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

New MUSCLE Figures Checklist


New MUSCLE Figures Checklist


The Kinkeshi Premium figures have been released as complete boxed sets (Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9). 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 first series, third series, fourth series, sixth series, seventh series, eighth series, ninth series, 10th series, and 11th series have 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.

Bandai released yet another special set, “Kinnikuman Wazakeshi Premium.” This new set features two-piece combinations of characters. The sets contain five two-piece sets. They only color that is available is the original keshi/M.U.S.C.L.E.-flesh color. The first and second volumes have already been reviewed. The most recent special edition from Bandai does not seem to have an overarching title or brand. The most recent set is simply called, “Clan Forces Gathered.”

Like the first series, this second series is being reviewed long after its release. It is surprising how long it took to find the set. The set was always vastly overpriced. I got tired of waiting and pulled the trigger when I saw it for sale and it was only overpriced – not vastly.

New MUSCLE FiguresI have no idea why this set is so expensive. It pretty much sucks. The only somewhat defensible argument I can find is that the set features the only neutral Warsman figure. I know he’s a popular bad guy in the comic. Maybe that’s it?

I would argue a better version of Warsman was coming in the third boxed set, but it isn’t a neutral pose. For a popular chracter, he really doesn’t show up in the Premium figures too often. The seventh boxed set featured Warsman with his robot face.

I guess people really want their neutral Warsman?

For me, that’s not enough – and I feel awful saying it. I feel awful badmouthing these figures in any way. But I’d be a liar if I said I was satisfied with this set. Let’s start with the two-piece figures.

I already talked about the two-piece Big the Budo set in the 1st Special Set review. I can’t believe this was labeled a “best of” combination. It must have epic story reference and meaning, because it’s just fine, as figures, in my book.

I guess, compared to the the Terri-Bull/Muscleman two-piece, it is a “best of”” figure. The other combo just looks bad. I do like Kinnikuman’s face, but that doesn’t save an awkward two-piece combination.

New MUSCLE Figures

New MUSCLE Figures

In fairness, I don’t think Bandai hit their two-piece stride until the seventh series.

The remainder of the set is underwhelming. We have a plain Kinnikuman figure and a very similar Robin Mask.

New MUSCLE Figures

New MUSCLE Figures

Finally we have Akuma Shogun. This version is very similar to another version. The hands are open versus closed. Oh boy.

New MUSCLE FiguresEarlier this year Professor Terry pointed out that maybe Akuma Shogun was getting too much love.

Most of the voters agreed and selected, “Too many sculpts, use a different figure.”

Professor Terry said, “I really like 2 of the 7.” When I looked at his post I realized I felt the same way. I really liked three of them, could accept a neutral version, but the rest are unneeded. Of course, that sounds absurd when you consider how many Kinnikuman figures have been released. Volume Nine could have been called, “Kinnikuman at different angles.”

One of the things that I have largely ignored are the painted chase figures. I am an unarticulated, monochromatic man; that’s what I love. Professor Terry felt differently, but I understand it. The painted figures just don’t feel like M.U.S.C.L.E. figures to me.

But in this rather dull set, I thought it was worth mentioning.

New MUSCLE Figures

New MUSCLE Figures

What do you guys think?

It just doesn’t feel like a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure to me. Sorry.

I also realized I don’t like the colors for this figure. I don’t like it when he’s big either.

Those personal opinions aside, the figure is painted beautifully. If you handed me one and said it was “custom painted,” I don’t think I would doubt you. There are none of the sloppy paint-works that you see in mass produced figures.

If these reviews had been written in order, then I might have been hitting the panic button and screaming, “Bandai is mailing it in! They’ve already given up!” I would have been so, so wrong. The Vol. 3 set and the third Gashapon series were awesome. I wonder if they stumbled with this set because they were so focused on the next releases?


  1. #1 by Orgg on August 14, 2019 - 1:42 pm

    So the two-piece clothesline pose is from the Tag arc. They’re collecting masks, and later the move is used to collect faces. It’s a pretty epic and terrifying move in the series.

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