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My Search for MUSCLE Answers


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#126 arforbes

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 06:09 PM

That's certainly not the case. Re-Issues are a harder plastic than Kinkeshi, but slightly more flexible than Muscles. The Super Rares are Muscle's for sure, I have owned quite a number of them and the plastic is identical to that of regular muscle figures.
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#127 meatcutta78

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 07:04 PM

That's certainly not the case. Re-Issues are a harder plastic than Kinkeshi, but slightly more flexible than Muscles. The Super Rares are Muscle's for sure, I have owned quite a number of them and the plastic is identical to that of regular muscle figures.


:woot: :D

The other thing I have also noticed is that the Re-Issue plastic seems to be a little more shiny.
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#128 arforbes

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Posted 12 April 2008 - 09:20 PM

That is true as well. :woot:
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#129 stunner76

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 03:12 AM

but between all of you there is someone who has had a super rare when he was a child?


Be honest:

all the super rare between you where you bought them?

Edited by stunner76, 24 September 2008 - 03:14 AM.

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#130 General Veers

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 07:55 AM

Just a weird piece of data I don't want to forever lose.

The collector vaguely remembered them, and another collector remembers (for a fact) getting one for a kid for his birthday when he was a child. He has asked around on other boards and has never received any replies about them. The collector that purchased one vaguely remembers getting them at a Canadian grocery store chain called The Real Canadian Superstore, so perhaps they were a Canadian exclusive to that chain.

The packs were Mattel gift packs in where you got a Hot Wheels car, He-Man figure, MUSCLE figures, and maybe a Bravestar. They came bagged inside a solid blue box so you didn't know which figures you were getting.

It's possible the toys listed are incorrect.


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#131 General Veers

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 06:40 PM

So I spoke with a guy from Mattel not too long ago. He was awesome and incredibly helpful. He gave me some great information. Of course, my notes are at work. So I'll do a write-up sometime this week. I was going to save it for my site, but I thought these answers might bring up some good new questions.

I also was put in contact with 4 other Mattel guys. One of them was, in his words, "in charge of MUSCLE."

As of today, I have not heard back from them. Next week I'll also be hounding those guys again.
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#132 Starman

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Posted 23 January 2009 - 07:22 PM

Fingers crossed your perseverance pays off. By the sound of things it already has, and you have some interesting info to share with us in the near future. It also sounds like you've been busy over the past weeks or months. Thanks for putting in the time and effort in doing this for the muscle community. I'm sure it goes without saying that everyone here appreciates your endeavour as well.
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#133 General Veers

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:19 PM

Ok, so as some of you may or may not know I've always been obsessed with uncovering factual MUSCLE information. Quite some time ago I had moderate success and uncovered some information. Unfortunately I hit a dead-end and didn't have anywhere to go. While I didn't have anything exciting to report I always kept tracking people down. I had lots of starts and stops.

Not too long ago I had a huge breakthrough. I spoke to a guy that was willing to talk about Mattel, but unwilling to share his name. Apparently part of the problem is that Mattel is incredibly secretive and litigious.

Person A (as I'll call him) did not work at Mattel during the time MUSCLE was released. He said that the toy community is very tight knit, so everybody knows what is going on. Person A did start working at Mattel almost immediately after MUSCLE had been cancelled. He remembered seeing "MUSCLE stuff" around the office. He said it actually hung around the offices for quite some time. He thought it could have even been as late as 1991~1992. But just "junk" around the office, nothing in the way of releases/new product/etc.

Not at all surprising to me he said that Mattel hated MUSCLE. They simply bought it because they wanted a low price point Japanese toy. They were counting on it to become popular like Transformers (another Japanese import).

Marketing would have been the central force behind MUSCLE. They called, and apparently still call, the shots at Mattel. Planning for a launch usually takes 9~12 months. He noted that it could happen faster.

When I gave him some information about the MUSCLE release dates ideas he said that MUSCLE's came out in 1985 – period. Here's how it would work. The catalog gets put together during the summer of 1985 for Toy Fair in the 1986 Catalog. Ordering takes place from the catalog, and the toys are released for Christmas 1985. They are part of the 1986 line. This question is finally answered.

MUSCLE was released as a semi-collectible type figure, which is why they had the poster. He said Mattel was truly revolutionary with a lot of things, they just hadn't master collectibility at that point. He thought the SR's were not chase figures, Mattel wasn't that savvy yet.

The toys would have been manufactured and packaged in Japan/China, nothing would have happened anywhere else.

He also stressed that Mattel has strict quality. They would have provided Bandai with the color codes for the pellets, and Bandai would have to comply. He said Mattel would reject hundreds of thousands of toys if they didn't meet specs. This is why you don't see color variation in MUSCLE like you do with GPK.

I also tried to talk about why only certain figures were made. I said some were obvious (Nazis), but what would be other reasons. He also said the sharp pieces, small pieces, knifes, and skulls are usually red flags for them.

Lastly we talked about production. He said that the average toy has a 200,000 SKU count. That's 200,000 boxes of the toys. So 1 SKU would be a 4-pack box, which held 72 4-packs.

He said a launch sometimes only has 16,000 SKUs, but that a low cost item might get 400,000 to 800,000.

Finally, he gave me 4 other people to contact. He believes one of the people was solely responsible for MUSCLE. Unfortunately I have not heard back from any of these people. I do not believe I will be able to get in touch with two of them. On the plus side, one of the people he suggested admitted they were unable to help. Luckily that person gave me two other names. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I wanted to share this news. I was going to wait until the UofMUSCLE.com was further along, but I couldn't wait. These are all facts. I've done my best to leave out my opinion. That will show up as we discuss it and on the UofMUSCLE site. :unsure:
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#134 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:38 PM

Very Cool info Chad. Looks like your slowly creeping in on some serious info regarding our favorite toys. :p I bet they all think your crazy though. :unsure:
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#135 General Veers

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 12:49 PM

I bet they all think your crazy though. :unsure:

Actually Person A was VERY cool, although he admitted that he hated MUSCLE. He said he just didn't get it - didn't then and doesn't now. He just thought it was cool that somebody cared about them.

I don't know if the other people feel the same way. :p
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#136 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 01:00 PM

Well that's good to know, just hope that eventually you can get in touch with the other guys, especially the one that is allegedly responsible. It would be neat if you could score some rare items from one of these people.
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#137 TheOrgg

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 01:44 PM

Do you think Person A might know anything about the 'unique sculpt' for the ring, or have some 'probable theories' on it?

Or do you think your one conversation wore that lead out?
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#138 General Veers

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Posted 26 January 2009 - 01:54 PM

No, I think he'd talk to me again. I just don't know how many times I can go to the well.

The problem is that he wasn't at Mattel during MUSCLE, so he can't really get into too many specifics. He is able to answer more of the Mattel standard-operating-procedure questions.

Person B, is the person that would be able to answer that question. And I'm having a bad feeling about connecting with him.
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#139 General Veers

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 09:27 AM

Well, Person B couldn't (or wouldn't) help. He gave me another name, but didn't have any contact information. The other two leads had the same results.

If there is a bright side it's that I have more names to throw around when I talk to people. ;)
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#140 General Veers

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 12:16 PM

Lastly we talked about production. He said that the average toy has a 200,000 SKU count. That's 200,000 boxes of the toys. So 1 SKU would be a 4-pack box, which held 72 4-packs.

He said a launch sometimes only has 16,000 SKUs, but that a low cost item might get 400,000 to 800,000.

So I've been working on a MUSCLE guide for awhile - actually I really haven't been working on it long, it's just taken a long time to find time to work on it. Anyways, I was doing some work today and I wanted to share some numbers.

So there are four main SKU's for MUSCLE: (1) 2637, a box of 72 four packs; (2) 2638, a box of 48 ten packs; (3) 2649. a box of 12 twenty-eight packs; and (4) 2749, the 144 four pack display box. So if a store ordered each piece, which is what Toys R Us used to do, then they would have 1680 figures in that store.

I learned that there were ~1198 Wal-Mart stores in 1987 (I've got emails into Kmart, Meijer, etc.). That means if Wal-Mart used TRU's ordering strategy, then each store would have, at least, 1680 figures from one order. Multiple that number by the 1198 stores and that gives you 2,012,640 figures. In two years, Wal-Mart alone could have housed almost 4 million figures.

Another way to look at the numbers is with Mattel's standard SKU production. Even if Mattel produced the fewest figures possible (16,000 SKU's of 2637) over two years, then you would have over 9 million figures (9,216,000). If Mattel simply ran their average of 200,000 SKU's of 2637, then that would be almost 58 million figures. For two years of production, that would be 115 million figures.

Finally, if Mattel ran 800,000 SKU's because MUSCLE was a low cost item, then there could have been 230 million figures made the first year alone. Maybe even half a billion figures over two years. :)

Just some food for thought.
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#141 musclemenkids

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:03 PM

So in theory... Czarcher is still in with a shot? That's what you are saying right?
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#142 General Veers

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Posted 05 February 2009 - 01:08 PM

No. :)

We've just had quite a few discussions about how many figures were potentially made. This provides us with some rough estimates. Many lines of toys never have a rough estimate regarding how many figures were actually produced.
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#143 General Veers

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 12:44 PM

I learned that there were ~1198 Wal-Mart stores in 1987 (I've got emails into Kmart, Meijer, etc.). That means if Wal-Mart used TRU's ordering strategy, then each store would have, at least, 1680 figures from one order. Multiple that number by the 1198 stores and that gives you 2,012,640 figures. In two years, Wal-Mart alone could have housed almost 4 million figures.

So after a few painfully calls, and many painful emails all I got was confirmation that ~400 TRU stores existed in the 80's. That seems high (since there are ~600 today). At any rate, that would mean TRU housed, at least, 1680 figures at each location. For a minimum of 672,000 figures each year, and a grand total minimum of 1,344,000 figures over the two years.
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#144 Jamesullivan

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Posted 11 February 2009 - 05:06 PM

Nestle Quick must of had at least 25 containers per supermarket. I have about more than 1 supermarket in my town, after a yahoo search I have this info... "There are 25,375 "places" counted by the U.S. census in 2000 ". So right there you have over 600,000 ;) indivually wrapped figures. I can add from experience that the average supermarket here in Queens, would of put away 100 of those containers in a week without any worries. Add in all the delis and mini food marts (ex. 7-11) and you have over a million. So lets be real, a million M.U.S.C.L.E.s is way more than possible, but for one person to obtain a million figures today would probably have to take to much tracking down.

P.S. Remember I never added in M.U.S.C.L.E. multi packs, and yes I know there are many towns outside of NY that have no stores, but all in all this is a pretty good estimate. :)

P.S.(2) Can we officially announce that Nestle Quick give away was an official indivual packaged M.U.S.C.L.E. making the total of different styles of packaging 4. 28 pack, ten pack, 4 pack, and the 1 pack! :)
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#145 General Veers

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Posted 12 February 2009 - 06:12 AM

For the last time, this has nothing to do with Czarcher and that stupid thread. :)

I find this interesting for three reasons:
1. Most toy lines do not release how many figures were actually made. For some toys it is a hotly debated topic (i.e. Star Wars). Of course this has changed slightly as a collector mindset has permeated modern toys, but most companies still do not release actual production numbers.
2. If we find even a rough estimate based on quantitative data, then we can make other numerical assumptions.
3. It gives us even more context and understanding about the toy.
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#146 General Veers

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 07:42 AM

I saw this article the other day. At first it made me think about our many conversations about cleaning MUSCLEs.

As I continued to think about it, I wondered if this also applied to MUSCLE figures. I know dirt, grim, sunlight, etc. all impact figures. However I've had, and know others have had, figures that appear to almost be a different shade but also appear to be perfectly mint.

With millions of figures made, it's conceivable that there would be some slight variations – but nothing really of significance.

Arforbes always trumpeted his Salmon variation (which I never believed to be a legitimate color variation), but, admittedly, I sometimes see identical Purple and Dark Blue figures that see perfect – yet seem slightly different. Those differences in shade almost seem consistent.

It's like there is a glossy Purple and more of a dull Purple. I don't believe these are legitimate color variations (because Mattel was so concerned with quality), but perhaps some figures were made with a slightly different recipe to help control costs. They only noticeable difference is after 20+ years the plastic deterioration is slightly different.

Just a thought. :p
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#147 Universal Ruler Supreme

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 11:58 AM

Yeah, I recall the slight differences in colors myself, as far as dull and glossy are concerned. I had always assumed it may be due to the mold quality myself. Havn't really looked into it myself, but I kind of assume figures from older Kinkeshi parts would be more dull in sheen than say a newer Keshi part figure.
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#148 PuertoricanLion

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 03:34 PM

:KS: Well I'm from Puerto Rico it's consider Latin because we speak Spanish , but MUSCLE wasn't sold in PR ! U could only get them from the nestle quick offer , and by selling chocolate bars olso from nestle ! I was a chocolate selling machine ! Also no cartoon , and it also was in Spanish ! e+
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#149 89cpe

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:05 AM

I know this is somewhat pointless info but i live in pennsylvania and my sc is from when i was a kid. I cant remember what store i used to get muscle from but i do know there wasnt much around here back then. There was a kay bee and some other toy store at the mall and then a kmart. That was basically it until the early 90s when toys r us came around. I mentioned this before that when the first opened they had a display case of 10 packs sitting on a shelf and i picked a couple up. I find it strange thst they stocked them that long after they came out
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