Not too long ago a person on Facebook asked, “What’s rare in that auction?”
The goal of Auction Watch was never to exclusively highlight rare items, but that may occasionally happen. Instead the goal was to highlight the funny, unique, and interesting M.U.S.C.L.E. (and M.U.S.C.L.E.-related) items that show up on eBay. This week probably focuses most squarely on the interesting.The first auction, 1985 M.U.S.C.L.E. Men wrestlers 4 pack misp,JAPAN,unpunched #16 of 37 different, is sad. The seller isn’t sad. And even though it could be easy to label the seller an asshole – that’s not entirely true either. It’s sad to any person that collects M.U.S.C.L.E. figures with even a tiny piece of nostalgia as part of the catalyst for collecting.
Click on the auction and take a very close look at the front and back of that 4-pack. It’s so destroyed and in such terrible condition that it only serves to trap four M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The pictures don’t show an item for sale, they show toys held hostage.
The price tag doesn’t serve as an opening bid, but rather a ransom – $7.99 is the price of their freedom and it’s a price that will never be paid. It will never be paid for 37 different 4-packs. It will never be paid for 148 figures held hostage.If the first auction is pessimistic, then the second auction is very optimistic. The second auction, muscle toys Men Rubber Select 1984 Pink Blue Yellow Red M.U.S.C.L.E.S Misc, features mainly a small lot of MUSCLEMANIA figures.
MUSCLEMANIA, like Future Strength figures, have a certain place in M.U.S.C.L.E. history. But MUSCLEMANIA, again like Future Strength, also offer a link to old-school M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting. Even with more documentation of these types of figures there will always be more questions than answers.
There will also never been an even mediocre influx of new collectors because these figures offer little nostalgia. These figures only appeal to M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors that love these types of counterfeit figures and their very specific and odd aesthetic.
So how does that connect to the past? Many people like to trade. They don’t think they own something special. They don’t worry about losing money. They just have cheap and easy fun. Even better – there will always be something cheap and fun out there to collect for people that want that in their hobby.The third auction, Vintage M.U.S.C.L.E. Man Men Checklist Poster, looks to be an interesting poster auction. It feels as if the last few poster auctions have been unusual.
They’ve either had a poster tube or were in great condition or terrible condition – nothing just “normal.” This poster seems to fit the bill of normal. It’s in good condition, fair price, and nothing that makes it anything but normal.
The old term “Super Rare” still gets used a fair amount by M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. While looking for interesting M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions a seller had key-word-spammed M.U.S.C.L.E. and Super Rare into their $0.99 auction. Pure curiosity drove the question, “What else is listed as a Super Rare on eBay in Toys & Hobbies?”
Surprisingly there were 29,528 active listings. Looking through the items, with the highest priced items listed first, a new question arose, “How long before the price of the item seems even remotely understandable?”
Viewing 200 items per page, trying to be objective and quite lenient, it was well into the third page of items.