Auction Watch #248


All of the results from last week’s AW surprised me. The biggest surprise to me was the poster. For a poster, in that condition, plus the original mailer tube, the buyer got a total steal. I don’t think the seller really missed out. It would have never sold with a $150 BIN. But I’m shocked M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors weren’t more excited by this listing.

I would have paid $140 for the poster before the 10-pack Display Case. But some other collectors felt differently and I am completely shocked.

The fact that the damaged SC sold didn’t surprise me. I figured at least one person would bid. It’s kind of unique oddity to add to your collection. I was shocked by two bidders.

Finally, I’m surprised someone didn’t take a long shot on the final listing having a Salmon #107. I thought it was a damaged Flesh. I figured if someone is desperate enough to buy a damaged SC, then a possible Salmon #107 isn’t a crazy gamble for someone. Speaking of crazy and surprises, let take a look at some recent listings. Let’s start with some 4-packs.

The first listing, AFA, 1985 M.U.S.C.L.E. MEN 4 pk KINIKKUMAN w/**RARE** Mito #189 Figure, has a $299 BIN. I’ve shared my thoughts on AFA plenty of times before.

I’m more surprised that the seller thinks he can demand a premium for an AFA 70 score. That’s not very good. Sure 4-packs in shitty condition clog up eBay, but I know collectors have them in great condition. I would bet that any collectors’ 4-pack would score above 70.

Does that sound crazy?

Of course, I would never pay the fee to have my 4-packs graded. Makes it tough to validate that hypothesis.

I have another hypothesis. It is a new one. It is one that I’m not sure I believe, but the mounting evidence makes it hard to ignore.

Here it is: I believe Alex Forbes (arforbes) is sad that he ruined his name in the M.U.S.C.L.E. community.

What do you think?

If I read that sentence even a month ago, then I wouldn’t have believed it. The following listing that made me see his recent actions differently: MUSCLE MEN COLLECTION OF 4 M.U.S.C.L.E. FIGURES VINTAGE IN SEALED PACKAGE.

Why did this listing change things?

In the past, when Alex pulled his various shenanigans I believe he thought he was out smarting people.

Then he started this recent stuff selling under his wife/fiancée/girlfriend/whatever’s name (that’s what has been reported to me several times). And then he made that very strange post here.

Seeing this recent listing made me feel sad. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors know it is Alex. He’s pretending it isn’t. He’s pretending he doesn’t know what it is. I’m sure he would argue, “I can’t list it under my name. You guys made it so I can’t do it!”

Maybe he’s finally seeing the legacy he created for himself. I know I would feel sad if I thought I had to jump through hoops because I couldn’t “sell it under my own name.”

I would also feel sad if I had to force myself into a community through negative attention only.

M.U.S.C.L.E is fun for me. If I walked away forever; I wouldn’t miss it. It’s like pickling or going to concerts. I enjoy it, but it’s just a tiny piece of me. I have way more important things to care about (obviously I’m talking about video games and dust).

The third listing, 1985 Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E MUSCLE MEN 4 Pack Carded 4-Pack CLASS B Sunshine, is also a 4-pack and the seller is refreshingly honest.

He admits that, “the bubble has been squished and is starting to pull away from the card.” However the 4-pack still looks pretty nice. He also pretty accurately states:

Only figures of note would be the two CLASS B figures. Theres a ORANGE Ashuraman #109 and a salmon SUNSHINE #3. CLASS B figures aren’t considered rare, but rather UNCOMMON. Sunshine figures however, are some of the most popular sculpts in the line.

I think Sunshine/#3 figure fans would love to add this 4-pack to their collection. I don’t think this final price will be driven by “Class B” status. I think it will be driven by a cool figure, with a cool assortment of figures, in nice colors, in a decent 4-pack.

I should emphasis that I don’t believe “Class B” ever drives up a price.

That’s a part of the reason the fourth listing, One Orange Sunshine Class B 003 M.u.s.c.l.e. Figure from the 80’s., is worth pointing out.

A lone Class B figure is probably going to sell for the same price as any Class C Color figure. That makes the $8 BIN rather silly (UPDATE: He raised the BIN to $18. Sillier.). But the price and highlighting of the Class B is actually secondary in this listing. Obviously, the primary focus should be the fucking ridiculous picture. What is that?

It made this guy and this guy look like the Annie Leibovitz of eBay M.U.S.C.L.E. pictures.

What’s the point of a seller wasting their time with a picture like that one?

So help me God, if, even for a second, you thought, “Well, maybe it helps it stand out on eBay!” Then you might get banned from reading future Auction Watch posts.

The fifth listing, Lot of 7 Claw Hand M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men Kinnikuman Mattel Toy Vintage #153, is also figure-centric and begs another question.

What is the point of hyperbole in auction descriptions?

I kind of made a subtle, not-very-funny, joke about it in the most recent Epilogue. I became seriously curious after I read the following hyperbole:

DO NOT miss this once-in-a-life-time opportunity to buy 7 different colors at one time.

That sounds so dumb. What’s the point? Does the seller think that statement will sell the figures?

It’s also just-not-true. There was a similar lot in AW #190 and it sold for $202.50. I think it was a better lot too. You got a resin Purple #153 as a placeholder. Seeing that past listing made me hate the $299 opening bid even more.

Speaking of opening bids, the sixth listing, Lot Of Custom Muscle Men Plus More, has an awesome, game-changing opening bid. The listing starts at $0.99.

That opening bid made me cast a bid. I wouldn’t have done that if the lot had started any higher. It is a weird mix of figures. I only want one in that lot. But starting at $0.99 I’ll throw my hat into the ring.

I believe M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is such a weird little niche, and $0.99 opening bids are the secret key to engaging your buying audience. I can admit my high bid is more than I would want to spend on the lot. If it got out bid, then I might even bid again.

But if it had started that high, then I would have laughed at the listing. I believe most, not all, M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors share that mentality.

Do you guys agree?

The seventh listing, RARE 1985 Nestle Muscle Park, Nestle’s Quik Promotion, Action Figures Lot of 10, is perhaps the most interesting listing this week.

The most recent Quik Tubes were sadly mired in shit and shenanigans. Before that tube discoveries were a bit more fun and exciting. I’m not sure how I want to react to this one.

With the $0.99 opening bid, obviously I was sucked in and placed a bid. But I’m still suspicious. Hell, I’m always suspicious. Here’s why I am suspicious this time. I don’t understand why only half the tube has printing. Logically I would imagine larger tubes were printed and cut down to a specific size. Perhaps this tube was an end piece and the printing only went “so far” in production.

If that’s true, then we’re dealing with a less attractive real tube.

Kind of feels like a bummer no matter what. I’ll be very curious to see this listing playout. Will the half-print drive down the price? Or will collectors not care?

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  1. #1 by Walker26 on April 25th, 2018

    Have you seen the 4 pack with a claw with a BIN of $649.95?

  2. #3 by plasticfiend on April 25th, 2018

    Thank you!

  3. #4 by Chad Perry on April 26th, 2018

    plasticfiend :

    Thank you!

    For?

  4. #5 by plasticfiend on April 26th, 2018

    The “refreshingly honest” description 4-pack was one of my listings.

  5. #6 by Chad Perry on April 26th, 2018

    plasticfiend :

    The “refreshingly honest” description 4-pack was one of my listings.

    Wow, I didn’t know that.

    And you, not me, have earned a, “thank you!”

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