Stir Up Saturday – Garry, Bubbles, and Quality

Being away from the site for a little while meant some events from five years ago slipped through the cracks. But there are two events that I would be sad to overlook.


Garry is maybe my favorite Sociology 100 profile ever. My only sadness is that I didn’t share more of my interaction with Garry in the write-up.

I can’t remember the website, but I saw a post with dozens of “the worst tattoos.” Garry’s forehead tattoo was part of the list, but I was more intrigued by the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in his hair. I tracked down an old myspace page of his and my excitement grew even more. He had a childhood picture with his M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. I love those types of pictures more than any M.U.S.C.L.E. toy.

I finally found an email address to contact him. I wanted to get permission to share his picture and talk to him a little bit about his apparent love of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

Thankfully the email address was current. We emailed back and forth and the post was created. In 2011 I felt that the site shouldn’t have too much of my voice. The tone should be “academic.” That may be true for some posts, but looking back at posts like this one it seems like a massive failure. I didn’t share how friendly and enthusiastic he was. I didn’t share how much I enjoyed our interaction.

Maybe the biggest failure was not acknowledging the elephant in the room. Given Garry’s appearance I probably created unfair expectations of my interaction with him. He shattered any of those expectations. He was a cool guy that loved M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

Are We There Yet?

The other post that almost slipped through the cracks is Are We There Yet? I think I simply loved the idea of the installation.

I may have crowbarred the project into the M.U.S.C.L.E. universe, but I do believe in what was written. Five years later I look back at my writing and see much more optimism for the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby. I thought trying to make information more easily available would open peoples’ minds and make them ask more questions. I think the opposite happened. I introduced the Classes and it solidified things; made the hobby too absolute. Has the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby hit the end of its evolution?

Is that all there is?

The Super Fast Experiment

Much more closely to exactly five years ago I was curious about Bubbles. I don’t think anyone else cared. I can’t find any evidence to suggest people cared. I didn’t add the bubbles to the Manufacturing Error Figures archive and nobody seems to care.

I had suggested that Dr. MUSCLE should experiment on whether the bubbles were a result of torture. I don’t have time for that. I conducted an emergency experiment. And I believe bubbles are legitimate errors.

There’s no way you could intentionally created a bubble. I grabbed a Flesh #14 from my drawer of unsorted figures. He was in mint condition. I heated up a pin and tried touching it to a figure in different ways. Burns and melting. No bubbles.

Sorry if the pictures aren’t perfect. I was going for speed. I just wanted my answer.

Mattel’s Quality
1985 and 2011

And finally the Mattel Quality post.

I don’t actually have too much more to say about this one. It was posted almost exactly five years ago. I thought it was kind of interesting. That’s it.

I don’t think ending of the Quality post was the correct decision. Feels like the post is ending with a whimper.

Too bad.

Have a great weekend!

  1. #1 by Merovingian on April 10, 2016 - 12:54 am

    The pictures on are mine and illustrate the bubble phenomenon a bit better.

    The ‘passive aggressive’ mention on the boards in 2011 were due to the back lash of being insulted and laughed off the board for even mentioning the fact that bubbles might be a factory error. That whole debacle combined with the rise in MUSCLE prices around $1.00 each is what had me altogether leave the hobby and the community.

    However, I still believe that bubbles are in fact a factory error. Hot plastics injected into a mold can create bubbles. I was told that microwaving, hot pins and putting a MUSCLE against a hot surface would create bubbles like in my pictures. But it was all conjecture and never any actual proof or experimentation.

    To each their own, interesting to see the topic brought back up again.

  2. #2 by Chad Perry on April 10, 2016 - 8:26 pm

    Umm, ok. But it looks like you were on LRG today (4/10/2016), and posting not too long ago too.

    It doesn’t matter to me – or anyone. It seemed weird to add that to your post.

    Anyways, I agree they are errors.

    The topic was brought up again because that’s the point of Stir Up Saturday. It’s been an on-going feature for a little while. Take a look.

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