Epilogue – Week of November 29th


You guys see anything good on eBay this week?

Do you know what I learned this week? eBay makes an opening bid suggestion. I think the suggestion was $11 as an opening bid. M.U.S.C.L.E. items vary so widely in value I can’t imagine that suggestion is ever helpful.

That’s why I was so curious about this listing. Did eBay lead the seller down this path?

I took a look at the seller’s other items and the opening bids seemed much more reasonable. Again, is this Magenta #189 the fault of eBay’s suggestion or the seller?

Ultimately, I think it was the seller. The other M.U.S.C.L.E. listings line up with what a perfunctory search on eBay would yield (except for the other Magenta figure). I think that price was 100% the seller. Which begs the question, “Why does ignorance (or minimal understanding) about an item make it more valuable to the seller?”

It seems clinically maladaptive. I can’t think of a situation that would genuinely warrant that reaction. This summer I went for a hike and was shocked to see hidden treasures along the way. Should I have tried to sell them each for $100? The human animal is forever surprising.

Tim’s Important Message from Facebook

Speaking of surprising animals, Tim Hiser had some critical information to share with M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors.

I thought I would address his significant concerns individually.

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

This is just ment to be a PSA.

For the acronym deficient, a PSA is “an announcement made for the good of the public1.” Sounds good! I’m all ears.

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

Seems we are still spied on. 🤣

Oh no! Why would someone spy on M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors? Seriously, why?

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

BEWARE, if you post here you may become university fodder.

Oh. Yes. That’s correct. I have a blog that talks about M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting. Since June 2009 I have been sharing what I see happening across the M.U.S.C.L.E. landscape. Since the Facebook group started last year (but, basically this year), I have paid attention. I have encouraged collectors to go to Facebook group instead of eBay.

Is that what he meant by “spying?” Spying would mean I am attempting to be secretive. I am literally doing the exact opposite. I am publicly sharing what I see with anyone interested. That would not make me a very good spy – for which I was never trying to be. Weird.

I’m sure his next point will bring further illumination to his PSA’s message.

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

I think these blogs are complete 💩!!

Which I respect. I don’t know if that opinion is really a “PSA,” but I don’t expect everybody to like this website.

I don’t need anybody to like it. This website was done for me and anybody that was interested in the information I had collected over the years. I didn’t think any M.U.S.C.L.E. information should be secret.

Who would start a M.U.S.C.L.E. website looking for external validation?

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

And the reason links to there are not allowed.

Suppression of information. That’s a weird choice. What would be the benefit of withholding, or censoring, M.U.S.C.L.E. information?

In my M.U.S.C.L.E. experience, the only individuals that exhibited that behavior in the M.U.S.C.L.E. community were involved with shenanigans.

I have always tried to be fully transparent, plus I never edit or surpess comments. We are talking about M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, what could there be to hide?

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

I love all of you!

Gross. Not me. What do you love about them?

That’s just pandering. Embarrassing.

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

I try to protect us the best I can. Sometimes I need your help. Just like the issue above, we took care of it behind the sceens. Everything’s fine now.

Protect “us” from what? I am seriously asking? What is the “issue above?” There isn’t anything “above” your text Tim. Unfortunately, I’m left to guess. Using your wonky screen captures I had to go back to my own website. I couldn’t remember where those were from. It was weird to see how you had presented information selectively. It’s almost as if you were trying to craft a specific message in order to produce an emotional, rather than rational, response to the information presented. Goebbels would be proud of you.

Red #131 M.U.S.C.L.E. Figure

Red #131 in a 4-Pack

Are you talking about when I pointed out absurdity? What did you protect “us” from that time?

Are you talking about my Epilogue where I shared my opinion on peoples’ race to delete figures from the Master Set? And then followed it up with proof that it was wrong? What did you protect “us” from that time?

You must be talking about the Green #168 with a $250 BIN that I pointed out in my Epilogue. I wrote about the M.U.S.C.L.E. game potentially changing and I didn’t see you “protecting” the members of your Facebook group. It appeared that you were fine with someone listing a broken, glued Green #168 for $200 when the last one, unbroken, sold for $43.50. That’s why I used it as an observable example.

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

We know we are here to enjoy this hobby and that’s all that matters. I see you helping and answering questions all the time.
As always please message me if you have any questions or concerns.
P.s. I use Nathans page often for info.

You already said you loved everybody. This circle-jerk feels redundant.

I use Nate’s page too. I direct people to it all the time. When Nate helped me create this website I told him I was never trying to compete with him. We joked that his site was high school and my site was college – a perfect pairing for M.U.S.C.L.E. nerds.

Tim Heiser’s PSA:

And remember Mattel didn’t leave us a rulebook. Prices and lists were created by collectors over time.

Hot take. Mattel didn’t leave us a rulebook.

I’ll take it a step further. Mattel didn’t leave M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors anything. It was M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors like Nate, Jon, Darrin, Tim (Drage, not Heiser), Jason, and Patrick that laid the groundwork. Dustin and Matt cracked the M.U.S.C.L.E. color code which was a total game changer. And I’ve done my best to centralize 20+ years of M.U.S.C.L.E. knowledge so anybody can gain it.

The M.U.S.C.L.E. information that people take for granted, and want to change on a whim, took years and years. I short-changed all the other people that helped along the way. It would be impossible to list all of them. And guess what, like it or not, Alex Forbes is on that list too. Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t acknowledge it. Just re-read this again.

And if you don’t recognize those names, please don’t lecture me on M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting’s past and collectors’ contribution to the hobby.

Tim’s Bootlickers from Facebook

The circle-jerking continued with the comments to Tim’s PSA. I could have picked any, but these two comments (to the right) are excellent summations.

Fact, the largest M.U.S.C.L.E. group on Facebook is this one. I don’t think that is quite the burn intended. I’m a big proponent of facts.

The subjective statement is I’m “oozing jealousy.” Based on what? I assure you, I don’t care. What is there to be jealous of? Seriously. I know my place in the M.U.S.C.L.E.-verse: collector, researcher, and blogger.

I guess I was banned (🙄) because I wasn’t nice enough. As I’ve before:

I’m not always nice. Or subtle. Do you know why I’ve always felt comfortable enough to be that way? Because there’s no scam. I don’t need anything from you. I’m not trying to sell anything to you. I’ve never had to keep my stories straight. I don’t tell different versions. It leaves me very free and relaxed.

If I was going to ban a person from a Facebook group, then it would be for something more serious – like trying to screw over a fellow member. Imagine buying a lot of 150 keshi figures from Japan. Let’s pretend it was Brian from the PSA comments. And another member wanted a few specific yellow figures. But then Brian changed his mind and kept all the figures. I bet Tim has had to hear a story like that one. I bet the other party was frustrated because he stuck up for Brian. He defended Brian when other people said he was “shady.” I bet that person had to stick up for him “blowing up auctions.”

I bet Tim has heard exactly that story. Maybe Tim is saving M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors from hearing terrible stories?

Remember, the M.U.S.C.L.E. community is tiny. For better or worse, M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is a tiny pond and you cross paths with the other fish swimming in this tiny, polluted pond. I hear lots of stories.

I heard another Brian story. There might be a very specific reason the above mentioned Green #168 was “handled behind the scenes.” Was it because Brian had sold it to someone, for $250, without disclosing it was broken. Brian wasn’t responding to the buyer who didn’t know the arm was glued on. I guess Tim did protect that buyer by getting involved. The figure was eventually returned and refunded.

Either the story is true or it is not. If it’s true, then Tim gets some credit for helping the community. If it’s not, then Tim doesn’t.

I can’t speak for Brian. But I know that I like to be very upfront and honest when selling a broken Green #168.

The funny thing about these types of stories, is that they start coming in fast and furious.

After I mentioned that I heard a theory suggesting that I was working with Alex. Or that I was helping scam something. I had another person share what they had heard. They asked me not to share the screen shots, but were ok sharing the ideas. Here is what Brian proposed to our person.

  1. I don’t have the figures I claim to have.
    • What would be my advantage to claiming I have things that I do not have? Yet again, I’m seriously asking.
  2. I am representing Alex’s stuff by proxy.
    • I don’t understand this one. Brian, feel free to clarify this statement.
  3. I share a collection with Alex. (Specifically, that Alex is the brains behind it and I am the “front.”)
    • We do. It’s in a little château on a Swiss mountain top.
    • I’m most offended that wasn’t considered the brains.
    • I will let the The Objectivist Newsletter explain:
      • “Proving the non-existence of that for which no evidence of any kind exists. Proof, logic, reason, thinking, knowledge pertain to and deal only with that which exists. They cannot be applied to that which does not exist. Nothing can be relevant or applicable to the non-existent. The non-existent is nothing. A positive statement, based on facts that have been erroneously interpreted, can be refuted – by means of exposing  the errors in the interpretation of the facts. Such refutation is the disproving of a positive, not the proving of a negative…. Rational demonstration is necessary to support even the claim that a thing is possible. It is a breach of logic to assert that that which has not been proven to be impossible is, therefore, possible.”
  4. I am a liar.
    • Again, based on what? See above.
  5. I deal “dirty.”
    • See above, again.
  6. I am still working with Alex and “running the game.”
    • Working with him how?
    • Running what game?
      • If I was going to “run a game,” then it wouldn’t be anything M.U.S.C.L.E.-related. “Running the game” sounds so pre-pubescent. This website goes dark for extended periods of time because I’m too busy with real-life. If you think I have the bandwidth to run a huge, multi-person, multi-year scam in addition to my actual life (and this website) as a 42-year old man, then I have to say, “Thanks.” I appreciate you thinking so highly of me.

Brian’s ramblings reminded me of this article. Brian is looking for data and patterns where none exist – which is somehow further proof to him.

“If you didn’t care, or weren’t jealous, then why spend all of this time writing about it?!?!”

Because this is fun. I enjoy it. This week, completely unrelated, one of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut pieces came across my screen. I thought it might help people better understand why I enjoy doing this website.

“When I was 15, I spent a month working on an archeological dig. I was talking to one of the archeologists one day during our lunch break and he asked those kinds of ‘getting to know you’ questions you ask young people: Do you play sports? What’s your favorite subject? And I told him, no I don’t play any sports. I do theater, I’m in choir, I play the violin and piano, I used to take art classes.

“And he went wow. That’s amazing! And I said, ‘Oh no, but I’m not any good at any of them.’

“And he said something then that I will never forget and which absolutely blew my mind because no one had ever said anything like it to me before: ‘I don’t think being good at things is the point of doing them. I think you’ve got all these wonderful experiences with different skills, and that all teaches you things and makes you an interesting person, no matter how well you do them.’

“And that honestly changed my life. Because I went from a failure, someone who hadn’t been talented enough at anything to excel, to someone who did things because I enjoyed them. I had been raised in such an achievement-oriented environment, so inundated with the myth of Talent, that I thought it was only worth doing things if you could ‘win’ at them.”

I enjoy this website. I enjoy all the learning and failures along the way.

I don’t need any external trappings, because this is just for me. It’s a bonus, in the truest sense of the word, if one other person cares.

“Hold on. What’s the difference between Brain saying those things about you and you sharing those stories about Brian?”

Fair point. You’re paying attention.

While I didn’t share the screen shots, I certainly have them. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors shared the information with me, but didn’t want to be outed. And feel free to ask Tim. He knows it to be true too. (Unless he’s protecting you from that too.) And I could share his comments too.

Brian doesn’t have any evidence, because none exists. (I hate mailing packages, do you really think I’d bother with any scam – especially a decades long one with Alex Forbes?!?!) Oh sure, other people could agree with his ideas – but that doesn’t make it real. I think it’s a great idea that I run into Margo Robbie at a coffee shop. Why? Because I know we’d hit it off, fall in love, and she’s pay to keep my wife and kids happy.

That’s the difference.

Well, we all know the best listings starting at $0.99 this week on eBay. What others are there?
Here’s a nice mixed lot starting at $0.99.
This is an old school mixed lot.
This type of 4-pack MUST start at $0.99. Well done.
Great starting price; awful auction description.
Another 4-pack starting at $0.99. Good stuff.

Is it just me, or are we seeing more $0.99 auctions? I hope so. What happening with the rest of eBay?
Gross.
My first thought, “How quick will this one drop too?” But somebody is going to bite on that Claw lot. Claw freaks can’t help it.
Ignore the price. Why sell these together?!?!
Clown lot bro.
Is this the lot from that recent Auction Watch?
Hahahahahahaha. Good one.
Gorgeous lot. Gruesome price.
This seems like a tough sell. How many people are looking to collect all of these at once…at that price.
Don’t need it, but cool warp.
Just start it at $0.99 dummy.
The $61.10 price made me wonder what was in this lot.

It is finally time to expand our group of Forever Unsold contestants.

Before we get to the newbies, I’m a little nervous. After 68 weeks the “Rarest Kinnikuman M.U.S.C.L.E of ALL TIME!!!” has come down. It looks like he wants to move some hockey cards now. Pulling the listing down probably makes sense. You can’t have a listing that looks clinically insane if you want people to trust your assessment of the cards’ condition.

I’m confident it will return.

The new entries were mentioned last in the Epilogue two weeks ago. The painted figures, sadly, are not currently listed. I expect them to return. I know I’ve seen that lot pop-up several times. If it doesn’t return? Then we’ll just take it of the list.

But it won’t be forgotten. I haven’t forgotten about this gem. 😉

Are you still here? Nice. Let’s wrap-up with the Asshole of the Week.

The AOTW #1 was such an easy pick. The $124.97 BIN is a terrible price for a loose belt. But that’s not really the price. The seller must be having a holiday special, because it is currently 50% off of its original $249.95 BIN price. What an asshole. What makes this seller a bigger asshole? The 50% sale or the price. I’m leaning towards the sale.

The AOTW #2 made me laugh because there aren’t any Class A Orange figures. None. It is literally the one color that instantly tells you, “I’m not too special.” That’s what makes the $15 BIN so hilarious to me.

The eBay seller “lukekneewalker makes a dual appearance. She is also the AOTW #3 with her $25 BIN Light Blue #162 figure. This week a Class A Purple #156 sold for $7.50. The last, most interesting, #162 figure sold for $5.99. The last undamaged #162, with some cool extras, sold for $0.99. But stick with that $25 BIN.

The AOTW #4 is a $100 headache. You get an incomplete belt and get to spend eternity searching for the side cases and red “ropes.” That’s unfair. I think I’ve seen a handful of those side cases pop-up from time to time. I don’t remember a single appearance of the ropes. That’s the kind of accessory that when it is lost – it’s gone forever.

Cast your vote (below) and crown the next AOTW Fatal-Four Way winner. Here are the four contestants:

vs.

Remember to cast your vote and crown this week’s AOTW Fatal-Four Way winner:

AOTW Test
Who is this week's AOTW Fatal-Four Way Winner?

There used to be a long write-up about the first and second ULTIMATE AOTW Battle of the Champions Winners. The 3rd winner has a tiny backstory, which made me think we don’t need the full saga anymore.

  1. #1 by cloning007 on December 4, 2020 - 10:09 am

    Makes me wonder what happen to Jason and Patrick. I loved MCW so much, and when I started collecting at 14 Patrick was only a year or two older than me, compared to everyone else who were in there 20’s
    I still have my MPS news letters

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on December 4, 2020 - 10:51 am

    I had lunch with Patrick several years ago. At the time he was consumed with work, so that’s my best guess.

    Jason’s just not collecting, but we still cross paths.

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