Decoding the MUSCLE Color Code
What is the MUSCLE Color Code (MCC)?
The MUSCLE toy line is a remake of a Japanese toy line called Kinnikuman. The Kinnikuman toy line is comprised of hundreds of figures and sets, known as parts. The MUSCLE toy line is comprised of many, but not all, of the sculpts from the first 21 Kinnikuman parts.
MUSCLE figures come in nine (9) basic colors (there was a board game which included a tenth (10) exclusive, Light Purple color). However, not all MUSCLE sculpts can be found in all colors. Furthermore, sculpt-color combinations (aka figures) can be found in varying abundance: common, uncommon, and rare.
By using knowledge of how Kinnikuman and MUSCLE toys were produced (family molds/trees), which sculpts belonged to each Kinnikuman part, and the MUSCLE Database (MDB), we were able to determine with great (but not complete) certainty which sculpts were made in which colors and approximately how abundantly each sculpt-color combination was produced.
For a detailed explanation visit: The MUSCLE Color Code at The University of MUSCLE
Thanks to the MCC, we can say which trees are available in which colors, and whether a tree-color combination is common, uncommon, or rare.
However, we donâ€™t know why trees are available in some colors but not others. We also donâ€™t know why some tree-color combinations (TCC) are common, uncommon, or rare.
We need to decode the MCC!
We need collectors to contribute 1) objective facts about the MUSCLE toy line, and 2) more theories that explain the MCC.
What we know
1) There is no one color that is rare in all tree-color combinations. In other words, all colors can be found in common, uncommon, and rare tree-color combinations.
2) There is no sculpt that is rare in all TCCs. In other words, there is no sculpt that is rare in all its color combinations.
3) Some TCC are rare.
4) Mattel/Bandai appear to have had excellent quality control.
5) Bandai made all standard Kinkeshi trees (of which MUSCLE is a remake) in all five basic colors: flesh, yellow, green, orange, blue. They did not make all MUSCLE trees in all nine basic colors.
6) Bandai made all standard Kinkeshi trees (of which MUSCLE is a remake) in all five basic colors in the same abundance (common). They did not make all MUSCLE trees in all nine basic colors in the same abundance.
7) No tree was made in more than 8 of the 9 colors.
8) No tree was made in fewer than 5 of the 9 colors.
1) The 28-pack theory
The 28-pack theory dictates that certain sculpt-color combinations were assigned to each of the unique 28-packs. Therefore, the MCC is a result of production of the 28-packs.
However, detailed analysis of this theory hasn't been conclusive.
2) The Factors of Four (4) theory
My personal favorite.
This theory dictates that MUSCLE figures were produced in sets of four colors. Notable is the fact that Kinnikuman were made in flesh, but then in four colors: orange, yellow, green, and blue.
No MUSCLE tree is found in fewer than four colors. MUSCLEs came in 4-packs and 28-packs, both multiples of four. Ten-packs of course break this trend, but also seemed to be random.
Could the abundancy of color production per tree be due to production overlap? For example, say a MUSCLE tree was first made in two runs of four colors:
1) Red, Dark Blue, Green, Orange, ------------
2) Red, -------------, Green, Orange, Light Blue
This theoretical tree would Common in Red, Green, and Orange, and Rare in Dark Blue and Light Blue.
More evidence/analysis is needed to confirm/deny this theory.
3) Set Quantity Per Tree theory
This theory dictates that Mattel wanted to produce a set quantity of pieces per tree. Thus, if a tree was comprised of few sculpts (lets say 4) then it would need to be made a little in lots of colors, or made a lot in a few colors.
An analysis of the MUSCLE trees doesn't appear to support this theory.
4) Colors w/ a set amount of sculpts and/or trees
This theory dictates that Mattel wanted colors to be used a set amount of times: so for example, Green, Orange, and Magenta will each be used with 35 sculpts, and D. Blue, Red, and Purple will also be used 35 sculpts.
At this time, no such pattern has been identified with how colors were distributed among the sculpts/trees.
Edited by Soupie, 28 February 2014 - 06:41 AM.