Monday, August 6, 2012

What was so great about the 80s? M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures!!!

I was born in 1979.  Eleven days into the 80s decade my parents celebrated my 1st birthday.  My childhood was spent collecting, eating, watching, and listening to whatever garbage the junk food and entertainment industries could pump into my tiny hands and head.  I plan to celebrate this delectable garbage in future posts dedicated to the decade that helped form who I am today.  I will start by giving praise to the little pink men who invaded my birthday cake on my seventh birthday back in 1986.  These miniature people were known as Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere, or M.U.S.C.L.E.
Love at first sight

They infested my brother's cake too.
Fast forward 26 years later and I'm going through an upstairs room in my parents' house looking for some toys to complement the rock house my four year old had built by the pool.  Overcome by joy and nostalgia, I bring down the 200 or so little figures my mom had kept since the days I used to build rock houses, and so my obsession begins...
I took the little figures home and began to search for more on Ebay and discover their origins via YouTube. I learned that these inch and a half creatures originally came from Japan and were called Kinnikuman.  They were based on a comic series that later became a cartoon and finally action figures.  When Mattel picked them up for the U.S. brats, their story was left overseas. They were given the name M.U.S.C.L.E. and their individual names and personalities were left up for us to decide.  Here is an informative video I found for those who'd like to know more:Personally, I was a little disappointed to find out the whole story behind these guys.  I liked being the one to give them names and decide which ones were good and evil.  But it's still pretty cool to find out that their beginnings go further back than my birthday cake.  I've also discovered that some of these figures go for a pretty hefty price online and there are many sites out there dedicated to reminiscing, trading, painting, and creating imitations of these collectible little gems. Here are a few of my favorites that I've painted.  Some collectors believe a paint job might devalue them, so I only painted my doubles.  Thanks for reading.  Thanks for looking. 
Custom Painted M.U.S.C.L.E. Figures by Joe Whiteford

For even more information and close up pics of all the M.U.S.C.L.E. characters check out and


  1. I remember those little guys and probably have some in an attic somewhere. I love the paint jobs and think they look even more collectible with snazzy new duds. But maybe that's just me ;)

  2. good day you can buy these figures?my contact