The Return of MUSCLE?


For the second year in a row, Mattel has teased the return of MUSCLE to store shelves.   Please read on after the break.

Now, MUSCLE was originally a Japanese import, sort of – they brought over about half of the little rubber Kinnikuman toy line (kinkeshi), but without the plot or characters (though “Muscleman” is a perfect translation of “Kinnikuman.”  Terri-Bull and Buffaloman have nothing in common, though).  And the proposed revival will be divorced from Kinnikuman – a mix between actual wrestlers (like the Road Warriors up there), and original concepts.  ‘Course, it’s not a stress to say that the original concepts would be wild and wacky, and probably include a few nods to the original – anybody else remember THE CLAW?

The Claw

Yeah, this guy is worth an insane amount of money now.

My 2000th Photo - The Original 10-pack!

My 10-pack. About half of them have survived since my 4th birthday, exactly 28 years ago to this day (happy birthday, me!)

But ANYWAY… I know, from modern standards, mono-colored minis seem quaint, but you’ve gotta understand, MUSCLE is what made me what I am today (that or the Remco Creature from the Black Lagoon).  It was that little 10-pack of weird, wild wrestlers that sent me irrevocably on the path to plastic monsterdom, and I know that a lot of people can say the same.  Would a new MUSCLE line survive at retail?  Maybe, maybe not, but I’d at least like to see it try!


So, Mattel has been shopping them around for a few Comic-Cons, flatly stating that they will bring MUSCLE back… if they get enough support.  So now it’s up to everybody – you, me, Alabama 3, something else that rhymes… let your voices be heard!  Express a desire for little inexpensive pinkish rubber wrestlers!  Yeah, I know it won’t be the same without the Kinnikuman license, but for those of us who grew up with MUSCLE, we didn’t know that they came from anything.  We just let our imagination do the work, and they inspired a whole bunch of people in the indy toy movement these days – October Toys, Onell Designs, TheGodBeast, and lots of others have either directly cited MUSCLE as their inspiration or expressed strong affection for the line.  And hey, like I said, they made me the insane hoarder I am today!

MUSCLE (My 1000th Picture!)

So let Mattel know, and help us bring back MUSCLE!


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  1. These look like fun. I like the idea of WWE characters going up against crazy invader wrestlers.

  2. clark

    Yeah, my musclemen are going to need to be a lot zanier to grab my attention.

  3. Enigma_2099

    I dunno. They'll need more than nostalgia to make it today.

  4. stack32

    I can't support these unless there's a thermometer.

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