bad at $0.32 per figure. Too bad the lunch box is so beat up.
How did I miss those MUSCLEMANIA figures? This should have been in Auction Watch!
Maybe the GPK’s are rare? Or maybe the seller’s just a liar?
There is a fine line between madness and brilliance.
What made him land on $3.49?
What I believe to be a language barrier is saving this guy from Asshole of the Week.
This lot will sell for more than it should just because of the picture. Even I want to bid!
Weird. I was interested in the lot when I saw the Ziploc bag, but then disinterested once I clearly saw the lot.
I could see $80, but $100 seems like a high final price.
Based on the pictures alone, I assume this seller is very fat and very lazy – but good intentioned!
Plain, brutal lot.
83 figures that just do nothing for me…why?
I’m ok with this lot up to four dollars.

My choice for Picture of the Week was immediate this week. Sure I saw funny stuff, sad stuff, lots of different things – but this one really made me think. I found myself distracted by it. I discovered the picture on Facebook.

When is it a custom figure and when is it a rip-off?

It’s not the figure itself that made me stop, but the question that it begs, “When is it ok?”

But as I found myself mentally playing with that question it started to morph into, “What is ok?”

Years ago, at least in the M.U.S.C.L.E. community, there were philosophical discussions about re-casting figures. The general consensus was that it was fine because they differed so greatly from the originals in many different ways. The fact that large companies like Bandai and Mattel were the original creators/manufactures/owners made it easier too. Generally the thought was, why would they care? They had already made their money.

However the customizing world, and even the independent toy/art world, has continued to grow and evolve very quickly. It’s more populous than ever – or, at least, it sure seems that way. Honestly, my initial thought regarding this figure was, “Geez, not very original. That’s just like Wolf Voigt’s figure.” I literally overlooked the fact that a new head was dropped onto the Multiskull body.

But what is ok?

For some people it may seem like a clear cut, black-and-white issue with zero shades of gray. To me, the Picture of the Week kicks my brain into high gear and leaves me feeling like there is very little black and white and mostly shades of gray.

It would be pretty easy to ridicule something like this, but I’m legitimately fascinated by it. I am equally impressed by the creativity of the idea and the seeming absurdity all mixed with science. Easy Video of the Week for me, but I do feel a little guilty – not a single T or A this week.

So, as mentioned above, when I looked at this auction the first thing I noticed was the head of the #124 was warped to the side and that the left foot of #14 was sticking up. Weird, right? After that my eyes went to the clamps in the ring. Habit? Then I did my normal scan of the figures. But it was weird to have that very self-aware moment. Why would my eye go right to that #124?

  1. #1 by Clonewarscraig on November 9, 2012 - 9:16 am

    I noticed there was no purple #157!

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on November 9, 2012 - 10:29 am

    Ha! Now I get it. It took me way too long. 🙂

    My original, and sleepy, response was:

    That’s because it was featured in Auction Watch #118. In general I try to never re-post things covered in that week’s Auction Watch, unless it’s something truly special (e.g., SGS).

  3. #3 by Johnny on November 9, 2012 - 2:25 pm

    I noticed in this order:
    Hey, a Ring! Crappy box, mint ring, mint figures, no SRs.

  4. #4 by Monsterforge on November 9, 2012 - 2:54 pm

    Hi, Chad!

    I had a chance to talk to 5.5 Customs (the guy who made this Multiskull/Skeletor mashup) and with George Gaspar of October Toys. Basically what we’re seeing here is a slight mix-up in communication. 5.5 spoke to George at a recent convention about making this figure, and, in all the hubbub of the con, the idea that he’d be making resin castings of an OMFG figure wasn’t fully conveyed. He didn’t approach me about making the figure, but it was more a case of him not really knowing he needed to than of him trying to slip anything by. He’s been making bootleg mashup MOTU figures for a while, and with those you don’t really have a need to worry about stepping in on anyone else’s property because the figures are so long out of production. 5.5 was very apologetic about the miscommunication and seemed to be a really cool guy just having fun making stuff. Because the resin figure is not a straight dupe of one of our OMFG figures, George and I both have approved of him making a small run of these to sell or give away or whatever… heck… I love the little critter! I want one for my shelf!!!

    Thanks for spotlighting the issue… it’s a very important one in this community. I’m glad in this case it was an honest misstep, but more often than not you see people trying to just make bank by ripping other folk’s stuff off. Being aware of things like this is one of the keys to handling situations that can get out of hand before they do. It would be bad to have a case where people see something like this and think it’s cool to make exact copies of production pieces that are still in production… if anyone ever has an idea for something they want to make with currently produced figures it is ALWAYS encouraged to contact the artists who made the original pieces and ask them if it’s OK to do.

    Thanks, man! Keep up the good work!

    –Charles Marsh (Monsterforge)

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