Epilogue – Week of February 16th

Last week I asked about having multiple eBay accounts and changing user names. Based on the results, readers are similar to me. They haven’t had several accounts and/or user names.

While that was what I expected, it didn’t help me better understand why some people would do it. Without any other options, I turned to Google. The results were equally bleak.

The best reason I saw was, “If you’re selling radically different things.” I guess I can understand that, but only if they were VERY different. For example, if you’re a pastor, then you probably don’t want to buy your sex toys on the same account as the one that sells bibles. That makes total sense.

Aside from that example, the rest of the reasons seem extraordinarily weak.

As M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors the evidence points to multiple accounts/names being nothing but trouble (e.g., arforbes/boingelbes/yapiel/balucard/monkeyroxy/aligigli0). In fact, a new eBay name was shared with me – metal-storm. Can you guess who it belongs to?

That’s correct. It belongs to Alex Forbes.

What is the story? Let me share what I learned. First, the original listing was for a Light Blue #153 figure. It sold for $15.50.

Alex Forbes MUSCLE Scam

Auction Picture

The auction description stated:

Up for auction is a light blue color M.U.S.C.L.E. Men CLAW figure. Figure is in excellent condition.

Please ask all questions prior to bidding, thank you.

Seems ok to me so far.

Why Alex wouldn’t simply sell it under arforbes is a mystery to me, but no major red flags.

Then the buyer shared some additional information. He claimed that the figure was in “poor” condition; quite different than the stated “excellent condition.” His exact words were:

He just sold a light blue claw with 1 fuzzy picture and said it was excellent condition. Condition was poor at best. He then ignored me so I had to open up a case to get a refund. I got it back to him, received a full refund and left him negative feedback. He then called eBay to get the negative feedback I left him removed. It wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of the muscle world or Alex’ past behaviors… but it was pretty dumb for him to go through all this to make five bucks more on a light blue claw.

The buyer shared some of his correspondence and Alex’s response:

It doesn’t seem like either party was particularly happy. The buyer responded again:

The buyer was understandably frustrated and left negative feedback. Their frustration grew when the negative feedback was removed. The buyer felt that the correspondence was used to get the feedback removed. He felt almost baited into saying things and that Alex used this playbook to get the feedback removed. Now he’s left wondering if Alex “could have gotten the negative feedback removed so quickly had I not responded to him at all.”

Is it a scam? Is it shenanigans? I think all of it is just shitty.

M.U.S.C.L.E. buyers will always out Alex’s duplicate accounts. Metal-storm has been around since 2011. It took nine years, but it happened. Sadly, it will probably keep happening.

I’m left with two final questions. One, why does it keep happening? I certainly have my opinions. You have yours. And I’m sure Alex has his. The reality is that it will always happen. Alex’s behavior hasn’t changed in like 20 years. He’s a 40-ish year old man and plays the same games he did 20 years ago. Those spots won’t and/or can’t change.

“Why don’t you leave him alone and just let him sell? I’ve never had a problem with him.”

That’s the second question – I’m sure some reader thought it. Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy didn’t kill everyone they met. They probably interacted with many people that thought they were pretty solid guys. That doesn’t make them swell people. Nobody says, “Ted was a great guy. I don’t know why people still talk about his murders. It was in the past. He never murdered me. Just move on and let it go.”

Nothing would change if Alex started selling M.U.S.C.L.E. figures under his known arforbes eBay account – except he wouldn’t be actively trying to deceive people. The evidence suggests that’s the part he likes.

What else is stewing on eBay?
Holy shit. This is just awesome. I can’t remember the last time the first eBay listing was pure awesomness.
Actually, just check out all the cool stuff from gunsmoke.50 This guy has a long history of being awesome.
Good option to pick-up a reasonable 4-pack.
Not “VERY RARE,” but still nice to see.
Perfect if you’re looking for a stepped-on 28-pack.
– The shipping is so high for this figure because he’s the Ultra Rare #234.

Well, we have our winner from last week. It was a close one, but the $120 Future Man edged out the competition. This week we have four new worthy competitors.

The AOTW #1 entered the fray with its $20.10 BIN for four Flesh figures. That’s correct. They are asking $5.03 per Flesh figure – plus some of them look stained.

The AOTW #2 must have see the $5.03 per-figure price and said, “Hold my beer.” They have a $13.99 BIN for a single Flesh figure. Oh, and it has a huge mark on the left hand.

The AOTW #3 isn’t an obvious choice. A $400 BHS for sale is hardly worthy of AOTW. However, the figure already sold. The seller decided he wouldn’t honor the sale. Fuck that seller. I hope nobody bids. You can read more about it here.

Finally, there is the AOTW #4. This seller set a $85 opening bid for 10 Flesh figures and a can. At best, I would suggest you have a $12.50 lot.

Cast your vote and crown the next 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=”95″]

There was sadness when our ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way Winner #1 was no longer selling her empty box.

We thought this was the fine image of our old friend.

It was painful to consider our journey was over. We watched as she started at $250. Unable to sell it, dropped down to $160. The drops continued: $149, $145, $139, $135, $125 and finally $120…for a beat-up, empty box.

When she did stop, we knew there was a zero-percent chance it actually sold. It is an empty box. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors see crazy things, but this sale was simply impossible. Plus, there is no feedback posted by either party.

We now have irrefutable evidence the box did not sell. It has been relisted with a $150 BIN.

Oh dear lord. Some other dope has “bought” the box and there is feedback from the buyer this time. Interesting that the seller didn’t leave feedback.

I think there is zero percent chance this belt has actually sold. It will be relisted. Pay attention sellers, this winner perfectly demonstrate the level-of-asshole it takes to be an ULTIMATE champion. She truly is the ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Fatal-Four Way Winner #1.

Our inaugural champion has a very worthy companion.

The initial listing for the $3 figure was for $1500. The entire story was covered in AW #284. Apparently, there’s still a little more to add. The figure is STILL for sale with a $100 BIN.

This seller probably could be a repeat winner with their other listings.

An original SHA, with the head spur still attached, in the original Flesh color was sold for about $185. This seller is attempting to sell a yellow, headless version for $1,000. That is the level of commitment needed to become the 2nd ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Winner.

Sadly, it looks like our second champion has paused their grifting efforts. I do not see the figure for sale, nor do I see any feedback.

  1. #1 by Walker26 on February 21, 2020 - 12:45 pm

    My thoughts:

    1. Why does it keep happening? Alex is involved. Say no more. He probably can’t keep track of all his lies by now.

    2. Why don’t you leave him alone…..? To keep new collectors informed, and keep track of the names he uses.

  2. #2 by atilary on February 21, 2020 - 5:43 pm

    He sold a light blue claw on 1/2/20 that I purchased. I didn’t realize it was him until the envelope showed up and the return address was arforbes. The claw was in fine condition though and I paid 15.50 for it as well. Not excusing what he’s done or weighing in on this in any weigh, but the claw is hanging out along with my light blue #1 and #3 here at work with me. I did feel like I was marking off a muscle collectors checklist though when his name was on the padded envelope. The auction I won had the same picture as the one you have above though.

  3. #3 by Bones on February 21, 2020 - 9:45 pm

    So I’ll throw some fuel on the fire.
    I along with at least 2 other have fake dyed figures sold to us by Forbes…and I know there are others

  4. #4 by atilary on February 22, 2020 - 11:48 am

    How do I tell if it’s been dyed? I collect light blue and this one looks the same as all my others. It gets treated pretty roughly too, would the dye rub off?

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