Website Review #12

The number of undiscovered M.U.S.C.L.E. websites is nearly zero. Most collectors are familiar with many of the longstanding websites (i.e., Nathan’s M.U.S.C.L.E. Blog!, etc.). However there is one spot that seems to have the most undiscovered and constantly updating M.U.S.C.L.E. content – YouTube. This content ranges from unwatchable to stunning and is posted by both hardcore collectors and novices alike. Recently a YouTube video, M.U.S.C.L.E TOY REVIEW 1980s (HD), was discovered and it is the subject of Website Review #12.

– Video Posted by HappyConsoleGamer

Last Updated/Originally Posted:

This video was posted June 21, 2010.

Content: 4 out of 5

The content of this video can be broken up into three categories: (1) skit content; (2) M.U.S.C.L.E. information; and (3) nostalgic testimonial.

The skit was a nice introduction to the video. However it was far too long. The cleverness and entertainment value wore off almost immediately. The skit ran for roughly one minute and fifty seconds, which in internet video time can be an eternity. The skit would have been much stronger had it lasted thirty seconds.

“Johnny Millenium” (spelled incorrectly on their website) and “Rob Man” try to inject some basic information about M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Overall they provide an appropriate amount of information. They accurately ballpark the release dates of the figures and mention 10- and 28-packs. They also mention some of the Japanese Kinnikuman origin. The only problems arise from incorrectly explaining the acronym (replacing Unusual with Ugly) and omitting any mention of 4-packs – even though they appear twice during the video.

Unequivocally, the best “content” portion of the video was their personal nostalgic memories of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. There seemed to be genuine happiness as they discussed the figures as part of their childhood. The most interesting anecdote was that a toy store sold single figures for $0.25 at the counter. This practice would have undoubtedly been frowned upon by Mattel, but it would have been amazing for kids. Collectors often discuss how they sorted through 4- and 10- packs looking for the figures they wanted. At this store they sorting could be done at the counter. This practice was not previously documented, which makes the revelation even more interesting for M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors.

The video would have received a score of five, based on the nostalgic reminiscing alone. However, the skit simply ran too long to justify a perfect score.

Design: 4 out of 5

Everything related to the website is a success. The website is simple, clean, and easily navigatable. Their YouTube channel background is unique and not overly distracting. It does seem to border on too busy and too repeated, but it ultimately does not distract from the content.

The video itself is incredibly well produced. It has an incredibly clear picture and great sound (two things often missing from YouTube videos). The production value is also quite good. There’s a nice effect at the start of the video to amplify the push of the referee girl (who seems very unsure where to look). The overly long skit is still visually interesting. There’s a nice slow zoom at the start which adds intensity. The lighting, which adds some ambiance, also works well to add variance to a fairly static set-up. The editing and different camera angles do their best to keep the skit interesting. While all of the technical work is quite good it is not enough to save the skit from being too long. Ultimately the most important edit was missed – the length of the skit.

The “sit down” portion works especially well because of the sincere memories that are shared. The various wipes that are used during this portion of the video become overused. One or two would have allowed for piecing together separate takes. However the repetitive use becomes distracting. In fact the overuse seemed akin to a joke on The Simpsons regarding Homer’s use of the “star wipe.”

Lisa: OK, I finished editing the gardening sequence. . .
Homer: OK, from here we star wipe to a glamour shot of Flanders paying his bills, then we star wipe to Flanders brushing his teeth. . .
Lisa: Dad, there are other wipes besides star wipes. . .
Homer: Why eat hamburger when you can have steak?
Lisa: I’m taking my name off this thing.

Pictures: 3 out of 5

The look of the video and production value of the video was given its credit and accolades in the Design section of the review. The low score for Pictures is not the result of bad pictures, but missed opportunities.

There are a few pictures throughout the video. The most notable being the large army of Flesh figures that are set-up on the table. Unfortunately, the video missed several opportunities to use their own pictures of the figures.

The most notable is regarding the childhood collection reveal. As a viewer there is interest in seeing the treasured childhood collection. There is also obvious interest in the figures because the presenter, on the right side of the screen, continues to look at the revealed figures for a solid thirty seconds. He continues to look at them for most of the remaining video too. Instead of revealing the collection through pictures, the viewer is shown several shots of a Light Blue #162.

Those pictures of the childhood collection of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures also would have provided a less heavy handed way to connect separate shots; instead of the numerous wipes.

Overall: 4 out of 5

The opening skit may have gone too long, but the sincere recollection of childhood M.U.S.C.L.E. memories was incredibly engaging. The size of the M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting community may be small when compared to other hobbies. However, there is no doubt that the lasting positive impact M.U.S.C.L.E. figures had on children of the mid-1980’s was tremendous.

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  1. #1 by muscle things on July 6, 2010 - 9:28 pm

    The muscle wave that hit america was frikken insane. It’s great to see such a “sincere” as you say, testimony of their experience in 87. It just makes me remember more intimately the actual 86 experience which, like I mentioned was just insane. Almost everyone was into it M.U.S.C.L.E. But they didn’t have that many. It was all about getting more. 4-packs for immediate muscle action. 10 packs – now you’re having fun and getting hooked. 28 packs? well then you are “made” so to say and “in the club” and an instant owner of 28 new muscles and an info hub/media center knowing which muscles hid behind which packaging…

  2. #2 by SmokinGun on July 6, 2010 - 10:54 pm

    LOL! Theres a really deform #194 at 2:07!

  3. #3 by Chad Perry on July 7, 2010 - 10:18 am

    Wow, nice catch. It certainly looks like an odd #194 figure. From that picture alone it’s hard to tell if it is a Manufacturing Error Figure or a figure that has been melted, sanded, or mutilated in some way.

    My personal guess is that the figure’s head was melted.

  4. #4 by Johnny on July 7, 2010 - 3:39 pm

    Nice find! I loved it!

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