We’re buying classic toys! Here’s what we’re looking for:
Shogun Warriors (1970s)
Godzilla/ Ultraman/ Toho (1980s and earlier)
And that’s not all. Email us at email@example.com to schedule a collection review!
My Life with M.U.S.C.L.E.
It was 1985 when an impressionable seven-year-old fanatic saw a TV commercial for a new line of toys called M.U.S.C.L.E. - an acronym for Millions of Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. The commercial looked like a black and white atomic age horror movie, with screaming crowds running in terror from bizarre-looking pink figures. They were awesome, and I knew immediately that I had to have some.
Later that week, I was with my parents in the department store when I saw the brilliant blue-hued display in the toy section. I stared at dozens of clear-windowed packs with different configurations of four figures when it dawned on me. These weren’t just monsters… they were intergalactic pro wrestler monsters! I only thought I needed them before. Seeing them, I knew this would be my latest collection. Mutant alligators, walking archways, a bull guy, spike-headed dudes - and there were millions of them (or so I thought at the time.) And remember, this was 1985. Hulkamania was still running wild. I tuned in for every Friday Night’s Main Event to watch Macho Man Randy Savage deliver high-flying elbows and Rowdy Roddy Piper torment some foolish jobber. Now I could enact my own pro wrestling matches with little guys that had drills for hands or wooly mammoth heads. They were the coolest little toys I had ever seen. And then I noticed the trash cans.
For the kids that wanted to spend their whole allowance, there were trash cans molded in translucent plastic that each held ten figures. Now what kind of secret characters were hidden in those? Even squinting, I couldn’t make out any of the fine details. And why trash cans? You know what, it didn’t matter. I was also obsessed with Garbage Pail Kids, so they were cool. Even as a kid I had an inkling of what marketing was, though I wouldn’t know the word for it until years later. I was transfixed, and knew that I needed one of these trash cans.
I also looked at the four different 28 packs that had set figures you could mostly see. Cosmic Crunchers? Thug Busters? Awesome! But there was no way I was going to be able to talk the parental units into getting one of those expensive sets for me.
I did, however, finagle my way into getting a trash can, and cracked it open on the way home. I spent hours looking at all the figures and deciding order of importance and wrestling skill. It had begun. Soon I would be trading figures with my friends and trying to get them all. The following year they introduced the same figures in multiple colors, which would make that goal an even bigger challenge.
All the stories and all the character names were ours to make up (with the exception of the two characters named on the packaging, MuscleMan and Terri-Bull.) It was one of the only toy lines of the 80s that didn’t have a tie-in cartoon or comic book. (It actually did, but we had no idea that M.U.S.C.L.E. was the American version of a Japanese manga and toy series called Kinnikuman.) The variance between what figures were good guys and which ones were bad guys between the respective armies of my cousin and myself were staggering and sources of a few heated disagreements. There was nothing better than spreading out all of our figures for The Trade.
I’m a lifelong fan of M.U.S.C.L.E. because of the intricate detail in the figures, the overall strangeness of the series, and the insane variety. There weren’t quite a million figures, but there are over 200 unique sculpts and multiple color variations. I did eventually (in my adulthood) complete the basic flesh-colored set, and now I’m working on getting more red, dark blue, light blue, magenta, salmon, orange, green, and purple M.U.S.C.L.E.s. I have no doubt that the childhood thrill I had cracking open that first trash can has led to my modern-day love of collecting blind box figures. I’m excited to bring my doubles to Guzu and acquire more collections so that I can share one of my favorite hobbies with any of you interested in starting a really oddball new collection. You’ll love when children of the 80s see them and declare “I remember those guys!”