Monday Morning M.U.S.C.L.E. Musings #121

Japanese Painted Kinkeshi Chase Figures
By Professor Terry

MMMM returns with some of the new Japanese Vending Machine figures, each of these figures comes in Flesh, Red & Blue like all others released so far this past year. However, these particular 8 figures featured also have a fully painted chase version! This was supposed to be MMMM #120 but the recent Class A auctions featured took it’s place as more time relevant.

I love this chase idea, I’d love it more if I were actually in Japan because I’d be hitting up the vending machines looking for them. I’ve been buying each wave complete in every color with the chases included as they are released, which takes the sting out of collecting them myself.

It’s the only way us foreigners can obtain the figures. It’s certainly hurting my wallet but ensures I complete my sets as I go, who knows how many more sets will be released via the vending machine.

This year, it’s been bi-monthly, we are now up to 5 series. The first set did not have any chase figures, these started with series 2. The chase figures themselves seem to range from $10 to $50, the Kinnikuman Phoenix one being the rarest and regularly sells for much more than the others. I have no idea why, I received mine with the series like each series I have purchased.

Below are the 8 figures, pictured with their flesh counterpart and my thought on each.

#1 Kinnikuman (red trunks) – This has always been my favorite version of Kinnikuman, anytime I see any figure from Japan with him wearing the red trunks and wrist bands, I tend to buy it. In this case I was getting it anyway, however, I’m really glad this was the first chase release in the series.

#2 Akuma Shogun – I seem to be getting more and more figures of this guy and while he’s never been a particular favorite of mine, he’s been featured heavily in the new wave of figures with this, the 2 different Kinkeshi Premium ones and even an 18 Inch version of this guy! This one is quite striking in the metallic silver paint.

#3 Kinnikuman Great – It’s not a bad figure, I’m just a little disappointed in it. I would have MUCH rathered the Mammothman or Prism Man from this series. This was the weakest figure in the set and a very simple paint job. The belt isn’t even a different color!

#4 Kinnikuman Soldier – On the opposite end of the scale, this is my favorite of all the chase figures, makes up for the disappointment of the Kinnikuman Great. Much better paint job, soldier is a very detailed figure with a great mask and all round cooler look. The best part is the painting of the eyes, have a close look, it’s fantastic!

#5 Kinnikuman Phoenix – As I mentioned earlier, the toughest to find, I love the paint job as colored versions of Phoenix look so much better than non colored versions, it allows his unique upper body attire and mask to really stand out, it’s another well done chase figure

#6 Kinnikuman (blue trunks) – At this point I’m a bit sick of different versions of Kinnikuman, out of the 6 released at this point, 5 have been a Kinnikuman. I understand he’s the star of the series but this particular figure to me personally is such a waste of a chase. I must not be alone in my thoughts at this point because then Bandai released…….

#7 Ashuraman – Finally, another non Kinnikuman sculpt! It’s a rather different kind of Ashuraman sculpt as the middle 2 arms are folded and I like the pose a lot. The other 2 faces are also painted in the different colors and it’s well done. If I have anything to say that’s not positive, it’s that I like the blue skinned Ashuraman better

#8 Brocken Man – I was praying that the Sunshine figure from this series would be the painted chase version, but alas, Bandai again have chosen to make what I believe the weakest sculpt in the series a chase figure. Like with the Kinnikuman Great, a weak paint job of a figure that is a major character of the Japanese series. I am disappointed again.

Overall, I love five of the eight sculpts chosen and disappointed in the other three.

Please make up for it Bandai and choose the Claw as one of the chase figures in the next series upon release!


  1. #1 by JPratty on April 23, 2018 - 6:42 am

    I wonder if it’s something to do with it being the 50th anniversary (and the lead up of the anniversary) of Shonen Jump magazine that has to do with the releases of so many of the figures. Not just the figures – but for Jump’s various anniversary activities, Kinnikuman has been featured as a main part, having hamburgers, t-shirts, clear files, coasters, and so on in our shop here in downtown Tokyo.
    As next year is the 40th anniversary of Kinnikuman, I guess it’ll continue that long – though I’m not sure if the frequency of releases will change.

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