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MUSCLE Buying Guide


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#51 Soupie

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:01 PM

Hey, man, you've got a periodic figure. Congrats!

:rolleyes:
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#52 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 12:05 PM

Of course

Constant would imply - Can be found pretty much constantly

Periodic - Can be found periodically within a given number of lots

Sporadic - On and Off chance of being found. No method seems to be associated with these figures. (except maybe regional)
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#53 Soupie

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:07 PM

Before we are able to come up with any meaningful alternatives to common, uncommon, and rare, I think we need to determine (once and for all) the reason certain colored figures are harder to get. Were they produced in smaller numbers, were they only released in certain regions (i.e., Canada), or both?

Truthfully, there is no real difference between the terms incomplete, under-produced, sporadic and rare. They all imply that the figure is scarce. They're just euphemisms. Rather than saying some is dead, we say they have "kicked the bucket."

I mean, if there's a deep-pocketed collector out there trying to complete a full color set, and they see on Veer's list that a figure is in the under-produced category, all the collector is going to do is say "gee, it's a rare figure, that means I need to pay more!" The same thing will happen with sellers. They'll check the list, see they own a "sporadic" figure, and want to trade 10 figures for it. :rolleyes:

That being said, as a MUSCLE toy enthusiast, I think there is a need to document which MUSCLE figures are harder to find. Will such a list be abused no matter what these hard-to-find figures are? Yes. Yet the information still should be shared.

Ideally, if the data dictates, we could label certain figures by region:

Canadian

U.K.

U.S.

Canadian/U.S./U.K.

If it turns out that certain figures were indeed only distributed to Canada, maybe that means they were produced in smaller numbers as well. In any case, it could simply be explained that since these figures were only distributed to Canada, they can be harder to come by in other world regions.

Images of the "Canadian" figures could then be arranged on a Web page like so and we could all sit back and watch their prices rocket upwards on eBay. :lol:
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#54 General Veers

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 02:23 PM

Admittedly it's a bit of a moot point. Infrequent, sporadic, Canadian – all of them will become synonyms for rare. I'd just like to avoid as much of the implied value as possible. It's the best I can do in attempt to create such a document. :rolleyes:

As for your questions:

Were they produced in smaller numbers, were they only released in certain regions (i.e., Canada), or both?

I don't know if we'll ever have a perfect answer. Right now, based on the data we have, and my personal experience, I believe the rarest figures ended up in Canada. But does that mean there were fewer produced? I don't know if we can honestly ascertain that information. Right now they seem difficult to find because Canadians aren't selling enough of their figures. In reality their production numbers could mirror any of the other figures.

I also don't feel that the countries really map to the figure distributions. There may be some figures that show up more routinely in the UK, but I no longer believe it is a significant number. I think it is more like any modern figure line. One neighborhood has Superman clogging the shelf while the next neighborhood can't find a Superman anywhere. Production isn't different just subtle distribution differences.

Edited by General Veers, 16 December 2008 - 09:24 AM.

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#55 General Veers

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 09:38 AM

I keep thinking about what we can use for labels.

What about if we used something like: Tier 1(Rare), Tier 2(Uncommon), and Tier 3(Common)?

At face value they are not crystal clear, but is that a bad thing? Perhaps by assigning these labels it will force people to dig a little deeper for the meaning, which will hopefully be provided by the guide. It somehow seems less irresponsible on my part.

I think that it also takes out the production aspect of the discussion. We don't know for a fact that any of the Tier 1 figures are Rare or Under-produced, but we can say factually that collectors have almost exclusively found them in Canada and that they appear far less than other figures.
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#56 Soupie

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:05 AM

I like it. I like the uniformity of the terms and that they don't imply information we can't currently confirm. Since we aren't sure exactly why availability varies among the figures, all we can do is categorize them, and these terms allow us to do that.

Other tier-like terms we might use as well are division, class, range, group, grade, and category.
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#57 General Veers

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 10:47 AM

Good, I'm glad you like the direction of this. Tier, Class and Grade all sound good to me.

Which word makes the most sense?

The only notable differentiators I can see are that Tier sounds best with a numerical ranking, while Class and Grade could be given numerical or alphabetical rankings.

Is there any extra clarity from numerical or alphabetical ranking? I guess numerical could be confusing (i.e., is 1 better than 3?). It seems like alphabetical is more intuitive, I don't think many people would think a C is better than an A.
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#58 Soupie

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Posted 16 December 2008 - 02:24 PM

How about:

Tier Rare

Tier Uncommon

Tier Common

:lol:

No, I think number would be fine (tier I, II, and III). I'm forever forgetting which is higher in sports, Division I, II, or III. My only issue with the term "tier" is that I don't recall ever seeing the term "tier" used in reference to a group of things. I typically see tier used in reference to stages of a process.

But that's a minor quibble, and if you like the term tier it works for me.
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#59 General Veers

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 06:52 AM

I kept thinking about Tier, Class, and Grade. The numerical vs. alphabetical kept rattling around in my head.

And I think either Class or Grade make the most sense. We need to use an alphabetical ranking because it provides an easy sub-grading. For example, a Purple Claw might legitimately be a Class B figure. However the popularity of that figure make it incredibly desirable, it could be a Class B+ figure.

Truthfully, the +/- sub-grades would only be for a handful of figures. But I do think it is an additional helpful identifier. And while the +/- sub-grades make it sound like a report card, I think that makes the Grade title even less appealing.

I think Class A, Class B, and Class C are the best possible figures ranking titles we could currently use.
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#60 jkaris

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 08:08 AM

I think you should rate them as follows:

1. Cheap
2. Pricey
3. "OMFG, I can't believe he dropped that much on a stupid M.U.S.C.L.E."
4. Super Rare
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#61 General Veers

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 09:54 AM

Those aren't really labels, those are more of the descriptions of the labels. ;)
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#62 Soupie

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 12:14 PM

I love the idea of Class A, B, and C. To me, it doesn't imply any value. They are simple, straightforward labels that will effectively allow you to group the figures. ;)


I think the idea of using a "+" to denote sculpts that are more popular within a Class is a nice as well. I do fear, however, that this might be abused. :(

Take the Niku figure for example. It's probably one of the more popular sculpts, but I don't think anyone would expect more for it in trade or money value. However, if it were to receive a "+" designation, might collectors begin to say, "well, it is a more popular figure so..."

I'm not shooting down the idea of using the "+." I think it is real information to be documented. I'm just concerned that the information will be abused.
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#63 Jet-Mech

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 12:36 PM

I've thought about this for a little while, and I've realized that dividing them into groups is nice...but just what defines each group? To me, there are four groups, defined as such:

Rare: Only a single-digit number, likely less than five, known to exist. As per Soupie's site, there are only 100 or so such figures.
Uncommon: Between six and 24 known to exist.
Common: 25 or more known to exist.
Speculated: The six or seven, again per Soupie's site, sculpt/color combos that aren't known to exist despite sculpt/color combos from that particular Kinnikuman part having been found.
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#64 General Veers

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 01:39 PM

Jet: I don't want to get into all of the specifics now (because that will be the main part of my write-up and explanation) but I've used several things to look at the figures.

My goal is to put together a document and/or section of website that helps people understand MUSCLE figures from a collective viewpoint, instead of once source or personal biases.

Right now there is a lot of various information out there, I simply want to collect it into a central, navigateable document which will hopefully allow people to have rationale discussions and possibly help generate new theories or ideas. I think a lot of people stay away from the serious theory discussions for one of two reasons: (1) they don't care; or (2) they don't want to dig through all the random existing information.

So yes, it basically breaks into three groups – but setting the criteria for those groups is the important part.

Soupie: There are lots of ways a document like this can (and will) be misused. But I think it is important to still recognize there are some specific figures that are more popular. I don't think you would apply it to every semi-popular figure, but there's simply no way around some figures being more popular. If we're trying to be honest and straightforward, we need to be completely honest and straightforward.
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#65 Jet-Mech

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 02:06 PM

Right now there is a lot of various information out there.

Yes, and a large chunk of it is also misinformation.

I also see the 28-packs being a big factor, but I haven't put my finger on it. 75% of the #1 28-pack figures have a Rare color. And 6 out of the 28 figures in #2 have a Rare color figure. The trees and parts and packs are probably clues, but I don't have it cracked yet. Something tells me as long as the 28-pack was done right, they didn't care about the 4- and 10-packs.

Yet none of the #3 or #4 28-pack figures are rare. I have my theories as to why some of those 28-pack figures are rare, but I'm sure they've been posted enough as it is. I think you're right about those 28-packs holding some sort of key.
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#66 General Veers

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 10:07 AM

So I've been sick all week, but haven't been able to stay home (effing work). I have one more meeting today, and then I will be officially pretending to work for the rest of the day or just leave. The reason I'm sharing this is that I started working on the guide again today and will probably do it the rest of the day.

Would anyone be willing to proofread my rankings when I'm done? I'd just want you to try and catch any figures that perhaps should be ranked something else. It will be painfully dull, but there's no rush. After a sexy offer like that, do I have any takers?

It will be an Excel file. It's not cleaned up yet. I promise it will look different when I share it. :D
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#67 General Veers

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 08:52 AM

Tomorrow I will be posting a draft version of the UofM Figure Guide.
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#68 Muscle Things

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 01:20 PM

Tomorrow I will be posting a draft version of the UofM Figure Guide.

nice news there.. can't wait :lol:
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#69 jkaris

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 03:57 PM

Tomorrow I will be posting a draft version of the UofM Figure Guide.

nice news there.. can't wait :lol:

http://blog.uofmuscle.com/?p=4141
:D
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#70 Battlechaser7

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:51 PM

I would guess that UK and Canadian colors were produced in smaller quantities mainly due to the size of their markets compared to the US M.U.S.C.L.E. market at the time.
If certain factories made only specific colors, and those factories only shipped to certain areas, then those factories that shipped for Canada and the UK would be churning out a lot less then would a US shipping factory.



Jon when I first discovered buying in the U.K. I in a matter of weeks bought roughly 10 red 195's though there were only 3 or 4 on muscle db. I have not researched the numbers like other dedicated members have but overseas seems to balance a ton of what we seem to find as rare. Just an observation : )

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#71 Strontium Dog

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 07:00 PM

I found an error Veers... the Buying Guide (and consequently Biffard's checklist) has a big black box for #130 light blue.
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#72 General Veers

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 05:28 AM

Thanks! I knew there had to be a few things like that. I noticed an error too, a class that was off. Now I've got two errors to correct before the final version.

That's why it was only a Draft Version. :rolleyes:

If anyone else finds anything, please let me know.
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#73 General Veers

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 10:45 AM

So I was thinking about the guide and had a couple of questions:

1. Do people care about the pictures?

a. If so, do you you want a close-up of a single figures or all the figures made?
b. And if it's a single figure, would you want the Class A figure used?

2. Would you want a coffe-table like book version?
3. What would be the most you'd pay for a price guide book? (Having already looked into it, I know they would be at least $25 each)
4. Would it be worth it if there were more pictures and write-ups?
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#74 SmokinGun

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 02:38 PM

Question 1. I pretty much know all figures by number, but pictures would help alot. Whats a book without pictures? I like to be entertained, gotta have pictures. All flesh single up close figures would be nice. Then again, Class A figures is also cool. Thats hard to choose.

Question 2. A coffee table book would be awsome. Will it be limited supply? Will that jack up the price even higher? I would still buy one.

Question 3. I dont mind paying a little more for a great book.

Question 4. The more info the better, like the 4-packs, 10-packs, 28-packs, Wrestling Ring, Board Game, Battlin' Belt, Nintendo Game, Mailaway Poster, Super-Rares and any MUSCLE related stuff I miss.
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#75 Biffard

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Posted 10 June 2010 - 04:25 PM

MUSCLE collecting just keeps on getting better! This is an awesome idea and it has huge potential but here are my thoughts on your questions:

#1- I think pictures would add a great amount of clarity and entertainment to the guide. That is why I included pictures in my checklist so that I could better see what I was trying to keep track of and inventory. I also think that a close-up picture would look best and as for a class A figure I think it depends on the figure and their lineup. I say that because if you had like 4-5 class A Purples in a row (ie #151-155) then I think a little more variety would look better to show other colors besides just the rare ones IMHO. :thumbsup:

#2 - YES!!! If done correctly I think that a MUSCLE book would be a HUGE commodity in the muscle community. I think making it into a book is a great idea!

#3 - I agree with smokingun, I would pay more for a book especially if it looked presentable and had more info in it apart from just the MUSCLE guide.

#4 - I think it would be well worth the effort to include info and pictures of MUSCLE accessories and/or other information about the line in general. I believe some stuff could be omitted like customs, bootlegs, or maybe even art and advertisements. Nothing against any of those things but I think a book that is filled with more stable info would be better than a book that may become outdated as new bootlegs are found or new customs are made or even new advertisements are discovered. (I hope that last part makes sense?) I would stick with the basic stuff that smokingun listed above and anything else that may be relevant to the MUSCLE production line like maybe the hiway hauler.


I think a book about MUSCLES would be awesome!!! As I think about it I can envision a full colored hardcover book that would basically be like a guide/explanation of the MUSCLE line and accessories. I know that would be way too much work to do and it would be expensive, but it would be awesome. :thanks:

Hit me up if you decide to go with a book version and I would be more than willing to help with this great cause in whatever manner I can!

Edited by Biffard, 10 June 2010 - 04:52 PM.

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