Lucas Rage, the King of Counterfeit, sent in arguably the greatest counterfeit/bootleg discovery ever. Below is his write-up and pictures. Speaking for all M.U.S.C.L.E. (and even Star Trek) collectors – thank you for sharing this amazing discovery Lucas!
Star Trek M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures
by Lucas Rage
Many collectors talk about the thrill of the hunt; the endless fun of endlessly seeking out those specific items to fill in the framework of some predetermined vision of a complete collection.
I can totally relate to that sentiment. There are always certain pieces that are on my mental checklist wherever I look, whether I am actively hunting or not. But personally, as collector with tastes and standards that may seem somewhat skewed by the common standard, I find it even more thrilling when I come across an item that I never even knew existed, yet is so perfectly suited to my interests that I just cannot pass it up.
A perfect example of this occurred recently. While working on a deal with a seller based in South Korea, I found something else in his online store that grabbed my attention. It was a carded toy set that combined two of my favorite things: bootleg Kinnikuman figures and Star Trek: The Next Generation! It was so weird that I had to have it, and after talking to the seller, I found out that they had two more in stock as well. Needless to say, I bought all three.
The package still boasts a figure is “POSABLE” and comes with a “PHASER” weapon and “TRICORDER” analyzer, though none of those claims are true.
What each package does contain is one small plastic model of the enterprise and four Kinkeshi bootlegs. Two of the three packs have non-M.U.S.C.L.E. sculpts, intimating that these figures were cast from first generation Kinkeshi.
Comparing the size of the figures to that of their M.U.S.C.L.E. counterparts (which were cast from the same molds as the Kinnikuman line) the Star Trek bootlegs are only slightly smaller, which is further proof for that hypothesis.
The red colored figures are a darker shade than M.U.S.C.L.E. red.The detail of the figures, other than some excess flashing around the extremities, is quite good.The original trademarks are still clearly visible, and most of the injection points are exactly the same. Overall, a good quality bootleg, clearly made in a factory setting with at least some level of quality control.
I have come across some pretty interesting bootlegs over the years, from the Strong Men of China/Illinois, to the Exogini and Cosmix of Europe, to the flexible clear and solid opaque figures of Central/South America, and even on to the gumball machines of the world. But these little oddities from Korea are among the strangest and coolest I have seen yet.
And they just make me wonder just what other weird shit is floating around out there!