Longtime M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors know that eBay prices for M.U.S.C.L.E. toys are like rolling waves – they swell and crash. The positive aspect of the swell is that it tends to bring in more and more M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions. However, M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is starting to see an unprecedented trend. The “swells” seem to be bringing in more and more single figure auctions.
The single figure auctions are not unusual, but they usually disappeared and eventually become single lots of figures. This new trend of single figure M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions has two interesting components: (1) they do not appear to be going away; and (2) many of the sellers seem both aware and oblivious to M.U.S.C.L.E. information.The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Figure #162 The Announcer RED COLOR – *VERY RARE!*, is a great example of the awareness/oblivion dichotomy.
The seller, doughnut69, has a number of other items, including M.U.S.C.L.E. figures that all appear to have decent prices. Many of the M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions start at $0.99. However, the seller has chosen to list this Class C Red #162 with a $49.99 BIN price. Why?
The #162 figure doesn’t even have a Class A version (the Light Blue is a Class B). Why would this seller, that seems generally aware of collectible prices, make such an outrageous assumption regarding the price?
And if the seller has been influenced by an auction – which one?!?!The second auction, Vintage 1980s M.U.S.C.L.E. spinning head ashuraman figure EXTREMELY RARE no head, is becoming a fixture of Auction Watch. First seen in Auction Watch #130, then Auction Watch #131, and now Auction Watch #132.
It originally listed at $625 with a BIN of $799.99. When it didn’t sell it was re-listed with a meaningless $0.99 opening bid (because of the Reserve Price) and a BIN of $550. The second listing also didn’t sell with the bids only reaching $161.50.
Now it features a $399.99 BIN with a month-long listing.
This seller is chasing the ghost of an inexplicable $676 sale price. One outlier should not become the norm. Here is some information that may help both buyers and sellers: the last complete SHA, sold for $600. Before the silly $676 sale of a headless SHA, the last headless SHA that sold for $91.
The second auction will continue to remain unsold.The third auction, Satan’s Cross M.U.S.C.L.E Men Action Figure Vintage 1980’s Flesh Satan Cross, serves as an interesting comparison to the second auction attempting to sell the SHA.
The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. has long discussed Satan Cross’ unwarranted price tag. Regardless of any quantifiable data collectors continue to overspend and the average price of a Satan Cross figure still hovers around $50.
Compared to the SHA auction this Satan Cross does not seem as comparatively overpriced. That, of course, does not suggest that the $79.99 price tag is a wonderful price, but there can be some basic understanding of the price tag.
– If the average price of a Satan Cross is $50, then the $79.99 price is 60% higher.
– If the average price of a headless SHA is $91, then the $399.99 price is 340% higher.
– If the average price of a headless SHA is $200, then the $399.99 price is 100% higher.
Admittedly the $91 and $200 “averages” are debatable, but they are respectively based on an actual sale price and the historical broader bidding activity.
A 60% premium on a Satan Cross certainly seems excessive, but Satan Cross is certainly known to attract excessive attention and excitement. The third auction is not expected to sell – but stranger things have happened.The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. MEN #195 SUPER RARE, might become the red-flag of an uniformed seller.
Regardless of its size, M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are their own little culture and that culture has given rise to a certain vernacular. That vernacular is important because it creates a shorthand for collectors to quickly and effectively communicate.
Previously the term “SUPER RARE” was used to broadly classify any Non-Poster figure. As the hobby continued to evolve more a more specificity and understanding has arose. It seems as if the use of the term “Super Rare” is becoming obsolete and potentially the mark of an un-informed seller.
The Dark Blue #195 is not worth the opening bid price of $5, especially with an extra $2.50 tacked on for shipping. However, Sunshine (or the “Brick Guys”) is quite popular and a collector may want to army build. In that case, not the worst price for a passionate fan.
If the fourth auction sells, then it will not be for more than $6.50.The fifth auction, #113 Kinnikuman Super Phoenix Salmon Class A M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men, is the positive that can arise from the “swell” and greater level of understanding M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
The Salmon #113 is a Class A figure. And with Muscleman being one of the popular M.U.S.C.L.E. figures it seems quite prudent to start the bidding at $9.99. While some sellers believe “rarity” instantly translates to “valuable,” that is not the case with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
This #113 figure has a relatively small niche of potential buyers – Muscleman/Kinnikuman fans, #113 fans, and collectors going for a Master Set. But with a fair starting bid, the seller opens it up to people looking to upgrade their #113 and even “M.U.S.C.L.E. prospectors.” The latter may not be great for the overall health of the community, but it’s not the fault of the seller and actually works to their advantage.
The fifth auction will certainly sell. The final price of the fifth auction will be $22.50.The sixth and final auction, Select MuscleMania Weirdball Wrestlers figures! Deiner GPK Remco M.U.S.C.L.E., falls a bit outside of Auction Watch #132’s theme – but it’s a great lot that shouldn’t be missed.
The main auction picture gives the impression that only MUSCLEMANIA figures are included in the lot and that the auction title is attempting some keyword spamming. Not the case. The lot features a nice mix of figures, including another MUSCLEMANIA figure, but the lot can be easily overlooked by a poor main picture. The picture to the right of the main auction picture shows just how many figures are included.
This nice mixed lot of figures is a great lot and a great reminder that the main auction picture selection is critical.
The sixth auction will sell for $19.50.