Two very interesting auctions are currently available to M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. Both have interesting starting prices and Buy-It-Now prices, and both have sellers that have been featured in previous Auction Watches. But are both auctions grounded in reality?
The first auction, 1987 MATTEL Catalog Barbie MUSCLE Master of Universe, is being sold by gunsmoke.50. He was a seller in Auction Watch #23 and in Auction Watch #36. The latter auction featured a M.U.S.C.L.E. poster that was in superb condition – one of the nicest examples ever seen on eBay.
This time he is selling the 1987 Mattel Catalog, which is a very interesting piece of M.U.S.C.L.E. history. It was the last appearance of M.U.S.C.L.E. in Mattel’s catalog. Sadly the layout is only two pages, which is two pages few than the 1986 catalog.
This auction will likely only appeal to the most hardcore and completionist-type M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. However, Mattel catalogs appeal to the most hardcore and completionist-type collectors for every toy line that is included in the catalog. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors will be pitted against He-Man, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and many other collectors.
This auction also has a very attractive starting bid ($9.99) and Buy-It-Now price ($49.99). Mattel catalogs often sell in the $50 range with two recent 1987 Mattel catalogs selling for over $50. At the same time, an occasional deal can still be had.
The first auction will sell for the BIN price of $49.99.
The second auction, M.U.S.C.L.E. Men SALMON #107 RARE Canada Color MINT!!!, is being sold by arforbes. This seller has also been mentioned several times both in Auction Watch and regarding other topics. Temporarily ignoring any appurtenant issues this figure is of interest because it is a Class A figure. Auction Watch #44 suggested that a specific trend could be appearing. That trend is that only the most popular Class A M.U.S.C.L.E. figures can approach prices higher than $10~$15 per figure.
Figure #107 is a Sunshine figure (whose name comes from the Japanese Kinnikuman origins). Figure #3 and #15 are also Sunshine sculpts, both of which are very popular sculpts. However the Sunshine sculpts of figures #39 or #221 are not nearly as popular – almost unpopular. This makes it difficult to know exactly where #107 fits popularity wise. He is likely less popular than #195. The most consistent complaint about figure #107 is that he is difficult to display.
The seller, arforbes, seems to have based his price on the recent #15 auction – with a BIN price that exceeds the #15 final auction price. In fact, the BIN price may be the highest single figure price since the Purple #153 madness.
Based on the fact that this item has been listed before at the same, if not very similar, price, the second auction will not sell.
Follow-Up: The first auction, as predicted, was purchased using the Buy-It-Now option. It sold for $49.99.
The second auction, also as predicted, did not sell. This non-sale continues to support the theory that only a small number of popular, Class A figures are able to command premium prices.