Monday Morning M.U.S.C.L.E. Musings #100


The M.U.S.C.L.E. 28-Packs
By Professor Terry

Well we have finally reached 100 of these posts and it’s been a surprise somewhat that I’ve been able to keep this going as long as it has. I guess I have a large collection to draw upon (and still plenty more that I haven’t discussed so onwards and upwards to 200).

This week I’m going to discuss the M.U.S.C.L.E. 28-packs and what they mean to me.

It started with my childhood collecting various 4- and 10-packs and the many figures they possessed. I had already a bunch of flesh and colored figures in my collection. All of them procured from department stores in Brisbane, Australia such as K-Mart, Big W, Target and Franklins. I very rarely ventured in Myer as it’s not a store known for its toy department.

I was in there with my mother in mid- to late 1987 and spotted something in their small toy department I’d never seen before – M.U.S.C.L.E. packs that were long and flat and contained 28 figures! To say I was surprised is a massive understatement. I couldn’t believe it! Even though I’d moved on to colored figures and the packs I saw that day were Flesh only figures, these packs had 28 unique figures and I had to have them.

I begged my mother to buy one of them – there were three there and I got pack #4 purely because of two figures I saw in it. The Announcer and The Mari. Those two stood out to me. My memory of the price of the 28-packs is hazy but I remember my mother complaining about the cost. I’m pretty sure they were $20 but I could be wrong.

I got one of the other 28-packs for Christmas that year – again all Flesh and I’m certain from the same store. They mustn’t have sold well as I’m certain I went back there when I had enough money and bought their third 28-pack. So I now owned packs one, two, and four.

The funny thing is I never saw pack #3 but I did find a single figure from that 28-pack in that Myer store on the floor and so I picked it up and kept it. That was a flesh #87 who I named “Headless.” I think I can safely say that particular store ordered four of the 28-packs and I ended with three of them plus one figure. The poor bugger who got the other pack must have been disappointed when he saw only 27 figures in his pack.

What’s a mystery to me is that I never ever saw another 28-pack again in any store I went to, none of my regular ones and no other Myer stores. It was very unusual. I wanted that #3 pack badly. I didn’t know until I started collecting as an adult that the 28-packs were available in color. It’s probably why the set of 28-packs I own are all flesh – it’s how I remember them.

I do own all four packs but I need to upgrade my #3 pack. It was the first one I bought when I started as an adult collector seeing I never had it. Discovering all those new figures was a very cool experience. But because I wanted it fast I bought one in poor condition. There is a tear in the side of the box and damage to the window on the front and it does look ordinary.

It is the only one of my 28-packs that doesn’t have the poster offer on the back though. That poster is another M.U.S.C.L.E. mystery for another day.

Amazingly I don’t actually see many 28-packs up for auction. I wonder why that is? Maybe it’s because they weren’t sealed and therefore people didn’t keep the boxes as readily as the sealed 4- and 10-packs? I’d be interested in hearing some theories.

Even though #4 was the first 28-pack I ever owned, my favorite now though would be #1 – it has a good mix of figures that I like whereas #4 still has the two figures I originally picked it for.

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