A Happy M.U.S.C.L.E. Story

Most collectors become jaded. It may be to varying degrees, but it happens. The happy, often naïve, collector becomes something else. It takes great effort to keep having fun.

This is a happy story that reminds everyone that collecting, especially toys, should be fun.

Anyone with a slightly more than a superficial knowledge of me and my collecting habits know that I have stopped spending insane amounts on the final 15 figures I needed for my Master Set collection. I would argue there is not a single person in the world that loves M.U.S.C.L.E. figures as much as I do – and because of that, and plenty of other reasons I’ve stated before, the actual figures became only a small part of my love for all things M.U.S.C.L.E.-related.

As much as becoming a father changed my collecting habits it also serves to influence them. My oldest loves seeing the various custom figures that arrive at the house. And he’s an inquisitive kid; he keeps asking questions and eventually that led to the question, “Dad, do you have all the M.U.S.C.L.E. guys?”

Instead of simply saying, “Yes.” I told him the truth. “No, I don’t. I need 15 more.”

And since then every package that arrives elicits the same question, “Is that one of the ones you need?”

Maybe I was projecting, maybe he really expressed it, or maybe it’s a little of both, but it felt like he was getting disappointed. I started to think I may have to buy one of these figures just to see his expression.

And then the package below showed up.

Purple #157 - Class A - Zero Talk About Money

It was from my friend John McKinnon. He, like me, is a believer in M.U.S.C.L.E. Karma and being the change you want to see in the world. So he sent me a Class A Purple #157, one of the last 15 figures I needed. He asked for nothing in return.

I was, and continue to be, speechless.

I started to feel guilty, but it was my boys that provided the much needed perspective. I took the Purple #157 to my oldest and said, “Guess what? This is one of the last 15 figures I need buddy.”

I waited for an excited response, jumping up and down, and maybe even tears of joy. He simply turned, with a deadpan expression and tone said, “Now you need 14,” and returned to watching his morning cartoons.

Feeling a bit dejected I turned to the youngest, hoping for even a shred of excitement, and showed him the figure. He did get excited. He said, “I have that one!” referring to the Flesh #157 bath toy he plays with each night.

The figure is simply a toy – no matter the designations, prices, sculpts, or colors. I no longer felt guilty. Once again I felt humbled and happy by my friend John doing a nice thing for me.

Now I need 14.


  1. #1 by Merovingian on April 3, 2013 - 10:17 am

    I think that 14 is a much better number than 15 to be sure.

    I think soon it will be 13, which is a far better number than 14.

  2. #2 by Brandon on April 3, 2013 - 12:48 pm

    Ha, that is great. I love both of their responses for different reasons. With 14 you are over the hump to just 10 more.

  3. #3 by Johnny on April 3, 2013 - 1:05 pm

    That is awesome news to hear! I love it when stuff like this happens.

  4. #4 by Imperfecz on April 3, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    Great stuff! Amazing how much the little ones will teach you as you’re trying to raise them.

    I’m thinking, if people keep up this type of thing in varying degrees…. it will serve to put us back on track. There are a ton of ways to put back into the hobby instead of every man for himself, take take take.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5 by Douglas Quinn on April 3, 2013 - 4:53 pm

    Sometimes I stare at the ones I have paid ridiculous amounts for and wonder why….. Why do I do this? I try to buy my childhood back. And I don’t think anyone can buy something that holds far more value than a price tag . But yet I still keep on trying anyway. Knowing I will never be satisfied. Even if I had everything ever made. I would still be missing my childhood. I’m a toys r us kid and I don’t want to grow up.

  6. #6 by Biffard on April 3, 2013 - 5:58 pm

    Ditto to what Imperfecz said.

    What a great thing of John to do! I sporadically check to see if you have purchased/received any of the remaining figures you need and it’s great to hear this story!

  7. #7 by muscle things on April 4, 2013 - 2:06 am

    yeah, that is a good read. Funny too, you got a real writing talent Chad.

  8. #8 by Chad Perry on April 4, 2013 - 9:42 am

    I’m in agreement with all of you (except maybe Douglas). It was an awesome experience that I had to share. Hopefully we start hearing more and more stories like this!

  9. #9 by Tad cherry on April 6, 2013 - 8:54 am

    Lol muscle things comment. Way to go skippy. Gee whiz Beaver. Lol

  10. #10 by Douglas Quinn on April 6, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    I guess for me it’s the hunt that matters. Not the having them. If I had everything possible from muscle or kinnikuman lines then I would be bored after that and disappointed. Sure I would love them still…. But the journey ended and now what?

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