Auction Watch #312

The results of the top three listings are inconsequential. Those listings were selected to talk about for reasons beyond their sale.

The final lot, the unnamed MIMP lot, did sell. Some buyer got a great deal. Last week was fun to write, but there isn’t much follow-up.

As I prepared for this week’s AW, I knew I did not want to simply price rant. The first two listings I wanted to talk about were steering in that direction. But then something odd happened. I started seeing more and more listings with better opening bids. It knocked me a bit off balance because I certainly didn’t expect it.

Before I talk about anything else I want to say, “Thank you.” I know most, if not all, of the sellers won’t see this post. It still does not matter. Thank you for helping M.U.S.C.L.E. get to collectors. When prices get especially absurd we face a M.U.S.C.L.E. bottleneck. I love seeing figures having the opportunity to find new homes.

The first listing, Lot of Vintage Mattel M.U.S.C.L.E. Muscle Men Figures Kinnikuman, is not finding a new home. Hopefully it becomes an example of a dark period in M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting.

There isn’t a single figure in that lot that deserves a premium. I imagine most collectors won’t even want the MUSCLEMANIA figures.

Do you see that Light Blue #12 MUSCLEMANIA figure in the lot? I think I need it. (Full disclosure, I’m basing that on the virtual archive. The figure could be sitting on my table and I haven’t added to the archive. It wouldn’t be the first time that happened.)

I am an ideal buyer for that lot. Of course, I would never consider paying $199.99. We have a bottleneck. Two options for sale remain: (1) the insane buyer; and (2) lowering the price. I don’t even think the insane buyer will bite on this one. Frankly, we might be looking at a Forever Unsold entry – unless they significantly drop the price.

Speaking of dropping the price, the second listing, HEALEYMADE || M.U.S.C.L.E. x M.A.S.K. || Mini-Figure Set of 5 ||| 2013, has consistently been dropping their price. My memory suggests they started closer to $100 – maybe a little more.

I loved the first Healymade MUSCLE MASK figure. It looks awesome.

I have zero interest in the other four figures. I have always felt that those figures were chasing the kismet, lighting-in-a-bottle success of the first figure.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting they are bad. They are fine – I simply have no interest. Custom M.U.S.C.L.E. figures are both incredibly easy and difficult. More than once I’ve glued figures together or added an accessory from another toy. Each time I was satisfied with the result, but realized, “Nobody needs this.”

I wish more people thought that same thing.

The third auction, Muscle Men 28 Pack Set #2 Cosmic Crunchers M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures Musclemen 80’s, was one of the listings that gave me hope. There’s nothing really special about this 28-pack. That’s why it was so nice to see it had a $10 starting bid.

This listing won’t instantly become the guide for 28-pack prices, but I really can’t remember the last one I saw that didn’t have an absurd starting bid or BIN. It will be interesting to see how collectors react to a single 28-pack. There aren’t any extra figures. There isn’t a beat-up poster or a broken ring – just a single 28-pack.

It appears to be in fine condition. The figures appear to be in fine condition.

It doesn’t have the correct figures, but I don’t think people actually care about that. People are buying the tray and box.

As of writing, the price is almost $15. I would expect $25 to be a reasonable final bid. However, I would not be shocked to see it sell for more. The reason? New collectors.

I expect their valuation to look like this:

  • 28 Figures = $28 ($1 per-figure)
  • Box & Tray = $15
  • Total Price: $43 + $17 in eBay competitiveness
  • Final Price: ~$50

Finally, we have two Class A figures. Do they have outrageous BIN’s? No. Does the word “RARE” appear again and again in the title and description? No.

Why not? Because this seller isn’t an asshole. The seller know the reality of selling Class A figures. The seller knows that a $0.99 opening bid is the best method. The seller knows if the figure really matters to Master Set collectors, then the MRT will take care of the final price.

How does this seller have all of this confidence and knowledge? Because he’s done it plenty of times. Because he’s actually a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector. And it’s something everyone else can do too.

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