Auction Watch #200


A little over four years ago Auction Watch #100 was posted. It felt appropriate to try and do something special for Auction Watch #200 too.

Maybe Dr. M.U.S.C.L.E. could finally complete the Purple Claw Project? Nope.

Or maybe the Dr. M.U.S.C.L.E. figure would finally be ready for sale? Again, nope.

Then I thought I would go the sequel route. I would basically do the same thing as AW #100, but just a little differently. I thought I could run some parallel auctions to these three auctions (1, 2, and 3).

But I couldn’t get my auctions ready. Then the first auction was relisted with a lower BIN and the two others were removed. The shitty sequel plan was now in the toilet too. Damn. Or maybe not.

I would never say, “I need to celebrate my M.U.S.C.L.E. ramblings!”

I finally decided not to be precious with Auction Watch #200. There’s really nothing special about it – and I don’t need the headache of listing any auctions. Let’s take a look at the post-holiday listings.

The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men (Y/S, N.T.) / Monster in My Pocket – 230 PIECES!! 80’s/90’s, make me wish I collected a wider variety of LRG’s. The M.U.S.C.L.E. figures are nice, the MIMP figures are meaningless to me, but I actively want the Future Strength figures.

Of course, even if I collected all the lines in this lot, the $239.99 BIN is sobering.

You could argue that the price isn’t too bad. The price is about $1.04 per figure, which doesn’t seem like a terrible price in the current eBay-M.U.S.C.L.E. situation.

I feel like the variety and high BIN price actually make the potential buying audience pretty small. Being able to make an offer probably increases the audience a little bit. What would you argue is a fair offer?

I don’t know enough about MIMP to feel overly confident about my guess, but that won’t stop me from sharing it. At $0.70 per figure my offer would be $161. That doesn’t feel like a price that would be accepted.

The second auction, VINTAGE C.U.T.I.E. M.U.S.C.L.E. MATTEL GIRL PVC FIGURE TOY LOT OF 24 SETS NEW, is probably a huge surprise for collectors that know me pretty well.

I hate C.U.T.I.E. figures. I know I’ve mentioned it in passing many times in the Epilogues, so readers of the site might not really know of my hatred. I think CUTIE are the worst version of a toy – a “girl” version. From a business perspective I understand why companies do it, but I hate it.

I don’t know if I’ve ever said it, but I also resent that Mattel sunk money into CUTIE instead of supporting their already successful M.U.S.C.L.E. brand. (Again, I understand. They owned 100% of the CUTIE product unlike M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.)

With all of that said, I’m shocked at the condition of these packs. They look not just case-fresh, but straight-off-the-assembling-line mint. That makes the $29.95 opening bid seem completely fair.

But is there anyone on the world that wants these things?

If there is someone, then I hope they win this auction.

The third auction, Lot of 14 M.U.S.C.L.E MEN MUSCLE MEN FIGURES – Colored – Vintage Original RARES, made me feel a little sad.

It is merely a lot of 14 figures. It has a $179.94 BIN. The auction description states:

You are bidding on Lot of 14 MUSCLE MEN – GREAT SHAPE – ALL ARE RARES – COLORED – SEE PICS – PERSONAL COLLECTION.

They are not rare, not even a little bit.

I understand why people love to use the “rare” word. Ever since I speculated on the number of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures produced I have an intense negative visceral reaction to the use of “rare” with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

There might be some that are harder to find, but I cannot believe they are “rare.” I don’t think it is unreasonable to believe, at least, 2,000 of each poster figure exists.

The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E.’s 70 Weird, Wild Wrestlers From The 80s with Original Cans, continued to bum me out. I saw the fourth auction almost immediately after he third auction.

The $150 BIN for an open 10-pack can and 10 Flesh figures is a huge bummer for me. It is the kind of auction that makes me think the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby is in serious, serious trouble.

UPDATE: I am a stupid asshole. And this week’s AOTW. The fourth auction, thanks to SicilianCyclops, is actually for 70 figures and 7 cans. I could try and defend myself by saying the seller didn’t make it perfectly clear, which is a little true, but it still falls on me being a stupid asshole without the ability to read the auction title and comprehend, “70 Weird, Wild Wrestlers.” Damn. After admitting to being the AOTW, I think the questions below are still worth asking – even if it isn’t for this auction.

It leaves me speechless. What can I say?

Is there a benefit to listing an auction like this one that I’m missing?

I fear my next sentence comes from such a lack of understanding this listing behavior that it devolves into a conspiracy theory. Are people listing outrageous auctions to make their less outrageous auctions seem better?

I recognize how crazy that question sounds. But applying sound logic to an illogical situation rarely yields the correct answer.

The fifth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. MEN (PURPLE FIGURES ONLY) YSNT : pick single muscles from drop list, didn’t make me feel sad. It made me feel responsible.

It made me feel responsible for the chaos. It was this part of the auction description that made me feel the worst:

CLASS B FIGURES – limited production so you will see they are a little more expensive
CLASS A FIGURES – Super Rare and usually regional releases so very expensive

Have the Class designations ruined the hobby that I love?

Is it my fault that this guy thinks he can have prices that range from $2.95 to $99.95 for Purple figures?

No. I wrote a bird guide. I can’t help it if people try to murder birds. I’m more offended when people distort the classes. This is what the M.U.S.C.L.E. Classes mean.

The sixth auction, Muscle Things 1980s, reassured me that there is still hope for M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting.

It’s a lot of Flesh figures starting at $1.99.

It’s special because it isn’t shocking. I think a charming part of M.U.S.C.L.E., from our childhoods, was that the figures were almost disposable. They were so numerous that we didn’t worry about a little M.U.S.C.L.E. torture.

As M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting slowly started growing into a hobby there was still a disposable quality. Collectors, like in childhood, had some favorites but the sheer volume of figures prohibited anything from being too cherished.

Maybe the quest for the Master Set hurt things? I don’t need to rant about that again.

The MRT guarantees that there will always be some figures that sell for a surprising amount. However, I have hope that the overly-abundant-figure-perspective can return to the hobby.

Maybe a we’ll have a little M.U.S.C.L.E. rebellion?

  1. #1 by Walker26 on January 5th, 2017

    Not your fault. You identified the harder to get figures without putting a price on them. People can ask what ever price they want for things. It doesn’t mean they’re going to get it.

  2. #2 by SicilianCyclops on January 5th, 2017

    It’s still not good, but that fourth auction is for 70 flesh figures and seven opened trash cans.

  3. #3 by SicilianCyclops on January 5th, 2017

    Another thought: I can’t figure out who the sellers manipulating the worth of classes are trying to sell to. Those collectors who know about the classes are not going to be fooled and are certainly not going to consider purchasing those overpriced figures. That then leaves those who may be interested in collecting m.u.s.c.l.e. again but are ignorant of the purpose of the classes. How many of these collectors are going to blindly take the sellers’ word for it and pay the exorbitant asking prices? Aren’t they going to do an iota of research and find out that Class B figures are not worth much more than the common flesh figures and Class A are not, by any means, super rare? What are these sellers’ thought process?

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on January 5th, 2017

    SicilianCyclops :

    It’s still not good, but that fourth auction is for 70 flesh figures and seven opened trash cans.

    Oh, shit. You are 100% right.

    That guy had listed his 10 Figures and an open 10-pack separately before. My bad.

  5. #5 by Chad Perry on January 5th, 2017

    SicilianCyclops :

    What are these sellers’ thought process?

    I would direct you to the eBay Entrepreneur Exchange feature for some insights.

    I think a seller’s fear plays a large role too.

    But, it’s up to the buyers too. I think part of a sellers’ belief comes from one idiot buyer. If they can snag one impatient spend-happy buyer, then another one will come along. As buyers, we have to hope that doesn’t happen because it hurts the community.

  6. #6 by Walker26 on January 5th, 2017

    Totally agree with seller’s fear. If you buy M.U.S.C.L.E. toys go into it because you absolutely want the figures and other pieces that are out there. Just because you paid this or that for it, or it went for this dollar amount once before doesn’t mean it will again. I know if I ever had to sell my stuff I would take one heck of a hit. Such is life.

    **side note, while you weren’t posting as regular on UoM a Nestle Quik tin did show up. It sold on Ebay for $199.something. I told a guy a Facebook site that he had a gem and to put it on Ebay. I think he talked about it on LRG too. It was in great shape, just missed the cover I believe.

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