Many years ago, these small figures, molded in durable, slightly flexible, tastefully pink* plastic, were a major craze...at my school at least. Unlike most toys they were not cash-in merchandise for a cartoon (actually they were, but we didn't know that at the time), and so precipitated greater creativity of play. You had to devise your own names. They were relatively cheap, tradable, numerous, difficult to break, small enough to take to school, and sufficiantly mysterious to merit great ponderings on various aspects of their nature. They were, in short, the best toy ever**.
They were easy to lose though.
The name M.U.S.C.L.E is a western
rebadging; they are actually based on characters from a Japanese comic and
anime charting the adventures of the hapless Kinnikuman.
We used to call them "Muscle Things", as it sounded slightly less foolish than just saying "Muscle", and was more easily plurallised.
Their ease of loss, and their apparent lack of value has lead to many M.U.S.C.L.E obsessives finding themselves with little or no M.U.S.C.L.E to their name. You can help these poor unfortunates by finding M.U.S.C.L.E and related material for them to buy/swap, finding material/info for this and other M.U.S.C.L.E websites, or petitioning for their return to the toy market!
Please feel free to email me if you have any comments/advice about this site, or if you have any information/graphics/other material about Kinnikuman or M.U.S.C.L.E. Any contribution would be much appreciated. If I use any of your stuff you can be credited with name/email/links or whatever you want. Get in touch!
Back to the Main Index!
*Towards the end of their existance, they were released in a wide variety of garish colours, presumably as an attempt to boost their popularity. Didn't work. I was never too keen on these multicoloured ones, but they look pretty cool en masse, as seen on Patrick Gresham's page
The particular shade of pink of a vintage M.U.S.C.L.E appears to be impossible to depict on a computer, so my pictures and colours here don't really do it justice. If you can nail down this perculiar colour, please email me the Pantone number or something.
**Except for the original old skool Star Wars toys, of course. And Lego.
M.U.S.C.L.E and related trademarks/images/etc. are used without permission, but with respect to Mattel and Bandai and anyone else who has any rights to them. The Kinnikuman characters are copyright of Toei/Yudetamago; 'nuf respekt to them too, whoever they are.
All dodgy graphics and ugly colour schemes are used under the authority of this being a dodgy fan page. If you want stylish, tasteful web design, look at the rest of my webpages. And then go somewhere else to look at some well designed pages.