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Economics 100 – M.U.S.C.L.E. Price Guide
The most common search term and question sent into UofMUSCLE@gmail.com is some version of:
How much are M.U.S.C.L.E.’s worth?
Originally a deliberate decision had been made to shy away from offering a “Price Guide.” Instead a more philosophical approach was taken.
Unfortunately this does not help people looking for basic information about M.U.S.C.L.E. – which is one of the main goals of UofMUSCLE.com. The reality is that standards prices have always been widely known to members of the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. Not making this information known to people unfamiliar with M.U.S.C.L.E. does a disservice to everyone.
For the vast majority of M.U.S.C.L.E. toys the answer is simple – especially for the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The price, and perhaps the value, of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures tend to be $0.50 to $0.75 per figure.
For many of the other M.U.S.C.L.E. items the prices have stayed largely consistent since around the year 2000. The two biggest factors that affect the prices are: (1) condition; and (2) enthusiastic buyers. “Enthusiastic buyers” is not a euphemism for the M.U.S.C.L.E. Rule of Two either.
Long-term M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors occasionally witness an individual swoop in with a wiliness to pay any price for any item. Most frequently the individual that swoops in; then swoops back out just as quickly. These types of buyers may create some unnaturally high prices for a short period of time, but M.U.S.C.L.E. items always tend to recess to their historical price.
Overall general guidelines for many of the prominent M.U.S.C.L.E. items would probably be:Among M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors, Satan Cross prices might be the longest running argument. Collectors tend to fall into two camps: (1) it is just a Flesh figure and not worth anything more; and (2) it is a premium, popular figure around $50 is a fair price.
Data would suggest around $25 is a fair price. Satan Cross still routinely gets valued at around $50 when he is a part of a larger auction. However, with just a little patience, a Satan Cross can be had for $25 or less.
The Non-Poster figures fall into three categories: (1) Alpha; (2) Beta; and (3) Gamma.
The Alpha figures appear so infrequently that it is nearly impossible to suggest a price. The price of an Alpha figure is always set by the MRT.
The Beta figures are more likely to be in the $300 to $500 range – occasional outlier prices are the result of the MRT.
The Gamma figures consist of wrestling ring figures, board game figures, and Satan Cross. More information on these can be found throughout the price guide.
The Class system was developed in 2009 as a tool to help collectors understand collecting M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Class A should not be thought of as a simple synonym for expensive. Most simply, Class A figures are more difficult to find Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
The price of Class A figures is most often driven by Master Set collectors’ needs (and ultimately the MRT). Most Class A figures are worth $20 or less. The most attractive and most popular Class A figures may be able to command a maximum price around $100 – but that is a small number of the Class A figures.
The 4-pack has three versions: (1) all Flesh; (2) 50/50 Colors and Flesh; and (3) all Color. The most popular is the all Flesh 4-pack. Condition and figure contents are the biggest drivers of price.
An average 4-pack is good condition will probably sell for around $15.
None of the 4-packs are considered “rare,” except for the French/Canadian version. The only difference being that the card is written in French and English.
Open, or partially opened, 4-packs are worthless.
Like the 4-pack, the 10-pack has three versions: (1) all Flesh; (2) 50/50 Colors and Flesh; and (3) all Color. Again, the most popular is the all Flesh version. Condition tends not to be an issue for sealed 10-packs because they are quite tough and very resilient. However being able to identify desirable figures (e.g., Class A figures) can significantly increase the final price.
A sealed Flesh 10-pack will probably sell for around $50 to $75. The 50/50 and Color versions will generally have a lower average price than the Flesh version.
Open 10-packs might be worth, at most, a few dollars.
Like the 4- and 10-packs there were multiple versions of the 28-packs. However 28-packs may be the least collectible of all the M.U.S.C.L.E. packaging. Most collectors do not care about the very subtle variations in the packaging. Because it is so easy to collect the correct figures that were in 28-packs, many collectors do not even care if the correct figures are in the correct box. If a collector cares enough to acquire a box, then they (most times) simply want the 28-pack.
The 28-packs are quite fragile, so condition can greatly influence the final price. The only legitimate “variation” that collectors may pay a premium for is a sealed 28-pack. However, the last time sealed 28-packs came up for auction they sold for approximately $30 per 28-pack.
The ring is difficult to pin down. Condition and completeness are critical. Broken clasps nearly make a ring worthless. Collectors only want it for parts and will pay $5 or less. Even white stress marks in the clasps will devalue a ring. The condition of the box plays very heavily into the final price too.
The figures routinely show up in large Flesh lots and have never earned a premium price tag – no matter how hard some sellers attempt to attach it. They are priced like normal Flesh figures.
$20 for a complete ring, both figures, in fair condition is normal. Many sellers vastly overvalue their boxes and rings. In very, very good condition the price could rise closer to $50. A mint, unopened box would likely yield to the MRT.
There are two packaging options for the belt: (1) a window box; and (2) a solid cardboard box. The window box is the more attractive and earlier release of the belt. This tends to drive the price higher for the window box version – no matter the condition.
Condition is a critical component with this item. Loose, complete, and in mint condition a loose belt will tends to sell for about $10. However, packaged and still sealed will command a much higher price. A solid cardboard box, sealed, in good condition, will probably sell for around $50. The window box will sell for more.
Most games are missing a piece (sticker sheet, spinner, figure, etc.) and are in rough shape. These sets are probably worth $10 or less. There are two questions that ultimately determine the price of game. One, are the 10 game figures included? If the answer is yes, then the game is worth about $25 (again, depending on overall condition).
The second question, has the sticker sheet been used? If the game is complete with an unused sticker sheet, then the price might be around $50. However, the board game doesn’t inspire much passion in M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors so the buying audience for a “premium” game is less than many items.
The much maligned video game is often found loose with or without its instructions. In those situations the price tends to be in the $5 area. Given the intense dislike for this game, mixed with its intense availability, a quick scan of Amazon and eBay will confirm the basic price guideline.
The price can change significantly if the game is complete with its box. In this situation the condition of the box will weigh heavily into the final price. If it is mint, complete, and sealed, the price goes even higher and is likely to attract the attention of hardcore NES collectors.
There are two versions of the poster. One is not more valuable than the other. Most posters have wear damage, colored stars, and pin holes. Most posters sell for about $25~$30.
Condition is absolutely critical for the posters. A perfectly mint poster would easily sell for over $100 or more.
It’s a nice bonus if the original poster tube is present, but it doesn’t automatically add a significantly higher value. (But don’t mail it in the original poster tube.) Because the original tube isn’t great for display most collectors don’t care about it.
These prices are not meant to serve as an absolute price. Many, many factors can influence the final price of any public auction or private sale. The goal is simply to provide basic prices that have always been widely known to members of the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. Not making this information known to people unfamiliar with M.U.S.C.L.E. does a disservice to everyone.