New M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures: Special Gashapon #1

UPDATE: I’ve learned that this is not the first series. Oops. This is the first 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. The colors have not been consistent. This series had Flesh, Green, and Clear. There have also been some painted chase-figures. Some of the sculpts are two-piece, which was a trait of some original Kinnikuman figures.

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 four figures to the right. 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.

The Warsman figure, as of writing, has shown up in Vol. 3 and Vol. 7. Again, because I don’t know the exact timing of the releases I don’t know if this Warsman was first. I believe it is the best version, so far, of the figure. I also hope there aren’t too many more versions coming.

The two 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.

The first two-piece features Robin Mask and Kinnikuman. It does not stand up. That’s why the wood block is there. I have to admit, it might just be my version. The Robin Mask has a little spur on his foot.

The figures look pretty good together. Robin Mask actually looks pretty good by himself. His pose kind of reminds me of a drunken bro yelling, “What’s up pussy? You want to fucking go?”

The Kinnikuman looks terrible by himself. There was no good way to take a picture of this figure.

The only thing the sculpt reminds me of is the Hormone Monster.

I feel that the second two-piece is a much better combination. It isn’t an obviously identifiable wrestling move; it’s more of a tangled-up exchange.

Both my collector-brain and inner-child-brain prefer this sculpt. It stands better. It displays better. And I believe the play-ability is vastly superior to must two-piece sculpts.

The Big the Budo sculpt (the guy with the goalie-looking mask) looks great by itself. I think it is the best figure in this first series. However, I do like the sculpt from Vol. 1 better.

The Neptune Man doesn’t look as good by himself, but I don’t think it looks terrible either. I think it is kind of weird that Vol. 1 had both of these figures, and then the first gashapon series has them too.

Neptune Man has also shown up in Vol. 6 and it is one of the greatest sculpts so far.


  1. #1 by Orgg on February 21, 2019 - 2:38 pm

    The Budo/Neptune move is a double-clothesline. They used it in the “Tag Arc,” which has not yet been subbed, to steal the masks off of the chojin in the tournament. That’s where we get the pictures of an unmasked Warsman and of an unmasked Robin Mask (

    Yeah, it’s brutal, and you can add just about any figure to it, as they stripped someone’s face off with it. (I just can’t recall who’s)

  2. #2 by Jason Pratt on February 22, 2019 - 3:46 am

    The 10th series is now out. Generally, each series also has a blind box version that you can buy in some convenience stores or other shops where the don’t have coin machines.

    The colors have been quite consistent. Pale orange, red and blue with some series having a full color figure.
    Every so often, they release a kind of best of series, not counted as one of the 10. These typically remake characters from previous gashapon series with new colors, such as green and clear.
    One exception to this has been a set of seated figures. Kinnikuman, Buffaloman, Warsman, the Ninja, Ashuraman all come in seated position with a folding chair. These are not labeled as one of the series, but are unique sculpts with green (in addition to pale orange and red) as a color instead of blue.

    This may be slowing down. I used to go to the Jump store near my office next to Tokyo Dome to get the gashapon figures, but they have not stocked the last two series or the seated ones, though they do still stock some old ones. I found them at random train stations instead, though. There was also a big event that may have been a kind of climax? I’ll write an article about it to submit soon.

(will not be published)