Elementary M.U.S.C.L.E. Education – What does YSNT mean?


Y/S*N*T

This installment of Elementary M.U.S.C.L.E. Education is equal parts explanation and curiosity. Every person that has ever looked at the back of a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. has wondered:

What does that YSNT mean?

The answer is surprisingly simple – but very interesting. The original Japanese Kinnikuman figures were stamped with this very specific Y/S*N*T copyright. The “©” is obviously for the copyright.

Y

The Y stands for Yudetamago, which is really the combination of two people: (1) Yoshinori Nakai; and (2) Takashi Shimada. These two men are the creators of Kinnikuman.

S

The S stands for Shueisha, which was the company that published Kinnikuman in Japan. Specifically Shueisha published Weekly Shōnen Jump which featured the Kinnikuman comic.

N

The N stands for the Nippon Television Network Corporation. This was the network that broadcast the cartoon (produced by Toei Animation) and based on the Yudetamago comic (originally published in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump).

T

The T stands for Toei Animation. This was the company that produced the cartoon Kinnikuman that was broadcast on Nippon Television.

But there is still a curiosity. The ©and Y/S*N*T are easy to decipher. However astute collectors will notice there is still another letter – actually two letters. M.U.S.C.L.E. figures feature a fifth letter. Figures either have a B or a P on their back. But what does it mean?

Perhaps it is related to the production? The mold? Maybe something else entirely? Maybe Joe selected the B figures and maybe production selected the P figures? Is it just a crummy B stamp that looks like a P?

What do you think the B and P letters mean?

Y/S*N*T – B

Y/S*N*T – P

  1. #1 by Lucas on May 21st, 2014

    Kinkeshi also have the same B and P marks. I always assumed that these stood for Bandai and Popy, respectively, signifying which factory produced the mold.
    I would theorize that figures from the same trees would share the same sixth character.

    Here is a bit more mystery to throw into the mix, though: All of the 17 common figures contained within the #2 Cosmic Crunchers set that also housed the MAG11 share B mark. The Prisman found in the same box also has the B mark, but with one minor difference; His B is not circled, and has a dot to the right of it. The dot is identical to the dots between the letters above it.

    Oddly enough, the only other picture I have found of the back of another figure from the MAG11 is a close-up of Brocken Jr. (http://www.littlerubberguys.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2420&p=92081). He does indeed have a B, but it is the typical circled version.

    It would be interesting to compare the M.U.S.C.L.E. Prisman to his original Kinkeshi counterpart, to see if the trademarks match exactly. It also may be noteworthy to compare this SR’s trademark with other M.U.S.C.L.E. SR’s that originated from the same Kinkeshi Part 28.

    The difference between B stamps (with or without circle) may denote a production change, with the stamp being presented a certain way after a certain point in the production run.
    I do know that as Kinkeshi production continued on into re-issues, the placement and number of dots within the trademark played a more significant role.

    Or, it could even signify different divisions within the same production company, e.g. Bandai Facility 1 vs. Bandai Facility 2.

    Or..?

  2. #2 by Lucas on May 21st, 2014

    Here is the link showing the closeup of Brocken Jr’s TM:
    http://www.littlerubberguys.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9766&p=93036

(will not be published)