M.U.S.C.L.E - ‘Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere’ - was line of collectible plastic intergalactic wrestlers created by Bandai in Japan in 1983 and later released by Mattel in North America in 1985. There were dozens (236 actually) of different characters to collect. M.U.S.C.L.E. figures were available in three assortments: 4 Packs, 10 Packs (Trash Cans) and four different 28 Packs, allowing kids to collect and trade doubles.
The figures were about 2’’ tall and had no articulation. The line include all types of wrestlers but also robots, aliens, one shaped as a hand and another like a tea cup.
Wrestler MUSCLE by Dusty79
Man did I love these things as a kid. This is another toy of mine I saved and my son plays with today. Just good clean fun. I always like the guys that looked like wrestlers and this guy was meant to pay homage to them.
Marvel Red Guardian
Creature MUSCLE by Dusty79
My second MUSCLE guy was meant to portray the bizarre and wierd side that some of the figures took. I really liked the one that was just a bumpy hand with claws, this one is sort of grotesque along those lines.
HP Lovecraft Cthulhu figure
MUSCLE Spike Monster by bucky
I had a decent chunk of Muscle figures growing up. I still have a 1 gallon zip loc baggie of them. They sometimes as on display in my basement, other times not. They are a pain in the butt to get them standing up and staying up.
They were great because of the wide variety of characters and strange things that you would get out of the little trash can. I myself preferred buying them in the little bubble packs that you could see who you were getting. I remember trading these guys back and forth at recess along with micro machines.
For MUSCLE Spike Monster, I went for that crazy MUSCLE look, not tying it into any particular one I remember.
Captain Britain head
Road Pig Torso and Arms, with Blowtorch tidbits and a BAT hand
MUSCLE Knight in Armor by bucky
So there was this one MUSCLE guy that was my favorite, and I tried to emulate him with this custom. I didn't find out until a couple years back that he was a major character in the Kinnikuman lore. He looked like a guy with a Knight's helmet, had a cape, and a medallion trident deal across his chest. I had him in multiple colors growing up.
For both my MUSCLE characters, OB stepped up and painted them for me. I for the life of me could not find a paint that looked like the ones the other guys were using. Once the figures arrived in Canada, Oreobuilder took care of the rest for me.
Snake Eyes Head, with point added
Matt Trakker/Eel chest piece
Masked MUSCLE by Oreobuilder:
I remember a friend who had hundreds. We would set up gigantic battles between his M.U.S.C.L.E. figures and my army men and GUTS! I had completely forgotten about these until Dusty79 suggested creating some for this project. After he made his, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and make one as well. I got hooked and ended up making a few.
Head: Marvel Crossbones
Collar: 25th Destro
Hands: DC Mr Freeze
Everything else: Gears of War figure (I think)
Robot MUSCLE by Oreobuilder:
Everything: Minimates Spock with feet, hair and hands removed
New hands: SNAKE Armor
Chest and face details: Random bits of fodder
Caped MUSCLE by Oreobuilder:
Head, belt: 25th Croc Master
Cape: Star Wars Leia
Everything else: Marvel
Next: Our final thoughts and a special PSA by Dusty79
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