My M.U.S.C.L.E. Childhood

Sometimes I forget the "glory days" of MUSCLEs from my childhood. Back then, I had never heard of "Kinnikuman", nor did I suspect the presence of super-rares or Satan Cross, nor did I even know about all the figures on the poster (I didn't own one). Here are some of the MUSCLE "artifacts" that still survive from my childhood. Keep in mind that I had forgotten most of these names by the time I started collecting as an adult, so they may be different from those of my Photoshopped MUSCLEs.

MUSCLE Drawings and Name List

This is the folder in which I used to place my MUSCLE-related "paperwork", like drawings. Although it's not really MUSCLE-related, it's pretty sweet nonetheless.

This first picture featured "Commode" (#80), "Nastidon" (#163), "Spraa" (#74), and "Monument" (#212). It also looks like I tried to draw Tortle, but wasn't quite able to get the likeness down. The number at the top, 64, either indicates the number of MUSCLEs I had at the time, or my favorite Commodore computer. It's interesting to note that I kept track of which MUSCLEs came in my first MUSCLE purchase, the Mighty Maulers 28-pack.

This picture shows my interpretation of the impending MUSCLE Invasion mentioned in the TV commercials! Featured are #115, #111, #95, #158, #84, #121, and #127. I wanted to fill up the page with MUSCLEs and show what a real MUSCLE invasion would look like, but I obviously lost interest.

This is another group shot of some of my favorite MUSCLEs. This picture features Tortle (#204, called simply "Tort"), "Scale" #6, "Slobber" #112, "Muscle Master" #57, "Head-Les" #87, and "Dream" #214.

Here's another MUSCLE picture I drew in my diary (see below), featuring the Claw and Night Tiger (my name for Zebra Kinnikuman).

I apparently attempted to give all my MUSCLEs names. Some of the names are actually a neat play on words ("Nastidon"), but you'll notice that the quality of the names declines the more MUSCLEs I tried to name. And just remember, "if it's spelled wrong, that's the way I want it"!

MUSCLEs in my Diary

As a munchkin, I used to keep a diary. It's a little feminine, sure, but not when it's used for my purposes.

My diary was used for two things: as a centralized location for the coolest stickers (I doubt the authenticity of that Donkey Kong Jr. high score as I really couldn't get past the first or second level) and to chronicle important toy acquisitions, like those below.

Dec. 1985: Here, I list the toys I got for Christmas, 1985. Omega Supreme, Jetfire... holy crapcakes, this was probably the best Christmas I ever had. Truthfully, until now, I never realized what a spoiled little bitch I was.

Feb. 1986: I obviously also had a few entries about MUSCLEs. This entry shows not only my first few MUSCLE purchases (which was apparently in or before Feb. 1986) but also my first attempt at doing the first thing that kids think about when they get a lot of MUSCLEs: set them up, domino style.

Sept. 1, 1986: Ah, Labor Day: the most hated day of Summer Vacation, the last day before returning to school. Not only that, but apparently my MUSCLE Wrestling Ring broke after only one day! Talk about adding insult to injury! But it seems I got compensation later: two ten-packs to replace it. At this time, I counted 133 MUSCLEs in my collection, which according to later counts, was apparently wishful thinking.

Sept. 16, 1986: I chronicle my first encounter with colored MUSCLE Things in this journal entry (September 1986), and I express how incredibly and undeniably awesome Baby Muscle is. I suppose I was neglecting old friends like Tortle, since the list of my favorite toys don't even include him (Plum, by the way, was my teddy bear).

July 17, 1987: I discoverd that placing MUSCLEs in Mad Scientist Lab goo (like Monster Flesh or Living Ice) for extended periods actually stained the figures. It was a cool way to add some color to the monochromatic MUSCLEs. Dusty (my moniker for my plush Alf) tops my list of favorite toys, even over Plum, which clearly indicates severe dilusion.

July 19, 1987: Here we see why I'm not an accountant: I list 112 MUSCLEs in my collection, when my previous count was 133. Apparently, I also discovered the fun I could have by torturing MUSCLEs, and the MUSCLE legend known as Test Muscle is born! And how, pray tell, did I expect to "hunt" black birds?

Feb. 27, 1988: My torture of Test Muscle continues, despite Geneva Convention regulations. And you know a kid loves his Dinobots when he accounts for the anniversary of their purchase!

July 8th, 1988: I gave my official stamp of approval to Test Muscle's request for retirement on this date. He gave me a year of good service and deserved to live his golden years in peace. I also vow never to get dizzy again, and I'm proud to say that I've been clean almost 20 years... as long as you don't count alcohol-induced dizzyness.