Auction Watch #51


How much is it worth? It is possibly the most popular M.U.S.C.L.E. question.

The answer to the question often depends on a variety of issues. However, the question is rarely asked about empty boxes. This auction, 1985 M.U.S.C.L.E. Men Set of (4) 28 pc Boxes, Nice!, allows collectors at least one potential example.

28-packs might be the least popular packaging with collectors. 4-pack and 10-packs seems to evoke much more passion and excitement. Empty or open 10-packs are even coveted by some collectors, but rarely at a premium price (e.g., Auction Watch #2).

This auction, from the seller nztyz06, has set a price of $40.00 for all four, empty 28-packs. The auction states:

Vintage 1985 M.U.S.C.L.E. Men set of (4) 28 pc boxes. Thease are empty boxes, does not include the figures. Boxes are complete with plastic inserts that hold the men. They are not perfect, but in very nice condition for being 25+ years old. Still includes price tag from Payless Drug Store of $9.99 each. Very rare to have all four boxes in nice condition. From my original toy collection as a kid. This auction is no reserve. Shipping to the continental United States only unless special arrangements are made.Check out my other auctions for vintage 80’s toys.

A thread from LittleRubberGuys.com already offered two differing points of view: (1) that it was a fair, and convenient, price for all for boxes; and (2) that it was a ridiculous price for four empty 28-packs – regardless of any convenience.

The University of M.U.S.C.L.E. is inclined to agree with the latter point of view. While a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector may want an example of each 28-pack for their collection, this auction (while acceptable in almost every other capacity) is not terribly attractive with a starting bid of $40.00. In many cases the 28-pack box is a welcome addition to M.U.S.C.L.E. auctions featuring M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The price of $40 may buy approximately 80 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures plus one or more 28-packs.

This auction will not sell.

However, if a single empty 28-pack box was sold, then how much would it likely sell for?

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  1. #1 by Beejay on January 13th, 2011

    Thanks for picking up on this, I started the thread over at LRG.

    Perhaps this is a personal thing, but I’ve always liked the 28-pack boxes. Last year, I considered bidding on a set of four when (at the last minute) things became idiotic and somebody paid a massive amount for them (from memory it was in the vicinity of $200).

    Call me a stooge, but I’d be happy enough to pay $10 each for the four. It may not be excellent value, but it’s not highway robbery, either.

    That having been said, I won’t be putting my money where my mouth is in this instance 😉

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on January 13th, 2011

    I agree with you, I’ve always like the 28-packs too – although it may have been more of a curiosity for me. I was surprised how many variants each box had. I think I currently have 10 different versions of the 28-packs.

    But unlike other things where the variants make the items more exciting or valuable, I don’t think that’s really the case with the 28-packs. The variants are so minute, that most people wouldn’t consider them. I don’t think it’s quite as bad as when POTF2 Star Wars figures had .01 or .02 variants on their UPC codes, but it’s also not too far off.

    As for the price, I’d also agree it’s not exactly highway robbery. However, the item and price makes the potential buying pool incredibly small.

    I think I would put the price of an empty 28-pack at about $5 to $8, depending on condition. Strangely, I wouldn’t add that value into an auction that had figures and 28-packs. In those situations I consider the 28-packs worthless and don’t factor them in to the auction price.

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