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How much fun is a hobby if you can't share it with anyone?


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#1 Kevin Mayle

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:28 PM

Imagine this.
A man becomes so involved in a niche toy hobby that he spends countless hours a day scouring every detail of every auction in America and Japan for these toys. Spends a veritable fortune amassing nearly the worlds largest and rarest collection of these toys. Spends so much money on just a few of the unique items in this toyline, that just one handful cost the same as a new car. Becomes a member of a community of like minded collectors of this toyline where he posts an average of 3 times a day for 6 years. One of his latest posts reveals how being a part of the only group on Earth that would understand, care about and value his collection, is important to him. "many members support and compliment people for the cool stuff they have. That's why I like it here" Now imagine him banned from this group for life. He can't even return under a different identity because the items in his collection would give him away. Imagine him looking at his collection in the months to come and realize he can never again speak to anyone that would even know what he has, let alone care about it, or even envy him. Just him and his phenominally expensive niche toyline, alone in the world. As time goes on the joy of owning this nice collection begins to turn into the realization that being King of an empty island holds no joy. If it was an average, or even a really nice collection, it might not be so bad. Many of us have nice large collections that we don't share with others. But this is a world class collection. A collection so large, so rare, so unique, that no one else on Earth will ever be able to obtain many of the one of a kind items in it. What does he do? My guess...
In time this collection is going to start appearing on Ebay piece by piece.

Edited by Kevin Mayle, 03 June 2008 - 03:29 PM.

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#2 WhiteLeo

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 04:02 PM

Kevin I am going to close this topic at the moment. In my opinion we should let this fade and go on about our tight knit community. I will let Johnny deside if we need to continue with this thread. -_-

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#3 meatcutta78

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:20 PM

WOW!!!,Very well put!
I would never want to end up like that. :unknw: :fool:

I have always loved my collection but really started enjoying it more amongst friends.
-_-
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#4 jkaris

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 05:45 PM

Ok guys,

While I am of the mindset to just let this incident fade into oblivion, there are just too many people wanting to talk about it. So, here you go.

A few things to note.

1. Alex isn't here to defend himself, nor will he ever be again. Consider this when making your post.
2. I don;t want this to turn into a bee-eye-itch fest about Alex, but at the same time I am not going to prevent anyone from listing the shady aspects of his time here. The good and bad both need to be out in the open, so that people can form an opinion for themselves. Please keep it factual and refrain from personal insults.
3. Once everyone has gotten the situation off their chest, I will close this topic and let it sink to the bottom of the forum.
4. If you still have contact with Alex, which I am sure a lot of you do, I really have no issue with you sharing this thread with him. Matter of fact, I am sure he will sneak in one of these days and read it anyways, under a different IP.


Alex DID do a lot of good for the group, but the negative aspects far outweigh any good he did. I am sure both will be discussed in this topic.
I think Alex has some serious personal issues, and that his obsessiveness with collecting M.U.S.C.L.E.s is the root of all the shady/fraudulent stuff.
He has a serious problem with lying, even when all the evidence is given to him, he will come up with a ridiculously insane story to try and weasel himself out of it. That is what he did with the Yapiel situation. Lie after lie after lie, right up to the end.
He was like two sides of a coin.
On the one hand, he had a great love for the hobby and was a constant source of inspiration for various aspects of it. His obsession drove a lot of the things we know now about the line. On the other hand, he would lie, cheat and manipulate whatever, and whomever he had to, to get what he deemed would benefit him on his road to completing his collection. It didn't matter who he would have to screw over, if it got him what he wanted, he would do it.
There was a huge situation (the yapiel incident) a few years back. You can do a board search for all the details, and I may go ahead and release our PM conversation (if it isn't already out there) to show what transpired. He refused to admit it when he had been caught red handed, made up some very creative and exhaustive stories, and finally in the end, under even more evidence and threat of being banned, he fessed up. We were going to keep it under wraps as well, but he got pissed about a purple claw auction and it ended up getting spilled out on the board because of it.

He has been involved in numerous other situations, granted, of a smaller scale up until the balucard incident.

As far as that incident goes, with all the attention that the SC 4 pack garnered, a little more light was shed on the seller, and discussion turned to the packages being labeled with a New Jersey return address, when the auctions were all from Canada. After a bit of discussion, one of the people who had bought an auction from balucard PM'd me to say that there was another discrepancy. The postmark was from Glendale, AZ. I immediately knew it was Alex. However, I know there was another board member down there for a time, JamesSullivan. Alex screwed him over by telling him that he had only 1 Dr Bombay Super Rare, when he in fact had two. That way he could sell it for a larger price than if it was known there were two. Anyways, JS was down there for a short period of time, then returned home, so I knew it wasn't him.
So this time, before dropping any accusations to Alex we gathered all the evidence beforehand. I checked with the other balucard recipients, while another mod checked with eBay sellers who sold to balucard. Turns out, all the packages were postmarked from Glendale, AZ. So one of the balucard buyers who also had packages from Alex decided to help by comparing handwriting. On the Alex packages, everything was handwritten, but on the balucard packages, they were printed, EXCEPT for the "To:", which of course matched Alex's perfectly.
Meanwhile there was a huge discussion going on in the staff lounge at this time and I had floated finally banning Alex this time. The consensus was that if the evidence was solid, and there was no confidence that he would change (due to his repeat offenses) that we would ban him. So the final nails in the coffin were this:
1. I received a scan of one of the international packages from balucard, and it had a USPS customs form on it with Alec's signature on it.
2. One of the sellers who sold to balucard admittedto sending his stuffto a guy named Alex in Gelndale, AZ.

One of the mods has had discussions after the fact with Alex,and he STILL denies it, and instead blames it on people hating him and being jealous of him, and that he had no part in it and didn't do anything wrong. I really didn't expect Alex to fess up this time, but at least we were spared the string of lies.

So, the physical evidence proves 100% that Alex was balucard and the stuff he was doing behind the scenes in trades with a few new members shows motive. He was even manipulating MuscleDB numbers to make his trade items appear to be more rare, and then readjusting the numbers after the fact.

So, when you look at the ban, note the entire back story. It is VERY rare for anyone to get banned from this board, and UNHEARD of that a senior member would get the boot. But Alex dug his own grave, even with numerous people trying to keep him from lifting the shovel.
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#5 Kevin Mayle

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:11 PM

To clarify a bit, since I started this thread. I chose poorly when giving it a title. I was obviously talking about Alex, who by the way I have never had any dealings or communication with ever, and titled it after him, but I really think the new title fits my intent much more appropriately. I'm indulging myself and anyone else interested in a pscychological dissection. We have a real person here triggering this, but I meant it to be more about how we view our own motivations. I personally find the most pleasure in anything I do by sharing it with people that are interested. That's why I keep a blog. I find it very interesting to analyze how someone so all consumed with one particular thing would react to having all the pleasure that thing brought them stripped away. Not the thing itself, just the reason to have it. By there own actions, no less. I really didn't mean it to be an attack or defense of Alex. I don't have a personal stake in this. I never had any dealings with him. But many people here do, and maybe this thread can now turn into a specific discussion about Alex and his specific actions. Of course without him here it wouldn't be much more than a rant. I didn't want to start a rant. My post wasn't a rant. Anyway, I just thought it was an interesting character study, but you guys can take in any direction you want, or just shut it down.
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#6 Black Hole Sunshine

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:15 PM

One question I have is this:

What did he hope to accomplish with the SC four pack? I mean, did he actually have one to sell, or was he planning to take the money and run? There's a good chance that one of the board members here would have won that auction, too. So, with the rate that it was increasing, I could have seen that auction easily go for $1,000. At that point, I know I would have definately requested delivery confirmation, as I think most others would. So how can you get around that one? Not offer the service? That would set off red flags with me for sure, and I most certainly would have backed out on the auction. Now that I look back at the whole discussion, which I've read time and time again, he was acting a bit strange trying to convince everyone that the four pack was legit and it didn't matter where the seller was shipping from as long as the buyer got the piece as promised. He was awfully defensive. Now, don't get me wrong, I really have no gripes with Alex, as he did help me out a few times, and I am a bit sorry that he's gone too. Of course I haven't been around as long as most of you guys, so I have no idea about the whole Yapiel thing I've heard of, or any other situations that Alex was invlolved in. I knew for a fact that he had several rare muscles that a bunch of us needed, and I don't understand hoarding them all up. On one hand I can see that it would have been hard for him to decide who to give them to, but if he would have just said, 'look guys, to be fair to everyone, I'm going to put them on eBay' I don't think we would have had a problem with that. The more lies you tell, the deeper you get. Soon it's just completely out of control, and it will end up catching you in the end. It's too bad.
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#7 cassel87

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:23 PM

i have something maybe half productive to say...... I consider this forum a big group of friends, not really a competitive, selfish place. i never thought twice about trusting anyone's intentions here. although i dont know anyone here personally, i talk to people and read people's opinions every single day. we all share the same interests, and i still think that making friends here and trying to help people out is more important than any piece in my toy collection. I know that i dont construct many important or educational posts, however i really enjoy being here, and i really appricate the effort made during this whole situation to get all the information. my girlfriend doesnt care about my collection, so without the people here, i'm alone with a room of rubber.
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#8 jkaris

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:23 PM

I think that it will eventually land on eBay or sold to a collector here offline. With no one to share it with, and that was part of his drive, he will eventually lose interest in it, just like Philly Madison.
Who knows.
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#9 Soupie

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 06:41 PM

(1) I imagine most of you know my feelings on sharing ones collection. In fact, as I've said many times, I think hunting for figures -- and that includes working trades with LRG members -- is the best part of collecting. It's actually more fun then owning the figures (as crazy as that sounds). Furthermore, my MUSCLE, Cheap Toys, BBSD, and -- especially -- Toypedia sites would be NOTHING without our toy collecting community. And while I'm definitely not the most open person here on the forum, I think my constant presence pretty much speaks to how much I value this community. So, to answer KM's question: It's not fun at all if you can't share it. B)

(2) There's a very funny thing here... I personally have NEVER had a bad interaction with Arforbes. As you probably know, I'd guess 90% of the images in the MCIA are from Arforbes. However, you've probably also read a little about the situation with CHEAPTOYMAN. Meatcutta78 recently commented that CTM was like "the Arforbes of Cheap Toys." At the time, I don't think Meats knew just how right he was... Anyhow, my point is, there are many people who have dealt with CTM and had ZERO problems -- just as I had no problems with Arforbes.

And that is part of the reason this is all so sad and confusing. B) Arforbes is a "good " guy and has done nice things. But it's not enough to just be a nice guy because 95% of the members here are nice guys. Have you ever looked over the members feedback forum!? It's truly unbelievable. Do you realize how much money Jkaris had saved all of us on eBay and YJP fees by providing and moderating this AWESOME forum? This forum is built on TRUST. For anyone to use this forum as a base of operations for dishonest dealings is unacceptable -- regardless of any good dealings they may also do.

(3) When the Yapiel thing happened and I finally learned about it... as cheesy as it may sound, I was left feeling empty. I actually took a solid 2-week hiatus from the forum to think this whole collecting thing over. When I came back, I changed a few things, such as no longer using my first name, using other's first name, and dropped the naivety about goings-on (which is why I come off so negative at times) . So this time around with Arforbes is not as devastating for me. Definitely sad to see him go, though. (But I support Jkaris and the mods decision 100%. Had I done something similar and not contacted Jkaris to clear my name, I'd expect the same treatment.)

(4) As a side note, I've been in contact with CTM, and he is also in complete denial and won't even admit that having the same box show up in his auction as the original auction is at least shady. And, just as with Arforbes, CTM is blaming everyone but himself for his woes. B)

And that's (hopefully) the last public comments from me about these situations.
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#10 nicodemus

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:09 PM

(1) I imagine most of you know my feelings on sharing ones collection. In fact, as I've said many times, I think hunting for figures -- and that includes working trades with LRG members -- is the best part of collecting. It's actually more fun then owning the figures (as crazy as that sounds). Furthermore, my MUSCLE, Cheap Toys, BBSD, and -- especially -- Toypedia sites would be NOTHING without our toy collecting community. And while I'm definitely not the most open person here on the forum, I think my constant presence pretty much speaks to how much I value this community. So, to answer KM's question: It's not fun at all if you can't share it. B)

(2) There's a very funny thing here... I personally have NEVER had a bad interaction with Arforbes. As you probably know, I'd guess 90% of the images in the MCIA are from Arforbes. However, you've probably also read a little about the situation with CHEAPTOYMAN. Meatcutta78 recently commented that CTM was like "the Arforbes of Cheap Toys." At the time, I don't think Meats knew just how right he was... Anyhow, my point is, there are many people who have dealt with CTM and had ZERO problems -- just as I had no problems with Arforbes.

And that is part of the reason this is all so sad and confusing. B) Arforbes is a "good " guy and has done nice things. But it's not enough to just be a nice guy because 95% of the members here are nice guys. Have you ever looked over the members feedback forum!? It's truly unbelievable. Do you realize how much money Jkaris had saved all of us on eBay and YJP fees by providing and moderating this AWESOME forum? This forum is built on TRUST. For anyone to use this forum as a base of operations for dishonest dealings is unacceptable -- regardless of any good dealings they may also do.

(3) When the Yapiel thing happened and I finally learned about it... as cheesy as it may sound, I was left feeling empty. I actually took a solid 2-week hiatus from the forum to think this whole collecting thing over. When I came back, I changed a few things, such as no longer using my first name, using other's first name, and dropped the naivety about goings-on (which is why I come off so negative at times) . So this time around with Arforbes is not as devastating for me. Definitely sad to see him go, though. (But I support Jkaris and the mods decision 100%. Had I done something similar and not contacted Jkaris to clear my name, I'd expect the same treatment.)

(4) As a side note, I've been in contact with CTM, and he is also in complete denial and won't even admit that having the same box show up in his auction as the original auction is at least shady. And, just as with Arforbes, CTM is blaming everyone but himself for his woes. B)

And that's (hopefully) the last public comments from me about these situations.



As always...Soups has summed it up nicely.

I would only add that while I agree with the LRG Admins' decisions to ban arforbes (and consequently the UG's decision to ban CTM) - it is a sad day for collector's in general.

When the draw of the almighty buck becomes too strong to resist - even with the understanding that one could lose something soooooooooooo important as their respect and place in a FANTASTIC community of collectors - I find myself at a loss.

I wish David and Alex the best in the future. I know that deep down they are not bad people. Sure, they have done things I don't agree with...but that doesn't classify them as 'bad' people. They just have a problem that they need to deal with.

Hopefully, over time they will be presented with answers and insight that will help them on their journey. As for me - I just look forward to continuing mine with all the fine folk left here @ LRG.

- nico

PS. Thanks for the time - and opportunity to speak my mind!! (great idea for a thread KM! And I understand why people like jkaris and whiteleo would rather this subject just 'fade'...but I think it's an important topic and certain people need the opportunity to discuss and vent. thx lrg!)

Edited by nicodemus, 03 June 2008 - 07:11 PM.

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#11 asator

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:30 PM

Gives one a better perspective on the quote "The things you own end up owning you."
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#12 jkaris

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:32 PM

For historical reference (if you guys want to read a book):

The original Purple Claw thread (yapiel makes his first appearance)
http://www.littlerub...p?showtopic=413

The BHS/Yapiel thread:
http://www.littlerub...?showtopic=7919
(originally we thought yapiel was a dupe shill account for the seller, but it turned out to be a dupe account for Alex)

We were really suspicious of the yapiel account, did some investigating and it turned out to be Alex. Here are all the PM's from the Staff Lounge thread:
Alex and Yapiels auctions were both from Glendale, AZ with the same carpet in the shots, and one item was a relisting of the same item the other account sold (and shilled). AND the auctions had the exact same format and auction text and terms.

[quote name='jkaris']Alex,

Since this new SHA has popped up and we have been looking back at the SHA, we have noticed a few things:

1. You are Yapiel. The same guy who supposedly won the BHS for $910. I am assuming that you had a buddy list it for you and bid it high to either shill it up or see how far someone would go, with no intention of selling it. There was no BHS, it was the one you own.

2. The SHA that is being sold now looks suspiciously like yours. The mold defect on the top left hand as well as the size/shape/amount of flashing on the injection marks on the back are identical. It also looks like you are shilling on that one as well. It's very suspicious that the bidder that outbid Doc right after he announced a anti-snipe bid, hasn't been active in over 2 years and has limited feedback.

3. You are also the one who bid up that purple hand auction under the Yapiel username. Why, maybe to be able to bid on it and not piss anyone else off, or maybe that one was yours, like the BHS and you were trying to see how much you could get for it.

We have decided to see what you have to say via PMs instead of posting the info on the main board. There is a huge thread going on about it in the Staff Lounge though. We are all shocked to find this out. We would prefer not to take this info to the full board. Everyone effs up now and again.

I hope that this current SHA isn't yours as well. If it is, you need to cancel the auction immediately.

We'll be awaiting your reply....

I don't mean to be a unit, but this is some seriously effed up news.[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

Man are you serious! I am shocked to be blamed for this. I only own my SHA and my BHS and have never listed them at all. I even have a message from this ebayer selling the SHA right now if you want to see it, becasue I made him an offer when the listing began. I have never shill bid up a Super Rare auction and would never think of doing this, not even the Purple claw auction, as you can remember, I offered to give the Purple Claw to Beligerant1 and did, but then he insisted on giving me $20.

How can you come to a conlcusion like this? I can't believe you guys would blame me for something like this.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']Does the item location or the carpet look familiar in either of these auctions Alex?

http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=8207881109

http://cgi.ebay.com/...item=8204454827[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Dude,

I am serious here man. This guy either lives here and is copying my photos or has flase information. I listed the same EZ Flash reader and mine was pulled by ebay for violation of ebay's sale rules. This guy took my photos and put them on his auction. Now he may be here or his accounmt may be fake, BUT THIS IS NOT ME!!!

I am serious!

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']I also sold that Blue GBA a while back too. I am telling you he is stealing my photos and either lives here too or is using an account with false information. May be an unbelievable coincidence but you must see that it is possible. Now that you guys think this is true, I don't know what else to say to convince you that I have NEVER tried to sell my Super Rares or shill bidded to raise the price of any that were on ebay, EVER!

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']He must be copying your feedback comments as well, when he leaves feedback too.

Great ebayer, very fast payment and a pleasure to deal with, thank you very much[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']You also need to re-evaluate the figure pics. I have my SHA in my hands right now and can point out noticeable differences. Yes, they may look the same, but they all came from the same mold most likely. If you want detailed pics I can provide them. This is insane!

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']A pic of his feet, laying on his stomach and a pick of his top side, laying on his back would work nicely. I hope this SHA isn't you. As far as Yapiel goes, sorry, but we don't believe you.[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Dude, possibly, who knows. Jesus I am telling you this is crazy! I don't know what to do to convince you guys otherwise. He probably knows that I own a few Super Rares and has been watching this board for sometime, and decided to check me out on ebay and list a few items by copy pasting some of my auction shizznit, I don't know. But I do know that I have sen may ebayers steal my photos and have seen feedback like mine as well when looking through bid histories for items.

People do it all the time. But I am telling the truth.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

I am taking pics right now to clear this all up. I don't know what else to say about the Yapiel account to convince you guys. I hadn't looked at the person's auctions till you pointed them out.

Alex[/quote]

By the way, on that Yapiel Gameboy auction, I emailed the high bidder to see if he got the serial number pictured. If Yapiel stole his pics, and the seller got that exact serial, then Yapiel must have stolen his gameboy too!

[quote name='jkaris']Well, the SHA pics are inconclusive. That marking is also on the old headless one with blue feet:
http://www.littlerub...d...st&id=43129
So we are hoping that this current auction is legit. We are still pretty shocked at the Yapiel thing though.[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

I have been looking at all the information you have been posting to me about this Yapiel account and it looks so suspicious that I would be doing the exact questioning you are right now if I were you too. I checked the bid history on recent auctions and also rthe fact that both of our account have been REGISTERED FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME, which I am not sure if you have seen yet, but if you haven't, you can check the ebay member search to see this. I am goin to be looking into this, because I have friends who know about my ebaying in AZ and especially people who live close to me who may have created this Yapiel account and been using my pics to sell some of there stuff too. I even have a friend who has, or had, the same blue GBA that I did, so I will be checking to see what username he has, if he has one.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']Well, since you brought up the join dates, this is what they are:
yapiel has been an eBay member since 11-22-2001
arforbes has been an eBay member since 11-29-2001[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']They are a week apart, and that is too close for comfort and I see why you guys are suspicious. Like I said, my friends do know that I am an ebay fanatic and am into M.U.S.C.L.E.s and collecting, so I am going to have to make a few calls to ask them if any of them may be registered under a yapiel name or bid with this name.

As far as the identical pics to auctions I have created in the past, the descriptions and even the feedback being identical, I can only assume that someone saw what I had sold my items for, simply copied and pasted the auctions pics and descriptions and listed their stuff as well the easy way via copy paste. If this is someone I know I am going to more than a little annoyed.

I will be checking into this and getting back to you as soon as I can get a hold of the few I think it could be, if it is them. My friends and I all were all into these GBAs and GBA flash card readers a few years back and we all purchased them from an online site from Japan. If they sold there items using my descritions from when I sold my stuff, then this would explain the identical auctions and possibly the user account yapiel from AZ.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

I sent this message to Yapiel through ebay's messaging system...

[quote]Hello,

My name is Alex Forbes. I have within the last year sold a few items that would appear to match identically some of your recent auctions. One was a Blue Game Boy Advance system and the other was an EZ-Flash card and reader. I wanted to know if you copied my pictures for convenience and the descriptions also. Possibly the feedback too when posting feedback for your transactions? Not trying to blame you for anything just curious because of something I noticed.

Also, have you ever joined the AKIA Forums or visited there? Any chance you might have placed bids on certain auctions on ebay that deal with the M.U.S.C.L.E. toyline? Have you heard of a the Super Rare figures or own a Black Hole Sunshine figure or Purple Claw M.U.S.C.L.E.? Please let me know anything you can that might help answer these questions.

Thank you,

Alex
arforbes[/quote][/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

Well I got a response from Yapiel, I cannot believe I was so pinheaded and did not think about this or recognize him, but I don't really know a lot of people on ebay without an obvious giveaway username, I often have to come here to see if I am bidding against any board members...

[quote]Your a bee-eye-itch faggo whats up <^>(sleep.gif)<^> dan[/quote]

I doubt you are going to believe my explanation, but I talked to him and tried to find out what has been going on. I have a lot of answers to what's been going on if you want to hear me out.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

Well, you were right about Yapiel being here in AZ and about him bidding falsely on some of the Super Rare auctions, but he is not me...he is the guy that introduced me to ebay actually, I just never knew it until now.

The problem is I never asked any of the questions you have over the past couple days because I had no reason to. It became evident after the upbringing of recent evidence on Yapiel and after I started asking questions to some of my friends here in AZ when you brought this to my attention.

Yapiel joined ebay in 2001, as you saw, and it turns out he is my friend Dan, who I have known for some time now, but we haven't really seen each other since he moved to Tempe at the beginnning of the year. A few years ago, right after he started surfing ebay and bidding on shizznit he told me that he had noticed M.U.S.C.L.E. men on ebay and knew that I had some of these figures and that we both remembered them from when we were kids. So I checked out ebay and joined, I am guessing that is why the accounts are so close together in establishment dates. He joined, told me about it, and then I joined about a week later, I cannot really remember but looks to be true from what ebay's member information has confirmed. I never really asked him what his username was, I had no real reason to know, so it never really crossed my mind.

Anyways, I asked him about the BHS auction first off. He bid $1000 on it and he said he was trying to win it because he knew that I had one, because I had told him of its rarity when I got mine back 2003. Turns out he didn't intend on the auction getting that high (Because of Philly LOL) and he never completed the transaction. But feedback was left for both parties? He paid the seller's listing fees and final value fee after telling him that he would not want negative feedback for his account, and the seller agreed to do the same. (So that transaction never went through, that BHS is still out there I guess!!!) The same thing goes for the Purple Claw auction, he bid it up with his anti-snipe, and then never completed the transaction, which is why we saw it listed again. He said that his account was suspended after this auction for a month for failure to pay for an item won. I assume the seller filed a complaint back then (I won this one after the seller relisted if you can remember). Dan never intended to pay that much for a figure, he placed an insane anit-snipe bid on the BHS, and the purple claw auction got too high for him. He has bid on a number of other M.U.S.C.L.E. items though in the past, not many though as his feedback reflects. He has some 28-Packs and some 4-Packs that he won a while back for his collection and that's it really.

When I asked about his recent auctions, he said that he knew that I was a good seller, so he copied my listing descriptions and pics for his items. He just recently got established as a seller and never listed an item so he just copied my shizznit. He didn't think there was anything wrong with this, since he had the same GBA and EZ-Flash reader I did when we bought them online a few years back. I remember telling him that I got over $100 for the EZ-Flash and almost $80 for the GBA, so he listed his too later on, with all my info. He may have copied one of my feedback comments too, I am not sure...I forgot to ask. I wouldn't have any problem with this, but now I am being blamed for having multiple accounts and shill bidding and being dishonest on the boards. So it is kinda effed up, but he didn't know, he has been an ebay bidder only, until recently.

The other thing is that he hangs out with my bro all the time, they go to school together at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. My brother is the one who let him list his shizznit on ebay. My effing brother listed the shizznit with Dan's ebay name. So now I get effed with this and no one trusts me anymore on AKIA, effing awesome!

I really dont know what else to say about all this. My name has obviously been compromised as far as honesty goes because now all my friends on the boards think I am dishonest, ever since the first BHS auction I think this goes back to, the one where Doc Moore flipped. I admit to offering the seller of that auction $300 and even contacting the seller of the Purple Claw auction too, but I have not placed fake auctions to test the value of my Super Rares or falsely bid up any claw auction. I even offered to "give" my spare purple claw to Beligerant1 and did, but he insisted to pay me if you can remember. I have one of each known Super Rare, except DM, and don't intend on bidding on any other that I have because I am not a greedy person. I try to be pretty generous and I hope that you guys have at some point of our time together on the boards noticed that. I am not even sure if any of you can come to believe this, and am now unsure how any of you will feel when seeing me on the boards, but I can only hope that past experiences you may have had when dealing with me will put your decisions in my favor. I am sorry you all feel that I am responsible for this, and that this has happened.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']Alex, honestly, I don't believe the story. I think you made it up because you don't want to admit that you have been screwing around with the Yapiel account. Why? I don't know. Whenever I do something stupid and get caught, I always admit it. It's a lot better than writing a novel to try and cover it up. You should go into politics dude. I'm more shocked that you are coming up with this whole story (instead of admitting the truth), even more so then finding out that Yapiel was you incognito.

Whether anyone else in the staff lounge believes you or not, I guess is ultimately their decision. This isn't going to go out on the main board. We all agree that there is really no reason for it to. Everyone knows the shady things you have done in the past, and everyone knows the good things you have done, including giving that claw to Beligerant. You have a good business going on eBay and there is really no reason to eff that up for you. You have done right by far more people in our community than you have done wrong. The Yapiel thing was pretty screwed up, but no one got hurt, so I guess no harm, no foul. I will be removing the pricing of $910 on the BHS entry in the Super rares FAQ and posting that the $910 was shill. Though, I won't mention your name.

Anyways, like I said, I posted this in the thread in the staff lounge, so they can make their own decision. Personally man, I am really dissappointed to see this.

Anyways,

See you around the boards.[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Johnny,

I've been thinking about your last message and you are right. Everything about what I told you is true, except for the fact that I have known about my Yapiel friend for some time now, I didn't find out yesterday. I found out right after the $910 BHS auction to be exact. When he bidded that up I thought you guys would think I was a fraud because of how high it went and that no one could possibly pay that much for a single figure. The thing that got me scared was that he used one of my home computers to place his bid and I knew that the bullshizznit bid was going to have the same IP address as my own so I didn't say anything hoping it would go unnoticed, and it did, until now. I guess I just didn't want people to think that I was trying to get another figure outside of ebay like with what happened with the first BHS, so I kept quiet. But I got fuct when I allowed him to use my auction pics for his items. I basically shot myself in the foot with that and by not being honest upfront about it, I made more people question what was going on.

I feel like an arse. The first time I made you guys question me with the first BHS auction being sold outside of ebay I felt like I had betrayed you all, especially Doc since he got so mad and he had a really good point. I had seen others do sales outside of ebay and didnt think anything of it at the time until he pointed out that I was not giving others a chance by doing that. I didn't want anyone thinking that I was doing something like that again, so I didn't tell the whole truth by keeping quiet about that. I should have been like I found out that Yapiel guy is a friend of mine who bid up the auction and then didn't intend on paying after it got so high, but I kept quiet instead, I guess because I really care what you guys think of me and the first BHS auction was a lesson learned, I didn't want to seem like an arse once again. In my mind that would have made me look like a total unit at the time, I guess this does even more now, I wasn't thinking and I am sorry. Thanks for keeping this on the DL, you guys really do care despite all this. For that I thank you all. I can promise you shizznit like this will not happen again.

Alex

P.S. Please post this in the staff lounge for everyone there to see. Again, I apologize.[/quote]

[quote name='arforbes']Thanks Johnny,

The thing is that I was being accused of two other things that I had nothing to do with and I guess I panicked. Remember your list...

1. The first one was of me being Yapiel myself, which I was not but knew about it.

2. The second was of the Purple Claw auction, which I honestly had no idea about Yapiel back then, but later found out about when the BHS auction ended.

3. The third was of being involved in the SHA auction that just ended today. I had absolutely nothing to do with that auction. Nor did I shill bid. I don't even have any other ebay accounts. I was shocked at this accusation. You don't still think I was involved do you? What did you think of the pics I sent you via email? The differences prove the figure is different, wouldn't you say? And JaxOn is a legit seller.


So I was really only partially guilty of #1, and I should have fessed up to knowing of Yapiel, but I promise that I only knew of him after the $910 BHS auction and never bid up a Purple Claw or anything else.

Sorry and thanks for helping me to realize the right thing to do. I should have let you guys know 8 months ago.

Alex[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']Because of 1 and 2, we were suspicious of 3 (SHA) auction. But like I said, it was suspicious, that is all. No one said positively that you were involved, just that we thought you might be. By now, I don't think anyone thinks you had a hand in that one. The pics were really inconclusive. As far as the mark on the bottom elbow, the headless one with blue feet had it too.[/quote]

[quote name='jkaris']I just want you to know....

That even though, I think what you did sucks rocks, and most of the guys in the staff lounge are still irked with you....

You are still a member of this board, and are welcome to come and go as before.

Basically, I was browsing and noticed your kinkeshi thread and wanted to let you know that no one will give you grief if you continue updating it.

Just wanted to let you know.[/quote]

Meanwhile Alex was contacting Satan+ (Ricardo, a M.U.S.C.L.E. collector from Brazil) to sell him his BHS for $1000, using the yapiel auction as a pretext. Before then BHS had only sold for $300 or so.

And that is when the shizznit hit the fan and Alex outed himself.

The 2nd Purple Claw thread:
http://www.littlerub...?showtopic=9261
(Alex blows a gasket and outs himself)
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#13 Scumdogg

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:32 PM

Collecting is *definitely* a whole lot more fun when you've got someone to share it with. Contrary to what seems to be the norm, my collecting seemed to skyrocket when i met my wife, just because she's always been so interested and supportive. Hell, when i told her about these events (she'd been interested in watching that SC 4-pack since the moment it popped up), even she wanted to know what would happen to all Alex's super rares. B)

Beyond her though, one of the primary motivating factors in my toy collection has definitely been this board. I've picked up a ton of new toylines since i've been here, and while i love them all, i'm not sure how interested i'd stay if this place were to suddenly go away entirely. I mean, my left forearm is now permanently branded with 4 Kinnikuman characters, this is the start of the nerd equivalent of tattooing a girl's name on your arm, only replace girl with LRG. B) So yeah, i can't even imagine screwing this place over. Nothing would be worth it.

I mean, at least if you're going to be cutthroat in business, stocks, or other endeavors involving money, when you cut and run you've still got MONEY, which is good anywhere. Pull that here, and you're left with an $800 chunk of plastic that's only worth that much to a bunch of people that don't trust you anymore. It just doesn't make sense on any level.
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#14 dankingery

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:35 PM

it's kind of funny talking about sharing our hobby. my wife doesn't get it at all, so if i want to indulge in all things rubber i hop on here and commune with my brews. yesterday i was on the computer reading about this latest scandal, my jaw on the floor. my wife asked me what was so interesting. i said, " it's about muscles, do you really want to know?" of course i got a quick "no". i think what has already been said about not having anyone to share it with will make the desire die out is totally 100% dead on. when i see a cool lot on ebay or something i think someone will want i pm them as soon as i can. i love seeing your new pics when you win an auction and i can feel a little bit of your excitement. i don't think it's necessarily the hunt, so much as it is that we're all hunting together. i've always been an idealist and assume everyone plays with the same code of ethics that i do. i guess i'm where soupie was when the yapiel sitch happened. some of the coolest figures, and two of my all time favs were in arforbes collection. i don't know where i'm going with this. is this an absolute power corrupts absolutely lame rant, prolly. i guess it just hurts our community when one of the more recognizable collectors gives us all a blackeye. i must be food deprived. let's help each other out, we're helping ourselves in the process.
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#15 el midgetron

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:51 PM

Meanwhile there was a huge discussion going on in the staff lounge at this time and I had floated finally banning Alex this time.


I believe the "Staff lounge" is the same thing as the "VIP room". I have warned people about this for years and heres my proof, vindication!! I know what goes on in there, they do mock human sacrifices to a giant little-rubber-guy statue. There are alot of other activities that take place in this elite club, including setting forum policy, rowdyness, skinny dipping and plotting the demise of 90% of the forums population. I am planning on sneaking in there with a camera next week to expose all of this. I will keep you all updated.

As for the notorious Mr. Forbes issue and beyond, its pretty shocking to me that someone I felt like I had developed a trust with could be capable of such deceptions. I would like to think that the internet and the unpersonable environment inherent in it is partly to blame. However, even though I am "shocked" I have experienced that same type of eye opening revelations in non-internet based friendships/relationships and it never gets less "shocking". I think Alex is probably a very nice guy who makes bad decisions and I hope he can see the error of his ways before he burns bridges between himself and people in his daily life.

Anyway, while its neither here nor there, I don't really think the fun value of a hobby is based on who you can or cannot share it with. But then again, I am a crazy hermit. NOW, GET OFF MY LAND!!

Edited by el midgetron, 03 June 2008 - 07:55 PM.

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#16 hunterrose2000

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:58 PM

He has been involved in numerous other situations, granted, of a smaller scale up until the balucard incident.

. . .

So, the physical evidence proves 100% that Alex was balucard and the stuff he was doing behind the scenes in trades with a few new members shows motive. He was even manipulating MuscleDB numbers to make his trade items appear to be more rare, and then readjusting the numbers after the fact.

So, when you look at the ban, note the entire back story. It is VERY rare for anyone to get banned from this board, and UNHEARD of that a senior member would get the boot. But Alex dug his own grave, even with numerous people trying to keep him from lifting the shovel.


Just my 2 cents, but this could highlight a problem. And just to be clear, what I'm about to say is by no means an attack, or even disparaging. I'm just bringing it up as a matter for discussion. Anyway, Johnny, you are one even-keeled dude. On the one hand, you probably need to be when you're dealing with managing a site that brings together so many different people. On the other hand, when there's business being transacted on the site, it seems like you may have been holding too much back and being too lenient in the past when it comes to this stuff. This is the first I've heard about the MDB manipulation...I don't know if it was discussed in another thread (I couldn't find it if it was----except for one where arforbes, of course, was b*tching about someone manipulating the numbers to specifically harm him) but I tend to think that that should have been the last straw for Alex. I think he more than anyone was heavily relying on those numbers in his transactions. And that's just amazingly shady bullsh*t that should have been broadcast far and wide.

I also have a particular problem with how things went this far, because Alex had an influence on others, myself included. He was the first person to contact me when i joined the board a year ago, and that led to a number of transactions. One of the things I picked up from him was how MDB rarity affected prices. It was later pointed out to me by Veers and Armydentist that, especially when you're dealing on the board, MDB is unreliable and we should all keep the prices down for board members, noobs and vets alike, for all but the very rarest of figures. Now, pricing your own sales is your own business, but I just think it hurts the community when someone has and heavily encourages a speculator mentality. Not that anyone should be banned or even formally reprimanded just for that, but when you have numerous shady dealings as well....I just don't see how it got this far. Again, Johnny, I don't mean this as harsh criticism...I know I wouldn't want the hassle and responsibility of running this site myself...but I just want to throw my opinion out there as something to think about in the future.


One last note: I officially soured on arforbes a few months ago over a Mordle deal. I got one mixed in a lot of muscles on ebay. He saw it and asked me if I wanted to sell it because he was a big fan of those figures. He offered $5 for it and I sold it. Cut to just a week or two later, and he's selling his entire collection of Mordles for $10 apiece. I saw two in there that I liked more than the one I had sold him. So I asked if he'd sell those to me for the same price ($5 apiece). No dice. He "couldn't" go lower than $10. Hardly earth-shattering stuff, but a unit-move is a unit-move. There had been similar incidents with colored muscles previously, but nothing was as blatant and insulting as that one.

I also mention this because I think it goes back to my point above. Despite the shadiness, I was not eager to bring it up in the feedback, let alone rip him for just being a jerk, because I was so new to the board and he had been here for so long. For better or worse, when it comes to long-standing members, us newer members rely on other vets and mods to take someone to task for their BS. Because for as much as he could take advantage of noobs, he apparently was doing much worse stuff to everyone else. And I'm just surprised that it took so long for any real action. Again, I don't mean to get on anyone's back about this, and it's hardly a usual case, but I just think it's something to keep in mind for the future. I love this site, and it just sucks when someone like arforbes can screw things up so badly.
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#17 asator

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:58 PM

Hey, real quick, if any of you guys plan on trying to scam me in the future, could you please let me know beforehand?

ktnxbai



EDIT: I'm sorry but I have to bring this up just to prove that I am always right and never wrong. B) Wasn't it not long ago that, in a thread about bad ebayers, someone had the nerve to blame the new members for being shady? And now, here we have an old vet being shady. Again, it just goes to show that newbs and vets alike can easily be corrupted by the power that is the dark side.

Edited by asator, 03 June 2008 - 08:06 PM.

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#18 doc_moore_j

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:04 PM

Good links Johnny. Funny PM's. I think Soupie sums up a lot of the shadiness and has good links on his thread here:
http://www.littlerub...amp;#entry89445

I'll throw my two cents in, I was going to make a post with links to every shady event that Alex has been involved in over the last 6 years, but if you browse Johnny's and Soupie's posts and threads that sums up most of it. But, if need be, I will go back and make a clearer thread, it will just take me a week or so because there is so much shadiness.

I will start with a couple positives so this post doesnt just seem like a total bash on a guy that cant defend himself. Alex was a pretty positive influence on these boards, he did contribute a lot, Soupies muscle DB for example, he helped a ton with that. He was generous at times, and was active in most threads. Funny story about Alex, when he first appeared, we thought he was a bootlegger because he had like 50 SC's that he was trying to sell on ebay.

Unfortunately, Alex's main fall was he was extremely greedy. He cared for his elite collection more than he cared about any possible friendship on this board. Wanting a nice collection is one thing, effing over people who thought you were thier friend is another. When the early buy outs started, I was extremely upset. If you read some of my old posts about it you may think I was being an a-hole or jealous. I was never jealous, what pisses me off about the early buyouts is it robs anybody else a chance to even bid on the item. I dont have time so sit and scour ebay all day long like it seems he did. So everytime an auction of interest came up, it was bought out before anybody else could even bid. I guess early buyouts is common practice now, I still never do it. But when you early buyout every auction of interest, then brag and shove it in people's faces it gets old really fast in my opinion. The whole Yapiel scandal was just the beginning, he knew he was greedy and selfish so he assumed multiple identities. Now with the Balucard shizznit, it shows how he was trying to manipulate the trading ring and stuff. Saying he is from Canada because many rare colors have been found there, hiding the fact that he had several figures or colors to try and swindle people for more money. Say I have 1 SR, people would offer me more money knowing how important it is to me, versus me having two SR's of the same figure. Thats what he was doing. I think he may have come to the realization that some of the figures he was paying thousands of dollars for nobody else will pay that much for, so he thought he had to be sneaky and tricky to try and get some of his money back. His greed made him start targeting new collectors that had pieces he needed. He would offer very common figures up to them making them think they were getting a good deal. For example, "I will give you ten figures you need to finish your collection for just one figure". But then that one figure turns out to be a one of a kind item, never before seen color of a particular figure. Sure the new guy got to finish his collection and got ten for one, but he lost a one of a kind item. Alex was famous for doing that stuff. People thought he was being generous, but he was only looking out for himself and his collection.

In the end, this board is full of wonderful, generous, people, most of which I would call friends. I trust most of you, I trade, purchase, and joke around with most of you. Liars and tricksters are not needed here. I feel this board is safer and more honest with him not on it. I wont miss him.
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#19 Scumdogg

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:09 PM

Hey, real quick, if any of you guys plan on trying to scam me in the future, could you please let me know beforehand?

ktnxbai



So i guess you won't be wanting all my Series 2 MIMPs then? Fine, i have another buyer anyway. His name is Scamdogg, and he is a totally unrelated third party. B)
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#20 asator

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:13 PM

B)
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#21 jkaris

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 08:26 PM

On the other hand, when there's business being transacted on the site, it seems like you may have been holding too much back and being too lenient in the past when it comes to this stuff. This is the first I've heard about the MDB manipulation...I don't know if it was discussed in another thread (I couldn't find it if it was----except for one where arforbes, of course, was b*tching about someone manipulating the numbers to specifically harm him) but I tend to think that that should have been the last straw for Alex. I think he more than anyone was heavily relying on those numbers in his transactions. And that's just amazingly shady bullsh*t that should have been broadcast far and wide.

As far as the MDB manipulations, I found out about that today. If I had known about that beforehand, it would have become public knowledge. What I did find interesting about it was that just a few months back, he was FUMING about someone else using MDB to manipulate prices:
http://www.littlerub...showtopic=20952
So for him to be doing the same thing was very interesting. But like I said, I did find out about that today.

However, he was recently in a trade with djniku for a color figure that up until then had not been found, and was trying to trade him a few semi-common figures for it (2 claws and some others, I believe). djiku contacted me and so I told him that he was being taken advantage of, and then I started looking into the other things Alex was doing. One thng I noted was that he was taking offers on his purple claw pack via PMs, and the highest offer I saw was $250. Next thing I know he was telling everyone the high offer was at $500+. Now granted, it is entirely possible that he got that offer via eMail (he was dealing with a few people known to drop big $$$ on colors), but I couldn't be sure, so I didn't want to bring that out on the board. And as I had no way of proving it one way or another, it stayed under wraps. But then this SC 4 pack came up and you know the story from there.

But yes, I do agree that I am way more lenient than maybe I should be at times. That's what Veers is for B)
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#22 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 10:14 PM

I'm not the best of a member myself. I've had some pretty back transactions here, but I wouldn't doubt someone else has thought I was doing them wrong too. Hope not, but it's possible I'm sure.

Interesting thing is Alex was the VERY FIRST guy I did a trade with here. He traded me some muscles I needed for my first flesh set for some of my extras he needed for a set he wanted to sell. I was so happy about the trade cause I was new to the hobby, and was like YEAH These guys here are Great! I even picked out the best figures I had of the ones he needed directly from my main set, just to be sure he was happy. I was new and wasn't completely sure of what mint was, but the ones I sent were MINT. So I anxiously anticipated my first new trade lot! Low and behold I get them and they are probably the worst figures Alex could find in his extras. :( I mean the 143 archer was one he sent me and his bow was broken off! And most of the others looked like they were coated in a film of ink. This made me very sad, and I actually emailed him back and told him I was disappointed in them, and that it was probably the last time I'd ever make the mistake of trading on the AKIA board again! I told him I wouldn't leave him a negative cause I was new and he had like 3000 posts, so nobody would believe me.

In fact I have never traded with him again! I tried a few times after a few years of being here, but he never had what I needed. In fact I started getting along with him just fine, and we would occasionally talk via P.M. about Keshi or what not. I've even busted his chops for the fun of it! In fact it was Alex and Veers interest in a complete color collection that motivated me to try and figure out the Muscle color code! Alex was a pretty nice guy all around, but as many have said he was a shark at business, and an angel for the love of the hobby and friends.

I'm actually sad he had to go, he was a key member of the community! But really there are a few other members here that are just like him, Angels who bite you in the A$$ while you are listening to their beautiful voice. Veterans too. But that's not important, and I'd hate to see this happen to anyone else here again, no matter the issue. :( It's sort of like having one of your best friends go to jail because of a second life they had behind your back.

If your reading this Alex, I wish you well. ;) And know that if you were still here there is no way I would have posted my little trade story, cause I do respect you....but your not here to fuss at me now. :) J/k....or am I? :)

And Jkaris is right Veers is the one that keeps the terror going to scare off the baddies. :) He also scares little children, and he probably wheres a Hitler mask with his Imperial officer garb on Halloween.
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#23 Jet-Mech

Jet-Mech

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 02:51 AM

I'm amazed that I didn't realize what had happened here until about forty-five minutes ago. A black cloud is hanging over this board, and I agree that this whole mess just needs to be shoved to the bottom of the forum. But there are some things I'd like to add before that happens.

My interaction with Alex was limited, so I'm not really in a position to pass a whole lot of judgment. In the few dealings I had with him. One example was the "Likelihood of finding a purple Claw" thread, in which he informed me about what collectors with more experience than I have learned over the years. But then again, look at post number four in that thread...

We should hope that news of this mess doesn't spread beyond our little community and eBay. The shenanigans of Hot Wheels collectors have been somewhat well-documented over the last fifteen years or so (no offense to Gilgar, or any of you who might also be involved in that hobby), and if news of this gets out, it could end up becoming a serious black mark. Would we really want the media having a field day at our expense?

But really, this incident shouldn't sour any of us too badly at all. I've learned a lot and genuinely enjoyed my time here, and I've also become quite fond of my Little Rubber Guys. But really, they're just rubber, and they're not losing my good name over. Nor would I want to infuriate any of y'all. Hell, if Dr. Ackula decides to collect figures that aren't Sunigator, I'll donate some of my collection to him.

Okay, I've said what I have to say. Back to more pleasant topics!

Edited by Jet-Mech, 04 June 2008 - 02:53 AM.

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Current collecting goal: obtain all 148 Monster In My Pocket Series 1 figures in regular colors (71.62% there)

 

So many toys, so little money!


#24 hunterrose2000

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    Searching high and low for...THE UNKNOWN DOUCHE!

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 03:24 AM

Interesting thing is Alex was the VERY FIRST guy I did a trade with here. He traded me some muscles I needed for my first flesh set for some of my extras he needed for a set he wanted to sell. I was so happy about the trade cause I was new to the hobby, and was like YEAH These guys here are Great! I even picked out the best figures I had of the ones he needed directly from my main set, just to be sure he was happy. I was new and wasn't completely sure of what mint was, but the ones I sent were MINT. So I anxiously anticipated my first new trade lot! Low and behold I get them and they are probably the worst figures Alex could find in his extras. :) I mean the 143 archer was one he sent me and his bow was broken off! And most of the others looked like they were coated in a film of ink. This made me very sad, and I actually emailed him back and told him I was disappointed in them, and that it was probably the last time I'd ever make the mistake of trading on the AKIA board again! I told him I wouldn't leave him a negative cause I was new and he had like 3000 posts, so nobody would believe me.


I actually forgot about this happening to me as well. Almost exactly the same deal. Maybe not quite the same extent, but I had near mint figures going out and got inked up, dirty garbage in return. And I it was my very first trade on the board. But, like an idiot I kept trading with him, thinking for a while that this was an acceptable kind of trade on this board. So, again, I stand by what I said before that I think that someone like arforbes, as much help he might be in the general promotion of the hobby, was mostly a poisonous influence on trading. As great as the lore is, actual trading is the true lifeblood of the hobby, and if he kills even one person's interest in joining and trading, then he's doing more harm than good. And I suspect there were many that went the extra step that URS thought about and just stopped the hobby altogether after being burned by arforbes.

Alex was famous for doing that stuff. People thought he was being generous, but he was only looking out for himself and his collection.


I think he might have been famous among the vets for this, but not among most newer members. This just goes to what I was saying before, that if a high-profile, long-standing member is a cheat, then it's got to be up to the other vets to call him out on it publicly, so that the new members can see what's up. I think in all fairness, that instead of old, closed threads that noone can find, his major scams should have been noted up front in his feedback thread. Kind of like the warning that just went up yesterday. You pull some major BS like that, you deserve to have it marked on your record.

And I wrote my first post before I saw that long PM thread jkaris posted. Wow. The sheer volume of bullsh*t spewing out of arforbes really should have been public knowledge. Here is a clear case of someone pulling scams on ebay, getting caught, then lying endlessly about it, and getting caught in the lies. That is just not a trustworthy person to deal with -- but anyone besides the staff, who was privy to that evidence, is not going to know about his character when they just have the plain "member feedback" to go on. And newer members are not likely to post negative feedback on a vet, even if they know they got scammed -- like URS back when he was new.

And @ jkaris, I guess your first post made it seem like that the MDB manipulation was one of those earlier incidents that led up to this. Like I had said, I really don't mean any of this as an attack on anyone, but I think what happened with arforbes should be well-remembered and maybe the next person caught pulling a Yapiel stunt should not be allowed to slide so easily so that he can go on to pull the Balucard stunt, and every other little swindle in between.

Finally, anyone else think this auction is now extremely questionable? http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=250251112968 Anyone know who t***e( 295) is? Because I have a feeling he got a second-chance offer.

Edited by hunterrose2000, 04 June 2008 - 03:32 AM.

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#25 THEGODBEAST

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 05:49 AM

Ok,
I will chime in on this once and once only...

First of all, we all owe Jkaris for keeping this site active, fresh, vast, and as safe as it can be. It HAS provided EVERYONE here the same potential buying/selling/trading opportunities that save us having to deal w/ Ebay all the time.

hunterrose is correct in that manipulation of the MDB or the BB/LB guide is not right...PERIOD. Whether it be a collector or a mod. That being said, I do think there is a level of common sense & knowledge any collector must have prior to doing any buying/selling/trading. It is just like having a Lee's Toy Review and thinking those prices are actual up-to-date market values....they are NOT! They are merely a guide to give a collector a ballpark range to go w/. We ALL know that Ebay prices are much lower on most popular toy lines and higher on most obscure toy lines. We have ALL been a newb at one time...ALL of us. Some came here w/ more knowledge of toys and prices...some have learned a lot over the years from those that know more and that is a HUGE positive of this board. I myself try hard to share knowledge, photos, and prices for anyone and everyone.

All this said, I don't think that just because someone has bought/sold or traded a toy and not gotten a even trade, a good purchase price, or a good sale price necessarily means someone was screwed. C'mon guys...know your stuff, know your prices, and in the end...YOU have the power to proceed or pass on the deal. I have desperately told all newbs I come into contact w/ (that ask me about members and their reputation) NOT to send money via Western Union (unless you 110% trust the individual) or cash. I ALWAYS give my honest opinion of members and their deals to anyone that asks me...I NEVER hold back. I do this only because I care and I care about this forum and it's members. It HAS to be a safe place w/ the amount of $ and toys that are moved around collection to collection.

Not to brag, but, I do have the highest feedback rating here and I have dealt w/ the majority of the most active/high profile members here. So I have a pretty good feel for most members and I have a long history of dealings in toys here, @ he-man.org, and Ebay. I have seen lots of shady activity on TNI, HM.org, and Ebay...but, only a couple of incidents here. I have only been screwed here once and it was a small loss (at the time...2-3 years later that member came back apologized and tried to make things right...which I accept and respect...UNLESS something similar happens in the future). Have I seen/heard of other members being taken...yup! Rainlord, Nemesisbonga, and a couple of others have had my help to try to recover $ and toys in bad dealings...in these instances I have taken it upon myself to act as a mediator and tried to leverage the member at fault to fulfill their end of the deal or return the $/toys to the other member. I have been successful for the most part, however, in Nemesisbonga's case...it was an international member and he wouldn't even respond...Ron sent $$$ Western Union and at that point there was no way I could assist him and it was chalked up to a major loss for him. (BTW, Jon I hoped you blocked that member too. I think you might have, but, we need to make sure. Ayro Bagas and I will have to ask Ron again for his member name.)

Concerning Alex. I am torn. I have known him since day on the old AKIA when I first joined. W/ the exception of the Yapiel incident he has always been a great member and I was glad Jkaris gave him the opportunity to stay and learn from his mistake. That said, this SC 4 pack and the balucard situation bothers me. Mostly because I do NOT understand why ALex would do this after the whole Yapiel incident. The SC 4 pack from day one looked to me to be a re-seal, balucard's description was shady when you taken into account the photo, the feedback, and that there was NEVER additional information added referring to the SC (when we ALL know that Ebay seller got a TON of Ebay messages informing them to the HIGH $$$ of this item...not to mention, the price was starting to rise through the roof which would be a HUGE red flag for any Ebay seller that they have a HOT/RARE toy on their hands). I think Jkaris did the right thing investigating it throughly, keeping mods/legends informed, contacting individuals that interacted w/ balucard, and ultimately took action to provide safety to this forum. He did the same w/ the Yapiel incident. Do I miss Alex and what he brought to this forum...sure do. Jkaris has a tuff job and I think he does it well, in fact, he has done it better than any other owner of a site I have ever experienced.

I said this in the staff lounge and I will post it here as well...


"I also think it will be pretty punk for members here to post crap over and over every time he lists an auction. Seriously...I have been black balled for making Funko customs (which I got permission from the owner of the company to do a limited #) and members of that forum tried to black ball me every time I listed a funko item for sale on Ebay to try to ruin the sales of my auctions when I was selling it all off due to my divorce. It was annoying and also scandalous considering I have NEVER NOT ONCE screwed anyone on any toy trade/sale ever. My reputation is my life and I thought that was pretty shizznitty.

Granted Alex is a different situation, however, how can a person ever change if they aren't given some motivation to change? How can they ever redeem?

I would say unless a member posts a question regarding one of his auctions or deals outside of Ebay...members here ESPECIALLY mods/high ups should refrain from posting links and snide comments about him, his auctions, his deals, or his collection just to spite him. Seriously...that isn't healthy for a forum and it WILL lead to members not feeling welcome or worrying that one day someone will turn on them or ostracize them. Too many members here aren't fully aware of all the past histories, past situations, and if they have no beef w/ someone they may or may not interpret this the same as those that are fully informed. That is what leads to the mood of a forum changing.

I would also say that whoever said, "Not much has changed or been said on the forum since Alex was banned." might not realize that that could be a sign of what I am saying could happen to this forum. Less collectors sharing, less collectors communicating openly (fearing one day they might mess up and some old post might bite them in the butt), and less collectors posting period."

I guess my last word on this is to EVERYONE...KNOW your toys (educate yourself w/ Toypedia, Ebay, toy sites, & other member's knowledge), KNOW your values (don't rely solely on the MDB, BB/LB guide, toy guides, or Ebay), KNOW your buyers/sellers/traders (take the extra time to read the member feedback & ask around for references), share photos of your collections (helps to show others what IS actually out there), ask for opinions/advice on deals, and never use cash or Western Union UNLESS you TOTALLY TRUST that person.

I really don't know what else to say about this.

TGB
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