Auction Watch #241


Last week only had one listing worth watching, but there was plenty to say about it. There might be just as much to say this week about it too.

The first issue is the price.

Although, for me, the price carries a humongous asterisk because nobody is talking about the winner. As of writing, no feedback has been exchanged. This lot is too good for a secret winner. The pond is too small. Ignoring that, let’s get back to the price.

I feel like the “winner” got this lot of figures for a song. There were 90 figures. Seven Class A figures, plus one good Monster in My Pocket. That prices the rest of the 82 figures, at $0.63 per figure, at approximately $52. That makes the new price $974.13.

I believe the MIMP figure is normally priced around $50, but I’ll be conservative and say $25. The new price is $949.13 for the seven Class A figures. I think the weekly installment of “Damn the torpedoes!” fully illustrates my opinion of Salmon #167. I don’t think it is worth $10, but I’ll use that number based on the data.

$1,026.13 Bid History

That means $939.13 for six Class A figures. That works out to $156.52 per figure (twice the $70.82 per figure from last week).

Based on previous Auction Watch listings, let’s take a look at the most recent sales of the six figures: (1) a Purple #3 sold $102.50; (2) a Purple #15 sold $228.18; (3) a Purple #107 sold for $1,036; (4) Salmon #72 and Dark Blue #223 didn’t have any documented sales; and (5) Red #68 is one of the Final 8 and also does not have any documented sales.

I wouldn’t suggest that Salmon #72 and Dark Blue #223 are record breakers for prices. I’d put them in the $20 club. In a single figure auction, I probably would have bid $200 for the Red #68.

Why do I point this out? Why do I suggest the winner got them for a song?

Because it doesn’t look like the auction was driven up by mysterious shill bidders. Don’t get me wrong, there could have been shill bidding by a friend or with an extra account with lots of feedback. It’s always possible. This time it isn’t awkwardly obvious.

I believe the lack of shill bidding and manipulation shows that real M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors don’t spend an absurd amount on M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. It takes shill bidding and manipulation for the numbers to become absurd. Speaking of absurd, let’s take a look at our first auction.

The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Figure SUPER RARE Blackhole Sunshine BHS Muscle Men Figure +PEG, is Beta Non-Poster figure.

The listing has a $2,499.95 opening bid and a $3,249.95 BIN. I feel like any argument that these prices are good/normal/accept is built on some informal fallacy.

The facts that I would use to support those prices being silly are the following:

  1. Beta figures are far more numerous than Alpha figures.
  2. The Alpha figure SGS sold for $3,113.
  3. The Alpha figure Prism Man sold for $2,258.55.
  4. The Alpha figure Dr. Bombay sold for $1,770.
  5. The Alpha figure Satan Cross B sold for $1,650.
  6. The Alpha, almost Beta, figure Dark Emperor sold for $1,025.
  7. Many other Non-Poster figures have sold for around $900.

The BIN for the BHS is higher than all of these figures. The opening bid is higher than everything except the one-of-one SGS. Does that make sense to anyone?

If you were about to say, “BUT THE PEG IS STILL ATTACHED!”

It doesn’t matter. Those figures listed above are much cooler figures. Let’s look at some much more fun listings.

The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Lot – Men Vintage – Mattel Kinnikuman Action Figures Y/S NT – Rare!, is just a nice lot starting at $9.99.

Can I tell you a M.U.S.C.L.E. listing pet-peeve? Big lots that make me count the number of figures in the lot.

I know it is silly, but it feels like the laziest thing you can do if you laid out all of the figures. If the figures are in a pile (which I also dislike), then I understand you’re lazy. But if you took the time to spread them out; you need to finish the job. Count the figures.

Did I count the figures for this write-up?

No, I’m too lazy. I prefer throwing rocks as I sit on the porch of my glass house.

The third auction, mattel vintage 80’s muscle m.u.s.c.l.e. more mini action figure lot of 9, is a terrible M.U.S.C.L.E. lot. However, it is a nice FLAF/Strong Men lot. The lot features a Green Crater Face.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in this lot are damaged and dirty. They are basically garbage. (Ok, the #99 figure is in pretty good condition.)

What will be the final price? I was shocked when, recently, the Lutteurs had five bidders. I might put in a five dollar bid. I wouldn’t mind having that Green Crater Face. But do other people?

There’s already one bidder.

I’m very, very curious to see this lot unfold. I wish it was a single Green Crater Face auction. Too bad.

The Green Crater Face isn’t the only FLAF stuck in a lot. A Red Crater Face and Green Naked Mask are also stuck in a lot, but it’s a pretty oddly mixed lot.

The fourth auction, M.U.S.C.L.E and Army Ants and knock off figure lot, is that weird lot. It starts at $10 and has free shipping.

I noticed the Red Crater Face and Green Naked Mask right away. The M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were pretty obvious too. But then I had to look more closely. I think I see some Army Ants, a gumball pendant, a GUTS! figure, and one other guy. Is he GUTS! too?

Does a mixed lot like this invite more bidders or turn people off?

I’m in the latter group. I hate dealing with extra stuff I don’t need. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. It’s all the other stuff I don’t want.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t understand why some people would like it. Assuming that some people are excited by the variety it makes it almost impossible for me to guess a final price.

My wallet is directly connected to two figures. It probably won’t open as wide as someone that likes all the figures.

The fifth auction, x10 WRESTLING SUPERSTARS Gumball in Packet/on Card like MUSCLE Boglins Exogini, is very cool.

The opening bid is about $7, but the shipping is a little high. I think that’s because I’m in the US and they’re in Europe using expedited shipping.

In my experience these kind of sales run hot and cold. A crummy card with boring figures, even at a low price, can sit untouched. But cool art, cool figures, and you can suddenly having a bidding war. I think I got mine for around $20-$30. I haven’t felt the urge to go after any others. I think the card really has to speak to you. Buying gumball cards feels more like buying art than buying M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. If it doesn’t move you, then you don’t understand spending money on it.

I can imagine people being moved by this one.

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