Top Ten Thursday #3

Sorry Terry. I’m stealing your post this week. TTT has fallen on Valentine’s Day. Holiday posts are no longer welcome, but I am drawing some inspiration from the holiday. Here are the top ten things I love about the M.U.S.C.L.E. community.

Digging for information. When I joined the M.U.S.C.L.E. community we were in the information dark ages. The X-2 (“The Futuristic Goalie”) was just about to lose his “Super Rare” status. It was so exciting to be a part of the discovery process. I can’t bring myself to throw away some of my old notes. They feel like a part of my collection.

Today the mysteries we had to solve are considered common knowledge. I think that’s great. Some sellers try to misuse the classification system, but I’ll take that misuse over collectors being uninformed. Knowledge is power. Maybe most amazing to me, there are still huge discoveries to be made.

The oddities. The Mapman Mystery. The greatest flashing and limbless wonder. I just love all the oddities. The great ones and the minor ones.

The ephemera. The catalogs are fun, but I specifically love the unexpected. The textbook from 2005 or the Zodiac advertisement.

The Working Mother still makes me smile.

One thing I always expected to discover was a comic book advertisement. I read the entire run of Green Arrow through the 80’s, but there wasn’t anything. Maybe Mattel targeted younger comics? Maybe I need to buy a lot of comics like this one.

#musclefigures on Instagram. Neither Facebook nor Twitter provided me with what I wanted. There was too much extra shit with those sites. You needed to join groups or subscribe, wade through an endless amount of stupid posts, and it got even worse after algorithms decided what you should see.

With Instagram I just get to see M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Of course even that isn’t perfect. Occasionally I have to tolerate something stupid like this.

This might surprise some people, but I love the Non-Poster figures. I think they are a fascinating piece of M.U.S.C.L.E. history and a thought provoking mystery.

However I’ve never really lusted after owning them. I lucked into owning my Ramenman with Dragon thanks to the kindness of Jon Karis (the owner of I’ve always been happy with my keshi versions. I don’t want to veer into repeating this article.

I love all the collectors that have contributed to the site over the nearly 10 years. The biggest contributor has been Professor Terry with his Monday Morning M.U.S.C.L.E. Musings. I mentioned it once before that someone was upset that Terry was called “Professor.” It still cracks me up. Terry has selflessly contributed to this site for over five years. His only goal – creating interesting posts. I think he’s been incredibly successful.

I believe the contributors to the site showcase the best in the M.U.S.C.L.E. community. Collectors sharing information for other people to enjoy – and no other reason. Without all of these collectors there wouldn’t be a Sociology, 4-Pack archive, The 233 Counterfeit Collection, and so many other things.

I couldn’t possibly say thank you to every collector that has helped this website. It is even more amazing that, at one time, the site was so small that I could offer individual thank-you’s.

The artists. The evolution and growth of M.U.S.C.L.E. fan art is unbelievable. It started with some drawings in the early days of the internet and has grown into original figures that could have been originally released in 1986.

For me, until the Kinkeshi Premium were released there wasn’t much M.U.S.C.L.E. to collect. These artists kept M.U.S.C.L.E. alive in an important way. These artists also took their love of M.U.S.C.L.E. to create new, original minifigures.

This teeters on repeating #5, but Childhood Pictures of M.U.S.C.L.E. Toys are the super-rare items I value above almost anything.

My boys laugh every time I explain how pictures used to be taken. In 1986 I would have been eight years old. My parents would have never let me play with the camera, which means I 100% don’t have M.U.S.C.L.E. pictures from my childhood.

Plus most of my original M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were bought if I behaved at the grocery store. Not exactly photo worthy moments. Maybe that’s why I love these old pictures so much.

The figures. Everything goes back to the figures. Those mysterious figures pulled me in when I was a kid. I won’t this post sharing my relationship with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures (although it pains me greatly the way I wrote it).

The figures pulled me in as a kid and later relit my interest in collecting as an adult. However, I’ve had a pretty tumultuous relationship with collecting the figures. I wish I could track down the thread on LRG that spotlighted the auction that soured me on spending too much money. It is a crystal clear memory. I think I’ve mentioned it before. In 2010 I really hit a wall. Chuck changed the game for me in 2017. I’m excited again to collect my last six figures thanks to Chuck. He turned my solitary activity to something I’m sharing with my family. It made all the difference.

#1 There would not be a M.U.S.C.L.E. community without this website. Sure there were websites that came first, but LRG was the game changer. It allowed collectors to quickly and easily talk to each other for the first time. M.U.S.C.L.E. figures could easily be bought, sold, and traded.

It also allowed friendships to form. M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors started caring about each other and not just the toys. There were certainly people that actively tried to hurt LRG, but they couldn’t. There were too many good people.

With the birth of social media LRG was no longer the only game in town, but it certainly hasn’t died. I would argue it is still the best source for minifigure information. The entire minifigure community, not just M.U.S.C.L.E., owes a debt of gratitude to Jon Karis. He grew the site from its earliest days and, I would argue, skillfully navigated its growth. I know there were many days that were thankless headaches, but Jon kept it going.

My M.U.S.C.L.E. journey is deeply entwined with LRG. I still visit the site on a nearly daily basis. There are certain threads I go back to, from time to time, because they make me smile. One of them is my first public mention of UofM.

The truth is there are even more reasons. Some wouldn’t be very interesting to readers. There are lots of people I could mention, but I’d end up missing someone. I probably forgot something obvious too – I’m not perfect (surprise, surprise). At any rate, this is my list of the top ten things I love about the M.U.S.C.L.E. community.

  1. #1 by bloth on February 14, 2019 - 1:37 pm

    Wow all this time and I never got that Terry is a Professor at UoM.

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