Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel L. Clemens.
“If you tell truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
– Mark Twain (Source: MarkTwainHouse.org)
This Mark Twain quote and fact feel like the perfect introduction to the formerly infamous Dr. Bombay 10-Pack. Several years ago it was purported that a Dr. Bombay 10-pack was discovered. Before that 10-pack can be discussed there needs to be some level setting.
History 300 provides a very simple introduction to Dr. Bombay and how M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors were introduced to these figures. The first Dr. Bombay to be shared with the community was James’ Dr. Bombay.
Dr. Bombay has previous been mentioned a few times. Once he was mentioned as a part of the editorial (Why I Care About Minutia). Another time was when he sold for $1,770. The Dr. Bombay may have shown up in some Epilogues, but it was specifically a part of Auction Watch #166. The latter is worth revisiting because it had a $1,995.95 opening bid and a $2,599.95 BIN.There will never be full consensus when it comes to M.U.S.C.L.E. prices. There is barely even basic agreement when collectors talk about the prices of Non-Poster figures. But the price being asked for the Dr. Bombay 10-pack was especially divisive. With some M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors there were concerns over the authenticity of the 10-pack. The flames of those concerns were fanned by the lack of provenance and information that was openly shared with M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors.
One collector, Eric P., believed it was authentic and privately purchased the Dr. Bombay 10-pack. But Eric is a rationale, communicative, and open-minded collector. He still had some concerns about its authenticity. Originally Eric had planned on reaching out to Eric Nilla, but a variety of things prohibited it from happening. With the UofM site active again Eric was referred to UofMUSCLE@gmail.com.
Eric wanted to be fully transparent. He wanted to uncover the truth – no matter what it turned out to be in the end. Eric sent five pictures and a video:
Eric quest for transparency didn’t stop with the picture and video. He wanted all the details to be public knowledge; no secrets. He shared that he paid $1,925. He felt the price was close enough to the $1,770 that had previously been paid for the loose Dr. Bombay. He added, “I definitely paid too much for my BHA and SHA, both of which were bought from Alex, but since I found the Dark Emperor (or Black Emperor, whichever) for like $1, I still feel like I’m coming out on top!”
Eric also tried to get some additional information about the mysterious 10-pack. Eric said, “…he didn’t really say much, which was so strange to me, because I already bought it, and if it were me, I would be dying to share the story with someone, especially since he’s kind of ousted from the community these days. But oh well, that’s his choice, for whatever reason.”
Eric continued to ask Alex for more information. The most detail Alex was willing to offer was, “I pruchased the Bonbe 10-Pack from an aution on ebay a while back. The thing is that I did not notice the Bonbe in there until after the pack arrived and I looked at it closely under a bright light.”
Is it true? Is it a story just to make the questions stop?
Alex has lied to M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors in the past. That creates a problem because you never know when he’s lying.
In my experience, when a person finds something cool they have pertinent details that make for, at least, a minimally interesting story. Finding a Dr. Bombay 10-pack seems like it should warrant SOMETHING to share about the find. The absence of any detail or emotion is disconcerting for me.
We may never know more than what Eric has openly shared with M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. Eric has been a very active M.U.S.C.L.E. collector and you can keep up with his M.U.S.C.L.E. collection by following @caffeinesanta on Instagram.
M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors may never fully come to consensus when it comes to M.U.S.C.L.E. prices. And there might be passionate arguments about the prices of Non-Poster figures. No matter what, M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors should remember that we are collecting toys from our childhoods. With all of that said, maybe the best way to think about Dr. Bombay is to remember he is “holding a grenade.”