Anthropology 200: MUSCLEMANIA Questions


MUSCLEMANIA figures continue to be a fascinating subject.

One of the greatest challenges with MUSCLEMANIA figures is identifying genuine differences or variants from the effects of time, dirt, play, etc. Often making things even more difficult is the lack of solid data. The Oddities section, at the bottom of Anthropology 200, tries to catalog some of the anomalies. But even that fails to effectively compare the different figures – too much camera flash, not enough camera flash, or some other honest mistake can make it difficult to compare pictures.

What is this Dark Blue #4 made of?

While attempting to expand the MUSCLEMANIA visual archive two very interesting observations were made. The first was a seemingly 3rd type of MUSCLEMANIA figure material. The figure was a Dark Blue #4, however it was not made of either the known Firm or Stretchy materials.

The figure was much more stiff and rigid than the normal Firm MUSCLEMANIA figures. In fact, the figure almost felt more like a higher quality plastic army man. The figure almost had a waxy feel to it.

Has any other MUSCLEMANIA collector ever come across this type of material with a MUSCLEMANIA figure?

It seems incredibly unlikely that Select cast only one “waxy” figure. While it could be less plentiful than either the Firm or Stretchy, it seems logical to assume it has been seen by others before.

It’s possible that the figure is a custom, but it does not feel like the material of any other custom figure. And if a customizer could create this material, then it would most likely be a very popular discovery and not something kept a secret.

The second observation was the possibility of a second type of Yellow figure. The color is a bit darker and a bit more dull – almost a matte, compared to the glossier finish of the original Yellow.

Are there two types of Yellow figures? Glossy and Matte?


The Firm and Stretchy figures, aside from rigidity, seem to have slight size and details differences. These two types of Yellow figures do not have any noticeable differences. Admittedly MUSCLEMANIA figures can get dirty, just like M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. However this does not appear to be dirt. The color is very uniform and perfectly similar from figure to figure. The two Yellow colors are significantly different.

Have any other MUSCLEMANIA collectors experienced these two oddities?

#1 – Do you have a MUSCLEMANIA figure made of waxy, army-figure-like plastic material?
#2 – Do you have a MUSCLEMANIA figure in the dull, matte Yellow color?

And if not, do any collectors have potential explanations for these oddities?

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  1. #1 by LittleWeirdos on August 27th, 2013

    I always enjoy your coverage of Musclemania. All these variations make it fascinating line.

    I have never seen one in the waxy material you describe. Perhaps Musclemania figures were made into vending/party favor bootlegs at some point as well?

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on August 27th, 2013

    Thank you.

    That was one of my first thoughts too. However, the material actually strikes me as high quality.

    All of the bootleg/party favor figures I have ever held in my hand have been incredibly low quality. Terrible seam lines, poorly trimmed, very brittle, and just cheap feeling plastic. The DB #4 doesn’t look or feel like that. It really reminds me of the nice Marx plastic that was used with many army figures.

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