Auction Watch #310

Last week there was quite a bit of stuff in Auction Watch. The listing that inspired the entire AW, to my utter dismal, sold for $21. What the fuck people? I may have vastly underestimated the stupidity and impatience flowing through the current buying audience.

Soupie and I used to talk often about the differences in “price” and “value.” All of our conversations boiled collectors’ buying behavior down to some combination of:

  1. Impatience
  2. Funding
  3. Desire
  4. Competitiveness
  5. Ignorance

I need someone to convince me that spending $21 on a figure worth a couple bucks is anything besides pure Impatience and Ignorance.

I thought it might be fun to do an AW postmortem using the FIDIC (working acronym) report card to examine the final prices. But we can’t really observe Impatience, and Funding. And from an observation perspective Desire and Competitiveness could look very similar. Ignorance would be the only observable behavior, based on how much higher a buyer pays than “normal.” And isn’t that pretty much what I’ve already been doing?

Let’s take a look at the listings from last week.

12 Figures and a Can
Sold for $52.15

10-Pack with Green #153
Sold for $265

4-Pack with Light Blue #153
Sold for $144.50

The figures and can sold for a stupid price. Recent history showed us that a Green #153 couldn’t sell for $39.99 (thank god). This lot blew right past that price. I guess if you’re dumb enough to believe an empty can is worth $20+, then you’re dumb enough to spend $52.15 on that lot.

Even more recent history showed us a 10-Pack with a Green #153 selling for $405. I won’t repeat my sentiments from that post. I will say that $265 still seems high, but much closer to “normal.” A 10-Pack normally sells for about $100. Obviously the inclusion of the Macarena will drive the price up. I would have expected around $200. Based on the bids it looks like most bidders were interested until around $200 and then the MRT took over.

Finally, we have the 4-Pack. Overall 4-pack prices have risen pretty significantly. That’s why we see lots of unsold lots like this unsold 4-pack with a Light Blue #153 at $385.41. About two years ago we saw a Flesh #153 4-pack sell for $73. This 4-pack sold for right around where I would expect – which probably means it was a little lower than crazy buyers would spend. Does that make it a good deal? It’s, minimally, a fair price.

Proof of M.U.S.C.L.E.’s Deep Impact
Sold for $9.50

The real shocker for me was the “Deep Impact” card. The buyer got an ABSOLUTE steal. Has anyone else ever seen this?

I’ve never looked for it, but I can’t remember it ever coming up in a M.U.S.C.L.E. search. And I’ve done quite a few of those. Admittedly, I could be super wrong. These could be as common as MUSCLEMANIA 4-packs. But my eBay experience does not support that idea.

That’s why the idea of “rarity,” with collecting, is bullshit. If collectors were simply attracted to a “rare” item, then this would have sold for more. I believe most collectors want to own, and show off, popular items.

If I’m not careful, then I’ll accidentally repeat this post mixed with this post. Although I would say the social component of the game has changed significantly. LRG has been trending towards a handful of posts per day. Not very social.

And the largest group of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors on Facebook (that I know of) just wants to post figures they own and figures they are selling. They are not concerned with helping people in the face of absurd bullshit. Not very social.

I pointed out this broken Green #168 with a $250 BIN. The same figure, not broken, sold for $43.50 nine months earlier.

Looks like the seller is selling it “for a discount” on Facebook too. Does anybody say anything?

No. The only comments are:

Comments from the Facebook Post

“If we don’t have anything nice to say, then we don’t say anything.”

That’s a total cop-out.

Unless you don’t care about the people in your group. And that’s ok too. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors don’t need to work together. They don’t need to share information. They don’t need to be honest. They don’t need to help new collectors.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. “game” may have changed. It’s no longer social – or not like it used to be. It’s more competitive and less collective. That would be a sad day for me.

I’m going to keep playing it the old way. People might not always like what I say, and how I say it, but M.U.S.C.L.E. conversations shouldn’t be secret. M.U.S.C.L.E. knowledge and expertise should be easy to gain. That’s the game I’ll keep playing.

The first auction, Vintage M.U.S.C.L.E./Kinnikuman Multi-Colored Lot, will not be selling. It has a $300 BIN for 93 figures, which works out to $3.23 per-figure.

This seller is clearly looking for the “Impatience and Ignorance” buyer. Maybe the $21 keshi buyer will see it?

Normally, I would move on to another auction. The auction might have some type of similarity. It might not. I was stunned when I saw the next auction.

The second auction, Lot of 93 M.U.S.C.L.E Muscle Men figures Y/S NT, is also 93 figures. However, it is an auction and does not have a BIN.

The listing started at $49.99 and, as of writing, is at $51. I wish there weren’t two #153 figures in the lot. That’s going to drive the price higher. (Hey Macarena!) But it will be nice to compare one lot of 93 figures to another lot of 93 figures.

I don’t think the second lot will get anywhere close to $300. I think the final price will be about $100 (92 Figures + Red #153).

I thought I’d wrap-up with something I laughed at again as I was looking for something else.

musclemaniac (From Auction Watch #24):

I have to agree with Kevin here. And how can you say this auction will end at this price, and this one will end at this other price. Does the owner of this site have a crystal ball or something? Maybe not, the predictions are a bit off.

The fun of Auction Watch, even though I didn’t always understand it, has always been talking about M.U.S.C.L.E. stuff. I enjoy being curious. I enjoy sharing my opinion. If anything else positive, or negative, happens it is totally out of my control.

But you can bet I’ll talk about it. I still care about M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. And this site makes sure there is at least one player in the social M.U.S.C.L.E. game. I encourage everyone to join the game.

If not, then we already know the game you’re playing.

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