New M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures: Gashapon #7



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. The main Gashapon series has six sculpts in three colors: (1) Flesh; (2) Blue; and (3) Red. Some sets have painted chase-figures. Some of the sculpts are two-piece, which was a trait of some original Kinnikuman figures. The fourth series has already been reviewed.

There are also special “best of” sets. These figures follow the same format, but the colors are Flesh, Green, and Clear. The first and second sets of this special “best of” figures have 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. Plus, the sets have been purchased out of order. It is possible that the gashapon had a sculpt first. Either way, the characters seem to be repeated with great regularity.

Because I previously declared my love for this figure combination, it probably makes sense to start there.

My enjoyment of two-piece figures has been very limited. I certainly never feel in love with any of them.

Until I saw this combination. I love this two-piece figure. It is easily the best two-piece sculpt I have ever seen. It is easily one of my favorite sculpts from this new Premium series. I’m so smitten with this figure I have to hold back the urge to say it might be one of my favorite figures ever. I’m trying to tap the brakes on my level of excitement.

Not only do these figures look great – I think they look equally cool apart.

While I like the Ashuraman, I can imagine some people thinking his arms are too long. Initially I was on the fence too. Then I realized each arm is slightly longer than the next. I never thought about it, but that kind of makes sense if you are an upright six-armed creature.

I have always preferred neutral poses with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. But when we get repetition of characters I start wanting variety. This Ashuraman might be the perfect example. I’ve already purchased an Ashuraman in Vol. 1, kind of one in Vol. 5, and all of the originals. Seeing a unique pose like this is very, very welcomed.

Speaking of a figure that as been repeated, there is the Sunshine figure. I thought of him as a SUPER Blackhole Sunshine.

Thoroughness. That’s not the first word I think of when reviewing figures, but thoroughness is the perfect descriptor for this figure. The plugs actually line up better than I photographed. I got tired of trying to line it up.

But those plugs look great in the figure, starting to poke out (as if Ashuraman is punching them out), and completely removed. Plus the figure looks good plugged or unplugged. With Ashuraman or without. Every aspect of this figure is covered, plus a beautiful sculpt.

Even the tininess is addressed. The figure comes with two extra plugs. The thoroughness of this figure melt my brain.

The second two-piece figure didn’t melt my brain in the same way, but I don’t expect that to ever happen again – and that’s ok. My first reaction to this figure was, “Which way does it look better?”

My conclusion is that it doesn’t photograph well either way, but it’s still a fun figure. This is a figure that appeals to my inner 8-year-old M.U.S.C.L.E. collector. It is a cool, iconic wrestling moment.

There is one thing that oddly bothered me. The arms appeared to be cast separately and then plugged in.

If the SUPER Blackhole Sunshine moving parts didn’t bother me, then why does this? I don’t know and it is slightly embarrassing.

Thankfully I have the benefit of time when I write these posts. I had to think further about it, and I came to this two-part muddy conclusion. One, Bandai already made this figure without plugging in the arms. Why did it need to change? I don’t like, what looks like to me, a production/design shortcut.

Two, it reminds me of articulated keshi – and I don’t really like those. Professor Terry shared some examples in MMMM #3 and MMMM #52.

The Robin Mask is pretty cool (and cast in one piece). The sculpt isn’t perfect by itself, but I still like it. Admittedly, this two-piece probably won’t make it to my new shelf.

The reason I might want to display him is because he’s a bit of an oddity. The right foot of this figure is burnt.


I can understand bubbles, errors, and warps – but I’ve never seen a non-tortured burnt minifigure. How could this have made it through quality? This figure had to be handled and put into a plastic bag.

Does anyone have any guesses?

Seriously, I’m all ears. I know it kind of looks like a booger stuck on the bottom of the shoe, but it is on there pretty strongly. (I tugged a little bit and was surprised by the level of resistance.)

Can you believe I’ve spent so much time and effort on those two figure sets? There were four single figures in this series. I felt they fell into one of two groups: (1) ok; and (2) blah.

The two figures, immediately below, are the two figures that I think are ok. The cassette tape guy is ok, but I think the version from Vol. 4 is more visually interesting. The Terri-Bull is cool. I like the outfit, but the head looks weird – plus he’s missing his horns.

Finally, we have another Kinnikuman (I know, I know). Even in a slightly different pose I’m pretty indifferent.

And the Geronimo. They made him about as boring as possible. Blah.

If you want to track down this set, then I suggest you keep watching Mandarake and eBay. I don’t know if the entire set is game-changing, but the Ashuraman/Sunshine combo is worth every penny.


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