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Mystery of the Non-MUSCLE Sculpts


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#1 Soupie

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 04:51 PM

I've always been bothered by the seeming randomness of the Non-MUSCLE sculpts. The Non-MUSCLE sculpts are the 45 Kinnikuman sculpts in Parts 1-21 that were not made into MUSCLE (46 if you include Satan Cross).

You can see ALL the Non-MUSCLE sculpts together here: The Non-MUSCLE Sculpts.

What is so "special" about these figs that caused them to be excluded from the MUSCLE toy line? I had a thought the other day... rather than choose not to produce these 45 sculpts, why not just make 45-sculpts-less worth of parts? How many of the last couple parts could simply not have been made and thus equal the 45 Non-MUSCLE sculpts? (I realize I may have lost some of you there.)

If Bandai/Mattel simply wanted the MUSCLE toy line to consist of 45 fewer sculpts than the Kinnikuman toy line (at that time) why not make all the parts in full, and simply stop 45 figures from the end of the Kinnikuman line? Maybe you're thinking it was easier just to pull the 45 sculpts from throughout the line -- perhaps leaving out entire parts would make it too difficult to get the magic number 45 right?

Wrong!

Part 19 = 20 sculpts

Part 20 = 10 sculpts

Part 21 = 15 sculpts

Total = 45 sculpts!


So if Bandai/Mattel wanted to leave out 45 sculpts from the Kinnikuman keshi line, wouldn't it have just been easier to simply not produce the last three parts? The MUSCLE toy line could consist of parts 1-18 in FULL and have the same number of figures it does now. This leads me to believe there was a purposeful reason for leaving the 45 Non-MUSCLE sculpts out of the MUSCLE toy line.
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#2 Ericnilla

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 06:43 PM

i've never actually seen these in flesh for sale. i always see them as one color or another... are they harder to find in flesh~?
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#3 Soupie

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:01 PM

This leads me to believe there was a purposeful reason for leaving the 45 Non-MUSCLE sculpts out of the MUSCLE toy line.

I should say: "This leads me to believe there is a non-random reason for leaving these particular 45 sculpts out of the MUSCLE line."

Edited by Soupie, 24 January 2008 - 07:02 PM.

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#4 General Veers

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:12 PM

This leads me to believe there was a purposeful reason for leaving the 45 Non-MUSCLE sculpts out of the MUSCLE toy line.

I should say: "This leads me to believe there is a non-random reason for leaving these particular 45 sculpts out of the MUSCLE line."

I couldn't agree more with this, but I bet there is a simple reason. For example, they don't want a Nazi fiigure - but that means they have to cut Tree 7, which means they lose 10 figures. Or something like that.

If it's not something as simple as that, then it's probably oddly complex. For example, Factory 1 couldn't give Factory 2 a copy of the molds fast enough so those molds were dropped.
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#5 arforbes

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 07:17 PM

I think you may be onto something here Soupie, or could it merely be coincidence? Not sure because Satancross was from part 21 which makes me think that he was originally to be part of the Muscle line. In addition, Mattel purposely left off the back legs and we have seen SC in Muscle packaging numerous times. That makes me think he was included on purpose. So there you have it, the magical 45 remain.

Of course that is not including the Super Rares from Parts 22 and up, but thus far those have ony been found in Japan.

What if our 45 missing links are all out there among collections in flesh, like we have seen? Sweet!

We have found a few missing links like SHA, BHS, DM, DE, Dr. Bonbe, Kneeling Geronimo-(In Red), and possibly Robinmask's Father-(Unconfirmed).

Interesting to say the least...
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#6 BaltanII

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 09:02 PM

I couldn't agree more with this, but I bet there is a simple reason. For example, they don't want a Nazi fiigure - but that means they have to cut Tree 7, which means they lose 10 figures. Or something like that.


Part 1 has only one dropped figure, and whaddya know, a Nazi.

Part 2 has three dropped sculpts, and I don't have the slightest idea what could be a problem with them.

Part 3 only has that little kid dropped.

Part 5 dropped six figures, including a Nazi, a hooded figure with a cross over his face, and some bewbies.

Part 6 dropped two, and neither looked particularly offensive.

Part 7 dropped two other unoffensive figures.

Part 8 has six figures dropped, one being another woman and another wearing a tutu and generally looking disturbing.

Part 9 dropped four figures, one being what looks like a naked kid, another with a very large gun.

Part 10 dropped two figures; another Nazi!

Part 11 dropped two more unoffensive figures.

Part 13 dropped one, the kneeling Geronimo.

Part 14 dropped two, a chibi Kinnikuman and another Geronimo.

Part 15 dropped three, including a certain Super Rare master and Black Emperor.

Part 17 dropped one, the baby Meat.

Part 18 dropped one, the Kinnikuman with key.

Part 19 dropped one more innoffensive guy.

Part 20 dropped two, one Solder in what looks like a priest's robes.

Part 21 is the big whammy, losing six figures... but wait! Satan Cross exists, does he not? Just in flesh. We also have the Black Hole Sunshine and Spinning Head Ashuraman.

I think Veers is on to something, but for whatever reason, many apparently unproblematic figures got the axe in the process. Also, a pattern is formed in how many figures are dropped from a specific series.

Parts 1, 3, 13, 17, 18, and 19 dropped one figure.

Parts 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, and 20 dropped two figures.

Parts 2 and 15 dropped three figures.

Part 9 dropped four figures.

Parts 5 and 8 dropped six figures.

Part 21 would eventually come to drop a total of six sculpts, but in reality one happens to be an uncommon figure in flesh and two are well-known super-rares. So it fluctuates between 3 and at most 6.

Part 1 has 20 figures total, down to 19. 19

Part 2 has 20 figures total, down to 17. 17

Part 3 has 12 figures total, down to 11. Add with Pt20=19.

Part 4 has 10 figures total. Add with Pt18=19

Part 5 has 22 figures total, down to 17. 17

Part 6 has 7 figures total, down to 5. Add with Pt7=19.

Part 7 has 16 figures total, down to 14. -----

Part 8 has 23 figures total, down to 17. 17

Part 9 has 12 figures total, down to 8. Add with Pt13=19.

Part 10 has 11 figures total, down to 9. Add with Pt11=19.

Part 11 has 12 figures total, down to 10. -----

Part 12 has 6 figures total. Add with Pt14=17.

Part 13 has 12 figures total, down to 11. -----

Part 14 has 13 figures total, down to 11. -----

Part 15 has 10 figures total, down to 7. Add with Pt21=19? 17? 16?.

Part 16 has 6 figures total. Add with Pt17=17

Part 17 has 12 figures total, down to 11. -----

Part 18 has 10 figures total, down to 9. -----

Part 19 has 20 figures total, down to 19. 19

Part 20 has 10 figures total, down to 8. -----

Part 21 has 15 figures. It went down to 9... eventually. With SC, it was 10, and with SHE and BHS, 12. -----

This is an absolute mess, but I'm working on it. Still, you guys might see what I'm getting at - after knowing certain figures had to be cut for silly PC reasons, perhaps the manufacturing process would be streamlined by throwing sets together? The patterns of 17 and 19 figures from a single part or from two parts combined is at least suspicious, if it means anything at all.
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#7 General Veers

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 06:02 AM

I think we’re on the same page, but cracking the logic/code is going to be insanely difficult. Not from a numbers point of view, but from a mold point of view.

If one figure is removed from a part, to me, that suggests independent figure molds.

Or maybe each mold held two figures? So if I pull the Nazi figure, it actually removes two figures from the process. But maybe the mold had two different figures, then it makes sense that a Part would be missing two figures.

But what about three? Were four figures removed with a “one figure” mold and a “two figure” mold?

As we go through this process, I’d encourage everyone to include their thought process. I think brainstorming is going to be very important to this process.
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#8 DaHumorist

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 06:36 AM

No matter how I hard I try, I have no idea what you're talking about. Haha :lol:
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#9 Soupie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:48 AM

Does anybody remember which thread it was where I posted my concept drawing of what the kinnikuman/MUSCLE molding process looked like? That may help some people figure out what is being discussed here.
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#10 Tortle

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:59 AM

Bingo! I found it:

Thread: More MUSCLE Clues on Naochin's Site, Another "missing" Sculpt

Posted Image

But if the molds were interchangeable, that would mean that the Kinnikuman trees aren't constant, which would then call into question the validity of the MUSCLE color code. For example, if a mold could be taken out, it might be inserted as well. So, the MUSCLE trees could be totally different from the Kinnikuman trees.

But the MUSCLE trees seem to follow the pattern of the Kinnikuman trees, so I suspect that instead of each individual mold being able to be removed, the branch to the mold could be "shut off" or blocked so the plastic wouldn't inject the mold. Does that make sense? Then, Mattel could arbitrarily choose which molds not to include in their MUSCLE line.
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#11 General Veers

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:11 AM

But if they can make arbitrary decisions on singular figures, why would some of the non-offensive figures be removed?

We know they trumpeted the approximately 200 figures. Something made them settle on a number.

We know they didn’t just use every figure from each part.

I really think the molds had to be at least partially connected in some way. So Mattel says, “We don’t want any Nazi figures.”

Bandai says, “That’s fine, but you’ll also lose figures X, Y, and Z because they’re all part of one mold.”
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#12 Soupie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:29 AM

But the MUSCLE trees seem to follow the pattern of the Kinnikuman trees, so I suspect that instead of each individual mold being able to be removed, the branch to the mold could be "shut off" or blocked so the plastic wouldn't inject the mold. Does that make sense? Then, Mattel could arbitrarily choose which molds not to include in their MUSCLE line.

So Mattel says, “We don’t want any Nazi figures.”

Bandai says, “That’s fine, but you’ll also lose figures X, Y, and Z because they’re all part of one mold.”

Yes! I think you're both correct.

Not only do the MUSCLE colors confirm that the mold groupings stayed the same, but thr re-release sets also confirm the static nature of the parts/molds.

Veers, if you recall, in what little "internets"research I've done on molding of plastics, it is not uncommon for molders to "plug" certain molds in a family mold, but (!) when this is done, the balance of the mold can be negatively affected -- therefore, often times another mold in the family mold must also be plugged to maintain the balance.

For example, if mold #3 were to be plugged in the below example, mold #6 would also have to be plugged to maintain the balance -- even if there is only a "problem" with one of them.

Posted Image

(Thanks for tracking this image down, Tortle.)
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#13 Tortle

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:31 AM

I really think the molds had to be at least partially connected in some way. So Mattel says, “We don’t want any Nazi figures.”


But aren't the trees one mold? If they're not, then there would be no pattern to the MUSCLE color code because the molds could be interchangeable.

Let's take Part 1 for example. I'm thinking that Part 1 had two molds: Tree 1 and Tree 2, each with 10 figures. Broken Jr. was removed from Tree 1 because that tree has only 9 figures.

So, considering that...

1) The MUSCLE Color Code seems to form discernible patterns.
2) This seems to indicate that the trees were fixed and that the figures were not interchangeable (otherwise, there would be no pattern).
3) Despite this, Broken Jr. was excluded from Part 1.

I'd say that each tree is a singular fixed mold and that each mold could be "switched off" somehow. I think it would be pretty easy to do that; all you have to do is block the branch with a piece of wax or something.

Some figures make sense to switch off, like Broken and that African-looking guy. I have no idea why they would switch others off; it could have been just arbitrary marketing decisions by Mattel.

EDIT: I see... that seems pretty reasonable Soupie. But then again, also consider that Broken was the only mold excluded from Part 1.
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#14 Soupie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:35 AM

EDIT: I see... that seems pretty reasonable Soupie. But then again, also consider that Broken was the only mold excluded from Part 1.

Yep, therein lies the problem with this particular theory... But perhaps removing one sculpt from that particular mold didn't cause and imbalance. (And now we've reached the point of mere speculation.)
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#15 TheOrgg

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:44 AM

Well, what if Brocken was balanced on Tree One, Part One? If he was on the far left and right, that could explain why he's the only one missing.

B+++++++++
====[=]====
+++++++++B

B=Brocken

...but if there's disproportionate amounts, say on Tree One, Part 2, if Mister Kahmen (M) was opposite Stetcase King (S), it might have to look like this if they didn't like Stetcase King and needed to remove it for reasons of balance:

++S++++M++
====[=]====
++M++++S++

(I need to look at the Kinniku-String. If they don't go 1->10 then 10->1, this logic is flawed, but from what I remember, this is correct)

EDIT: Ok, I was wrong. http://www.littlerub...d...ost&id=4624

Alright. I've got no clue. The only thing I can think of is if Brocken was right by the injection site. It looks like those are counterbalanced to each other. Looking at the string, this one probably isn't the best indicator, as the smaller figures of Meat and Nachi probably cause it to look differently than the other strings.

Edited by theorgg, 31 January 2008 - 08:57 AM.

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#16 Tortle

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:55 AM

Hm! Interesting! I think you have it reversed, because if you remove one mold from each side and the ordering is reversed, then it would be balanced. But I think you might be on to something here.

It seems like the trees run from 1 -> 10 on each side. Check out this image for details. So, by your terminology, the tree with Mister Kahmen and Stetcase King might theoretically run like this:

++S++++M++
====[=]====
++S++++M++

But this totally makes sense. In removing Mister Kahmen (X), you would have imbalance:

++S++++X++
====[=]====
++S++++X++

The mold would then be left-heavy. So, you then have to remove Stetcase King to even it out:

++X++++X++
====[=]====
++X++++X++

In the case of Broken, it could be that he was actually in the middle and it didn't make much of a difference when he was removed:

++++X+++++
====[=]====
++++X+++++

There's a slight imbalance, but maybe not enough to be of any concern.
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#17 Soupie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:01 AM

Good stuff, guys! :D It is a fact that molds/chambers further out from the center (or where the plastic enters) tend to have the most problems filling if indeed there is a problem -- so it's not too much of a stretch to imagine the above scenario being a reality.
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#18 TheOrgg

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:02 AM

Heh. Looks like I didn't actually need to search the Sightings forum for the picture or edit my post-- I could've let Tortle do it for me. :D
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#19 Tortle

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:35 AM

Thinking further, I think there are three main reason why Mattel didn't use certain sculpts:

1) The sculpt was offensive (Broken, African guy). This reason is obvious.
2) The sculpt was prone to damage. Because MUSCLEs used different plastic than Kinkeshi, certain sculpts may be prone to breaking. For example, I'd imagine this guy's antennae would certainly break during the packaging process if he was a MUSCLE:
Posted Image
3) Because of the removal of offensive or damage-prone sculpts, other sculpts were then excluded for balance reasons.

This might actually go a long way to explain the Super-Rares. Let's take Part 15 as an example. Two of the three figures here may be prone to breaking: Drunken Master (because of his cane) and that guy with the antennae. Hypothetically, Dark Emperor could have been removed for balance reasons.

But a few Super-Rares do, in fact, exist. So, I think it's possible that Mattel noticed some Super-Rare molds to be prone to damage after a few had gone through the packaging process (or, conversely, the mold that would balance a Super-Rare was defective). Mattel then could have plugged the hole, but rather than remove the few that had gone through the process undamaged, it allowed them to be sold.

As an example, we can kind of reconstruct what may have happened with Part 15:

1) Mattel immediately recognizes that guy with antennae will be defective, and they plug the mold before production begins. Guy is in the middle of the mold, so there's no problem with balance.
2) After a few batches are made and packaged, Mattel notices that either Drunken Master or Dark Emperor tend to break a lot. They plug the mold in one, and for balance reasons, have to plug the hole in the other.

What do you guys think?
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#20 BaltanII

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:35 AM

I like where you're going with this, Nate. It would also explain the pattern of odd numbers if the sculpts getting removed alone were ones that were just off-center.

I was also concocting some theory where the manufacturing of the Wrestling Ring figures caused SHA and BHS to be replaced entirely on the tree, or added to the end to make it much easier to create the Ring figures. I also intentionally paired Parts 15 and 21 together because of a grouping together of Board Game figures, but that was part of the loss of my train of thought last night. I'm down with a stomach virus too, and that isn't helping. :D
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#21 General Veers

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 12:04 PM

The theory seems to work for this group of SR’s, but what about the others?

If you look at the 11 they are all pretty hardy figures. DM is really the only SR that has a breakable piece - although the detachable pieces are fragile.

And even if detachable pieces are a catalyst for “blocking” what about SC? He’s never released with his second half. Although didn’t someone suggest his second piece was a separate mold? If that’s the case it might actually strength this argument.

Legs-X-X-X-X-SC
==============
SC-X-X-X-X-Legs

I guess a question does arise, why isn’t he made in a color?
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#22 Tortle

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 12:44 PM

Satan Cross was connected to his legs, in kind of the same way the tree is connected to the figures.

Let's look at some of the other Super Rares and their relations to the unproduced figures:

Part 21

BHS - Fragile
Satan Cross - Fragile
SHA - Fragile
DR. Bonbe - a-okay
New Ashuraman - Fragile
King Robin Mask - Fragile

It's possible that SHA and BHS were "plugged" for quality control reasons because their bits kept breaking off. In fact, since there are similar numbers of them around, they could have been plugged at the same time. Mattel might have taken longer to plug Satan Cross. Maybe they thought that he was a more "complete" figure without his extra part than BHS or SHA. King Robin Mask might have been plugged because of breakage, and then Dr. Bonbe was plugged for balancing. New Ashuraman was plugged from the start, and along with Satan Cross, was presumably towards the center of the mold.

The 11 might have been pulled for slightly different reasons. They're from Parts 22 and 23, and no other MUSCLEs from those waves exist, so those parts could have started production, but then been discontinued entirely very early on. For Part 22, Ramenman C and D, as well as Warsman, might be considered fragile and pulled. Depending on where they are on the tree, that means that Mattel might have needed to pull three other figures off the tree for balance. So, six of the ten figures were pulled, making it kind of pointless to produce only 4 figures from the part, and the whole part was scrapped.

For Part 24, you have four fragile figures (Satan Cross D, Neptune Man C and D, and Missileman), and one offensive figure (Brokenman). So, that's 5 of the 13, and again, depending on where they are on the tree, could mean that another 5 were removed for balancing. Again, the whole part was scrapped.

As for the colored Super-Rares, who knows... mistakes of production? Maybe they forgot which molds were plugged for the flesh wave and accidentally made them again for the colored wave.
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#23 Soupie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:02 PM

1) The sculpt was offensive (Broken, African guy). This reason is obvious.

2) The sculpt was prone to damage. Because MUSCLEs used different plastic than Kinkeshi, certain sculpts may be prone to breaking. For example, I'd imagine this guy's antennae would certainly break during the packaging process if he was a MUSCLE:

3) Because of the removal of offensive or damage-prone sculpts, other sculpts were then excluded for balance reasons.

I think you're certainly on to something, Tortle. A quick glance over the NMS shows 15 of them that have thin/delicate sculpt features. However, it's possible that along with or instead of the sculpts breaking when made in MUSCLE plastic, it's also possible that the molds/chambers simply didn't fill correctly with MUSCLE plastic as they had been designed for softer keshi plastic. Just a thought.

For example, I could see the pretzel-guy mold not filling properly with MUSCLE plastic.

Posted Image

If you look at the 11 they are all pretty hardy figures. DM is really the only SR that has a breakable piece - although the detachable pieces are fragile.

And even if detachable pieces are a catalyst for “blocking” what about SC? He’s never released with his second half. Although didn’t someone suggest his second piece was a separate mold? If that’s the case it might actually strength this argument.

I think the M11 are a separate case from the Non-MUSCLE sculpts (NMS) and Super Rares (SRs). I don't think the existence of the M11 are connected to the NMS or the part 1-21 SRs.

I tend to believe that SC's 2nd set of legs were a separate mold/chamber than the body. In all the years of searching YJP, we have never seen part 21 SC with his legs attached. I personally do not think they were connected by a sprue. (The upcoming re-release should settle this once and for all. I had this section typed up before I saw your above post, Tortle.) Here's a very speculative theory on why SC is only found in flesh.

(1) Along with the other nixed NMS, Mattel/Bandai decide that the SC body and legs are NOT to be made into a MUSCLE.
(2) SC is therefore not featured on the MUSCLE poster.
(3) However, since the legs are in their own separate chamber, when Bandai ceases to cast them, they mistakenly continue to cast the SC body at normal capacity.
(4) When Mattel/Bandai decide to produce MUSCLEs in the additional colors, the mistake of producing SCs body is corrected.
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#24 Tortle

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:20 PM

However, it's possible that along with or instead of the sculpts breaking when made in MUSCLE plastic, it's also possible that the molds/chambers simply didn't fill correctly with MUSCLE plastic as they had been designed for softer keshi plastic. Just a thought.


Huh! That's totally possible, too. I can especially see what you mean with the pretzel guy.

I tend to believe that SC's 2nd set of legs were a separate mold/chamber than the body. In all the years of searching YJP, we have never seen part 21 SC with his legs attached. I personally do not think they were connected by a sprue.


Oh, okay. I just assumed he was constructed like the other Satan Crosses.
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#25 Soupie

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:30 PM

...but, it's hard to imagine a reason why Bandai would break the "tradition" of connecting the extra piece -- in this case, legs -- to the main sculpt, especially since other SC sculpts with legs just as bulky as part 21's are attached. Like I said, the re-release will hopefully answer this for us.
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