Auction Watch #324

Last week I said there was one listing I wanted to talk about and three listings I needed to talk about. Let’s start with the one I wanted to talk about – the MUSCLEMANINA lot. Turns out I was correct. The price was too high, and the buyer that couldn’t resist the Translucent Green #4 never showed up. I truly believe that is the only potential buyer of that lot. I wouldn’t wait around for that buyer.

Next up, the #153 4-pack that started at $0.99. Thank you again to evelogic for starting the auction at $0.99. I can’t stress how valuable I believe $0.99 starts are for M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting. It ended up selling for $67. For that condition I’m a little surprised, but that price was 100% driven by the #153.

I’m starting to believe, with the changes to eBay – specifically their suggested price, that there are only three types of sellers on eBay: (1) clueless sellers who wrongly take eBay’s suggested price; (2) assholes who think they’re selling rare jewels; and (3) M.U.S.C.L.E. lovers who start at $0.99. What would be the counter argument to this theory?

For example, the Purple #153 is Type III. It started at $0.99 and ended at $410.77. The result is both what I expected and surprising. I mentioned that the last the last time I guessed a Purple #153’s final price I was way off. This time I was thinking it would be less than $425, because the $425 was quite a price crash. To my surprise, that’s exactly what happened.

Finally, there was the box of belts asshole – he’s a Type II. It didn’t sell. It won’t sell. It is comically mispriced.

“Dude, they are MINT! He just needs one buyer!”

I’m sure there is at least one reader thinking that thought. Let’s really examine valuing each belt at $999.83.

  1. The last documented Class A Purple #153 sold for $410.77.
  2. The last documented Non-Poster figure sold for $88.77.
  3. The Alpha figure SGS sold for $3,113.
  4. The Alpha figure Prism Man sold for $2,258.55.
  5. The Alpha figure Dr. Bombay sold for $1,770.
  6. The Alpha figure Satan Cross B sold for $1,650.
  7. The Alpha, practically Beta, figure Dark Emperor sold for $1,025.

Regardless of condition, there is no way a BELT deserves to be in a similar pricing stratosphere. Maybe he got pricing advice from Brian DeMars? 😂

This week I wanted to test out my M.U.S.C.L.E. seller typology. Here are the three proposed types: (1) clueless sellers who wrongly take eBay’s suggested price; (2) assholes who think they’re selling rare jewels; and (3) M.U.S.C.L.E. lovers who start at $0.99.

The first listing, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Screw Kid Purple Muscle Men,Mattel, must be a Type I. Who else even tries to sell a figure so badly damaged?

No matter the price, this is a terrible listing.

At very first glance I thought it might be a faded Board Game #149 – especially since the figure was in the game. However, once I took a closer look it was our old friend the faded Purple.

Does anybody NOT have one of these figures in their collection? I have a baggie full of them, but I might be the exception rather than the rule.

“Why did you pick this faded figure if it’s terrible?”

Will anybody buy it to torture? Ok, nobody is really going to buy it and old school torture it. But maybe somebody wants to try the drill test? Or the nuclear option? This is a really great sample to try it on.

The second listing, Satan Cross VTG Original 1985 M.U.S.C.L.E. Toy Figure Muscle Men, is clearly a Type II.

I know we’ve seen some odd SC activity lately, but this one really shocks me with its $140 opening bid. If it had been a BIN, then I probably would have skipped it. What is there left to say about another SC with a stupid BIN?

This clown thinks the bidding will start at $140. But I’m not interested in explaining how this seller is wrong. I’m only interested in one thing – will somebody place a bid?

I’ve talked a lot about how disturbing it is to see overpriced single figure listings. This listing would be a new low for the hobby. And it would make me ask, “Why are people collecting these things?”

And I mean everything M.U.S.C.L.E., not just a handful of figures. Like any childhood M.U.S.C.L.E. collector, I loved my little figures. When I came back to them as a adult I connected with the figures first, but my relationship with M.U.S.C.L.E. certainly changed. The actual figures are no longer the driving force of my relationship with the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby.

But that wouldn’t have happened if these stupid figures were a couple bucks each. When I came to the hobby there were zero barriers to entry. The prices now would have 100% been a deterrent for me. If this SC sells, then I will feel more disconnected to they hobby than ever. Who are these people buying the figures and, to me, more importantly – why?

Thankfully there are still some Type III sellers. The third listing, M.U.S.C.L.E. #156 Wolf Man Purple Class A Kinnikuman Rikishi Man HTF Rare, is certainly that type with her $0.99 opening bid.

With that said, I think we all know this figure is not going to garner too much attention. The last documented, single-figure listing, starting at $0.99 sold for $7.50. It seems like the true Master Set Fools already have this figure, which made me wonder, “Is there any painfully common item a new collector will wildly overpay for – especially compared to a Class A figure?”

What listings are fair comparisons? Honestly, I don’t know. You could argue a lot of different things.

Since this seller used my “rare” trigger word, I decided to look at every M.U.S.C.L.E. auction that used the words “M.U.S.C.L.E.” and “rare.” There were six listings that came up (at the time of writing). Here are the other five:

There are a few notes I feel compelled to mention about these five listings. First, the #134 figure isn’t rare. He’s just a regular Class C #134.

The prices for the Class B’s are pretty funny because a French-Canadian 4-pack (with two Class B figures from AW #315) sold for $15.50.

The big lot is admittedly not a great comparison, but the per-figure price will (hopefully) be an interesting comparison.

The six figure lot was previously mentioned in a recent Epilogue. That $40 opening bid still makes me smile. How fucking absurd.

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  1. #1 by Kyle Watson on March 10, 2021 - 1:53 am

    Thank you for pointing out the #156, I actually need that one in purple!

    Would love to see a weekly auction watch that includes all listed class a’s. For some reason my ebay searches always seem to miss a lot of the class a’s that you periodically point out or I find them after the listing’s already ended.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on March 10, 2021 - 10:10 am

    Sounds good Kyle Brian.

  3. #3 by Terry on March 11, 2021 - 3:59 am

    Is everyone that makes comment on this site Brian now? 😀

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on March 11, 2021 - 8:34 am

    Lately, yes.

  5. #5 by Nairb on March 11, 2021 - 6:05 pm

    Don’t worry, I’m sure he’ll tire of this soon enough. In the meantime, keep up with the great work on UofM!

  6. #6 by Chad Perry on March 12, 2021 - 1:13 pm

    I doubt it Nairb Brian. I don’t know why you would think this annoys me (I can’t imagine why you would do it otherwise). It just makes me feel bad for you. It’s fucking sad.

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