Auction Watch #309

Will someone waste $21 on this?

This Auction Watch started with an incredible amount of trepidation. The Epilogue from last week impressed upon me that eBay is even worse than the last time I checked in.

With my cynicism fully activated I started my search for auctions to talk about. At first I was going to highlight this listing: The Claw – Kinkeshi(Kinnikuman) Sunigator shotai Japan BANDAI M.U.S.C.L.E.. I wondered if someone would pay $21 for a Flesh keshi that, conservatively, usually sells for 100 to 200 Yen. The clear, glitter version is probably closer to 1000 Yen – still well under $21.

I didn’t have too much to talk about until lhssenior saved me with some $0.99 listings. They were even topical, because his listings were #153-centric.

I do feel compelled to start with an admission. I don’t like the #153 figure anymore. I’ve often called it the Macarena of the M.U.S.C.L.E. world and I think that’s perfectly accurate – at least from my perspective. My #153 exhaustion doesn’t negate my understanding that the figure is still wildly popular.

The first auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Muscle Random Lot with Garbage Can and Claw, elicited a primary thought, “Wow, who’s going to over pay for that Light Blue #153 figure?”

They’re going to overpay for it because lhssenior is smart enough and confident enough to start the listing at $0.99. Selling M.U.S.C.L.E. items is an eBay game that most people play very poorly. Not lhssenior. As of writing the top bid is $43. That’s awesome for lhssenior, but totally comical.

I would argue $20 is the absolute highest value of that lot. The current price is double it and that makes me laugh.

“But I love the #153 figure! I need to add him to my collection.”

I love my kids. I even feel confident enough to argue that I love my kids more than you love the #153 figure. (I’m really going out on a limb.) The list of things that I NEED to do for them is actually quite short.

Don’t get me wrong, I WANT to do many things for them. Even that list of wants is pretty reasonable. I don’t throw any dollar amount at that list. For example, my oldest “needed” (it is certainly arguable) a new bat this fall because he wanted to start training with the heavier bat in the off-season. I wanted to get it for him, but knew he didn’t need it. I told him I was will to spend $50 in the fall, but would fully buy him one in the very early spring (even then, I like about $200 as the limit. A $400 bat doesn’t fix a $2 swing.) He took the $50, his own money, and found a bat. In my experience, most of the #153 bidders/buyers never learned that Need vs. Want lesson.

The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Muscle unopened garbage can with Claw, isn’t getting to ridiculous as quickly. I have total faith it will get there.

As of writing, the 10-pack is at $80. The last 10-pack, with a Green #153, sold for $405. I still can’t wrap my head around that price.

Normally I would point to the ebb and flow of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting. I would suggest that was a high water point. I would suggest it can’t go that high again. But the ebb and flow has changed. Things are moving at a glacial pace and we seem stuck at the high water mark.

We’ll see.

The third auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Muscle unpunched carded 4 pack with Claw, is hands down the least interesting #153 auction to me. (Did you see what I did there? “Hands down.” Good stuff.)

I like having my sealed 4-packs, but the figures never mattered to me. For example, I need four figures. If they were in a 4-, 10-, or 28-pack, then those packs would be opened. For me, M.U.S.C.L.E. is a little different because the header cards aren’t unique. I’m not quite as cavalier with Star Wars figures although I thought I was when I bought them.

The fourth auction, Ja-Ru Knock Off M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Figures on Card KO Muscle USA Wrestling Team, really isn’t a M.U.S.C.L.E. item. It isn’t even a true counterfeit M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. But I do think it shows the huge splash M.U.S.C.L.E. made upon its release and subsequent success.

Little pink men couldn’t be produced fast enough. The marketplace became so white hot that these shitty figures made it to retail.

I do apologize if you like them. I love MUSCLEMANIA and I know many people don’t. This could be someone’s MUSCLEMANIA.

While I hate the figures, I’m mesmerized by the card art.

Would I spend $8 for it? No. That’s not a subtle knock either. It’s not truly a M.U.S.C.L.E. item. Sure it’s part of the M.U.S.C.L.E. story, but I don’t need to own it. I’ve got the picture.

I’ll also be curious to see the final price. I’ve never seen these carded.

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  1. #1 by Walker26 on November 3, 2020 - 4:26 pm

    Did you see what the GITD Clawshine is up to??? Holy cow. $91. lhssenior is selling it.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on November 3, 2020 - 6:48 pm

    Yes. That’s why I think old customs should be recast.

  3. #3 by Tony C on November 4, 2020 - 1:37 am

    He had a Salmon one for 21+free shipping also… seems everyone missed that…
    I scooped it with a best offer…
    long live #153!

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on November 4, 2020 - 11:07 am

    My goal was not to track every single #153 listing. Everyone gets that, right?

    As for the “Salmon one,” Who had it?

    A Salmon keshi? A Salmon #153?


  5. #5 by Scott on November 4, 2020 - 9:42 pm

    Thank you! More satisfying than a Royal with cheese.

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