WARNING! Don’t Get Scammed by Brian DeMars

Brian DeMars Scammed Collector“Why would you use the same title as the Alex Forbes warning?!?! Brian hasn’t done anything that bad!”

I imagine that will be the first reaction by most readers. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess.

Based on what I currently know – they are correct. However, he did scam people. I want to warn new collectors. And I think it’s a good title; directly to the point.

I think one of the people he scammed (we’ll call him Rue, since it means regret) said it best:
Brian DeMars Scam Story

More accurately, I should have said, “That’s my hope.” I certainly can’t control anything. If I could, then the M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting landscape would look much different. The best I can hope for is being a positive influence.

I created the Class system, in 2009, specifically with the hope new collectors could no longer be taken advantage of by experienced collectors. The goal of this website was to help level set all collectors by making all the M.U.S.C.L.E. information instantly available. But, even then, I knew that it wouldn’t solve all the problems. It’s why I cited Charles Saatchi:

Nobody can give you advice after you’ve been collecting for a while. If you don’t enjoy making your own decisions, you’re never going to be much of a collector anyway.

“Well, doesn’t that mean it was up to Rue to know better. You’re just being a dick!”

All collectors are entitled to their opinions. And you could probably make a very good case that I am an asshole, dick, jerk, know-it-all, and whatever other name you want to hurl at me. All of it would be based on me not being friendly enough. Or not being nice enough. Or pointing out things that I think are stupid.

None of it would be based on lying. None of it would be based on scamming people. You might not like what I say, but it is always the truth. I don’t juggle personas or stories because I’ll say the same stuff to everybody. It makes life really easy.

Here’s some hard truth, “How long did it take you to become an experienced M.U.S.C.L.E. collector?”

I don’t have an answer. I’m still learning. I hope I’m always learning. I’m sure that’s too Pollyanna for some people, so I’ll give an actual time. I probably didn’t have a good, solid, firm footing until 2009. That’s a solid seven years of learning.

Why do I mention that? Because it takes time to learn about this silly hobby. Maybe it doesn’t take everybody seven years, but it certainly takes some time. And during that time you tend to trust people that have been around longer and that are clearly active in the hobby. It makes you susceptible to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous people – like Brian did to Rue.

“What did Brian due to Rue?”

Good question. For me, it all started when a broken Green #168 figure showed up on eBay. As I said at the time, the price was absolutely RIDICULOUS because the last documented Green #168 sold for $43.50.

The Green #168 came up again after Tim ‘banned’ me from the Facebook group. After that happened I received lots of stories. Collectors were laughing at Tim and Brian’s holier-than-thou acts because there were plenty of shenanigan stories about them and the Facebook group.

Some stories didn’t have evidence. I couldn’t share those. Other stories had DAMNING evidence, but collectors didn’t want to be outed by sharing their evidence – which I understood. But for the stories that had evidence, I was happy to share the stories. And I was happy to repeat it again and again and again and again.

Why? Because it was the truth.

I’ve said it countless times. M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting is a tiny, tiny pond. I think the truth should be out there for all collectors, then they can make their own decisions. There would always be collectors saying, “Alex never screwed me. I don’t have a problem with him.” I am sure know collectors will say the same thing about Brian.

Using that logic Ted Bundy, Osama Bin Laden, and Hitler are all great guys because they never killed me. Yes, slightly hyperbolic, but you get the point.

“Everybody makes mistakes. It was just one bad deal. We’ve all had them.”

Maybe. Maybe the person thinking that is right. My goal isn’t to change anybody’s mind. My goal is to share some facts and let collectors make their own decisions. Let’s take a look at Rue’s experience first. It starts with this post:

Brian DeMars Starting Post

1st Part of Post That Started Everything

Brian DeMars Starting Post

2nd Part of Post That Started Everything

Pretty dull so far, right?

I’ll let Rue explain what happened next:

Brian DeMars Scammed Dude

Screen Capture (Part 1 of 2)

Brian DeMars Scammed Dude

Screen Capture (Part 2 of 2)

If you are like me, that was a lot of information to process. I believe these are the four key steps in the story.

  1. Rue trusts Brian.
  2. Rue tries to handle his money problem.
  3. Rue finds out he’s been sold garbage and tells Brian he knows he “got him.”
  4. Tim gets Brian to return the money.

Let’s walk through each step.

1. Rue Trusts Brian.

Scammers can’t operate very well if people don’t like them. And why shouldn’t Rue trust Brian DeMars? He has a good reputation. He’s active in the community. He seems friendly.

Alex Forbes was the exact same way. I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of stories about how he is a great guy. The same was true for Alex. Both Alex and Brian preyed on inexperienced collectors. New collectors are excited. They are naïve. And they are the only type of people you can scam with broken figures and outrageous prices.

That’s why dissent and open, honest discussion is so important in the community. Toxic positivity lets people like Alex and Brian freely operate.

2. Rue Tries to Handle His Money Problem.

Well, now we know why a Green #168 with a $250 BIN showed up on eBay. With 20/20 hindsight, that listing is a much sadder situation.

I think it also brings further illumination to why Brian and Tim didn’t want the topic discussed and suggested I was wrong about everything. I think it also adds a lot of weight to my Shenanigans bullets.

3. Rue Finds Out He’s Been Sold Garbage & Tells Brian He Knows He “Got Him.”

This is the saddest part for me. I have sold a broken Green #168 before. In fact, when I originally got it the glue was still holding the arm on. However, it was CLEARLY glued – which the seller (props to Eric Nilla) disclosed from the start.

Even if he hadn’t, it would have been obvious. There’s just something that looks wrong when you have the figure in your hand. I’ll admit, it’s not 100% obvious in the picture.

But you would not be mistaken when the figure is in your hand. Not if you’re a hardcore M.U.S.C.L.E. collector (which Brian is) and an army building fan of #168 (which Brian is). Unless he isn’t? I guess if he was actually totally clueless about M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, then you could make that mistake. Somehow I can’t imagine that being the defense he wants to use. Brian seems very concerned with people liking him (more on that soon).

Now that Rue knows he’s been taken advantage of by Brian, he confronts him:

Brian DeMars Scammer Details

DeMars Scamming a Collector

“This doesn’t sound too bad. Two collectors working out details.”

Maybe. Everyone will read that and come away with their own interpretation.

4. Tim gets Brian to return the money.

There is something important to remember. Brian and Rue didn’t work it out on their own. It took Tim Hiser, who created the Facebook Group that Brian loves, to solve the situation. Here’s a sample of Rue’s interaction with Tim:

Oh, boy. So much stuff to talk about. Let’s start with the most important, “Thank you Tim.”

Helping M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors, whoever is doing it, is something I will always celebrate. I actually asked Tim to comment, but he ignored me. Maybe he was afraid I would bully him? (C’mon, stay on topic.)

But Tim did talk to other people about it. I wish I could share more, but I’m trying to honor the wishes of one of my friends/sources (again, whatever title they want). As you can see, Tim wasn’t a big fan of the situation either. Thank goodness Tim was able to bring the situation to a proper end. Rue ended up getting his money back.

Tim probably didn’t realize Brian wasn’t finished with the situation. Let’s start with the “cease and desist letter.” In my experience, that’s what stupid people say when they have no idea what they are talking about. Fox News has more to worry about than I do. I am protected by Fair Use, Sources, Data, and the fact that I am providing commentary on a subject.

In fact, Brian should actually be more careful. Legally speaking, he’s probably more vulnerable than I am. As Rue said to Tim, Brian had been harassing him.

Brian DeMars Harassing Dude

Brian continues. (I suggest putting on waders. The bullshit is about to get pretty deep.)

Brian DeMars Spreading Lies

Brian DeMars Spreading Lies

Oh boy. Where do I start?

First and foremost, there is no “turf” (or turn) war. I, clearly, don’t care what people think about me. It always scares me a bit when people imagine they have a relationship (of any kind) with me. I think it’s bullshit for a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector to sell a broken #168 for $200 when a mint, unglued-one, in a French-Canadian 4-pack sold for $76. I will shed light on that all day. It could have been Darrin Vindiola and he would have been treated the same way. (Obviously, Darrin would never do anything like that.)

I wish Brian could post evidence to all his claims about me. I’m genuinely curious how he came to those conclusions. I’ve encouraged people to go to Facebook & LRG, instead of eBay, for figures.

Jon Karis, the owner of LRG, didn’t do shit. I’ve talked to him about it, and he said he let fuzzbuster handle everything. I think Lucas over-reacted, but apparently he didn’t want me talking about Brian’s behavior on LRG. Lucas getting his panties in a bunch doesn’t change anything.

I do take umbrage with suggesting the Facebook group is better than LRG ever was. That’s bullshit. But I don’t want to get too far off-track.

Why does Brian DeMars need to spread lies about me? I can’t imagine it is jealousy. There’s no reason to be jealous of another M.U.S.C.L.E. collector. Period. I believe the most logical answer is that me saying bad, but true, things about Brian hurts his ability to sell outrageously overpriced figures and suggest outrageous prices. (As I’ve said before.) I believe it, because I’ve seen the same type of behavior from scammers before.

The other common play in the scammer playbook is to reach out to me because there’s some amazing new information I should know. And their email always feels like they used the thesaurus too many times because the writing sounds weird and unlike them. I always think of this scene from Friends when I get the email.

So guess who sent me an email with the subject, “We should talk.” That’s correct, it was Mr. Brian DeMars.

I’ve developed some new information that leads me to believe it would be mutually beneficial for us to have a private conversation now.

I responded, “Ok.”

Cool. I unblocked you on Facebook and sent you a message on there. It’s easier than trying to send emails back and forth.

“Not for me. I hate Facebook.”

I’m hoping to connect for a verbal conversation. Exchanging messages has led to a hostile tone and been highly counterproductive toward resolving our conflict.

I’m hoping if we’re able to talk man to man we will be able to find some common ground and good will toward finding a more productive way to move forward.

Would a phone call suffice?

“You want to talk to me. Email is your best option.”

If I agree to dialogue with you via email, will the information I share with you be kept confidential?

“No. I’m not playing secret games with you.

I suggest always being honest. Then you never have to worry about what you say or do.”

I’ve reached out a couple of times now in hopes of having a constructive conversation with you to resolve our differences, reach an understanding, and move on. Our conflict is personal in nature and the only way to diffuse the situation is to have a meaningful dialogue aimed at finding an amicable resolution.

You have not cited a source, nor shown actual evidence, to corroborate your claims about me. I deserve the opportunity to face my accuser and present my own evidence to put this conflict to rest and you are denying me the opportunity to disengage and move on. Your informant has set you up to fail by giving you false accounts in bad faith that he knows can be disproven; it’s that simple. Your informant also has an ulterior motive of pitting us against each other in an endless loop of negative interaction with no meaningful way to settle our differences.

We are both stubborn and have large egos and because of that we are unlikely to ever get on the same page, compare notes, or reach a resolution. At no point in the past two months have we been close to having a meaningful or productive discussion to sort the situation out so we can move past it.

I believe talking, finding some common ground, and putting the bad blood between us to rest would go a long way. I don’t see how either of us benefit from a negative, combative relationship. So if there’s anything I can do to make the situation better – let me know.

Cheers, Brian

A single sentence or two wasn’t going to cut it this time. Here’s how I responded:

What are you talking about? I don’t care about you. You’re describing some imagined relationship. And that’s scary to me.

I shared a story about a MUSCLE asshole. In this case it was you. I have the screen shots. Confirmed with multiple sources.

Want to clear your name? Here’s your chance. Answer yes or no.

1. Did you sell a broken Green #168 for $200?

Suddenly he didn’t want to chat. Three days later I said, “Silence can be so loud.” Still no response.

“Dude, all of this for one bad interaction?!?!”

Well, I believe ripping off an new collector is pretty bad. I think the M.U.S.C.L.E. community should know when something bad like this happens. Secrecy only hurts the community, and discourages other people from coming forward because they don’t want to be the lone victim.

Having said that, I don’t think a single instance encapsulates and perfectly summarizes an entire individual. One single curt answer didn’t make people call me an asshole. It took thousands of instances. It probably took less, but I’ve done it thousands of times.

But this isn’t Brian’s single instance. He tried to ripoff another novice. There was a second yes-or-no question I asked Brian:

2. Did you try to sell a flesh figure for $15?

I already knew the answer.

Brian DeMars Screws Another

I am all ears. How do you defend a $15 Flesh figure? Nevermind trying to defend the overpriced $5 too.

If some guy comes to me and says his kid wants four figures, then I’m just sending them to him. Of course, it could take 10 months for me to mail it. Shit, maybe longer.

I think a valid argument could be made that the $15 Flesh figure is even worse than the $200 #168 figure.

“But people sell figures for that much on eBay!”

Correct. And longtime collectors laugh at those people because they are greedy, ignorant assholes.

I guess I can see why Brian felt he was “taking it on the chin.” If I’m pointing out his odd behavior, then can you imagine how difficult it would be to ripoff other collectors?

M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors might not like to hear these stories, but I don’t lie. I wish everything could be sunshine and lollipops, but that’s not reality. I’m sharing it so that all M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors can be on the same footing. I wanted this website to guarantee each collector could access the same M.U.S.C.L.E. knowledge. Now you know this information too.

How you use that information is up to you.

If other people have similar stories, then please email me. If you can provide evidence, then I will help any way I can. Even if it’s just warning other collectors. It only hurts the M.U.S.C.L.E. community if we don’t communicate openly and honestly.

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  1. #1 by Johnny on March 2, 2021 - 6:24 pm

    Just to clarify, I did handle taking down the volatile posts around the New Years time frame. That was me, not Fuzz.

  2. #2 by Sean on March 3, 2021 - 1:56 am

    WOW this is a timely post! Brian’s been trying to sell a BHS ‘Super Rare’ to myself and others on the FB group and it’s clearly a keshi from the pictures. Thank you for speaking up on this guy and trying to make the hobby a little better.

  3. #3 by Chad Perry on March 3, 2021 - 4:54 pm

    Sean :

    WOW this is a timely post! Brian’s been trying to sell a BHS ‘Super Rare’ to myself and others on the FB group and it’s clearly a keshi from the pictures. Thank you for speaking up on this guy and trying to make the hobby a little better.

    That seems unlikely, especially without any evidence.

    However, if it is true you can send the screen captures to uofmuscle@gmail.com and I will add it to the warning.

  4. #4 by Brandon Rosenberg on March 3, 2021 - 10:18 pm

    Well, won’t be dealing with him anymore!

  5. #5 by Daniel Radcliffe on March 4, 2021 - 6:37 pm

    Demars is sketchy. Only had one dealing with him where he completely wasted my time and lied to me. I had a gut feeling from the start it was mainly because he thought I was an inexperienced collector and realized he couldn’t get away with gritting me.

  6. #6 by Chad Perry on March 5, 2021 - 10:22 am

    @BrianDaniel – That seems really easy to say, especially without any evidence. However, if it is true you can send the screen captures to uofmuscle@gmail.com and I will add it to the warning.

    Otherwise you’re just talking shit. Like Brian likes to do (e.g., Alex and Chad are somehow working together). But we know you’re Brian Daniel and wouldn’t behave like Brian.

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