Searching for M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures on eBay


Collectors rarely reveal their collecting secrets. They fear others will destroy their source. For the vast majority of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors the source of figures has always been eBay and/or LittleRubberGuys.com. These two sources are an excellent resource, but some collectors want or need more. They branch out into other areas to find the M.U.S.C.L.E. items they desire. The eBay searches below use different eBay techniques for finding M.U.S.C.L.E. items outside of routine M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions.

Many collectors have limited time and resources to devote to searching for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Because of these constraints many collectors use Saved Searches on eBay. With a simple click of the mouse they can view specialized searches specific to their needs. The most widely known example of a Saved Search can be seen at LittleRubberGuys.com. This search has been available to collectors since July 15, 2002. Unfortunately M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors have been very resistant to sharing their personal eBay searches. The list of eBay searches below is far from a definitive list. Other collectors likely have variations, refinements, and improvements for every search listed. The goal is for these searches to, at least, act as springboards for other collectors to uncover M.U.S.C.L.E. items. Below are 43 examples of saved eBay searches broken up by category.

Basic Search: This search casts the both the largest and most specific M.U.S.C.L.E. search. This is for the collector that simply wants to see what M.U.S.C.L.E. items are currently for sale on eBay.

  • Basic M.U.S.C.L.E. Search
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for any of the following keywords in any order: kinnikuman, kinnikumen, muscle, muscles, m.u.s.c.l.e., and kinniku. It excludes the words: hw, slivers, Johnny, mopar, blown, corvette, torino, cutlass, olds, oldsmobile, American, tone, Harley, jl, hurst, chevelle, coupe, rod, am, metal, sliver, car, cars, mustang, lightning, machine, machines, wheels, wheel, Plymouth, ertl, revell, chevy, Chevrolet, Pontiac, ford, dodge, cuda, hemi, MILITARY, bodybuilding, costume, dub, and jada.

Inessential M.U.S.C.L.E. Searches: These searches stray into M.U.S.C.L.E. areas that may not frequently be used by most M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. These searches attempt to find M.U.S.C.L.E. related items like HiWay Haulers, Playthings Magazines, or Nestle Quik related items.

  • HiWay Hauler Search
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for any of the following keywords in any order: Hot Wheels Hiway Hauler.
  • Nestle Quik Search
    • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in both the title and description of the auction for any of the following keywords in any order: “Nestle Quick”, “Nesquik”, “Nesquik”, and “Nestle Quik”.
  • Playthings Magazine Search
    • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: Playthings Magazine.

Advanced Searches: These searches are for the M.U.S.C.L.E. collector with much more time and patience. Many of these searches find the same items and may rarely contain a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. The likely goal using these searches is to quietly discover unidentified or mislabeled M.U.S.C.L.E. items at a discounted price. Many of these searches are broken up into sub-categories.

  • Eighties Search: These searches may seem redundant, but only minor tweaks can have substantially different results. Unfortunately these searches are often strewn with non-M.U.S.C.L.E. items. M.U.S.C.L.E. figures are most often found within large mixed lots of memorabilia from the 1980’s.
    • 1980’s Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 1980’s Figures.
    • 1980’s Lot
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 1980’s Lot.
    • 1980s Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 1980s Figures.
    • 1980s Lot
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 1980s Figures. It excludes the words: topps, avon, records, postcards, and barbie.
    • 80’s Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 80’s Figures.
    • 80’s Lot
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 80’s Lot. It excludes the words: cassettes, record, records, avon, postcards, barbie, baseball, jewelry, and topps.
    • 80s Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 80s Figures.
    • 80s Lot
      • This search looks in only Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: 80s Lot.
  • Vague Descriptor Searches: These searches cast a wide net with the nondescript keywords. Again, these searches are often filled with superfluous items. However, these searches have proven to be some of the most beneficial in finding mislabeled or unspecified M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
    • Assorted Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: assorted figures.
    • Assorted Toys
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for the following exact keywords in the exact order: assorted toys.
    • Misc Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: misc figures.
    • Miscellaneous Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order:”Miscellaneous figure”, “Miscellaneous figures”, “Miscellaneous toy”, “Miscellaneous toys”, and “Miscellaneous lot.”
    • Mixed Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: Mixed Figures.
    • Mixed Toys
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: Mixed Toys.
    • Plastic Figures
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: plastic figures.
    • Plastic Lot
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: plastic lot.
    • Plastic Toys
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for the following exact keywords in the exact order: “plastic toys.”
    • Rubber Figures
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: rubber figures.
    • Rubber Lot
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: rubber lot.
    • Rubber Toys
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: rubber toys.
    • Small Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: small figures.
    • Small Toys
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for the following exact keywords in the exact order: “small toys.”
    • Unknown Figures
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: unknown figures.
    • Various Figures
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: various figures.
  • Analogous Brand Searches: On eBay Monster in My Pocket and M.U.S.C.L.E. are so often confused or mislabeled that it is worth searching the auctions. Cosmix is the Greek source for many M.U.S.C.L.E.-related items and occasionally yields a M.U.S.C.L.E. item. Creatures and Monsters may not be actual brands, but both are labels that eBay sellers often attach to figures that they are unable to properly identify.
    • Monster In My Pocket
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in both the title and description of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: Monster In My Pocket.
    • Cosmix
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in both the title and description of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: cosmix.
    • Creatures
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in both the title and description of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: creatures. It excludes the words: inc., inc, mcfarlane, universal, lego, deck, winston, and beanie.
    • Monsters
      • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title for all of the following keywords in any order: creatures. It excludes the words: inc., inc, mcfarlane, universal, nascar, mcfarlanes, kiss, yu-gi-oh, and yugioh.
  • Cereal Searches: These searches don’t often yield loose M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, but they are the most common source for sealed Nestle Quik M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Dedication and a sharp eye are critical in uncovering figures using these searches.
    • Cereal Premiums
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: cereal premiums.
    • Cereal Toys
      • This search looks in all categories from sellers worldwide. This search looks in the title of the auction for all of the following keywords in any order: cereal toys.

Canadian Searches: While a definitive explanation has not been provided, many collectors agree that many Class A figures have appeared in Canada – specifically western Canada. The searches below take many of the advanced searches and simply focuses them on Canadian based auctions.

  • Eighties Search
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: 1980’s, 1980s, 80’s, and 80s.
  • Assorted Figures
    • This search only looks in all categories from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: assorted figures.
  • Mixed Figures
    • This search only looks in all categories from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: mixed figures.
  • Plastic Figures
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: plastic figures.
  • Random Toys
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: “toy lot”, “lots of toys”, “bunch of toys”, “random stuff”, and “random toys.”
  • Rubber Figures
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: rubber figures.
  • Small Figures (Collectibles)
    • This search only looks in Collectibles from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: small figures.
  • Small Figures (Toys)
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: small figures.
  • Various Figures
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in both the title and auction description for all of the following keywords in any order: various figures.
  • M.U.S.C.L.E.
    • This search only looks in Toys & Hobbies from sellers in Canada. This search looks in the title of the auction for any of the following keywords in any order: kinnikuman, kinnikumen, muscle, muscles, m.u.s.c.l.e., and kinniku. It excludes the words: hw, slivers, Johnny, mopar, blown, corvette, torino, cutlass, olds, oldsmobile, American, tone, Harley, jl, hurst, chevelle, coupe, rod, am, metal, sliver, car, cars, mustang, lightning, machine, machines, wheels, wheel, Plymouth, ertl, revell, chevy, Chevrolet, Pontiac, ford, dodge, cuda, hemi, MILITARY, bodybuilding, costume, dub, and jada.

If you have additional eBay search techniques, tricks, or tips, please email the University of M.U.S.C.L.E..

  1. #1 by vette88 on February 5th, 2010

    Nice article. Very detailed as usual. I’ve added M.U.S.C.L.E. men to the end of Jkaris’ search for muscle figures. I think that made the difference for me finding Purple 107 last year.

  2. #2 by Strontium Dan on February 6th, 2010

    It’s funny, completely independently I had already come up with some of these exact searches myself. For searching I already use small figures, plastic figures, rubber figures, assorted figures and a few others too.

    Not yet got any MUSCLEs via this method, but I did get a sweet deal on some MIMP Space Aliens a while back. So these searches definitely DO work!

  3. #3 by jphat79 on February 8th, 2010

    Too cool man!
    This should be a pinned thread on LRG

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on February 8th, 2010

    I’m glad everyone seems to like it. Hopefully it helps all collectors find more M.U.S.C.L.E. stuff on eBay.

    I have also added a link to this write up on the Site Map. It is the first item listed as “Searching for M.U.S.C.L.E. Stuff on eBay” under University of M.U.S.C.L.E Features.

  5. #5 by vette88 on February 14th, 2010

    This is just a caveat to Chad’s work.

    For some reason or another, Ebay’s world wide search isn’t world wide. In the current Ebay world wide search there are 3773 items using (kinnikuman, kinnikumen, muscle, muscles, m.u.s.c.l.e., kinniku, M.U.S.C.L.E. men). I then dug into Ebay UK. Scroll to the bottom of Ebay, click on United Kingdom, use the above search, then click on Toys and Games. I thought maybe the UK (used exactly the same search used for world wide, 204 items found) search just found itmes that ship to UK, but I was incorrect. I found the first link below in both searches. It ships world wide. The second search I found only in UK, and it contains an orange claw.

    In both and ships World Wide (automatically uses Toys and Hobbies category):

    http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-M-U-S-C-L-E-MEN-FIGURES-LOT-OF-45-MATTEL-1985_W0QQitemZ370275705395QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Toys_VintageToys_RL?hash=item563626e233

    In just UK search (under Toys and Games category):

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/M-U-S-C-L-E-Men-Coloured_W0QQitemZ280462304862QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_Toys_VintageToys_RL?hash=item414cdb265e

    The first search hyperlinked appeared in both, so the UK search just doesn’t show shipping within UK.

    Point being: First M.U.S.C.L.E. item in Ebay’s “World Wide” search, but ONLY ships to U.S. Ebay’s search isn’t truely world wide.

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