Future Strength Figures


Carded
Future Strength Figures

Future Strength figures have largely been referred to as counterfeit or bootleg M.U.S.C.L.E. figures by most M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. In reality, Future Strength figures are a unique type of “counterfeit” figure – they are Masquerading MUSCLE’s.

These original, vintage M.U.S.C.L.E.-like figures are not direct copies of Kinnikuman/M.U.S.C.L.E. figures but clearly inspired by their similarity in style, texture, rigidity, color, and size. Future Strength figures are arguably the best known of the Masquerading MUSCLE’s.

Future Strength Figures

Future Strength figures were not added to Anthropology because there is no evidence that suggests these figures came before M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. These figures appear to be the result of the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures being successful and not the earlier Kinnikuman figures.

There are 12 known Future Strengths sculpts.

Jon Morey took the time to photograph and name the first 10 figures. With his permission both his pictures and names are being reused. The first six figures seem to be the most directly M.U.S.C.L.E. influenced sculpts. The remaining four figures may have directly drawn their inspiration from something, but it is completely unknown today.

The final two figures were more recent discoveries.

Spork, Hawkdude, Frowny, Sadface, Mongrelman, and Twinface are the six figures clearly influenced by specific M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The six figures are presented below (front and back) along with the M.U.S.C.L.E. figure that served as their inspiration.

Spork

Spork - Back

Spork and #18


Hawkdude

Hawkdude - Back

Hawkdude & #97


Frowny

Frowny - Back

Frowny & #102


Sadface

Sadface - Back

Sadface & #148


Mongrelman

Mongrelman - Back

Mongrelman & #152


Twinface

Twinface - Back

Twinface & #154


The final six Future Strength figures do not appear to have a direct M.U.S.C.L.E. influence.

Corncob

Corncob - Back


Big Daddy

Big Daddy - Back


Lenny

Lenny - Back


Space Eskimo

Space Eskimo - Back


Mellerdrammer
Original color (poor lighting)

Mellerdrammer – Back
Original color (poor lighting)


Bate-Man
Original color (poor lighting)

Bate-Man – Back
Original color (poor lighting)


In June of 2012 a fascinating discovery was made – two Future Strength figures in translucent colors.

Space Eskimo - Yellow

Space Eskimo - Yellow (Back)

The Yellow Space Eskimo is an exact replica in size and detail to the Future Strength figure. The Future Strength figures could certainly be described as a low quality products, which makes that masterful copying of it all the more surprising.

This Blue Mongrelman figure is an exact copy in detail, but he is much smaller in size – which suggests he is a copy of an original Future Strength figure.

Mongrelman - Blue

Mongrelman - Blue (Back)

But what really makes this two figures standout is that a raised “TAIWAN” trademark has been added to both of the figures. The addition of this trademark begs the question, “Was the trademark added to the figures or removed from the other Future Strength figures?”

Because the raised “TAIWAN” trademark has been added to the Blue figure it seems logical, based on the available sample, that Future Strength figures were copied and sold.

The two figures raise a number of questions:

– Did the original manufacturers create a second wave of Future Strength figures?
– What other colors are available?
– Were all of the colors translucent?
– Why was TAIWAN added to the back of the figure?

If these two translucent figures are actually counterfeit Future Strength figures created by a different manufacturer, then there is a hilarious meta-quality to the whole situation.

Are these translucent figures direct copies of figures that wanted to avoid directly copying figures by creating original figures that were directly inspired by M.U.S.C.L.E. figures?

If that is true, then it is wonderfully hilarious – that still yielded some wonderfully interesting and attractive figures.

Mellerdrammer

Bate-Man

In November of 2012 what looked to be a third translucent Future Strength figure was discovered. It appeared to match the translucent Yellow Space Eskimo, but, at the time, was an entirely new Future Strength sculpt. The figure was named Mellerdrammer and was later confirmed to be a Future Strength figure.

At the same time Mellerdrammer was confirmed, the 12th figure was discovered: Bate-Man.

On April 30th, 2014 a third translucent color was discovered. The figure was a Sadface in a Translucent Green color. Unfortunately it was never confirmed to have the raised “TAIWAN” on its back.

Sadface - Translucent Green

Bate-Man

Bate-Man – Back


On September 23rd, 2014 there were two more new Future Strength figures documented. Cameron L. (known as MoistSloth at LRG) shared a picture of a translucent Blue Bate-Man.

Bate-Man Comparison

Bate-Man – Salmon

Like the above Yellow Space Eskimo and the Blue Mongrelman this figure has the raised “TAIWAN” trademark added to his back.

The final addition, also added on September 23rd, was provided by Chris K. (known as dixiebull at LRG). This figure is especially interesting because it is the first coloration of this type.

This figure appears to be a M.U.S.C.L.E.-like Salmon color.

Bate-Man – Back Comparison

Like the translucent figures, this figure also has the raised “TAIWAN” trademark added to his back.

On September 29, 2016 another one of Lucas Rage’s amazing discoveries was posted. This time the King of Counterfeit discovered a variant Future Strength card.

Lucas was able to acquire two packages of carded Future Strength figures. The first one was identical to the Auction Watch #100 one he had bought years ago – same figures and everything. However, the second one is quite different.

The most immediately noticeable difference is the darker blue coloring. An attempt to argue that the color variation is due to fading, but the black and yellow lettering is not faded. The variation appears 100% authentic.

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With and Without the Barcodes

Two Types of Future Strength Cards

Two Types of
Future Strength Cards

The second difference is that the figures are different. A variety of figures in different packaging is easy to assume, but that is not always the case with counterfeit figures. With so few carded examples of Future Strength this type of discovery is very exciting.

The third difference is very curious. A barcode is in the top left of the card. All previously documented examples of Future Strength figures did not have the barcode. To be a viable retail product a barcode is a forgone conclusion. Seeing the two versions raise some questions:

  • Which version came first?
  • Did they originally forget the barcode?
  • Did a “bootlegger” remove the barcode?
  • Could it have been regionally released by different companies?

Finally, at the bottom of the card, the distributor information is very different. On the original card it states:
MADE IN TAIWAN EXPRESSLY FOR McCRORY CORP. YORK, PA. 17402 TT-982

On the newly discovered card it states:
PACKAGING AND DESIGN © 1986 LAURIE IMPORT LTD
RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN OVER 3 YEARS OF AGE

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The 1st Known Type of Carded Future Strength

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Newly Discovered Future Strength Example

Obviously those are two significantly different pieces of information. It is unlikely that the 1986 copyright is true. It is reasonable to think that these figures were rushed to market after the success of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The 1986 copyright was likely meant to be a “hey-we-released-it-at-the-same-time-you-can’t-sue-us” defense.

As a super nerd for these types of discoveries it is easy to love all of these very cool variations. However, a great part of the newly discovered card is a hilarious lack of oversight. More accurately it could be described as evidence for absolutely zero care, pride, and/or work ethic for this product.

At the top of the card: “FOR AGES OVER 4”

At the bottom of the card: “RECOMMENDED FOR CHILDREN OVER 3 YEARS OF AGE”

If you have any Future Strength figures or packages to add to the archive, then please email a high-resolution picture to the University of M.U.S.C.L.E.. Please take the picture on a white background.

Thank you!

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  1. #1 by Cameron (moistloth) on March 20th, 2013

    Twin Face does have 154s head but (her?) body is from the kinnikuman: Cyborg Kid.

    Mine does not have the face on the back of the head, it’s just sort of lumpy.

  2. #2 by Chris Krutsinger on July 31st, 2015

    I just got 5 future strength figures in the mail, and one of the five are not part of the list of ten. I will be submitting pictures soon, as I have some musclemania to share as well. Looks like there are likely more than ten sculpts out there!

  3. #3 by Chad Perry on August 3rd, 2015

    Sounds good! Can’t wait to see them.

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