Tom Veldran was kind enough to share a picture from his childhood. It features Tom playing with his M.U.S.C.L.E. and Battle Beast figures. The picture was taken in his childhood home in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He believes he was about eight years old.
Tom also shared some of his M.U.S.C.L.E. memories:
Let’s see… I have a lot of great memories of playing with muscles… and later adding Battle Beasts (and even GUTS) to the mix. This particular photo was one of the many MUSCLE vs. Battle Beast wars I had. I remember building my own bases constructed out of shoe boxes, with my mom’s jewelry boxes duct taped all around it. I mean, they needed a place to hide out! (and my parents wouldn’t buy me the actual Battle Beast retail bases, so I had to improvise.) I absolutely adored Muscle though– the creature designs were so strange– they always fascinated me. My favorites usually ended up being the ones that resembled lizards, for some reason. And the knight headed guy. He was always one of the last men standing. I never really treated my playtime with them as if they were wrestlers though– Most of the time they were just fighters at war, or travelers on a journey of some sort. I did end up getting the MUSCLE ring at one point, but still barely used it in wrestling storylines. I think it stayed on the shelf, while I used my couch as a mountain, and my orange carpet as a field for war.
Another memory not having anything to do with this photo, is when the colored MUSCLES came out. I remember painting a bunch of my regular pink muscles with some kind of gold and silver markers and claiming to my friends that they were “special rare edition” muscles, that my dad “got in new York.” I’d wow my pals and then to try trade them for multiple guys. Heh, a pretty sneaky thing to do to your pals—my plot was soon discovered when a friend uncovered my gold and silver markers in my desk drawer. “What are these?” Gold and silver Muscles in one hand, gold and silver markers in the other. “uhhhhh…”
Suffice to say, I got what was coming to me… and it was a while before those friends did any more trading with me.
In other playtime scenarios I had my MUSCLES team up with my Battle Beasts and take on the larger scale action figures like the Visionaries, or He-man, or the Inhumanoids. The little guys always won. I remember how excited I was when a Japanese friend of mine showed me his 6” and 9”(?) Muscle figures that he had gotten in Japan. I couldn’t believe it—BIG muscles?? They make these? This is something I would never have known about, having no internet, or any toy information aside from a Sears Wishbook and daytime TV commercials. It was like discovering the holy grail, Alice in Wonderland style. Good stuff!
If you would like to submit M.U.S.C.L.E. related pictures from your childhood, please email the pictures to the University of M.U.S.C.L.E.. An accompanying description to provide additional information about the pictures would also be greatly appreciated.