WEAKLY, SCARFACE, & WOLVERINE
For those of you unfamiliar with MUSCLES they were a bunch of crazy looking wrestling figures about 2 inches tall and made out of solid flesh colored plastic. Later figures came in a multitude of solid colors but all of the ones I had were of the flesh colored variety. MUSCLE was an acronym for Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. You could purchase them in a variety of ways, either in small blister packs of 4 figures, plastic garbage cans containing 10 figures or large box sets of 28 figures. Some of the likeness’ originated in Japan from a line of figures called Kinnikuman; maybe they all did but I’m not sure. A small comic strip on the back of the 28 pack named the good guy leader as Muscle-Man and the bad guy leader as Terri-Bull. Other than the names of those two characters no other information was provided. Like Battle Beasts these figures provided a clean slate on which you could weave your own web of continuity. Doug and I each owned a 28 pack of figures and a few other random ones. Doug had a garbage can set and I think we got a couple blister packs as well plus I seem to recall trading a friend for some. One thing I would’ve loved to have as a kid was a checklist of some type. I had no idea how many of these things there were to collect. Doug and I had a sizable collection but knowing the wide array of characters that my friends had that we didn’t it seemed as though there was an unlimited number of figures available. The internet would’ve come in handy.
Other kids may have used these figures to play out all kinds of adventure scenarios but Doug and I kept pretty close to the wrestling angle. We used them in the same way we played with our WWF figures. We never had the wrestling ring that was available but it kinda sucked anyway. We would use the bottom of the 28 pack as a wrestling mat and we just pretended that there were ropes. We set up elaborate tag teams and rivalries and held Wrestlemania like events. Oddly enough I don’t recall Doug ever keeping stats.
Since these characters didn’t come with names it was up to us to name them all. Honestly I can’t remember most of the names I gave these guys. I knew I wouldn’t have enough to say about each individual figure to fill an entire post so I decided to break them into groups. Some characters fought alone, some had tag-team partners that seemed super obvious and others less so and then there were a few “families”. These were groups of characters that shared certain features and so we grouped them into larger teams similar to WWF’s Degeneration X WCW’s NWO. The three characters I’ve chosen for this entry were one such family but I can’t for the life of me remember what it was called. You can clearly see the similarities in their costumes though so it seemed like a no-brainer to team them up. I like the teams look with the funky helmets and buckled boots. I was always impressed at the amount of detail they were able to squeeze into these figures though this group isn’t the best example of that. The only name I’m certain of in this group is the little guy on the left whom I dubbed Weakly for obvious reasons. He looks like a total wimp but I treated him as an underdog not to be trifled with. With his arms posed the way they are he’s perfectly posed to unleash a flurry of devastating blows on an unsuspecting opponent. The next guy is Scarface, also for obvious reasons. If that wasn’t his name before it sure is now. His mangled robotic face made me wonder if all of these guys were mechanical beneath their creepy face masks. I treated his as kind of a mindless brute zombie. Lastly we have a guy who I think I called Wolverine because of the little claws he has on his knuckles. Because of his crazed smile I imagined this guy to be a bit of a maniac who would go into berserker rages when pushed to the edge. They made for a cool little team, 7 out of 10.