Economics 200 – Case study: Desire vs. Demand

Satan Cross has quite a history, and continues to have an enthusiastic following. Satan Cross is one of three 100% authenticated M.U.S.C.L.E figures not found on the poster. The other two come from the Hard Knockin’ Rockin’ Ring™ Wrestling Arena. Even with Satan Cross figures having the appropriate marking, look, feel, and smell the debate as to its authenticity did not end until he was found in a sealed 4-pack.

 

A strange phenomenon continues to surround the Satan Cross figure. He is declared to be rare when he should more accurately be called desirable. Collectors often seem ready to vastly overpay for this desirable small piece of plastic.

 

It is logical for a figure’s value to increase based on an increasing demand without a corresponding increase in supply. By April of 2003 there had become a false sense of scarcity regarding Satan Cross. The figure was starting to take on seemingly mythic status based entirely on qualitative data. To provide quantifiable Satan Cross data every eBay auction that contained a Satan Cross was tracked from April 2003 through April 2007. The details of the auction and final sale price were recorded. The findings from this study are presented below.

 

Computation #1 – Average SC Price: $13.20

The first calculation is simply the mean. For this value the final sale price for each auction was divided by the number of figures in the auction. There was no special consideration given to additional items in the auction (i.e., wrestling rings, posters, etc.).

   – From April 2003 to April 2007 there were 127 auctions on eBay that contained a Satan Cross figure.

 

Computation #2 - Average SC Price: $15.33

The second calculation is also a mean. However, only auctions containing exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were counted.

   – From April 2003 to April 2007 there were 108 auctions with exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures on eBay that contained a Satan Cross figure.

 

Computation #3: Average SC Price: $34.90

The third calculation attempts to account for other M.U.S.C.L.E. figures having an approximate value of 50 cents. Again, only auctions containing exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were counted. Auctions with other M.U.S.C.L.E. items were excluded because there is not a strong consensus of their value. For this computation the number of figures in the auction (minus one for the SC) was multiplied by .5. This value was then subtracted from the final sale price, which resulted in the Satan Cross’ value. Because M.U.S.C.L.E lots on eBay do not always sell for more than 50 cents per figure it resulted in some negative values. The negative values were left in when the final value was created. Computations 5 and 6 account for these negative values.

   – From April 2003 to April 2007 there were 108 auctions with exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures on eBay that contained a Satan Cross figure.

 

Computation #4: Average SC Price: $22.19

The fourth calculation attempts to account for the other M.U.S.C.L.E.’s having an approximate value of 75 cents. Again, only auctions containing exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were counted. Auctions with other M.U.S.C.L.E. items were excluded because there is not a strong concensus of their value. For this computation the number of figures in the auction (minus one for the SC) were multiplied by .75. This value was then subtracted from the final sale price, which resulted in the Satan Cross’ value. Again negative values were not removed.

   – From April 2003 to April 2007 there were 108 auctions with exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures on eBay that contained a Satan Cross figure.

 

Computation #5: Average SC Price: $39.60

This calculation was identical to the third computation, except negative values were removed from the final computation.

   – From April 2003 to April 2007 there were 103 auctions with exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures on eBay that contained a Satan Cross figure, and did not have average per-figure prices below 50 cents.

 

Computation #6: Average SC Price: $54.73

This computation was identical to the fourth computation, except negative values were removed from the final computation.

   – From April 2003 to April 2007 there were 89 auctions with exclusively M.U.S.C.L.E. figures on eBay that contained a Satan Cross figure, and did not have average per-figure prices below 75 cents.

 

Computation #7: Average SC Price: $29.99

This computation is simply the mean of all the computations.

 

This study only looked at the most common of the Super Rare figures. Future projects should also track the sale of any additional Super Rare figures. The scarcity of these auctions may not yield any meaningful data.


While M.U.S.C.L.E. prices has stayed fairly constant since the inception of this study, any sustained change (i.e., flesh figures selling for $2 each) would render this information outdated. The existing data could be altered to address this change, but a shift of that magnitude would indicate the need for a new study.

Similar projects, to better quantify M.U.S.C.L.E. prices, could be done on popular figures or difficult to find color figures.

This research has provided an accurate depiction of the value of Satan Cross. Based on the data, a reasonable Satan Cross value appears to be in the 25 to 30 dollar range. With Satan Cross appearing on eBay approximately twice a month, patience will help certainly the collector find the figure at an even lower cost.

  1. #1 by Ridureyu on July 7th, 2011

    It took a few readings to realize this, but you said “magnetite” instead of “magnitude.”

    That said, I think I paid roughly $30 for my Satan Cross back in 2000 or so, which IIRC was when the figure was actually selling for more on average.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on July 12th, 2011

    Corrected, thanks!

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