Auction Watch #171


The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Vintage 1985 Poster, Flesh Colored Men Figures MUSCLE, is the original Flesh poster. Some collectors may balk at the condition, but it could be a great starter poster for some that just wants to “see one.”

Pointing out fairly priced posters, even when they are not in mint condition, is purely fun. When the poster is in too good of condition collectors start to worry about how it is shipped and how it should be framed. When a M.U.S.C.L.E. poster is in a certain condition it removes the collecting pressure that can arise.

A well-loved, non-mint condition can be hung up in a basement or thumbtacked to a wall without worry. Hobbies can occasionally lose their sense of fun and whimsy. Too much focus and too much intensity can erode the fun. M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is not immune from this phenomenon. The first auction could help to level set the fun.

The second auction, 147 Kinnikuman m.u.s.c.l.e. Men Action Figue Lot muscles vintage, is another fun M.U.S.C.L.E. auction. It is a lot of 147 figures starting at $0.01 with free shipping.

Obviously some of the figures have black ink on their feet, but it is impossible to argue with a $0.01 starting bid. It would be too easy to say, “This is how auctions used to be…back in the good old days.”

This is a great auction because there are 147 figures. The starting bid is great. It has free shipping. It has good pictures. It wants to be sold instead of holding out for an arbitrary, imaginary value. It will not clog up eBay for months; being relisted ad nauseam.

If a collector does not believe these things make it a great auction, then it may be time to reexamine how much the hobby is joy and happiness versus work and pressure.

The third auction,
lot of 122 Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E. Flesh & Color Action Figures Toys 1980’s, is very different from the first two auctions. It started as a $75.99 for 122 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. At first glance it is an overpriced auction. And some collectors may still argue that it is overpriced. However, the inclusion of four Class A figures makes it very open to debate.

The lot appears to include Dark Blue #228, Purple #151 and #149, and Red #116 and #108. Unfortunately the figure that looks like a Dark Blue #228, in the picture to the right, is actually a Purple #228. It is perfectly obvious in the main auction picture.

As of writing, the current price is $102.50. With 118 perfectly normal Class C figures, ignoring the four Class A figures, the lot is arguably worth $59 to $89 ($.50 and $.75 per figure respectively). Given the current price bidders seem to be valuing the Class A figures at around $4 to $11 per figure. It would not be shocking to see the final price climb higher, but how much higher?

If I was going to make a guess, then $169 would be my guess. I would be stunned if the price climbed any higher than $169 for the lot. We shall see.

The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. #153 Sunigator Shotai Purple Claw Hand Very Rare Very Nice, is a perfectly fine figure and auction. It was featured in Auction Watch #170. Regrettably, it has turned it a bit of a sad story.

The seller shared that the winner of the auction, John McKinnon, had backed out of paying.

This is disappointing for many, many reasons.

First and foremost, the auction has become a $800 BIN. The original auction had started $0.99. This is disappointing because some collectors lose out on an opportunity to add a Purple #153 at a price point they feel is fair.

It is also sad that a deal could not be reached. If the custom charges were a problem, then why did the buyer and seller not attempt to work out a solution? Although, it appears that the buyer would have clearly known about the charges while bidding. And not that I would advocate breaking the law, but I believe the charges could be negligible if John had reached out to a friend in the US and worked out a different shipping arrangement.

The silver lining to this dark cloud is thanks to LittleRubberGuys.com (LRG). Social media has certainly changed the way collectors communicate. Thanks to LRG there is still a spot where collectors look out for each other, openly exchange truthful information, and don’t attempt to hide things under the rug. Nothing is ever perfect, but LRG is as close to perfect as possible when it comes to fostering a healthy, open community.

UPDATE

Email from Seller to John

Email from John McKinnon

John saw Auction Watch #171 and reached out to share his side of the story.

John’s email, explaining his side of the story, can be seen to the right. Additionally, John included the message that was sent to him buy the seller.

Ultimately this is an unfortunate situation with neither side achieving their goal. Minimally this is a great reminder to be kind, understanding, and work towards each person’s goals.

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  1. #1 by Nick on September 23rd, 2015

    The third auction with 4 A’s has John McKinnon in the lead as of right now

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