Epilogue – Week of December 6th

Tim’s Important Message from Facebook

Last week, based on Tim’s important PSA, I wondered would be the benefit of withholding, or censoring, M.U.S.C.L.E. information?

I guess Tim’s next thought was, “So Chad can’t see it!”

Tim’s Facebook group has gone Private. Look, take me out of it. That’s a terrible idea. If you’re trying to grow any group on Facebook (or just about anywhere), then it should be public – especially if you are NOT a revenue-generating brand/club/group that needs to carefully manage its public persona.

I remember years ago a bunch of people that had been kicked out of LRG created their own message board (CheapToyLand). It was going to be free speech, drama-free, and no more harsh censorship/moderation (or whatever they were proclaiming – it was really dumb). That didn’t last long at all.

The group started kicking out “spies” and then went moderation crazy. Pretty soon the site went private. Then your membership had to be approved. And then it all imploded and ended. (I did find one LRG thread with a few details if anybody cares. I’m sure there’s more, but it wasn’t a fun deep-dive.)

In a funny twist of irony, my Silver Boat #153 (which I’ve been teasing on Instagram), had some kind of relevant (and super old-school) notes. I need to set things up a bit. The notes were from when I was “selling” my Purple #153. I set the reserve super high. It allowed me to advertise the new website and make a pretty penny if anyone was crazy enough. Not my best plan ever.

Anyways Alex listed one at the same time, then a fake Purple #153 came along, and then some other bullshit. I mention all of that because in my notes was a copy-and-paste from the website (I hadn’t mastered the screen capture). I grabbed it because another part mentioned the Silver Boat #153. I swear history is repeating itself. Doesn’t this sound hauntingly familiar?

CheapToyMan (the main moderator – like Tim): CheapToyLand is not responsible for transactions that take place on auction sites such as ebay, nor is the site responsible for “ill-fillings” between members that has grown and festered from some other place and time. Nor are we liable for anything that goes on between two members in personal e-mails, pm’s, etc.

Please keep all future “drama” concerning transactions between buyers and sellers to yourselves or share it some other place…or send me a PM if something upsets you or makes you feel uncomfortable. If a seller sells a figure (that is authentic) to a buyer who “chooses” to pay that amount then it’s a legal transaction. The only time it’s illegal is when a figure is “fake.” If a buyer decides to pay $400,000 for a figure then that’s his problem and nobody elses. Nobody is putting a gun to his or her head and making them pay. We should all possess good common sense in the trading community…and just have fun with a hobby that has brought us limitless joy since our childhood.

This is a friendly and artistic monochromatic and designer toy forum, and trading and buying is just secondary to the site’s primary intent. I created the site to create friendships and build a “strong bond” in the monochromatic mini-figure community so we can all band together and “watch out” for people lurking to scam or sell figures that are “fake” or don’t exist at all…and also work together to bring the prices down if and when we can. Plus the forum creates a virtual “melting pot” for all of our rare figures to reside, so they can one day find their way into another hungry collectors collection.

It’s all fun and games, people. And let’s continue to have fun and be there for one another. We can also work together to bring some of these prices down…because when one or two collectors gets greedy (at the same time)…all hell breaks loose.

Just a thought.

Muscle (Which is Alex Forbes): Very well stated cheaptoyman! I agree completely with you! Thanks for bringing together such a great community free of unnecessary drama!

Hate me. Ban me. But don’t hurt your members, and future members, by going private. Seriously. It’s not a good road to start down.

And is it really worth it?

I always say, 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. You know what I didn’t hear this week?

Tim and Brian saying how wrong I was about the Green #168 situation. Tim and Brian saying the Yellow keshi situation never happened. Or Brian doubling down on his Alex/Chad love-child collection.

Because I’m sharing the truth. You never have to like the truth, but you have to accept it. The truth is unwavering.

I know Tim loves and wants to protect his Facebook group. He must have been protecting you by making sure these, very important to keep secret, posts from Wednesday were never seen by me. Do you feel safer?

Goodness gracious! Seeing them grouped together like that – I get it. You can’t let just anybody see this stuff. It needs to be behind a lock and key.

Ok. There is no need to be snarky. They’re all fine posts. It’s simply not my cup of tea, and never has been. I think I did Secret Santa once on LRG. I thought the LRG ““what you just got in the mail” thread was always super dumb. Is it really worth shutting random people out so I can’t see stuff I don’t care about?

“But you must care about it! You went through all the trouble to collect the posts. See…”

First, it took almost zero effort.

Second, I always try to back up my opinions with facts or data. I believe it is unwise for Tim to make the group private. I think it could hurt M.U.S.C.L.E. collector growth because it creates a barrier to entry – which shouldn’t exist for something so trivial. And I’ve seen this same M.U.S.C.L.E. story unfold before.

And why? So I can’t see this stuff?

Would I mention any of those threads? No. They aren’t worth talking about. But the largest M.U.S.C.L.E. Facebook group going private – that’s an event in the M.U.S.C.L.E. community worth talking about. This website, and specifically the Epilogue, has always tried to be the catch-all for things happening in the M.U.S.C.L.E. universe. Are the stupid people finally understanding how this website works?

Let’s take a look at Thursday’s new stuff.

Wait a minute. These posts are just like the last ones. Perfectly fine, and of almost no interest to me. I will admit that a NCAA tournament is a great idea. We did it at LRG years ago and it was a lot of fun (but a fair amount of work). We did M.U.S.C.L.E., Playskool Minis, LRG’s, and Battle Beasts. We were burnt after four.

Why wouldn’t Tim want me (or non-members) to see this stuff? There are probably two realistic and viable options:

  1. Pettiness
    • I guess Tim could just really dislike me. I could rub him the wrong way and he doesn’t want me in his group. But that is really petty.
    • Since I looked back at CheapToyLand, maybe there is some insight to be gained? They never banned people for how they said things. They banned people for what they were saying. That’s even true with LRG. People were always banned for what they were saying – never how. Interesting historical context.
  2. Shenanigans
    • People were banned from LRG for scamming fellow collectors. They lost the ability to prey on new collectors. They lost the ability to try and charge $15 for a Flesh #195 – or something like that. They needed a new place to prey on unsuspecting victims: CheapToyLand. But that imploded too. They started trying to control the narrative instead of dealing with reality. Again, it’s a small pond.
    • What if the group went private to “protect” people from the truth? For example, if somebody tried to sell a newbie a Flesh figure for $15. What would be the downside of the truth? Which is saying that is too much money – especially if it was a Flesh #195 figure. What if the protection is actually for people trying to scam new collectors?
    • This theory actually has some examples too:
      • We know Tim had to protect a member from Brian DeMars trying to scam him on a broken Green #168. It also makes sense why they wouldn’t like it being pointed out that a loose one sold for $43.50. They really wouldn’t like it being pointed out that a French-Canadian sealed 4-pack, with a Green #168, sold for $127.50.
      • What if Tim is protecting Brian from people finding out about the Yellow keshi deal that soured?
      • What if Tim is just focused on protecting only Brian?
        • It’s starting to sound like new M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors are the ones that actually need protection.
        • Or maybe, they went private because some people are more focused on wanting to be a revenue-generating group that needs to carefully manage its public persona. That makes a lot more objective sense than simple pettiness.

The shenanigans explanation would also explain why Brian would want to float an Alex-Chad-cahoots rumor. If he can make me look dishonest, then you can’t trust what I say. For example, I would say a Magenta #131 and a Flesh #195 are essentially worthless.

Brian would likely say $15 is a fair price for each figure. Right, Brian?

It’s a tiny, gross pond. Secrecy doesn’t help the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. It has always only hurt it. Secrecy especially hurts new collectors. It lets predators prey on them.

Maybe the goal has always been to create a new group for predators?

I hope not. But I do hope Tim thinks a little bit harder about the actions and people that are truly a threat to the M.U.S.C.L.E. community he professes to love. I know I want to expose those threats. That’s why I’m willing and happy to talk about it. Plus it is the truth. That’s what I love.

For the second week, we all know the best listings starting at $0.99 this week on eBay. What others are there?
At least it is $0.99.
Love a $0.99 4-pack.
This $0.99 lot just snuck in.
Great $0.99 lot.

Not a great lot.
I was ready to eviscerate them, but probably used eBay’s suggestion.
Will Canadians start digging out their collections again? I hope so.
Did this go back up?
Strange lot – but much stranger picture.
I think we’ll also see a flood of these lots.
21 figures. Guess the BIN.
New rule. If you see a M.U.S.C.L.E. link with a “discount,” then it is automatically awful.
I’d get my drill.
Oh, c’mon.

Yikes. Less $0.99 lots and less mention-worthy lots.

Looks like the “Rarest Kinnikuman M.U.S.C.L.E of ALL TIME!!!” has temporarily retired. I expect him to come back, but he has to come down. Bummer. The painted figures, sadly, were not listed either. They’re down too. I guess the greatest all eventually face retirement.

Having dealt with eBay closely the last two weeks, these listings mystify me even more. Three of these listings are $20 or less. Why? Why?!?!

“It’s not so bad once it’s listed. You just have to wait.”

Then the seller is waiting to take advantage of someone? Is there a different way to view it? I am seriously asking.

And I’m also surprised there hasn’t been a single nomination for Forever Unsold. I get emails, DM’s, and all kinds of communications about M.U.S.C.L.E. stuff. The one thing I’ve never gotten is a Forever Unsold nomination. If I had to think of every M.U.S.C.L.E. collector I know, then there’s one guy I’d expect to make the nomination – Bill Raeth. I don’t really have any other reason than he throws me some of the most unexpected stuff. (There’s no pressure Bill. I was just making a wild guess.)

We wrap up with with the classic – Asshole of the Week. There were a lot of good competitors last week, but the $249.95 BIN Loose Belt easily won. I think she’s got an excellent upside with lots of wins in her future.

What do we have this week?

The AOTW #1 was very easy for me to pick this week. It’s me. Honestly, how did I fuck this up? It’s a Magenta #167 not a Magenta #179. Actually, it was easy for me to fuck up. I hate eBay. I was reusing listings to make it easier on myself – which means I got lazy. Damn it. I was most frustrated because I couldn’t edit the title and I couldn’t find the “End Auction” button either. I would have just relisted it. I remember that being easier. Just add it to the list of things I hate about eBay.

The AOTW #2 is an open can with a $100 BIN. I sure think it looks like they’re trying to snag a buyer that thinks it is sealed. If that’s not the case, then they’re an even bigger asshole for thinking having part of the shrink-wrap is valuable.

The AOTW #3 may have gotten sales advice from the AOTW #2. This seller has 11 figures, with no shrink-wrap, with a $59.99 BIN

The AOTW #4 has four Flesh figures with a $30 BIN. That works out to $7.50 per figure. That is a shockingly bad price. Although if you compare it to Brian DeMars suggesting $15 for a Flesh #195, then all of the sellers are shitty.

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


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

AOTW 12/11
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 Johnny on December 11, 2020 - 6:24 pm

    Oh man, you dug deep for this one, ha ha.

    Those tournaments were AWESOME! It was a ton of work for you guys though.

    Tim, if you are reading this, I’d advise opening up your site again. Closing it off to members only will stifle your growth. You guys have a ton of energy there right now. Don’t let a pissing contest with Veers cause it to ebb.

    Anyways, thanks for the tip down memory lane.

  2. #2 by Rodney on December 12, 2020 - 2:01 pm

    The Facebook group went private because people were getting called out and feeling harassed. The assumption most people make is something posted in a group like that will stay there. The mistake was it not being a private group from the get go, but I think that’s good to go now. Cheaptoyland is also a facebook group as well. For anyone reading, come checkout the group. I’m not mod and get nothing out of it, but it’s a great place to talk, trade, and enjoy muscle figures.


  3. #3 by Chad Perry on December 13, 2020 - 12:09 pm

    Geez. I’m sorry for calling out people scamming new collectors and speaking the truth. I can see how that was triggering for dishonest, stupid people.

    Good thing everything will remain a secret because the group is private. (See above.)

  4. #4 by Alan Mask on December 14, 2020 - 7:33 am

    People like you are the reason my mom
    hates message boards!!

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