Auction Watch #199


After yesterday’s eBay Entrepreneur Exchange #2 I felt some hesitation instantly highlighting a Class A auction. Lucky for me there are currently a lot of interesting M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions. That’s why I’m going to start with something very different.

The first auction, Wwe M.U.S.C.L.E Scale Wrestling Ring Nilla Ironhaus Universe Of Violence Keshi, isn’t even technically a M.U.S.C.L.E. auction. But Eric Nilla and Ironhaus Productions have created so many M.U.S.C.L.E.-inspired figures that a lot like this one can’t be ignored.

The gem of the lot, based on the picture alone, is clearly the large arm figure. I feel foolish not knowing the name, but there are some blank spots in my current minifigure knowledge. Based on other figures from the pair I would be willing to bet that the other figures are equally impressive when you have the physically in your hand.

The $20 opening bid doesn’t scream of scoring a fantastic deal, but I would be lying if I said the price seemed anything but fair for those figures.

There is a gossipy footnote to this auction. I would be curious to hear the opinions of other collectors.

This seller and his Ironhaus auctions have been spotlighted before. In fact, I was the winner of one of the auctions. Then I heard that many of these figures were given to the reseller as free extras. Seeing the freebies for sale, something that seems to have been experienced by many creators, soured them on continuing to pack-in extras for customers. A huge loss for anyone that has ever been the recipient of such a gracious gift.

I have often lamented my dislike for exclusive production runs. I understand that exclusivity is a drug that many collectors can’t resist. And it can open the door for collectors buying multiple version of the same figure. But wouldn’t having a “forever available” version of figure eliminate some of the secondary market loss of revenue?

I want those figures, I’d rather support the artists, but the only way to get them is through an auction like this one. Am I missing something obvious? Am I alone on this idea? I’d love to hear what other people think.

The second auction, 110 M.U.S.C.L.E. Kinnikuman Figures 1985, is something I haven’t talked about or thought about in a very long time. Replacement lots.

When I started collecting I enjoyed buying large lots of figures. Obviously adding figures I need was nice, but it also afforded me the opportunity to upgrade dirty or damaged figures. I’m not overly concerned about the condition of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. For me having a mint figure is not any better than having a figure in fair to ok condition.

More recently we’ve seen auctions with absurd prices. When I saw this lot of 110 figures starting at $5 I had a sudden flashback to my replacement lots of the past. Like I said, I haven’t thought about replacement lots in years.

Once they were on my mind I felt like I was seeing them everywhere. This auction is literally the exact same story as the featured second auction. And while this auction isn’t perfectly similar, it does start at $0.99 and might also make a nice replacement lot. Admittedly the picture does make it a little difficult to know if all of the figure are in good condition, but I’d be will to bet there are a few sound upgrades in the lot.

Am I getting optimistic about the state of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting?

Maybe M.U.S.C.L.E. and eBay finally hit rock bottom and we’re starting to slowly climb back towards sanity. Maybe?

The third auction, VINTAGE LOT Figures MUSCLE, made me commit my classic mistake. For a moment I thought the Purple #228 was a Dark Blue #228 figure. I’ve made that mistake more times than I should admit. I’m sure I’ll do it again too.

After shaming myself, yet again, I noticed that the lot had two nice figures. The MUSCLEMANIA Red #19 figure looks to be in very good condition and the counterfeit #127 is pretty nice too. For two figures that most collectors don’t care about $7 may seem a bit high, but factor in the other figures and it seems like a pretty good deal. If I needed the MUSCLEMANIA Red #19, then I would have certainly placed my bid.

The fourth auction, Kinnikuman/MUSCLE M.U.S.C.L.E. Mega-Match board game w/25 FIGURES, ALL STICKERS!, is six dollars away from me instantly buying it. That’s not entirely true. Let me explain.

I already have two board games; one of them 100% complete. I can’t come up with a reasonable explanation to spend $66.66 to own an unused sticker sheet.

But given the sticker sheet, figures, and overall condition I think $60 would be a perfectly fair price. In the price guide I suggested a game in a similar state would be around $50. Factor in the extra M.U.S.C.L.E. figures and there’s no reason not to place a bid.

Placing a bid $6.66 over what you think is a reasonable price shouldn’t be a deal breaker. I just can’t fathom paying $66.66 for an unused sticker sheet – which is what I would be buying.

If you don’t have this game, then buy this one. If you missed it, then feel free to be insanely frustrated.

The fifth auction, ERROR On Production 1985 Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E Kinnikuman Flesh Figure #17 RARE, something I haven’t seen for quite a long time. I looked threw past Auction Watch posts and the two most recent examples were from July 2014 and August 2013. The one from July was part of a large lot that sold for around $0.50 per figure and the other one sold for $9.95 with one bid.

This figure has a $5 opening bid. It’s actually a great looking Manufacturing Error Figure, except for the left arm. It looks like the left arm was cut. It may not have been cut, but it’s appearance looks that way. It really detracts, in my opinion, from the overall aesthetic of the figure.

I don’t think this particular figure is worth $5. But for a collector looking to add an Error to their collection it may be impossible to pass up.

Either way, it’s heading to the archives.

My hesitation has subsided. It’s time to look at one of the most exciting Class A auctions we have seen since…well, March 2016 when the same figure sold for $304.

The sixth auction, Class A Muscle Men Figure Purple #15 Sunshine (D) M.U.S.C.L.E. Kinnikuman Rare, is for the popular Class A #15.

This figure started at $0.99 (thanks to sugarpappy) and has already climbed to $86 (as of writing this post).

As usual sugarpappy has several $0.99 Class A auctions underway. He also has Green #42, Dark Blue #75, and Dark Blue #224 currently listed. Those will undoubtedly find happy buyers, but none of those figures will come close to the Purple #15 figure’s final price.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this figure surpasses the $304 from earlier this year. This isn’t a figure exclusively desired by the small population of quixotic Master Set collectors. This figure is popular enough to attract lots of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors.

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  1. #1 by Chad Perry on January 3rd, 2017

    The Purple #15 had a final price of $228.18.

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