Epilogue – Week of September 2nd

Two weeks can go by in a flash. One busy week of work followed by one final summer vacation. It didn’t leave time for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, which can make restarting the Epilogue a bit more challenging. Thankfully a M.U.S.C.L.E. fan shared this comment and it provided the necessary spark.

The video, is very brief, and starts at the part most-relevant to M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors:

Let me start with my most uncontrolled visceral reaction, “Fuck this guy.”

Sorry about that. My anger genuinely bubbles up when I see people doing things that hurt the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. He suggests that the price of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures is about “two bucks apiece.” It is not.

Don’t get me wrong. There are foolish, impatient buyers overpaying greedy sellers. There is evidence of that all over eBay. However, I don’t believe M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are paying those prices. I think re-sellers are paying those prices. I suspect they dream of paying $1-per figure, or a little more, and selling for $6-per figure.

The guy in the video is exactly the type of guy I expect to buy social media followers (seriously, check out his followers – looks like bot city). He’s the type of guy that wants to other people to think he is an expert. He’s the type of seller ruining M.U.S.C.L.E. on eBay.

I don’t think our friend from the video would participate in eBay Entrepreneur Exchange. However, thanks to one post I think we get all of the insight necessary.

A brand new, NOT USED, Flying Tomato item can be purchased for around $30. This seller said:

Flying Tomato is an excellent brand for women’s dresses especially. Paid $2. Sold for $29.99. PayPal fee-$1.17. eBay fee- $2.70. Shipping was $4.36. Total profit. $19.76 on a $2 purchase. Not to bad. Just 5 of these a day would make you almost $3,000 a month PROFIT clean and clear. Not this exact item of course but 5 of these transactions. Would $3,000 a month PROFIT change your life? Allow to you go full time and leave a job? That’s $750 a week (pretax).

I don’t know where to start.

No matter the item (dress, M.U.S.C.L.E. figure, baseball glove, etc.) you need to consistently find an item at 6% of it’s potential sale price. That means if you’re going to sell M.U.S.C.L.E. figures at $5-per figure, then you need to keep finding and buying them for $0.30. That sounds tough, and time consuming, to me.

Continuing the M.U.S.C.L.E. example, using our friend’s example, you need to sell five $5 figures per day. In 30 days you will have made $750 (“pretax”). I don’t know what sounds most unbelievable in that M.U.S.C.L.E. example equation. I think it’s finding 150 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures at $0.30 per figure.

More importantly, to me, what is the opportunity cost? Selling, buying, looking for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures is often torture for me. I would rather do almost anything else. My time is way too valuable to waste chasing, at-absolute-best-case-scenario, $750 a month.

There can be exceptions but they are very far and few between. Plus, I’d rather just give M.U.S.C.L.E. figures to the guys that care about them.

Let’s take a look at other eBay sellers chasing a silly fantasy.
Probably a rockstarflipper fan.
Her too.
Maybe there is a stupid seller support group? Focusing on M.U.S.C.L.E. figures?
Maybe they all joined a Facebook group?
Do you think they recruit new shitty members?
Only two figures? You can still join!
I only have Light Blue. You can join too!
I’d like to join!
Hold my beer. I’m joining the group.
Hold my beer. I’m taking over the group.
What’s in the background of the main picture?
I want Purple #208 to be accepted as the most common figure.
“If you can’t leave high 5 star positive feedback don’t leave any.”
So close to being an AOTW.
I’m starting to think most of Super7’s sales are from people planning on reselling.
Even at $0.99 I’m passing on this “wrapping paper.”
“Rare?” No. Your price sucks too.

By the time you read this the the listing is probably over. I can’t wait to see the result. I am insatiably curious about the final price. This is one of the largest Sunshine lots I can remember. My gut says army-builders gravitate towards the Sunshine figures. Or I could be hungry. (UPDATE: The lot sold for $36.89. I would have guessed higher. I am quite surprised.)

To complete the AOTW Fatal-Four Way from most recent Epilogue a AOTW Tiebreaker was needed. Thankfully it was successful and we were able to crown a winner.

That $500 BIN listing will be the first combatant in the next AOTW Fatal-Four Way Battle of the Champions. Congratulations!

The next few winners will have their hands full when they take on the current AOTW Fatal-Four Way Battle of the Champions Winners. I have to imagine both of the current winners have to be considered favorites.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we need to look at this week’s combatants. At first the theme looked to be junk auctions, but the final two combatants nullified that simple theme.

The AOTW #1 features a garbage lot for $24.95. These figures aren’t mutilated, but most are painted and/or stained.

The AOTW #2 does have 12 undamaged figures, but I wouldn’t pay $30 for those 12 figures. And I certainly wouldn’t pay anything for the mutilated and stained figures.

The AOTW #3 has a shocking $124.98 per-figure price. Is there anything more to say?

The AOTW #4 has a $65.84 per-figure price (including shipping). What is the figure? A Flesh #107 figure. If you’re delusional, like rockstarflipper, and think the #107 is a $5 figure, then this figure is still 899.9% too high.

Cast your vote and crown this week’s AOTW Fatal-Four Way winner. Here are the four combatants:


Remember to cast your vote and crown this week’s AOTW Fatal-Four Way winner:
[poll id=”36″]

  1. #1 by Supersaurus_Rex on September 8, 2018 - 12:12 am

    That guy comes up in my recommendations on YouTube a lot. When I saw the video title, I winced. I’ve seen a few of his videos and found some of his break downs of the way eBay had changed it’s policies helpful, but this video rubbed me the wrong way. I agree with what you’ve stated here. I tell people who are curious about toy collecting that it’s only worth getting into if your passionate about it. If you think you can make a ton of money in it, I’d reconsider. I think you’re breakdown of the numbers really speaks to that!

    I’d like to add an anecdote to this. I was at a local toy shop a few months ago and asked the owner if he had any M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in. He told me he had hundreds but he needed to sort them as some are rare and “worth like 15 bucks a piece”. I said ok and just looked around the shop. He had just got in a big pile of toys in from someone. He was still sorting them but said I could look through and he’d give me a price if I found something I was interested in. I found a small paper bag with maybe 20 or so M.U.S.C.L.E. in it. I asked how much he wanted for them (there was a top sunshine and an announcer, which I haven’t been able to get yet). The figures we’re filthy and possibly stained. He said he have to think about it because he didn’t know if there were any rare ones. I picked out about 10 flesh figures (there were multiple colors in the bag) and asked what he wanted for them. He was still very hesitant and seemed suspicious all of a sudden and again said something like “I don’t know, even the pink ones can be rare so I’d have to think about it.” I said that I was very interested and would be willing to work with him on a fair price. He then told me he would offer a firm 2 bucks a piece for them because “you can’t even buy these online for less than 3 a piece, I think people are starting to wake up and realize how valuable they are.” I immediately gave up and said too rich for my blood. Part of me is still second guessing myself about it, but I think I made the right decision. my point here is I think this sort of thinking is maybe starting to take hold which sucks!

    I got into Muscle because it sounded like a fun thing to collect and not something that would break the bank. I think it still is but I’ve had to get off the beaten path to keep things reasonable. I recently picked up a bulk lot on line from a fellow collector and it was a very pleasant exchange, so that my be the way to go. Well, thanks again for your hard work with this site!

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on September 8, 2018 - 1:11 pm

    Supersaurus_Rex :

    I recently picked up a bulk lot on line from a fellow collector and it was a very pleasant exchange, so that my be the way to go.

    You are 100% correct. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors, that really care about the hobby, are always the best people to deal with as you’re building your collection.

    eBay is a necessary evil. Trying to use it as sparingly as possible seems like the best approach for M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors.

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