M.U.S.C.L.E. HiWay Hauler Update

Yesterday’s teaser picture is, in my humble opinion, only a small part of the story.

The first part of the story is the Hauler itself. Ron Lamb contacted me and said he had something I would appreciate. I was ecstatic when I saw the M.U.S.C.L.E. HiWay Hauler. Ron knew I would want to share these pictures with the rest of the M.U.S.C.L.E. world.

M.U.S.C.L.E. HiWay Hauler Prototype

Right Side

M.U.S.C.L.E. HiWay Hauler Prototype

Left Side

He said he was hesitant to purchase the Hauler because the lettering was screwed up, but ultimately decided it was part of the story (and I totally agree). Ron said he was told, by Bob Rosas (who I have talked to before), that, “We did this as a proposal for marketing.”

That’s a much better answer than I ever received. It also lines up with everything we have ever heard about M.U.S.C.L.E. and Marketing at Mattel. Marketing controlled M.U.S.C.L.E.; they controlled everything that happened.

Ron wondered if the small lettering killed the M.U.S.C.L.E. Hauler. That was always my suspicion too. Maybe it was a part of the cancellation?

Today I think the answer is even more simple. Marketing didn’t want it. Having to solve the tampo problem could have been a part of the problem. But Marketing probably didn’t see the advantage of having a M.U.S.C.L.E. Hauler. Frankly, I can’t make a good argument either. Look at the other brands that became Haulers; they are iconic, national brands. Throwing the M.U.S.C.L.E. logo on a Hauler wasn’t going to sell M.U.S.C.L.E. figures – which was rightfully Marketing’s only concern.

M.U.S.C.L.E. HiWay Hauler Prototype

The second part of the story is the importance of provenance in a hobby with valuable items. Hot Wheels is a literally on the opposite size of the hobby-scale. On a scale of one to ten M.U.S.C.L.E. is probably a 0.0125 and Hot Wheels is a perfect ten. Collectors of special Hot Wheels items can usually trace their origin. Ron said the M.U.S.C.L.E. Hauler originally came from Bob Rosas collection.

I could validate that, because Bob had shown the Hauler to me in 2017. The screwed up letters were an obvious giveaway.

M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors seem to prefer varying levels of secrecy. I understand some degree of secrecy to, perhaps, protect a source – but absolute silence makes no sense to me; some information can always be shared.

We’ve seen a lack of information be problematic with a previous Hauler. A mysterious Hauler sold for $255. It ended up being a custom Hauler. Nobody should spend $255 on a custom M.U.S.C.L.E. Hauler.

The next custom Hauler sold for reasonable $20.50.

Why such a large discrepancy between two custom Haulers? Lack of information; one was mysterious and one was honest and straightforward. If sellers are withholding in any way, then it is fair to be overly suspicious. Sellers should want to share as much information as possible. It results in a better sale price.

That’s the case with Rob’s purchase. It is easier to spend the money when you know about the item you are buying.

If you’re like me, then you’re probably wondering how much he paid. It is a little difficult to say exactly because Rob bought three insanely rare Haulers together. Let’s just say that a single M.U.S.C.L.E. Hauler for around $2,000 still seems to be the going price.

, ,

  1. #1 by Walker26 on October 10, 2019 - 9:16 am

    Great story.

(will not be published)