New M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures: Special Gashapon #2

UPDATE: I’ve learned that this is not the second series. Oops. This is the second special series – which is essentially a “best of” series. I’m leaving the post as-is.



The Kinkeshi Premium figures have been released as complete boxed sets. Bandai added to the Kinnikuman Kinkeshi Premium figures by releasing a series of figures in vending machines (Gashapon). The capsule has a checklist and single sculpt. Each series usually has six sculpts in three colors, this set’s colors are Flesh, Green, and Clear. Some sets have painted chase-figures. Some of the sculpts are two-piece, which was a trait of some original Kinnikuman figures. The first series of these figures has already been reviewed.

On the secondary market these series are normally sold as complete sets. This is a blessing and a curse. It makes securing the entire series easier, but Bandai has included many sculpts that look very similar to figures already released in other waves. In fairness, I am unsure of the specific timeline of these figures. It is possible that the gashapon had a sculpt first. Either way, the characters seem to be repeated with great regularity.

For example, the three figures to the right. The Ramenman figure is very similar to the ones from Vol. 2, Vol. 3, and Vol. 6. However, this is my favorite version that has been released.

The Kinnikuman figures could be from multiple waves. I am not terribly fond of these two figures. This feel like a missed opportunity to sculpt this character in a unique pose. I tend to prefer a more neutral pose, but maybe something like the pose of the #219 figure? There are already plenty of neutral pose Kinnikuman characters.

Two of the three new sculpts are two-piece wrestling moves. These type of sculpts were not a part of the original M.U.S.C.L.E. release. I believe two-piece sculpts were introduced into the original Kinnikuman figures during Part 12.

I was never a fan of the two-piece sculpts. The only two-piece sculpts I have ever owned were because of the 1986 Mattel Catalog and Uncropped Picture. I tried to be open-minded with these figures.

I expected to dislike this first two-piece sculpt, but I prefer it over the other one.

Before I say anything more, I must make two embarrassing admissions. The first is that I couldn’t figure out how these two pieces fit together. I was instantly angry and embarrassed. The minute it took to figure out was entirely too long. I became even angrier and more embarrassed when I figured it out.

The second admission is that I don’t know why Kinnikuman is fighting himself. I’m sure the guy getting beat-up is a Kinnikuman Solider, or something like that, but it is still weird for me to see. I apologize to all Kinnikuman experts that think I sound like an idiot.

As a whole the two-piece sculpt looks pretty good. It also displays nicely because it is well balanced. When the figures are separated they look incredibly stupid.

When I saw Terri-Bull I was both excited and a bit worried. I was excited because I tend to love Terri-Bull sculpts. I was worried because Terri-Bull has been too ‘Ultimate MUSCLE’ for my taste.

Unfortunately, it feels too Ultimate MUSCLE again. It just doesn’t feel like a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure to me. However, I like the look of the Ramenman figure.

My, apparently, gin-soaked brain was able to easily figure out how these two pieces fit together. I discovered that this figure displays terribly. The first problem, and maybe not surprisingly, is that it is prone to falling over. The second problem is that there isn’t a good way to display the combo, unless you have a very high shelf. Ramenman is looking too far down and Terri-Bull can only be seen from the top.

The Ramenman can be displayed on his own. It kind of looks like he’s kicking from a seated position. Terri-Bull looks hauntingly strange.

There could be an argument made that the Sunshine figure isn’t really a new figure. The Sunshine character has shown up in Vol. 4, Vol. 5, and Vol. 7. However this sculpt feel radically different than the other three. Its closest comparison might be the #3 figure, but mainly because of the chest. The rest of the figure seems much different.

Does anyone else this kind of looks like a skinny, wimpy version of the character?

I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. In fact, I think that makes it even cooler. It is something I never saw in M.U.S.C.L.E. and haven’t seen from the new Bandai figures either.

This Sunshine sculpt is my favorite of the six, which makes this a slightly disappointing series for me. As I chase after the other gashapon series I hope the results are better.


  1. #1 by Jason Pratt on February 26, 2019 - 11:25 am

    Sorry to make this kind of comment again, but this set is not the 2nd Gashapon series – this is the 2nd Special series, as indicated by the SP. The 2nd series predates this. As my comment on a previous post notes, these special series are re-releases of other series’ figures with some different color options. The Special ones do not take from simply one series, but from multiple – a favorites or best of, but instead of offering blue and red (in addition to the pale orange that is released again) they offer green and clear figures. Another note – Phoenix is not Kinnukuman. Both are princes, as are some others like Soldier, but they are not the same person. Hope that adds some clarity! Enjoying your reactions to these.

  2. #2 by Orgg on February 26, 2019 - 11:48 am

    This is Kinnikuman vs Kinnikuman Super Phoenix.

    Long story short, bad guy shows up, says “Kinnikuman was one of pentuplets and here’s the four brothers leading groups. We’re fighting you for the crown of Kinniku Planet.”

    That would be Soldier (military theme), Big Body (bodybuilder), Mariposa (luchadore), and this guy (???).

(will not be published)