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Philosophy 200 – Theories About Non-Poster M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures
The phrase “super rare” has been the term used to describe mysterious M.U.S.C.L.E. figures since nearly the inception of online M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting. The first recorded use of Super Rare was November 23, 2001. Jon Karis used the term to describe a figure that had been deemed as an authentic M.U.S.C.L.E. figure by “Damon.” Ever since then the term has applied to almost any figure not shown on the M.U.S.C.L.E. poster or included with the wrestling ring or board game.
Satan Cross (SC), Black Hole Sunshine (BHS), and Spinning Head Ashurman (SHA) were the first three to be classified as super rare figures. However, the University of M.U.S.C.L.E., and quite a few M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors, believe these three figures no longer deserve their super rare status.
This potential area of disagreement acts as an ideal point of demarcation. It is no longer appropriate to label figures as simply “Super Rare.” Too much information has been gathered since its first use. In an effort to communicate as clearly as possible it is most appropriate to classify figures as either Poster figures or Non-Poster figures.
The non-poster M.U.S.C.L.E. figures currently fall into three categories:
1. Non-Poster Gamma Figures
These are the wrestling ring figures, board game figures, and Satan Cross. These figures are no more difficult to obtain than any other specific M.U.S.C.L.E. figure on the poster.
2. Non-Poster Beta Figures
These are all Flesh non-poster M.U.S.C.L.E. figures and include: Spinning Head Ashurman (SHA), Black Hole Sunshine (BHS), and Dr. Bombay. There are, at least, a half dozen of each of these figures in the possession of M.U.S.C.L.E. collectors. They are more difficult to discover than an average M.U.S.C.L.E. figure, however they are infinitely easier to discover than a true Super Rare figure.
3. Non-Poster Alpha Figures
These figures tend to be one-of-a-kind figures. While several figures fitting this criterion have been found, there is still the potential for any or all of them to be something other than legitimate M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.
In 2011 the University of M.U.S.C.L.E. interviewed Joe Morrison. He made a bold proclamation about Non-Poster figures. Joe stated that retailers that placed significant orders received special figures. For example, if Toys R’ Us order 100 cases of 4-packs then they would not only receive a discount but also a special figure(s). Joe stated that these figures would not have been advertised because they could not be advertised nationally.
This simple assertion is very difficult to believe, for a variety of reasons (illustrated fully in the Implications portion of Archeology 400). As difficult as it is to believe, given Joe Morrison’s nearly sole accountability for the M.U.S.C.L.E. brand, this must be considered the leading theory for Alpha and Beta Non-Poster figures.
Alpha, Beta, and Gamma Non-Poster figure are still explored independently, because collectors still may be able to offer an explanation to the Non-Poster figures different from Joe Morrison.
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