Counterfeit Packaging


Counterfeit Packaging is a part of Art 100. The purpose of this subdivision is to catalog any of the packaging that is associated with counterfeit M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.

If you have any counterfeit packaging that you would like added to this section, then please send them to the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. with a brief explanation. Thank you in advance for all submissions!

It is believed that the vast majority of counterfeit figures were sold in plastic capsules from 25-cent vending machines. Here is an example of a gumball machine card:

Gumball Card - Full

Gumball Card - Full

Gumball Card - Top Half

Gumball Card - Top Half

Gumball Card - Bottom Half

Gumball Card - Bottom Half


While most of these counterfeit figures may have ended up in 25-cent capsule machines in grocery stores, there were some bootleggers who wanted to take it a step further. These individuals created packaging for their counterfeit figures. The packaging often vaguely resembles or embraces the M.U.S.C.L.E. idea. The package often includes wrestlers or aliens. Here are some examples of packaged counterfeit figures:

Packaged Bootlegs - Group

Packaged Bootlegs - Group

Packaged Bootlegs – Future Man

Future Man

Packaged Bootlegs – Alien Wrestler

Alien Wrestler

Alien Wrestler – Quality Control Example #1

Alien Wrestler – Quality Example #1

Alien Wrestler – Quality Example #2

Alien Wrestler – Quality Example #2

The Alien Wrestler packages highlight many of the past and current problems with bootleg figures. The first quality control picture shows that the packing of figures was not closely monitored. The picture shows that the deformed and decapitated head of the Light Bulb Guy bootleg was still put into the package.

The second quality control picture shows that the figures have started to discolor in the package and turn a yellow-ish color in spots. While these playthings were not designed to be packaged for over 20 years it is clear that the plastics used can not stand the test of time. As of 2009, almost 25 years since M.U.S.C.L.E.’s release, there are no known examples of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures discoloring in their packaging – unless they have been exposed to harsh elements (extreme sunlight, heat, etc.).

Gilbert Garcia submitted another interesting example of packaged counterfeit figures: T.U.F.F. Guys. Three of the four figures appear to be robots with the fourth figure clearly being a bootlegged #3 M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. Three of the four figures appear to be robots with the fourth figure clearly being a bootlegged #3 M.U.S.C.L.E. figure. Without knowing the density and pliability of the bootleg #3 it is almost impossible to properly match it to the loose figures above. However based on the coloring of the figure and the large amount of flashing it appears that it could be an N or O.

T.U.F.F. Guys

T.U.F.F. Guys

T.U.F.F. Guys 2

T.U.F.F. Guys 2


The 28-pack below caused some confusion within the M.U.S.C.L.E. community for two main reasons: (1) it was called “MUSCLEMANIA”; and (2) it had a 28-pack tray and figures from a standard M.U.S.C.L.E. 28-pack. The MUSCLEMANIA name appears to be nothing more than a coincidence. The graphics, characters, and literally everything but the name differ from the more widely known Select version of MUSCLEMANIA figures. The tray appears to be an attempt by the seller to sell a “complete” product – although the apparent loss of the original tray could go all the way back to the original child owner. They may have simply switched the trays of two 28-packs with one being authentic and the other being counterfeit.

Counterfeit 28-Pack (Front)

Counterfeit 28-Pack (Back)


The “Dodo” figures from South America.

Dodo
Counterfeit Packaging

Dodo
Counterfeit Packaging
(Close-Up)


If you have any counterfeit packaging that you would like added to this section, then please send them to the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. with a brief explanation. Thank you in advance for all submissions!

, , , ,

  1. #1 by James on June 9th, 2010

    I remember “He World Warriors” on Ebay 😉
    You can use my vending cards on LRG.
    There is a green garbagecan somewhere!

(will not be published)