Editorial: Auction Watch #156

There have only been three other Editorial Auction Watches plus a Mini-torial. This week I felt compelled to share some thoughts.

The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. #2 Cosmic Crunchers Set 1983 (+ extras), is one of the most exciting auctions I have ever seen. I couldn’t wait to share it. Until now only the 4-pack and 10-pack had been documented in the French-Canadian format. This is the first documented example of a French-Canadian 28-pack.

It was pretty safe to assume they existed, but it was always just an assumption. It is exciting to see definitive evidence. My mind instantly goes to, “Did the French-Canadian version also have various versions of the Logo/Poster-Offer?”

Pretty fucking nerdy.

I also have to add. This is the most exciting find that I (perhaps, once again) have zero desire to buy. (And it has nothing to do with the price. I think it’s a fair price for the entire lot, even if shipping seems high.) For me the fun is knowing it exists. It brings me 100 times more joy than having it on a shelf or hidden away in a box.

But I’m left wondering something. What makes me stranger?

  • Is it the genuine excitement of seeing the French-Canadian box?
  • Is it the fact that I instantly wonder about the possible French-Canadian Logo/Poster-Offer variations?
  • Is it that I don’t need to buy it?

I don’t know. Any of the answers make me a super geeky nerd of the highest order – and not in a good way.

The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Battlin’ Belt MIB Muscles Musclemen MATTEL 1985 Kinnikuman G.U.T.S., is just one of the most beautiful window boxes I have ever seen. It’s really nice. It’s so nice that the price doesn’t even bother me. The opening bid actually seems like a great deal. And the box is in such nice shape that I’d even consider the BIN.

So why keyword spam GUTS? Did the seller have four characters left and felt compelled to add something. “Wow” would have made more sense. Almost any four letter word (fuck included) would have made more sense. And does keyword spamming ever really work? Especially on an item like this?

The third auction, m.u.s.c.l.e. men Over 400 Figures Satans Cross, simply mystifies me. I pointed this guy out in a recent Epilogue and had a pretty negative reaction. He dropped his price only $100 and I pointed him out again. He’s dropped it another $100 and I still think the guy is fucking crazy.

“You’re just being mean and negative.”

If you think that, then you are stupid. (Ok, that’s mean. But you are stupid.) Let me explain why he is crazy. Let’s just get Satan Cross, of which there is no clear description or picture, out of the way. A person might be willing to pay $50 for the possibly damaged, terrible condition figure. We have no idea the condition because the seller has chosen not to show it.

But, he does show the ring. Who cares? You’re in Canada, your auction could be filled with Class A figures, and you show use a ring. And what’s wrong with it? Why haven’t you fixed the ropes in any of your pictures?

If this guy simply laid out his figures he might easily be able to get $800 or more for his lot. Of course, once laid out he might not be able to get more than a few dollars. This is the worst kind of seller. He’s knowledgeable enough to play some games, but too stupid to price it attractively enough to get people to fall for the game. Fuck this guy.

“God. Auction Watch #156 is pretty negative.”

Wrong again stupid. It’s realistic. It’s an important distinction with our tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny hobby. The seller of the third auction is trying to capitalize on the potential for Class A figures secretly contained in his auction. But, as I’ve so often said, Class A figures are not inherently valuable and they never will be. The memorable Class A sales come down to the MRT and sometimes, sadly, the M.U.S.C.L.E. bottleneck.

The last two auctions of Auction Watch #156 help to illustrate these points. The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E Men figure Mattel kinnikuman light blue Robin Mask #46, is for a Class A Light Blue #46. It has an opening bid of $24.99. Collectors could argue the merits of the figure and its corresponding price. But all of that discussion ultimately hinges on the idea that Class A equates to higher price.

And I’m not knocking that auction. If I needed that figure for my master set it would certainly be hard to resist. But I’m part of an, ever shrinking, niche group of Master Set buyers.

The fifth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E Men MUSCLE Figure #92 Dark Blue Class A Akuma Kishi, is a wonderful example of that continuously decreasing Master Set niche. If the Master Set collectors don’t need it, then it becomes a Colored M.U.S.C.L.E. figure.

This figure is priced to sell at almost $2. If a Master Set collector doesn’t need it, then a to-be-disappointed-in-the-future prospector will likely buy it. Hopefully it ends up in the hands of a collector that simply wants to display a Class A figure.

And when asked about the figure can say, “Oh man. There’s a great story that goes along with this figure and other like it.”

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