Auction Watch #218


My goal with Auction Watch isn’t simply to highlight stuff people should (or shouldn’t) buy. I like to think I can link the auctions and piece together even the loosest of narratives. Not exactly Shakespeare, but I’m happy when it kind of works.

This week one of the very first auctions I saw was this one: M.U.S.C.L.E. Kinnikuman Orange Color #215 Bikeman Class B.

The figure has a $12.99 BIN. I had to take a look at his additional M.U.S.C.L.E. listings. It didn’t disappoint me. It didn’t make me angry. It made me curious.

What M.U.S.C.L.E. items have actually sold, as of writing this, in the last five days? More specifically items priced between $11 and $14 (like the $12.99 Orange #215 figure).

There were 119 sold items. Not all of the items were M.U.S.C.L.E. items. Here is the complete list of 39 M.U.S.C.L.E. listings:

$11.00 for 27 mixed figures.
$11.50 for 13 Magenta figures.
$11.50 for 20 Flesh figures.
$11.50 for 20 Flesh figures.
$11.50 for 20 Flesh figures.
$11.95 for two Flesh figures.
$11.99 for a hassle.
$12.00 for 11 Flesh figures.
$12.00 for 12 Color figures.
$12.00 for 15 Color figures.
$12.00 for Flesh 4-pack.
$12.01 for 23 Flesh figures
$12.15 for 10 Flesh figures.
$12.50 for a Flesh 4-pack.
$12.51 for 24 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
$12.95 for a Green #162 figure.
$12.98 for two M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
$12.99 for 24 mixed figures.
$12.99 for 17 Color figures.
$12.99 for 12 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
$12.99 for 13 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures (including Satan Cross).
$12.99 for a Flesh #153 figure.
$13.49 for a very mixed lot of stuff.
$13.50 for 18 Purple figures.
$13.50 for a very mixed lot of 17 figures.
$13.50 for a very mixed lot.
$13.51 for five M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
$13.58 for 23 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
$13.67 for a very mixed lot of minifigures.
$13.75 for three “Purple” Sunshine figures that sure seem to be Dark Blue.
$13.75 for four #7 figures.
$13.88 for seven Color figures.
$13.95 for a lot of mixed M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
$13.95 for an incorrectly identified “#107.”
$13.99 for broken ring and one figure.
$14.00 for a Flesh #153 figure.

There were three listings where a best offer was accepted. I assume the listing appeared because the offer was between $11 and $14. Here are the three auctions with their original asking prices:
$14.99 for a Flesh #153.
$23.37 for a Class B Magenta #197.
$24.99 for 16 Flesh figures.

What is you reaction?

My reaction is diametrically opposed. It seems like things are, based on these listings, both much better and much worse than I could have imagined.

On the positive side, there are still listings selling for $0.50 to $0.75 per figure, 4-packs can still be found well under $20, and a Satan Cross can still be found for under $1. These results are what I believe are necessary to keep M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting alive as a hobby.

M.U.S.C.L.E. “buying” is killing the hobby. Buyers spending $6 per figure on figures worth, at the absolute most, one dollar each can severely damage the hobby. I understand that these buyers may only want a handful of specific figures. They want their four favorites from childhood to add to their toy shelf. Spending $40 to make that happen and move on may be worth it to them. It is damning for the collectors left behind. Sellers see these listings and prices and become emboldened.

For M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors that care, we need to do something. I think that a new M.U.S.C.L.E. Database, based on this idea, could help – but I need help. If you have any ideas the best way to set-up something like this, then please let me know (post in the Comments or email me at uofmuscle@gmail.com).

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  1. #1 by Mikes Painted Miniatures on July 13th, 2017

    Interesting article, it would be interesting to do a similar exercise here in the UK. Looking at ebay, muscle listings are far fewer than in the US (approx 80% less at a guess). I buy/bid on most that come up and pay on average 50p per figure (almost always job lots) There is always a few listings at £1.00 or even £3.00 per figure that rarely sell.
    I am a member of the 235 club in flesh, so if anyone can get me a Satans Cross at a reasonable price, please let me know. The chances of a SC coming up on auction here in UK are probably nil.

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