For the final M.U.S.C.L.E. commercial there appears to be a far less focused approach. Invasion of the M.U.S.C.L.E. Things thematically attempted to recreate the B-Movie monster trailer, and M.U.S.C.L.E. Invasion Update seemed to have a newsreel approach focusing on the wrestling. For Mattel’s final M.U.S.C.L.E. commercial a linear thematic element is missing.
Some people may argue that “Color” is the theme of the commercial. It is the opinion of the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. that “color” is simply a feature of the product. The previous M.U.S.C.L.E. commercials are more analogous to short vignettes. This third commercial fails to provide the same story. Instead, the commercial simply seems locked into the same style of the previous commercials. The focus seems to rest on continuing aspects of the previous commercials (i.e., shrieking women, stock footage, etc.) in an effort to reinforce the M.U.S.C.L.E. brand instead of the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.Perhaps most peculiar is that the commercial starts with a picture of a courtroom and the title, “The People vs. M.U.S.C.L.E.” which suggests that the theme could be either courtroom or judiciously focused. The announcer evens touts that “millions are being captured” as Flesh M.U.S.C.L.E. figures appeared to be jailed. However, the commercial seems to suddenly change direction with the announcement of “M.U.S.C.L.E. part two” and an apparent second title for the commercial. It becomes confusing as to why the judiciary beginning to the commercial is even necessary or why the judge is then brought back in one of the clips. The “Part 2” title seemingly could have been the beginning of the commercial, which would have been a very clear callback to, at least, the original commercial and arguably both of the previous commercials.
Instead the commercial simple relies on being similar to the original commercials. Again the announcer appears at the beginning of the commercial. The announcer, shot for the first commercial, appears to be the only piece of footage to appear in all three commercials.The viewer may believe that the same child appears in all three commercials, but this assumption is false. The costume, hairstyle, and often grainy footage do a commendable job making the child look similar, but the absence of childish sideburns makes the two young faces easier to distinguish. There is one section of the commercial that could be used as potentially a counter argument.
At one point the child is carried by a sea of Flesh M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. In a commercial highlighting Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures this shot seems out of place. A viewer could assume that this shot was originally intended for the first two commercials, but never used. However, upon close inspection the child in the third commercial appears to be different.In a commercial filled with odd choices, one of the most bizarre is the scene where the child appears to look for M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in his bedroom. Previous M.U.S.C.L.E. commercials had only used a full-color shot during pans of the figures towards the end of the commercial. This bedroom portion is not a panning shot, and is not during the end of the commercial. It is the only full-color shot during the main body of a M.U.S.C.L.E. commercial. Clearly the intent was to highlight the rainbow of figures, but because the figures are “hiding” it actually ends up obscuring the vast majority of figures they seem focused on highlighting.
Collectors often question Mattel’s decisions regarding the M.U.S.C.L.E. brand. The benefit of hindsight mixed with an intense love of the M.U.S.C.L.E. brand may cloud the objectiveness of that questioning. However, any viewer of this commercial does not need to even be familiar M.U.S.C.L.E. to question the poor production value. Twice during the commercial an arm can be seen moving the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. The first appearance of the arm is when the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures are “jailed” and the second appearance is as the figures “explode” through the scoreboard. Sadly the poor quality of the film made it very difficult to capture a clear picture. However, viewing the commercial at full speed makes the arm’s appearance easily viewable.
The sudden appearance of the scoreboard further illustrates the total lack of vision for this commercial. It goes from courtroom to apparent movie squeal and finally ends on a scoreboard pitting M.U.S.C.L.E. and People against each other. In the eyes of the viewer, the question needs to be asked, “Why does M.U.S.C.L.E. have two points?”
The first appearance of Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures has two especially interesting figures. The first is a Class B figure, Purple #30. The second figure of interest is a Class A Salmon #107. It is possible that the #107 is actually a Flesh figure. However, the pattern of the group alternates between Flesh and Color – plus it does look a bit darker than the obviously Flesh #168 directly next to it.
The quality of both the concept and production of the commercial leave much to be desired for collectors. However, hardcore Color figure collectors likely view this commercial as the single greatest thirty seconds of video ever uncovered. There are at least six M.U.S.C.L.E. figures that are considered “unproduced.” Additionally, there are, at least, nine figures that are categorized either Class A or Class B.
The second group of Color figures is easily the most exciting, as it features the appearance of a previously consider unproduced figure – Green #131. It is the first of six Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures in this commercial that were previously undiscovered and thought not to exist. It should be noted that Green #131′s appearance in the commercial does not prove that the figure was an actual production model. This group also features Purple #109 a figure designated as a Class A figure.
The third group of Color figures also features the appearance of a previously consider unproduced figure. Based on the shape of the Green figure, it appears to be a #173. This figure has never been discovered and was thought not to exist. It should be noted that Green #173′s appearance in the commercial does not prove that the figure was an actual production model.
The fourth group of Color figures is one of the most frustrating. It is the largest group of color figures, but one of the most difficult to identify individual figures. However, it does appear that several Dark Blue #15 and potentially, at least, one Light Blue #30. Both of these figures are currently designated as Class B figures.
The fifth group of Color figures only features two Color figures. Red #75 and the Class A figure Purple #199.
If the third group of figures is the most exciting, and the fourth group is the most frustrating, then the sixth group of Color figures is the group that is equal parts excitement and frustration. The Dark Blue #121 has never been discovered and is considered not to have been produced. The Purple figure, likely #73 with a small possibly of being #83, was also thought to not exist. Again, it should be noted that these figures appearance in the commercial does not prove the figures were actual production models.
The seventh group starts the final pan of Flesh and Color M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. In this first screen capture Green #68 is prominently featured. This is the fourth appearance of a figure previously unseen and considered not to have been produced. Yet again, it should be acknowledged that the appearance of this figure in the commercial does not prove it is an actual production model.
The eighth group features a popular figure, Dark Blue #15. This figure is currently classified as a Class B M.U.S.C.L.E. figure.
The ninth group features another Class B M.U.S.C.L.E. figure, Light Blue #133.
The tenth group features a Class B Light Blue #125, but much more importantly it features a Green #121. This is the sixth and final appearance of a figure that has not been discovered by collectors and is considered not to have been produced. For the last time, it should be acknowledged that the appearance of this figure in the commercial does not prove it is an actual production model.
If there are any questions or concerns, then please email them to the University of M.U.S.C.L.E..