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#608798 MIMP Star Monster captured!

Posted by fkro6784 on 20 March 2015 - 12:17 PM

So guys, I found a Star Monster.




Here's the deal:  I regularly purchase MIMP lots for figures I need, and whenever I get new ones in I put all the extras in a big bag containing smaller bags separated by color, not usually paying much attention to them. I stored this monster in there at some point (not certain when or what lot exactly I got it from) without even noticing the back of it. The other day, I was going through my duplicates and comparing the condition of them with the versions in my master set, turned around one of the purple Jotun Trolls, and noticed it looked off. Upon closer inspection, there it was. A star! I couldn't believe it, and am still so excited about it.


First, I do not intend to sell this figure, so please no offers or inquiries about buying it. I am posting this just to share the news with my fellow collectors here.


Second, you will notice the star looks different than it did on the neon purple Star Monster that was sold here late last year, which I'm sure most know was the first time an example of any Star Monster was ever publicly shared. I have no idea what the reason for that is, but the two examples are considerably different. On this one, there is a circle set into the back of the figure, with a very slightly raised star inside the circle. On top of the star is a slightly-raised "20," which is quite a bit narrower and in a different sort of type than the "20" on a normal Jotun Troll. It seems like they would have had to have a unique mold for this figure, considering the very different way the star and point value are treated.


Okay, now here are photos I took of the figure, showing the star from different angles:




And here's a comparison shot of a normal purple Jotun alongside the Star Monster (they are both regular purple, just some slight variation in shade as can happen with MIMP):




I have no doubt this is a legit figure as I don't know how it would be possible for someone to fake it the way the area is treated--it's so different from the normal point value.


It was really a huge thrill to discover it, especially since I've wanted to find one ever since the first time I looked at the back of a MIMP package when I was 6 years old.


So don't forget to always check your Jotuns. These beasts are out there waiting to be found!

  • 27

#485663 Let's have a little come-to-Jesus...

Posted by ironmask on 28 February 2013 - 10:50 AM

Allow me to take you back to a time, that we all remember... It took place on a different calendar day for each of us, but the heart-and-soul of the matter stays the same: The day we rediscovered our respective loves for MUSCLE. We all went through the process of remembering these things, thinking about them fondly enough, and making the active decision to search them out to try to rebuild a collection.

In searching MUSCLE out, we'd invariably find pictures of ones that we remember having as well as ones we always wished we had. We'd research what they are, and find them on eBay or on forums like this one, and try to rebuild our collections. The fact that we are all here, reading this post, is indicative that we all found more than we bargained for. We set out to purchase toys, and we wound up collecting new friends and acquaintances through the process of building our collections. We get really stoked on collecting, and come up with grand designs on how we'd like to shape our collection... We come up with ways to extend the collecting process to make the thrill of the hunt last longer, while trying to educate ourselves about the form in general.

And then, as it always does, shit hits the fan. I'd like to believe that the "shit" in question can be summed up in one word ("greed", but there is also a lot of hubris), but in reality what happened to MUSCLE collecting, happens on a cycle and most of us that have been around for years have see that cycle repeat several times. There are mind-boggling trends that have fallen on the MUSCLE community, and the community as a whole seems to cosign on the behavior. Those who disagree, just fell out of the hobby. Those who were ambivalent stuck around, and I believe unwittingly bartered down ethics of the community in a handshake-with-the-devil for the sole purpose of keeping the hobby alive.

Breaches in the ethical boundaries of the community always happened... If you go back to the pioneer days of the AKIA (pre LRG) you still had the shill bidding, price gouging, taking advantage of newjacks, and people artificially driving up the prices of figures for their own monetary gain. You had members trying to manipulate the database to make common figures look more rare (to sell at a profit), or to make rarer figures look more common (to purchase, then resell at a profit). The fact that there is a lot of shady shit going on around MUSCLE collecting is nothing new... The widespread acceptance of it, however, is.

The bullshit that has become commonplace in the MUSCLE community, has driven a lot of people out of collecting. People bargain down their own expectations for their personal collections, just to avoid that breakdown in ethics being displayed by the fish-headed majority. That majority is actually a MINORITY, but only seems like a majority because nobody stands up to them. Real talk: people have looked away for so long in the interest of "just getting along", that they have stood back and watched the hobby turn into a psychotic shit-show OR just left the hobby all together.

I have noticed that people are more or less stalking each other on eBay, that they are buying lots at inflated prices, and then turning around once the value has been artificially augmented and reselling their doubles/triples/quintuples/etc for that higher inflated rate... Hell, even that purple claw's value is known to be an artificial value generated by Alex Forbes, who has been ostracized from the community to the point that we're not even supped to invoke his name! But for some reason, the greedy machinations left behind in his wake are considered acceptable? This makes zero sense. People on the board are doing the same shit that he was banned for, but I guess they are just smart enough to do it incrementally.

People tout that Class A's are so valuable, and the price only goes up... But when there are enough of the common Class A's that there is discussion that maybe some of the Class A's aren't as valuable and may actually be "Class B's"? Well, that conversation gets swept under the rug. We can't dare use the information, that we as a community (Namely Veers and Soupie) compiled (not for monetary reasons, but to understand the origins of the hobby better) to lower our artificially high prices... We can only use it to gouge the prices up higher? Right? Pfff

And don't even get me started on how Uncommon MUSCLE auctions go for 1:1 MUSCLE prices... The MUSCLE community doesn't accept the concept of "outliers"... Somebody pays 20% more than the value of a figure, then forevermore that becomes the value... We can't accept that it was some dummy paying a lot more than the figure was worth (and then move on).

MUSCLE collecting has become a drag, and to be frank, I am sick of it. MUSCLE, at one point in time, was the thing that brought almost all of us together.

We're ruining it, one shady interaction, shill bid, rule-of-two auction, and bold faced lie at a time.
Hell, maybe I am just the self-appointed sheriff of LRG... But I honestly feel less like that, and more like a friend who just found out that his best friend is a junkie.
It just f@#$ing sucks.
  • 27

#631664 Found a Black Emperor today.

Posted by CaffeineSanta on 26 September 2015 - 09:00 PM

Hey guys, been awhile. I was bored in Eugene today, so I decided to hit up a new toy store in the larger town next to mine. Picked up every MUSCLE the guy had, and when I was going through them just now, I found this guy. He looked unfamiliar, so I decided to look him up on here. Apparently, he's the Black Emperor :D

I've attached some pics, but since I know how skeptical you all can be about this kind of thing, I already let Eric Nilla know that I might be sending him the figure for legitimacy confirmation ;)

It's definitely MUSCLE rubber, and not Kinkeshi rubber. Pretty exciting!

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  • 20

#511370 My New & Improved Mancave!

Posted by ALLSPORTDVD on 16 June 2013 - 06:06 PM

Hi all.


Well I've done my move & unpacked all my toys - finally I have some nice space for them!


Apologies for the quality of the pics - these were taken by my phone - better pics to come when my newest display piece arrives!


More updated pics & the Coke fridge is running whoo hoo!


Just updated with my latest addition! Inspired by a pic I saw on LRG

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#660579 Custom MIMP display unit

Posted by Metalmonkey on 06 August 2016 - 09:20 PM

Hey gang,

Been a while since posting here but had to share this.
I finally completed my master set of Matchbox series 1 MIMP, thanks to some really awesome friends while helped me out along the way.
To celebrate, I made this custom MIMP shrine.
Hope you guys like it! It was a labour of love.


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  • 19

#415709 Reason for taking down Monster Collecting

Posted by asator on 11 May 2012 - 10:55 PM

I know I'm late to the topic, and I doubt it matters now, but it was this kind of stuff that made me stop caring about collecting in the first place.  Guys hoarding, paying outrageous prices for rare figures that they already had, and really just being complete asses about collecting.  The reason I loved this site so much was because of the camaraderie.  "What, you don't have that figure?  I have an extra, wanna buy it?"  Very common.  Dudes helping other dudes put together collections.  It wasn't a competition, it was guys who loved collecting, banding together and sharing the love.  After a while it turned into this battle, at which point it stopped being fun.  I still don't have all the figures that I'd like to have, but it's just not worth the trouble anymore.  And unfortunately, it was one collector that ruined it for me.  Was that my fault?  I dunno.  I didn't have to stop, but it was that collectors fault that I stopped finding it to be fun.  I like to think that I was pretty helpful and always willing to help out my fellow collectors.  Some people don't play like that.  Fine.  But now I've gotten to the point where, when I found out that someone started 'following' my photobucket account, where I have tons of MIMP photos up, and I recognized the name of the collector, I set my account to private.  That person made me not even want to share my photos.  That, in my opinion, is the definition of a person who is bad for the hobby of collecting.  I am proud however that one of my photos graces DW's Monster Collecting site.

Like I said, I used to LOVE this site, and not just because it helped me fill out my collection.  I met some REALLY awesome people here, people that I actually still think about to this day, having not signed in for almost a year.  Sites like this are what it's all about.  But sometimes people show up and make you realize what the exact opposite side of the spectrum is like.

I didn't read the whole thread, just the first three pages and then a few posts at the end.  I'm glad that DW has the site back up, but I completely understand why he initially took it down.  It's tough to be part of such an awesome community and then all of a sudden start being fncxed over.

As for myself, I probably won't return to hard core collecting any time soon, what with my one and half year old son, and another on the way, I've got other things to think of now.  But if I do return to collecting, this will be the first place I come because you guys (the vast majority of you, at least) are awesome.
  • 19

#398397 Reason for taking down Monster Collecting

Posted by DarrylWestley on 30 March 2012 - 11:38 AM

After sleeping on it and speaking to General Veers the website will return
this coming week. I will take responsibility for making the current updates,
uploading all the files etc.

Yesterday was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and I apologize for some
shortness in my messages while my patience was stretched rather thin. But from
the hours spent just fleshing this thing out it became clear to me I still have
a passion for this toyline and perhaps I shouldn't cut my nose off to spite
my face.

I now am content having General Veers aid me if problems occur and I am unable
to continue maintaining the website. For the very near future I will still
control the website but take a back seat to collecting. I really just need
some time-out and completely understand the website doesn't need 24/7 handling.

I was very glad to hear from those here that you appreciate it and hope you
continue to find it a useful resource.
  • 19

#650238 New Ghostbusters companion ghosts guide!

Posted by fkro6784 on 20 March 2016 - 01:22 PM

This is something I've been working on for about a year now. When I started going after a full set of Real Ghostbusters companion ghosts, I noticed there wasn't a guide or checklist out there for them, so I photographed mine and pieced together this document as I went along. Finally finished it now that I'm done with my set!


In addition to photos of all of them I included name, series, year, and what figure or vehicle each came packaged with.


The only ones I don't own are the Ecto-Glow Heroes ghosts, which I'm pretty okay with since they were just repaints anyway. For the guide I was able to find auction photos of those that I could work with. 


I hope you guys find it helpful!





Attached File  Ghostbusters_CompanionGhostGuide_FINAL.pdf   1.22MB   110 downloads



And for fun, here's a pic of the whole gang I just took today:



  • 18

#595640 The birth of a monster - Tug O' War

Posted by PlasticSoul on 30 November 2014 - 12:15 PM

This thread will all be behind the scenes stuff about the process of designing and sculpting then producing Tug O' War. I often get asked questions about this stuff so i figured anyone interested in that aspect might appreciate everything laid out in one spot. 


Usually the original idea and design change significantly from concept to execution and that is exactly what happened with this monster. Here is the first quick sketch of the idea. Basically a monster with a tug boat on it's back used to disguise itself as it swims around looking for whaling ship to destroy.




Once the idea itself was approved work began. Of course basic changes take place throughout the entire process. Stuff like the pose being made more dynamic and other various details as well. Some stuff because it simply doesn't work well in clay but mostly because as weeks and months go by you just come up with better ideas along the way.


The head and torso took shape first. Both done roughly but when you sculpt in actual size for a mini-figure you really need to go step by step or things get much to big and ruin the scale easily. Using a clay that you cook in an oven makes it simple to cook as you go and add raw clay over whatever piece is finished. Overall the sculpt was probably cooked well over a dozen times before it was finished.




Then the hands came next which i had planned as the most detailed part of the monster from the very beginning. Something about the idea of a mostly smooth sea monster with skin like a shark seemed to work well with the contrast of some armored scales and tons of detail and texture on the hands. 







Then the arms which changed a lot from the original idea because i decided i wanted more of a muscular monster look rather then what you normally see with a classic giant monster. Obviously a lot of the creatures design comes from all the old japanese monster movies i love but at the same time i am always influenced by cool stuff from childhood like Street Sharks and Insectors. Which is why Tug O' War has so much muscle.




Next the legs and the boat were made. The legs i made as short and stocky as possible since it is mostly a sea creature and the boat was designed to look like a cross between a tug boat and a toy boat since i didn't want any part of this figure to be hyper-realistic. I always lean towards the overall look of a toy rather then a model just because that's what i like.




Then it all came together. The tail was a must otherwise i couldn't see this thing actually swimming and the shards of ice and crystals around the boat are just because if the monster was underwater and the boat was above the water it would look really cool. Plus it makes more sense because the boat has to be attached somehow.












One thing i always tell everyone who asks for tips is just not to give up. This thing took months and months and changed over and over along the way. There were plenty of setbacks and mistakes. A couple breaks and one bad air bubble. There is no big secret to making a cool monster. It's just practice and time and effort and not quitting even when you really feel like it. You have to love what you're doing. It probably won't ever pay off as far as money for your time or anything else really tangible. All the effort and time and stress is worth it for me when i get a bunch of my toys in the mail to play with and when people tell me they liked what i created and when i see it on someone's shelf next to other toys i think are awesome. That's the payoff and for me it's well worth it. 

  • 18

#525561 Rarest premiums

Posted by Leviathan on 24 August 2013 - 02:59 AM

I´ve also got my 2 last missing figures from this seller and they are mint&legit, my collection is complete.

If you haven`t seen already on my Instagram this is the first result of photographing the group.






  • 18

#643225 Yo Adrian! I did it! (Weirdball Wrestlers complete)

Posted by TheRiddler on 01 February 2016 - 08:26 AM

So after years of collecting I have finally completed my weird ball wrestlers set. Thanks everyone who helped over the years!!!

  • 17

#641930 A HUGE thank you to everyone

Posted by Pran on 20 January 2016 - 12:55 PM

Hey Gang,

I just wanted to gave a big thanks to everyone here and everyone who helped me finish my flesh collection.  It took roughly 6 months to complete.  If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask :)


Next up...

Army Ants and Series 1 Battle Beasts :)

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#408659 Introducing: LittleRubberGuides.com

Posted by jkaris on 22 April 2012 - 11:11 PM


The natural evolution of the old Battle Beasts guide/checklist application! I made it a lot easier to duplicate for other toylines and added a few new features. There is a lot more planned for it as well.

As it sits, the accounts and price history from the first BB/LB guide have been imported in and are functional. So if you had an account on there, it will work here, too. All you need to do is log in with your old username/password, go to your Control Panel and change your email. Once verified, all your prices will filter back into your account. If there are old entries in your collection, you can just inactivate them to keep it current.

If you didn't have an account on the old guide, there is nothing to stop you from signing up for an account on the new one. Accounts will be valid across all guides, and you will be able to track your collections in one spot.

The next step will be merging in all the MUSCLEDB.com data to get the M.U.S.C.L.E. guide going.

After that, I have a long list of features that I have to add in. If you think of something you would like to see, by all means, let me know, and I will try to code it in.

So yes, my 5+ year labor of love has finally made it online! I hope that it is a useful tool for you guys. Sign up, test it out, enjoy!

P.S. as you can see, I have 6 different guides to start with (Battle Beasts, Gormiti, Kinnikuman, Muscle, Monster In My Pocket, Spinjas), BB being the only one currently active. If you are a passionate collector of any of those (or of another line) and are interested in building and managing one, let me know.
  • 17

#646359 Thanks

Posted by Neverwhere on 22 February 2016 - 02:30 PM

Hey guys. Minus Satan Cross, I finished my poster set today. Would like to thank TinyPink for helping me get started, Plasticfiend for giving me the last figure I needed, and ToyMeetsWorld for giving me one I wanted on the side. Also, thanks to everyone else for the wealth of knowledge you provide here!

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#640656 Draznar's collection

Posted by Draznar on 09 January 2016 - 06:35 AM

I finally decided to get around to scrapping my ancient collection thread, and starting anew. My tastes have changed, my dwelling has changed, and so naturally my collection has also changed. (By a whole lot.)

This isn't everything I have on display, but one of my displays is waiting on some risers to look really sharp. (Right now it just looks cluttered.) A few are just straight up dusty so I want to give them a little cleaning before posting. ;)



My Battle Beast collection, (which many of you have seen by now, I'm sure). One away from a totally complete set! (Including variants.)





A few pictures of my mini Pac Man display. My wife custom painted it for me, and I custom painted the Isz on the inside as a "psycho" Pac Man.


This picture didn't turn out, but due to the lighting of my place, I doubt it ever will. My Starcraft figures, (ON CARD!?), that I found in the wild for $10 a pop. Pretty sweet deal. My two favourite Transformers comic covers, and our Lego Dimensions stuff. (That's more of a family collection.)


My full detolf!


My Not-Abominus, (Unique Toys Ordin), with some BMOG, Candy Beast Wars figures, Decoys, etc.


One of my all-time favourite Transformers characters is Cosmos. (He's a goddamn UFO!) I currently have every sculpt of him ever made except for TWO! (Both Japanese variants.) And a few other favourite figures/characters.


One of my favourite pieces in my entire collection, The Tako Tank with Ikard. I've also got some beast Wars minis up front, as well as some of those newer minis from the various generations.


Here's a nice vintage shelf. The Pretenders are one of my favourite lines from Transformers, and these are, naturally, some of the best. (In my humble opinion.) There's also a really cool Tomy Tribot in there, (the black figure), and my all-time favourite combiner, Piranacon. I'm trying to pick up one each of his variants, but it's hard to do on the cheap. For the trained eye, you'll notice two parts of the King Poseidon combiner in there too.

That's it for now! More to come after some cleaning/sorting!

  • 16

#610660 MIMP Star Monster captured!

Posted by fkro6784 on 01 April 2015 - 04:23 PM

The Star Monster got himself an entourage. 



  • 16

#591835 Figures have arrived!

Posted by jkaris on 24 October 2014 - 05:37 PM

Hi all!

Figures arrived today. I am beyond ecstatic! :woot:

So, here are the details...

I will have these up for sale tentatively the weekend of 11/15. It's not certain though. I want to make sure I have time to pack and ship when the orders come in. I don't like to leave orders pending for more than a day.
When they go on sale, it will be here:

Prices will be as follows:
$4 each for the unpainted figures

Rhino_flesh_mono.jpg Scorpion_flesh_mono.jpg
Rhino_gold_mono.jpg Scorpion_gold_mono.jpg
Rhino_black_mono.jpg Scorpion_black_mono.jpg

$7 each for the painted figures.

Rhino_black_grey.jpg Scorpion_black_orange.jpg

Each figure will come with a proof of purchase sticker, redeemable for a limited edition figure. There are 4 very low run figures with special paint applications. Each figure will be redeemable (randomly) for 10 stickers.

Rhino_black_silver.jpg Scorpion_black_silver.jpg
Rhino_gold_black.jpg Scorpion_gold_black.jpg

Lastly, for those of you who are getting a freebie gold figure from the Kickstarter offer, I will either include it in your first order or if you are not one of the folks who order that first weekend, I will just ship it out by itself at the same time as the other orders. You do not have to buy anything to get your promised freebie. Although it would be great if you did, ha ha!

Thanks again for everyone who has helped with this project over the years. This is truly a dream come true!!!
  • 16

#543099 the "what you just got in the mail" thread

Posted by Draznar on 06 November 2013 - 01:08 PM

I got this squishy figure in the "mail" the other day.

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#534871 MUSCLE Class A Quick Reference Guide

Posted by Biffard on 06 October 2013 - 10:16 AM

MUSCLE classification provided by General Veers: http://blog.uofmuscl...de-peer-review/

MUSCLE pictures provided by Soupie: http://soupie.little...CLEnumbers.html

There are a total of 137 confirmed Class A figures. Breakdown by color is as follows:

Purple = 29 Figures

001 Purple.jpg 002 Purple.jpg 003 Purple.jpg 015 Purple.jpg 016 Purple.jpg 019 Purple.jpg 029 Purple.jpg 040 Purple.jpg 041 Purple.jpg 056 Purple.jpg 060 Purple.jpg 077 Purple.jpg 093 Purple.jpg 106 Purple.jpg 107 Purple.jpg 109 Purple.jpg 123 Purple.jpg 138 Purple.jpg 143 Purple.jpg 145 Purple.jpg 149 Purple.jpg 151 Purple.jpg 152 Purple.jpg 153 Purple.jpg 154 Purple.jpg 155 Purple.jpg 156 Purple.jpg 157 Purple.jpg 199 Purple.jpg

Red = 23 Figures (and possibly 1 more)

010 Red.jpg 013 Red.jpg 024 Red.jpg 025 Red.jpg 038 Red.jpg 048 Red.jpg 049 Red.jpg 051 Red.jpg 053 Red.jpg 068 Red.jpg 085 Red.jpg 104 Red.jpg 108 Red.jpg 110 Red.jpg 112 Red.jpg 113 Red.jpg 116 Red.jpg 125 Red.jpg red 131.jpg 133 Red.jpg 134 Red.jpg red 135.jpg 136 Red.jpg 139 Red.jpg 140 Red.jpg

Salmon = 21 Figures

060 Salmon.jpg 064 Salmon.jpg 072 Salmon.jpg 076 Salmon.jpg 077 Salmon.jpg 085 Salmon.jpg 090 Salmon.jpg 106 Salmon.jpg 107 Salmon.jpg 108 Salmon.jpg 109 Salmon.jpg 110 Salmon.jpg 112 Salmon.jpg 113 Salmon.jpg 116 Salmon.jpg 156 Salmon.jpg 165 Salmon.jpg 167 Salmon.jpg 179 Salmon.jpg 199 Salmon.jpg 232 Salmon.jpg

Dark Blue = 17 Figures (and possibly 1 more)

011 Dark Blue.jpg 018 Dark Blue.jpg 022 Dark Blue.jpg 040 Dark Blue.jpg 047 Dark Blue.jpg 071 Dark Blue.jpg 073 Dark Blue.jpg 075 Dark Blue.jpg 086 Dark Blue.jpg 092 Dark Blue.jpg 097 Dark Blue.jpg 114 Dark Blue.jpg blue 140.jpg 168 Dark Blue.jpg 221 Dark Blue.jpg 223 Dark Blue.jpg 224 Dark Blue.jpg 228 Dark Blue.jpg 231 Dark Blue.jpg

Magenta = 17

017 Magenta.jpg 021 Magenta.jpg 026 Magenta.jpg 043 Magenta.jpg 044 Magenta.jpg 054 Magenta.jpg 067 Magenta.jpg 103 Magenta.jpg 104 Magenta.jpg 125 Magenta.jpg 134 Magenta.jpg 135 Magenta.jpg 136 Magenta.jpg 161 Magenta.jpg 165 Magenta.jpg 167 Magenta.jpg 179 Magenta.jpg


Green = 16 Figures

042 Green.jpg 050 Green.jpg 163 Green.jpg 164 Green.jpg 166 Green.jpg 168 Green.jpg 172 Green.jpg 174 Green.jpg 182 Green.jpg 183 Green.jpg 185 Green.jpg 186 Green.jpg 187 Green.jpg 189 Green.jpg 190 Green.jpg 191 Green.jpg

Light Blue = 14

019 Light Blue.jpg 020 Light Blue.jpg 023 Light Blue.jpg 031 Light Blue.jpg 033 Light Blue.jpg 035 Light Blue.jpg 036 Light Blue.jpg 046 Light Blue.jpg 060 Light Blue.jpg 061 Light Blue.jpg 082 Light Blue.jpg 143 Light Blue.jpg 145 Light Blue.jpg 157 Light Blue.jpg

Orange = 0

  • 16

#489465 End of a Quest

Posted by BaltanII on 17 March 2013 - 09:42 PM

Last Saturday, I received a set of figures in the mail that were probably the most valuable I have ever had in proportion to their size. Not just in monetary value, but in the years of close calls and missed opportunities and moments of wishing I'd had so much more money to throw around than I ever could.

No, this set of figures didn't represent a particularly important character with an amazing history and tons of memorable moments over the years. No, the character wasn't even my number one favorite design in his respective series. In my top five, absolutely, but not even number one. However, what this character came to mean to me over the years, especially in the manner in which I was receiving him, maybe that was ready to change.

When I joined AKIA so many years ago, I lurked for a while, the smart thing to do when you're joining a community. One of the things I recall as part of the old forum rules was never to beg for free figures. It was frowned upon because it's rude for someone to enter a community expected to be handed things for nothing, but one of the amazing things about this place was that it happened regardless. If you expressed yourself as a newbie interested in the toys, demonstrated a willingness to pay, some people would simply not accept money. AKIA members actually sent you free MUSCLE figures. Sometimes they were clearly crap they knew would never sell. Other times they were genuinely nice and mint figures, showing a level of generosity I'd not seen before on such a scale. The first few times my brother and I received figures in addition to buying others, there were definitely more of the latter.

While my brother amassed his collection, I was content to go after only a few. I didn't need every flesh figure, although I would and still do covet a Satan Cross. I certainly held no ambitions of a master color set. That was for men who'd been at it for far longer and had far deeper pockets. I saved myself from such hassles by focusing my attention to the sculpts I enjoyed the most. Some of those were figures from my brother's small handful from childhood, when we didn't even know what MUSCLE was and he was too young to recall the clear plastic trash can I inexplicably associated with them.

The Claw stood out from the beginning, but you know what? Everybody loved the Claw. Back then, purple Claws were a big deal and less numerous, but I could've tried for the other colors, I guess... but I wasn't fond of the competition (I'd end up with several anyway, only to sell them all a couple years ago, without asking $20+ each like people had started to do). Number one, "Muscleman", or the "Muscle Brothers" as mimoman and I would call them because he owned two... he seemed a natural fit, but I passed. Of course, there was always my favorite, the Lizardman, #131, Ukon. I had no idea what his real name meant but that went on the list for sure. Ruling out other childhood sculpts, I naturally gravitated to other reptilian figures, and that's how #193 Cobra Satan ultimately became my favorite MUSCLE figure.

You know what's interesting about Cobra Satan? He's sooooo easy. Looking at a out-of-focus lot of figures? Lack of legs makes him stand out like a sore thumb. Color variety? There's only five! Rarity? Three of them are "uncommon", whatever the hell that means. I think I actually looked longer for a minty orange or salmon replacement than I did to get the set of five. Nothing in his Part 18 tree was rare either, which was perfect for when I went after "Tortle" or the spiky #207.

Ukon, #131, was an oddity. He was definitely my number two, and he had that one super-rare color I wasn't sure I could find, but there was a good portion of time where it seemed like people didn't believe a red 131 existed. Even now, he's almost mythical in status, one of the few figures guys like General Veers is missing. You know, a figure THAT rare, I'm probably okay with saying that I'm not going to own it.

I didn't sit down to write a veritable essay about Ukon. No, this is for my number three fave, an underdog among underdogs. A figure with the misfortune to be in Kinnikuman Part 8, one of the most infamous figure sets and trees for rare sculpts, should not have been a figure I tracked down, but he was unique in he wasn't flashy, didn't stand out all that much in a crowd, seemed to have zero fanbase, yet evoked something prehistoric which instantly endeared him to me, much more than Mammothman could - figure 154, Ammonite. I had to have him.

Most of the figures I needed of him came quickly enough. Orange was a bit of a challenge, I think, but it didn't take too much longer to get most of them. Then it boiled down to purple. It seemed like I might be in trouble then... very few people claimed to own one, so few that some people thought they were misidentified grape figures. That was shot down right away as I kept hunting, but there was definitely nobody selling one. Master set hunters became more prominent, Soupie color image archive went up, and I found myself in competition among high-rollers for a figure none of them would spare a second's thought over were it any other color. I should have given up, but I wouldn't. Bargains that barely escaped my grasp drove me onward, as every few months to a year, one would appear and give me hope that even if someone spent $50 on it, or $80, or $100, at least it meant THEIR hunt was done and I'd have my chance next time. Right?

Prices never went down. A purple 154 might go for a bargain if an unaware seller threw up a Buy-It-Now for $5 and someone with email alerts or bookmarked searches or a smartphone caught it within five minutes, or there was a local yard sale, or a lot exchanged hands in private. It never helps that someone with a purple 154 often also has one or more rare figures as well, causing more wars over mediocre figures that happened to be the "right" color. Maybe such close proximity to the infamous Claw got to people. I'll never know.

Plenty of nice people stood up over the years, vowing to help end my silly plight. I always appreciated the gesture, but never felt those efforts would amount to anything. I was never on at the right time, or that person would never be able to afford a silly price, or I couldn't afford it at that moment. I didn't wake up late on a Sunday afternoon two weeks ago thinking "this was going to be the day!" I couldn't recall the last time I thought about the hunt in a positive manner, and was not far off from thinking that maybe today would instead be the day I listed all my MUSCLE figures for sale. Instead I found an email. A PM notification from LRG, which had a message by clonewars that was impossible to believe and beyond my dreams. I was skeptical, and confused, so I headed to LRG and found his sale thread and became a little more skeptical. After all, who's insane enough to spend that much money on stupid MUSCLE figures only to give them away to a total stranger??? Let's face it, I may have been here for years and have a ton of posts under my belt, but do I know any of you personally? I've never hung out with any of you people, I detest the Mixed Nuts shoutbox and chat threads, I don't share most of your interests, and visiting LRG is usually out of instinct and routine than a legitimate desire to post here.

When some anonymous stranger goes out of their way to spend $150 (plus shipping? really?) on you, money you have no way of repaying in the immediate future, when you should be seen as barely a part of their community, it's hard not to feel incredulous or suspicious, but I had nothing to lose. Last Saturday, somebody made this possible and, part of the community or not, I will be eternally grateful to you all.

TL;DR: this happened.
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