Los Angeles (E! Online) - Are Gary Coleman's pants the new Virgin Mary grilled-cheese sandwich? No. They are bigger.
Bidding on eBay reached $400,000 on Thursday for a pair of navy blue, size 12XL-Regular Gap Kids sweatpants signed by the former child star.
"This is really high," eBay spokeswoman Karen Bard agreed.
And it could get higher still. The auction wasn't set to close until later Thursday.
To say memorabilia dealer Brian Chanes was in disbelief wouldn't properly convey his utter and absolute skepticism.
"If someone pays $400,000," said Chanes, who handles client relations for the Southern California-based Profiles in History, "I would eat my hat."
To Chanes, who has seen stage-worn Madonna wardrobe items fetch $15,000-$20,000, a six-figure sum for sweats modeled by the latter-day, post-Diff'rent Strokes Coleman doesn't make sense. Much less cents.
When reminded that the pants' waistband bears the signature of the onetime California gubernatorial candidate, Chanes laughed.
"Who cares? That adds an extra five bucks...This is absolutely a farce."
Bard said the site won't know until the auction is over if the winning bidder is serious. The seller seemed to be in similar straits.
"I don't know if the bids are real," the eBayer known as brassonline wrote in an email Thursday. "Until somebody actually pays that amount then I will be comfortable."
Last year, an eBay auction hosted by John Schneider, the Dukes of Hazzard star, ended badly, when the winner of Schneider's General Lee car said he wasn't really the winner—that the top bid of more than $9.9 million had been wrongly made in his name. In any case, the iconic auto went back on the block.
The Coleman pants pusher has proceeded with caution. The main auction page notes that the sale is open only to pre-approved bidders (something Schneider didn't do). The bid-history page shows that more than a dozen bids, including one for as much as $50 million, have been nixed, in most cases because the seller suspected they were bogus.
"If you are not Serious in paying for this item, YOU NEED TO RETRACT YOUR BID IMMEDIATELY!!!," brassonline wrote in an emphatic Jan. 11 eBay post.
If the top bid does turn out to be serious, one thing seems certain: The seller owes Jimmy Kimmel a shout-out, if not a cut.
On the Jan. 10 Jimmel Kimmel Live, three days after the Coleman auction commenced, Kimmel expressed his deepest desire for the pants, and placed a bid of about $80.
Later that night, bids cracked the three-figure mark. Four minutes after that, they cracked the four-figure mark. Five days later, on Jan. 15, the first apparently legit $100,000-plus bid was placed.
About that shout-out... It has been duly shouted.
"GO JIMMY YOU ROCK!!!," the seller noted in the Jan. 11 eBay post.
It was not known if Kimmel has engaged in the bidding war off-air. But the auction itself has remained an on-air topic. This week, Coleman called into the show to say that he suspected the six-figure bids were bogus.
Still, one never knows with eBay.
That Virgin Mary grilled-cheese, after all, really did sell for $28,000.
And a Coleman-autographed DVD really is being offered by the very same pants seller. Bidding starts at $19.95.
Just as it did with the pants.