Auction Watch #44


Auction Watch has seen a wide range of prices for what collectors often call “rare” figures – which often become synonymous with valuable, without any tangible evidence. In reality it appears that the specific sculpt of the “rare” figures has the greatest impact on value. For example, Auction Watch has seen recently documented an expensive Class A figure, an inexpensive Class A figure, and seemingly worthless Class B figures. Auction Watch #43 provides another observation of a Class B figure, which leads to the question – “How popular is #199?”

The auction, 35 DIFFERENT M.U.S.C.L.E. MEN FIGURES MUSCLEMEN, is very simple and straightforward. It has a decent starting bid, acceptable shipping cost, a frank auction description, and sold by a seller with sound feedback (jn-collectibles’ feedback). One of the nicest aspects of this seller’s auction is the note included in the auction description:

Please do not ask us to end our auctions early to accept an offer as this is against eBay rules nor to change our items to “Buy It Now” for a quick sale. Such requests will not receive a response.

This practice is often employed by buyers, but sadly ruins the collecting opportunity for others. It is refreshing to see a seller that allows the auction to run its course; giving everyone, at least, an opportunity to bid.

But ultimately, the auction is about the figures and 34 of the figures are routine Flesh, Purple, and Red figures. It is the Magenta #199 that is somewhat unique, which is why it has been classified as a Class B figure. However, Class B figures and even some Class A figures don’t appeal to the majority of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors.

The trend seems to be emerging that classifications truly do not matter or impact the final price of auctions – unless it is a popular sculpt. The new question that may emerge regarding color figures is, “How popular is this sculpt?”

This could have a radical impact on the price of color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. It could drive the price of many Class figures to prices similar to average Flesh figures. It could also drive the price of popular Class B figures past “normal” color figure prices. Reliable and tangible data, plus time, will help to answer these questions – even confirm if this new trend has actually emerged.

For now, this auction will be the focus. The final price of this auction will be $21.50.

Auction Screen Shot

Auction Picture


Follow-Up: The final price of the auction was $9.95, which was $11.55 less than predicted. This Class B figure appeared to have almost no impact on the auction as the per figure price was $0.28. While it is too soon to tell, it appears that a trend could be starting to emerge. Only the most broadly popular Class A M.U.S.C.L.E. figures demand higher prices. Almost every other Class A and Class B figure looks to be as valuable as a routine Flesh figure. This will be an interesting trend to watch.

Final Auction Screen

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  1. #1 by Merovingian on June 27th, 2010

    “This practice is often employed by buyers, but sadly ruins the collecting opportunity for others. It is refreshing to see a seller that allows the auction to run its course; giving everyone, at least, an opportunity to bid.”

    -A point of contention among collectors with differing opinions… from what I have seen its about a 50/50 split.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on June 29th, 2010

    I’m not sure what part is the point of contention.

    Regardless, the goal of Auction Watch is to provide all M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors an opportunity to look at noteworthy M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions. Hopefully it is fun, interesting, and does the most good for the most people.

    When a buyer convinces a seller to end an auction early, through a buyout that was not originally listed as a Buy-It-Now option, it only benefits the buyer. It cheats other M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors from, at least, the opportunity to bid on the auction. There is an incredibly wide spectrum regarding what each collector believes are ethical and appropriate behaviors.

    However, the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. tries to do things in the best interest of the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. It is incredibly synchronous to UofM when an auction provides a guaranteed opportunity to the entire M.U.S.C.L.E. community.

  3. #3 by stoneyface on July 5th, 2010

    i think we all know the “unmentionable” culprit of the buyer abuse method of begging for an early close-out private sale. i believe he is personally responsible for almost all the the muscle collector animosity towards this practice. i also find it laughable that he will not do the same for his sale, claiming “moral reservations” and “ebay rules violations” as the reason why he won’t. someday he will get his come-comeuppance and those of us who play by the rules will be happy and content getting or collection legitimately

  4. #4 by Chad Perry on July 6th, 2010

    First, there is nothing “unmentionable” on the University of M.U.S.C.L.E.

    Second, the practice of early buyouts is not limited to a single person. As I said before, there is an incredibly wide spectrum regarding what each collector believes are ethical and appropriate behaviors.

    The benefit of letting a M.U.S.C.L.E. auction conclude, based on the original ending time, simply allows the greatest number of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors to have an opportunity to bid. And anything in the best interest of the most M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors is an attractive feature seemingly worth noting.

(will not be published)