Auction Watch #325

Ok, nobody wanted to torture the #149 figure. Not really a surprise. I guess most people do have horribly faded figures in their collections too.

As for the SC, the good news is that there was only one idiot willing to pay $140. That bad news is that some idiot paid $140 for a SC. As I said, this makes me feel very disconnected from the hobby. We will look back at this period and laugh. I hope.

My biggest question was, “Why are people buying these figures?” I think overspending must provide some collectors with a form of validation. These buyers must believe it raises their “worth” as a collector.

“Dude, you’re over thinking it. They just love the figures!”

No. They lust after the figure(s). Lust is selfish, fleeting, and impulsive. Love is giving, patient, and enduring. I can understand the impulsive, irrational purchase through that lens. The buyer wants to be noticed and make an impression. Or meet their needs; no matter what.

Admittedly, love and lust are often intertwined. I think that’s what we see with the final auction from last week. The Purple #156 that was lovingly (in my opinion) started at $0.99. I wanted to see how it’s final price compared to other “Rare” items. Here are the results.

Clearly some lust entered into the Purple #156 sale, because the last one sold for $7.50. How does the $20.50 compare to the other listings?

Not at all. Shitty listings (usually) don’t sell. Those listings didn’t sell. The $19.40 opening bid wasn’t ideal, but it was certainly low enough to entice bidders.

I’ve been a part of the disgusting M.U.S.C.L.E. pond since before it was a polluted mess. I’ve seen our pond change and some of those times could be defined as eras. Obvious eras might be the “Dark Times” (before we knew anything) or the “Golden Age of Customs” (around the 2010’s). I think we might be in the midst of an era trying to define itself.

We’re seeing over-spending, celebrations of the mundane, and a fear of truth. The last one sounds hyperbolic, but take the rush to delete figures from the Master Set. Collectors were thrilled to dismiss an incredibly solid theory because they didn’t understand it and it was easier to call Alex a liar. Hell, I’d love for it to be wrong too. I could finally have a Master Set.

“That’s not a fear of the truth!”

Fine, let’s call it a “desire to contribute” or something else. The title doesn’t matter to me, but we’re certainly in a weird era. I hope we’re closer to the end than the beginning.

As I started looking through eBay my immediate thought was, “Damn, there’s just nothing this week.” As I continued fruitlessly searching my mind raced. What was I going to talk about? Pointing out endless shitty listings didn’t feel very fun to write; nor fun to read.

10-Pack Box Starting at $0.99

That’s why I was so excited to see this listing: M.U.S.C.L.E. 10 Pack Retail Display Box. Empty.

I don’t want to understate the importance of starting this listing at $0.99, having plenty of pictures, an honest description, and a beyond reproach seller (Jon Karis). But I don’t want the write-up to only be about those things.

This listing is easily the best listing we have seen this year. You could probably make an argument it is one of the best listings of the last few years. Why? Because we never see listings like this one.

Consider the other ephemera/boxes we’ve seen since 2019: (1) a laughable carboard box; (2) $300 of carboard that still can’t sell for $109 (nor should it); and (3) an overpriced full 10-Pack box.

That last listing is especially relevant. I asked, “Why would you buy the 10-pack display case?” It’s a much different question when you need to swallow a $3,000 price tag.

I don’t want to repeat AW #247 nor much about its $140.07 final price. But do want to repeat my question, “Why would you buy the 10-pack display case?”

With a $0.99 opening bid I can honestly say, “Because I wouldn’t mind owning it.” Make no mistake, this is not a lifelong dream item. This is the kind of item I would add to my collection if I could get a good price. I would equate it to owning this book. It doesn’t really display well, most people won’t care, but I thought it was fun and weird. For me, that only happens, for this box, with a $0.99 opening bid.

As the owner of a Pre-Pack, I can tell you there is no good way to display it. I have to imagine the 10-Pack case is very similar. With a $0.99 opening bid I would be willing to figure it out.

“Yeah, but it’s not going to sell for $0.99.”

I considered a reader might not think that, but the current state of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting convinced me otherwise. Everybody knows it’s not going to sell for $0.99, but that entry point drew ME in. I know collectors like to suggest I’m cheap. Maybe. But I don’t bid or buy many M.U.S.C.L.E. things on eBay. I had to use eBay to figure out my last purchases. There was one from September of 2019 that I can’t remember (Seriously. Now I wonder if I ever got it?) and the Green #183 from earlier that year.

The fact that I’ll place a bid on this listing is kind of amazing. I hope it further illustrates the importance of starting at $0.99 (or very similar) for M.U.S.C.L.E. items. If even I can be sucked in, then how many other potential buyers have been sucked into the auction game?

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  1. #1 by Brian DeMars on March 17, 2021 - 8:17 pm

    I think you bid on more auctions than you like to let on. Wouldn’t be surprised if you threw a few shill bids in on this one tbh.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on March 18, 2021 - 9:01 am

    Ok, I’ll bite.

    Because I’m known for being so secretive, and never sharing everything I’m thinking, what have I been secretly bidding on?

    More importantly, why would I shill for Jon? Seriously, how would I benefit? Is shilling something you do for people?

  3. #3 by Brian DeMars on March 18, 2021 - 2:12 pm

    That’s a good question and one that we’ve been trying to figure out. Our theory is that shilling for Jon might be a good first step in restoring your fallen status on LRG. After that, you’d have a little more leverage to ingratiate yourself back into the FB group.

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on March 19, 2021 - 8:09 am

    Fuck that.

    Fuck Jon’s auction. Fuck LRG. And certainly fuck Facebook the hardest.

    Only sad, conniving idiots would think or believe that story.

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