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.
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.