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Beyblades Auction Kids (also known as “Auction Kids”) refers to two youngsters who appeared in an eBay auction picture in early February 2011. Perhaps due to its funny back-story and candid snapshot of two children on the verge of tears, the eBay auction page instantly went viral across the blogosphere and social networks, gaining over 200,000 pageviews and outlandishly high-price bids within days of submission.
“We are selling 8 Beyblades, 2 of them light up. As you can tell they are not happy about this! They have been using their bathtub as a ‘battle arena’ and Beyblades + Bathtub = Destruction!!! With the metal ones they managed to scrape the enamel off the tub, take a chunk of tub out and break off the soap holder. SO if you ‘win’ this auction, DON’T play with in a bathtub!!! We have recieved a quote of $500.00 to replace the tub, some tiles, and soap holder + labor of course! They had approxamently $125.67 in their piggy banks that will be going to toward the cost. We will use the profit from this auction towards the balance and then it is onto other toys! Good Luck bidding!!! Paypal only.”
Titled “Selling 8 Beyblades to replace destroyed baththub,” the auction page was posted on February 5th by eBay user daney21. According to the auction description, the user explains how her two young boys (as depicted in the photo) had caused so much destruction to the bathtub that she forced them to sell the toys to help pay for the damage. In the image attached, the older son appears to be crying alongside his very solemn-looking brother who holds the Beyblades up for the camera in a Ziploc bag.
On February 5th, the photograph started receiving attention quickly, earning an article dedicated to the story on Kotaku. However, initial blog coverage of this quirky eBay episode was rather minuscule in comparison to what was transpiring on 4chan, particularly in the /b/ board. With the photo of the boys just begging to be “shopped,” 4chan users began creating several different variations and posting them on the image board.
Many of the altered photos are made to appear as if things other than the toys are in the Ziploc bag, typically illegal contraband items and other shocking objects for comedic effect (Marijuana, sex toys, severed body parts, and uranium to name a few).
By the end of the day on February 5th, the auction page had well over 200,000 views. Over the course of that day, several illegitimate bids were placed on the Beyblade toys, some for over $10,000 (USD). The bids in question were removed one by one as they appeared. It is rumored that the poster of the auction herself identified the illegitimate bids. As of February 9th, it still remains unknown whether the creator of the auction is aware of how “popular” their offering and photograph have become.
Apparently, an eBay employee or perhaps the auction holder herself became keen that something bizarre was happening with the auction, likely due to the high view count and/or repeated illegitimate bids. As of February 6th, 2011, the auction page now carries the following error message: “This listing (280625155361) has been removed, or this item is not available.”
On February 16th, 2011, Know Your Meme received an e-mail from Daney21, the eBay user behind the Beyblades toy auction. In the e-mail, she wrote:
I wanted to let you know that eBay took the listing down beacuse of all the fake bids. We do have the option to relist, it did not violate any eBay codes. But we are undecided if we will, we received several hundred emails in the hours that we had the listing up. Most of the emails were not very nice and not sure if we are willing to deal with that again.
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