Auction Watch #280


Arguably the safest prediction ever was made in the last AW. It was that the first two listings wouldn’t sell and the third one would sell. Shocking, right?

Class A Purple #145
Sold for $20.50

But I think it illustrates a M.U.S.C.L.E. norm. The vast majority of sales happen at $0.50 to $1 per-figure. The third listing sold for $0.61 per-figure. Sellers can be greedy, and exceptions can happen, but the norm has been in place for years – and there is no compelling reason for it to change.

I do want to recognize the sale price of a listing I mentioned in the most recent Epilogue. The undisputed King of Class A auctions, lint-speed, sold a Class A Purple #145 for $20.50. I expected it to sell for closer to $30 because it’s such an awesome figure, but $20.50 makes sense too.

If I had one wish, then it would be for more wises. Obviously. Once I had more wishes I would eventually wish that all M.U.S.C.L.E. listings started at $0.99. I truly believe that these types of auctions help our tiny little hobby.

The first and second auctions are also helping our little hobby.

The first auction, 108 Vintage Kinnikuman MUSCLE Wrestling Action Figures Lot Good Shape Claw 153, is a mixed lot of figures, mostly Flesh, that has an opening bid of $0.99. The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men Lot of 50 Action Figures – FREE SHIPPING, is another mixed lot of figures that has a starting bid of $0.01.

I firmly believe that these types of auctions help the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby because it gets figures into the hands of collectors.

“Dude, you don’t know that. Re-sellers could be buying them.”

That is 100% true. If re-sellers are buying them, then they are even more idiotic than I gave them credit for being. Let me explain.

M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors know that $0.50 to $1 per-figure is a pretty fair price. Let’s take a look at the 108 figure lot. On the high end the lot will sell for around $110. Plus about $10 for shipping. That means the re-seller has spent $1.11 per-figure. Not too bad for a collector, but terrible for a re-seller.

I imagine a re-seller is going to be optimistic, like this one, and list each figure for about $4.00 – ultimately quadrupling their “investment.”

Sadly, this will never happen. They may dupe a few impatient and/or uninformed collectors, but it won’t happen 108 times. These re-seller would need it to happen 30 times just to get back to even. That is such an offensive waste of time.

“Who are you to judge? Maybe they like doing it!”

Possibly. But their actions hurt my beloved M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby. It stagnates the movement of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

The third auction, @ Lot of 35 Vintage ’80s Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men w/ Rare Wrestling Ring, is a perfect example of this point.

The $79.99 opening bid doesn’t hurt anybody, but those figures and ring are never moving. The ring can’t be fixed or used for parts. The Flesh figures don’t complete, or jump-start, someones collection. The figures don’t become trading fodder or cut apart for customization.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby isn’t big enough or healthy enough to have people put up, hopefully unintentional, barriers to entry. I want people to find their old M.U.S.C.L.E. figures and do one of two things: (1) get them in the hands of collectors; or (2) become a collector.

The second thing is what concerns me more. If I looked at eBay today (after re-discovering my M.U.S.C.L.E. figures) at saw single figures with a $4 price tag, then I would laugh and say, “Fuck that.” An entire set would cost me $932 or more.

Some people may think I’m bordering on full histrionics. I’ll happily take that criticism because I care about the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. I know I can’t control it, but I’ll share my opinion. On a good day, maybe it will reach someone that needed to hear it.

On a bad day, I’ll have fun writing about M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

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  1. #1 by Kevin on February 13th, 2019

    Well cut my legs off and call me shorty..Some knucklehead actually bid on the ring listing..

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on February 13th, 2019

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

  3. #3 by Kevin on February 13th, 2019

    Yup. I saw a ring (unbroken) with box listed for 35$ a couple weeks back.

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