Epilogue – Week of July 28th

My M.U.S.C.L.E. vacation lasted just a few days longer than I expected. I’m ok with that because I was insanely busy with baseball tryouts. There is nothing worse than calling parents to say their kid didn’t make it. Ugh.

Did I miss anything M.U.S.C.L.E.?

My guess is, “No.” Usually when something interesting happens my inbox fills up. I did have a couple fun things come in; like Bill’s story.

Actually, I fell like I haven’t missed anything recently. I remember getting excited for SDCC. I didn’t care it was coming. I didn’t care when it happened. And I didn’t care about any of the stuff that came out of it. It leaves me feeling conflicted. Is SDCC shitty? Did I age-out? Is it both?

It’s probably both, but it came on so quickly. Maybe that’s for the best.

Something that recently come into my orbit was Pocket Brawlers Series 2. I really liked the first series so I felt compelled to order the second set.

And, for a second time, I balked at the price tag – $46. Ouch. That is just over $15 per figure. Not terrible, but it certainly makes me ask myself, “Do I really need these?”

The answer, of course, is, “No.” I still ordered the figures.

I balked. A listing that starts at $0.99. Awesome.
14 listed, but still went with “RARE!”
What kind of case is that?
From Poland?!?!

I can’t believe the number of listings that are similarly shitty to this one. It gets harder and harder to point out M.U.S.C.L.E. listings that are worthwhile.

But maybe I’m wrong. I looked at sold listings and the highest-priced items first. What is actually selling?

This lot of 38 4-packs sold for $1,520. $40 per 4-pack seems awful to me; either as a collector or a re-seller.
Alex’s BHS finally sold for $1,149.95.
Plus his other BHS. I’m surprised by the sale of these two figures for many reasons. The biggest surprise is the significant price decline. I’ve already talked about how overpriced this figure was for quite some time. Looking at the continually declining prices of Non-Poster figures I think we just witnessed the last $1000 figure. The pool of interested and willing parties will to pay more than $1000 has probably dried up. I hope I’m correct.
A Purple #153 sold for $666. Awesome price and also a significant decline.
$315 for 6 Street Sharks. Aren’t these being sold at dollar stores today?
$224.99 for a SC. Holy shit. Even if this is a one-off dummy; it is shocking.
This seemingly mint 28-pack sold for $153.50. Damn. I wouldn’t have paid that price. For me, the nice part of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is that I don’t have to worry about condition. The figures are indestructible. That feel carried over to the packaged items. Am I alone on this?
I’m not a conspiracy guy, but I think sellers are re-shrink-wrapping boxes.

Ok, I’m getting bored of the listings. What are my takeaways?

  1. There hasn’t been an awesome listing, that sold, in a long-time.
  2. Non-Poster figures have peaked and are declining quickly.
  3. Satan Cross’ hype is as strong as ever.
  4. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors pounce on listings with roughly $1-per figure prices.
  5. I don’t recognize the M.U.S.C.L.E. buying audience.

M.U.S.C.L.E. is unarguably a small hobby compared to other toys. I divide the collectors that make up the community into four categories: (1) lifers; (2) lurkers; (3) burnouts; and (4) passers-through.

The lifers know of each other. The lurkers keep half an eye on the hobby, but are out of the day-to-day. The burnouts are the revolving door of people that start collecting and quickly burnout and move on to the next thing.

The passers-through are new. I think they make a M.U.S.C.L.E. purchase, or two, and move on. I think this is where the biggest abnormality comes from in the hobby. And I don’t know where they come from.

I imagine that lifers love M.U.S.C.L.E. from their childhood. Lurkers also love it from their childhood, but the insanity of the hobby pushes them away. Even the burnouts mostly love it from their childhood, but then they rediscover Street Sharks or GI Joe or something. Where do the passers-through come from?

Could it be curious people from the recent Super7 stuff? Could it be people trying to give M.U.S.C.L.E. figures as a gift? What do you guys think?

I’m skipping the AOTW this week. While there are always many viable contestants I just don’t feel like doing it.

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