Auction Watch #291

Class A Purple Terri-Bull

Class A Purple #2 Sold for $26

The previous Auction Watch featured the Class A Purple #2 figure I was selling as an experiment. What would be the final price for a popular Class A figure that started at $0.01?

The answer is $26.

I have often said most Class A figures are, at best, in the $20 or less range. For a longtime Purple #2 commanded a premium and he was in the, approximately, $100 range. That “premium” Class A group is evaporating at a faster and faster pace.

“Jeez, I better sell my Class A figures while I still can.”

I don’t think so. The evaporation of the premium Class A figures is only a symptom. The root cause is less and less buyers. M.U.S.C.L.E. is smaller than a niche; smaller than a sub-niche. It is the third level down in this tiny group.

“Aren’t you being a little overdramatic?”

No. Purple #2 is a popular figure. However, the listing only had five bidders. Two of the bidders can be thrown out because I believe they placed “If nobody is going to bid, then I’ll pay $1 (or $3.50) for it” bids. That leaves three people that wanted the figure.

Let that sink in. Three M.U.S.C.L.E. buyers were willing to pay more than $3.50 for the figure and no more than $26. Only weeks ago a Purple #2 sold for something less than $100. A year ago it sold for $51.

Six years ago we saw the first meaningful decline when a Purple #2 sold for $54.05. However, that listing still had 10 bidders. Prior to that initial decline, also about six years ago, it sold for $169.16 and had 23 bids.

That’s an 87% decline in bidding interest in this figure over the course of six years. An 87% decline in anything is shocking.

“So what? Why do you keep talking about this stuff”
Because I love M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. I love talking about M.U.S.C.L.E. from a data-driven position instead of an emotional one. I want to try to understand what is happening within my tiny, tiny hobby – and I am agnostic about the results.

In fact, I enjoyed this experiment so much I plan on trying more. With 100% of the sales going to charity and gaining valuable information I can’t find the downside. Until I am ready, here’s what caught my attention on eBay.

The first listing, M.U.S.C.L.E.S MUSCLE men toys. MATTEL 1980s Toys, Purple 149 m.u.s.c.l.e Class A, is another Class A figure from lint-speed. It looks like lint-speed has shifted from $0.99 auctions to $100 BIN listings. The seller only needs to find one buyer, right?

We have seen several #149 figures sold in lots. This is the first one I can document being sold by itself. Maybe there is a single buyer out there hungry for this figure?

I don’t think so, but that’s only a gut feeling. I decided to compare the #149 BIN to another comparable BIN listing. Obviously there isn’t a one-to-one perfect comparison available, so I tried to find the “best” M.U.S.C.L.E. listing with a similar BIN.

The second listing, Mattel Muscle Men Rubber Figure Lot And Others rare vintage 1980’s toy, was the best M.U.S.C.L.E. listing with a $99.99 BIN.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t love this second listing. However, I felt it was the best option. It was large and had a nice variety of figures.

My curiosity takes the shape of a rather simple question, “Which listing will sell first?”

Both listings have the option to Make-An-Offer. I firmly believe that is how both of these listings will eventually sell. Because of the size of the lot; I expect the second listing to sell first.

Let’s see.

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