Remember the Sunday Paper is open to anybody. If you have a M.U.S.C.L.E. topic/question/rant that you want the world to see, then please feel free to send it in. I know M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors would love an extra day of content.
My name is Brian Panizzi. I have been collecting and recollecting toys for 15 years. When I was a kid I had probably purchased/received either a couple of 4 packs or a 10 pack. I did not have many of the figures, and the only dude I remember having was made of bricks with the sun symbol (I know this is Sunshine now) but I cannot remember which version it was. It was one of the humanoid versions, I know it was not BHS, regardless of what my “rocket firing Boba Fett” memory tells me.
I really only got into recollecting M.U.S.C.L.E. in the last two years with most of it being “Oh hey look there is a M.U.S.C.L.E. dude” while at a flea market. About 6 months ago I bought a bag full of sculpts I had never seen and I started looking for more information on the figures (who they were, were they official). It was through this research that I found UofMUSCLE. I was initially frustrated because I just wanted the quick answers, but then I read an article and of course it made reference to a former article so I read that article, which started a spiral. I loved that the site was set up to be something you could get lost in. Which kind of reflects how I am dealing with M.U.S.C.L.E. I had no idea there were so many different characters and sculpts. I am still finding sculpts I did not know existed while reading the site.
I did not know that the originals had a wave 2 that was colorful until I happened across one, which I was skeptical of being a legitimate M.U.S.C.L.E., since I had already come across a few Bootlegs and Knock-offs. Funny side note, my wife and I went to Japan a few years ago and went to an awesome shopping arcade named Nakano Broadway in Tokyo. If you are unfamiliar with it, it is a 4 story mall full of pop culture stores and includes several stores from Mandarake. One of the stores sold nothing but little rubbery eraser like figures, I had not learned the term ‘keshi’ yet. Looking in the store I found 5 gallon tubs full of figures using the M.U.S.C.L.E. sculpts marked 100 Yen (less than a $1) a piece. Given the price and the eraser material, I wrote these off as knock-offs. Yes, I kick myself every time I think about it.
I have around 100 different figures now with none of them being non-poster. I lucked out and found a Wrestling Ring loose with the rope and the stickers still in decent shape at an antique store. My favorite color is purple so I find myself drawn to all the figures in that color. I was bummed to find out that none of wave 2 colors carry through the whole line, as I would love to have a full wave in just purple. My favorite figures are #148 Flasher Balloon and #101 Lion Man, who I named Ookla, after the sidekick in Thundarr, the Barbarian. I do not think I will try to get everything out there, as that seems nigh-improbable, but I definitely would love to get at least one of every poster figure, regardless of color, a Satan Cross, and one of the cans.
The one criticism I have is that the original color has become known as ‘flesh’. I understand where it comes from, but I always refer to it as ‘eraser’. It is not something I expect to change, but as long as I do not get blasted for calling it ‘eraser’ or ‘eraser color’, I can deal with it.
Thanks again Brian!
If you’re feeling inspired, then please sent in your article and pictures to UofMUSCLE@gmail.com.