Auction Watch #162


It’s always nice to start on a positive note. The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Mattel 1980’s Vintage US Release Wrestler Action Figures, is certainly a positive note. It is an auction of 110 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures with an opening bid of $0.99.

These types of auctions used to be the norm for M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions. Luckily, and arguably rightfully, these auctions still appear – but far from the regularity of the past. There is nothing terribly notable in this lot of 110 figures. However an auction with clean figures, clear pictures, and an enticing opening bid certainly deserves some recognition.

The shipping does seem a little high, but the world isn’t perfect.

Speaking of imperfections the opening prices of Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Ring Wrestling Arena have been slightly unusual lately. The opening bid prices haven’t simply been too high, but they seem to ignore important components of pricing a ring.

What are the important components of a ring?
  1. The box – Does it have it? What condition is it in?
  2. The figures – Are they included? Are they still sealed?
  3. The ropes – Are they all there? What condition are they in?
  4. The clamps – Are they broken? Are there stress fractures?
  5. The stickers – Are they all there? What condition are they in?

They only ring auctions that should demand a premium price are auctions that can reply to the above questions with the answers: yes, mint, yes, yes, yes, mint, no, no, yes, mint. The most intense completionist might even require the cardboard insert.

The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Ring Wrestling Arena, has an opening bid of $49.99 and free shipping. It is arguably one of the best, if not the best, rings available on eBay right now. The ring figures aren’t included, but those are a relatively easy pick-up. However, that is an added cost. A cost that does not seem to factor into the second auction’s price.

The third auction, *Vintage 1985 Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E. Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Wrestling Ring*, has clamps that look perfect. Sadly, this ring struggles to entice collectors in all of the other components. The clamps are routinely the most damaged part of a ring. This ring is probably only appealing to a collector looking for the project of replacing clamps.

Are the clamps alone worth $20? Probably not.

The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Hard Knock’ Rockin’ Ring Wrestling Arena Mattel with box, has a roughed up box, no figures, and clamps that are completely stress fractured. It has an opening bid of $39.99 plus shipping.

So what is a fair price? A starting bid of $0.99.

M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors will always be willing to pay for something prized. Too many sellers think they have something premium because they don’t see too many on eBay or that it is old. With the Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Ring Wrestling Arena that is simply not true. Most M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors care far more about the two figures that were included with the ring.

So unless a seller can say, “yes, mint, yes, yes, yes, mint, no, no, yes, mint.” They should just start at $0.99 for their auction. It will receive far more bids and actually sell.

The fifth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E lot of 26 figures blue,red,magenta,green,purple, is special for an unusual reason and should make M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors smile.

Several times in the Epilogue sellers that took their time to set-up their figures were ridiculed. It was referred to as a waste of time. That perspective changed with the realization that sellers were actually playing with their figures one last time before selling. The fifth auction might be the clearest example of playing with the figures one last time.

The pictures with the figures standing up do not help sell the figures in any practical way. In fact, the set-up seems so impractical that it ends up looking fun. The outcome, or even the quality, of this auction is inconsequential. It is important for M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors to merely take a look. If the pictures don’t cause collectors to smile, then collecting may have become too serious.

The sixth auction, MATTEL M.U.S.C.L.E. and Kinnikuman Generations Kid MUSCLE T-shirts size XL, should also make M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors smile; but only the oldest of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. The t-shirts are being sold by Darrin Vindiola. Not only is he a legend in M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting, but he is also a member of the White Castle Hall of Fame. Seriously.

The Terri-Bull t-shirt is showcased in Fashion 100. Newer M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors may not care about this shirt, but it is fun to see the shirt for sale for the first time in over 15 years.

Finally, there are two Class A figures for sale. There is not much more to be said, that hasn’t been said before in Auction Watch, about these types of auctions. For a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector attempting a Master set, it is worth pointing the figures out.

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  1. #1 by Peter Fondles on September 4th, 2014

    No final sale guesses? your usually pretty close.

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