Auction Watch #240


Last week I joked that there were “four three auctions worth watching.” As a small favor I didn’t publicize a fourth auction. Before we get to that auction, let’s take a look at last week’s feature auctions.

The first two auctions did not sell. I thought a prospector would foolishly buy the #179, but it didn’t happen. I feel good about that.

The poster didn’t sell either. These results illustrate the utter silliness of the $99.99 opening bid.

It looks like I wasn’t the only one that noticed the Flesh figures of the final listing are in awesome condition. Or maybe a big dope has money to burn. Maybe both?

The lot sold for $172.50.

Much more than I expected, but some people really value mint condition figures. I’m not one of those people, especially with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

Although, if you valued the ring at $25 that would drop the price to $147.50. That works out to $1.02 per figure. Again, that’s pretty high per-figure. It does not seem too high for perfectly mint figures – which these appear to be. If I paid $1.02 per figure and they showed up non-mint I would be furious.

Finally the “fourth” auction from last week.

The omitted listing was a large Canadian lot with 26 Class A figures (plus three doubles). I knew that it wouldn’t matter if it was featured or not. It was omitted as a small favor, but M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are truffle dogs – they always sniff out the best M.U.S.C.L.E. listings.

What was in there? Here’s the list by color:

It sold for, in US dollars, $2,114.33.

Omitted Auction Bidder List

Let’s, at $0.63 per figure, say the other figures cost $60.48. That means 29 Class A figures at $2,053.85 or $70.82 per figure.

At face value, that doesn’t seem too bad – especially if you needed all of the figures. However, a quick scan through some Auction Watch results show these figures selling for closer to the $50 range. Sure, the Red #133 might be closer to $200. But I would limit the $100+ group to about five figures.

The most disappointing part of the auction, for me, wasn’t the final price. It was the unknown, low-feedback, bidders that pushed the price higher up. Quack.

That omitted listing is the perfect lead-in to this week’s first auction.

The first auction, MUSCLE MEN COLLECTION OF 90 M.U.S.C.L.E. FIGURES VINTAGE, features seven Class A figures.

Isn’t it amazing that another lot, from another seller, filled with Class A figures magically appears on the heels of the $2,114.33?

Many long-time collectors were quick to point out that the seller is actually Alex Forbes (arforbes). I believe those people are correct.

But, if you are the high bidder, then you will have no problem receiving the item you’ve won. That isn’t the problem.

BadLarry, from LittleRubberGuys.com, offered his explanation of the situation:

He does it for a couple reasons, to thumb his nose at the M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting community and also to manipulate the market.

BadLarry is both right and wrong.

The incorrect part is that Alex has always hated the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. It isn’t something new. It isn’t the result of being banned from LittleRubberGuys.com. His behavior has always been consistent. Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.

It dawned on me when I looked back at Alex admitting to being Yapiel on eBay. You can reread it too, but I will highlight what I thought was most relevant.

He pretended to be friendly and honest, but wasn’t. He was secretive because, as TheGodBeast said:

…the only thing he is guilty of is being greedy and lies to cover up his greedy actions.

That was in 2005. He pretended to be sorry, but has behaved the same way since then. Nothing has ever changed. Alex’s behavior isn’t driven by external factors. It is just his normal behavior.

BadLarry was correct about manipulating the prices.

Alex said it himself in the same thread as above:

It was a value I created and honored! I paid it, the same holds true for the other super Rares, I originally paid $300 for the SHA I have, how is this any different. I was willing to pay $300, and I did for the SHA. I was also willing to pay $910, which I did for the BHS. If someone else emails me and offers me $1000, I believe it was like $990 and I added $10 for shipping and Insurance for the figure to Brazil, then that it what THEY are willing to pay. This is how the value of items are determined all the time on ebay and off.

I bolded what I thought was most important. I believe Alex has always taken pride in overspending and pushing prices higher. As he said in the thread, “I have a shizznit load of money and it really isn’t that important to me.”

It was mommy and daddy’s money, but whatever.

I will be turning 40 this year. I joined LRG when I was 24. While I can still be an asshole I also know that I’m not the same person I was when I was 24 years old. That is especially true when it comes to collecting M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

According to LRG, Alex will be turning 39 this year. He hasn’t changed at all. That makes me sad, because I can’t understand it at all.

If I was reading this post, then I would wonder:

Dude, why do you even care about this guy?

As I have always said, M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is a tiny, tiny pond. I’ve even tried to illustrate it. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are forced to cross paths.

Sometimes when the paths cross it is extra weird. For example, there was the time I was selling a Green #168. Then Alex listed his Green #168.

I still don’t quite understand that situation, but even that listing seems odd. The last Green #168 I can document sold for $55. Ok.

Then his listing sells for $50 to a bidder with a feedback score of two.

Quack.

It’s also interesting that this lot features a figure with one of the best stories ever and a figure with one of the worst stories ever.

Even newhobby905/make-an-offer hates that terrible story.

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  1. #1 by gweenbrick on February 8th, 2018

    It’s weird to think a guy like that might just keel over one day, coming out of the shower or eating a burrito or whatever, and all those pounds of little plastic figures he obsessively lied, manipulated, and overspent to get his hands on could end up scraped into gallon bags and sold off at a rummage sale for 3 bucks a bag.
    Would you want your legacy to be that you hoarded 80s toys purely to spite and piss off others who liked them? Seems like a sad way to go about things.

  2. #2 by Terry on February 8th, 2018

    If the winner of the large Canadian lot reads this then I’d love to purchase the 2nd Green #42 for my collection

  3. #3 by Walker26 on February 9th, 2018

    I think Alex does this type of auction just to say “ha ha, I have this, and youuuuu don’t.” I guess he forgot that Nobody. Cares.

    I have to agree with your mommy and daddy money statement too. I remember him mentioning that he was going to some college a while back. This was while he had already accumulated a number of SRs and the master set. He got that off his parents’ backs. No from his own hard work.

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