Auction Watch #175


Chad's 1st M.U.S.C.L.E. Ring

The ring that I was using.

I love the #180 figure. I don’t really know why. I cannot offer a clear explanation.

I can specifically remember playing with him. I have a very clear memory of being on my bedroom floor playing with that specific figure. Maybe he was one of my first M.U.S.C.L.E. figures? I don’t know.

Even as an adult collector #180 has been a favorite for a long time (my opinions regarding #153 have changed). The #180 figure was even a part of my Great Escape 4-Pack.

Why this entire preamble? Because I genuinely care about this.

I don’t want to vilify any of these sellers. The eBay Entrepreneur Exchange #1 mixed with these auctions and my sincere love of the #180 figure stirred something inside me.

I look at these auctions and wonder what the future holds for the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby.

In my experience the #180 is the most common figure. I think the Purple #180 could be even more prevalent than the Flesh version. With that said, every longtime collector likely has one figure that stands out to them. We are all probably pretty correct. The #180 figure may have stood out to me because of my love for it.

This is a figure that collectors should be comfortable throwing away, giving to kids, and/or chopping up. If this figure gains a “premium” price, then the hobby is in serious trouble.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby needs new collectors. It needs new collectors because many collectors disengage when they achieve their goal (e.g., complete Flesh set) or hit a collecting wall (e.g., nothing more they want to collect) and those things can happen easily and very quickly.

And if sellers want to continue getting larger sums of money for Satan Cross, Class A figures, or even Non-Poster figures, then they need to quickly and easily bring new collectors into the mix. The prices for these #180 figures are hurting the likelihood that a new collector will overpay for a Class A figure.

The MRT (M.U.S.C.L.E. Rule of Two) needs new collectors. Sellers need the MRT to get top dollar. If the top bidders disappear, and they will once they acquire their figure, then you are left with the remaining frugal core M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting population.

The frugal core M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting population also needs the top bidders. It is those occasional “outrageous” auctions that encourage others to dig through their attics and basements; bringing new discoveries forward.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting population is very small. It is so small that the ecosystem-like balance can be thrown off with little effort.

I do not expect any seller’s to change their behavior. But I wonder what will happen to M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting.

For years collectors screamed and fought about the price of desirable items and how it would hurt the hobby. Instead it will be the price of the least desirable M.U.S.C.L.E. items that damage the hobby most severely.

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