The 2006 “Color Code” discovery is most directly attributed to two M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors, known by their LittleRubberGuys.com screen names – “Soupie” and “Universal Ruler Supreme.” They saw a Kinnikuman “tree” (as it was called by collectors) and deduced that M.U.S.C.L.E. must also have been made in these groupings, or “trees.” (The “trees” will now be more accurately referred to as molds.)
It was through the diligent work of these two collectors that a discernable pattern emerged from the seemingly randomness of the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. This pair of collectors believed that by determining which M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were cast together, on the same molds, they would have definitive proof of which color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were created. Soupie and Universal Ruler Supreme believed they could decipher the M.U.S.C.L.E. “Color Code.”The following text was originally written by Soupie, webmaster of the MCIA and Toypedia. The text has been slightly edited in an effort to better coalesce with the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. website. The text explains, in full detail, how the “Color Code” was deciphered.
Mattel’s M.U.S.C.L.E. figures are the American version of Japanese Kinnikuman figures. Kinnikuman figures were released in Japan in a series of sets called “Parts.” There are 21 different Parts in the complete Kinnikuman set.
The first step in Universal Ruler Supreme (URS) and Soupie solving the M.U.S.C.L.E. Color Code was for them to determine the Kinnikuman Parts that each M.U.S.C.L.E. figure originated from. They were able to accomplish this task by visiting the website called: Naochin’s Kinnikuman Parts archive. The website features all of the Kinnikuman figures organized by their Parts.The second step in their process was only possible in 2006. The two collectors used a website called, “The M.U.S.C.L.E. Database.” It was a website with a dual purpose: (1) for collectors to document and track their collection; and (2) to help M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors identify which M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were actually produced. The website started out truly altruistic. Sadly the website became a battleground for collectors hoping to influence the price of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The data contained within the website became grossly inaccurate and the website was eventually shutdown.
Thankfully URS and Soupie were able to use the altruistic M.U.S.C.L.E. data. Most importantly they were able to see which M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were cast in certain colors. They were also able to take note of how often those figures were cast in specific colors.
Once they had identified (a) which Kinnikuman Part each M.U.S.C.L.E. figure belonged to and determined (b) which colors the figure had been cast they were able to compare it to other M.U.S.C.L.E. figures that belong to the same Kinnikuman Part. As the pair expected, a pattern (actually multiple patterns) of M.U.S.C.L.E. color combinations within each Kinnikuman Part started to emerge.Here is an actual example:
The figures that come from Part One of the Kinnikuman line are M.U.S.C.L.E. figures: 20, 23, 27, 28, 31, 33, 35, 36, 39, 41, 46, 55, 60, 61, 82, 93, 123, 156, and 220.
When those figures are grouped together something becomes immediately obvious. There appear to be two main groups of figures. These groupings are likely the molds that were used to create the figures.
A numerical breakdown can be seen in URS’ original chart. (Notice the molds are still referred to as “trees.”) It is worth nothing that a few random figures seem to appear – however, these are likely human errors from the M.U.S.C.L.E. Database website.
Once the two collectors had organized the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures by the Kinnikuman Part they belong to, and by the colors they were cast in, they started to organize the data into “M.U.S.C.L.E. Color Information Archive Kinnikuman Parts.”The two collectors had broken the M.U.S.C.L.E. color code.
There is admittedly one flaw in the system. The M.U.S.C.L.E. Database data was not free from human error. Occasionally the database had instances of color figures being recorded that would not have been expected to exist and were unable to be documented with photographic evidence. These oddity entries were most likely simple errors. However, if these entries are not errors, then some patterns would need to be adjusted.
For more information, read Part Two of Philosophy 100.
If there are any questions, please don’t not hesitate to contact the University of M.U.S.C.L.E..