Back in the 80’s it seems toy makers were doing some special drugs and came up with some of the strangest ideas ever. Case in point, M.U.S.C.L.E. What was M.U.S.C.L.E. you ask? Well M.U.S.C.L.E. stands for Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. They were 2” tall non-articulated pink plastic toys that were intergalactic wrestlers. Yes, wrestlers. From outer space. I couldn’t make this up.
In the first wave there were 236 figures available and were packaged in three different ways. There were blister packs containing four figures, ten packs in clear plastic trash cans and boxed twenty-eight packs. Also available was a wrestling belt that also doubled as a carrying case and a wrestling ring. The second and third wave of figures were repaints of the existing figures which added new colors to the mix besides the pink fleshy color of the earlier toys. One of the cool accessories from this toy line was a mail-away poster that had a picture of every available figure. This is where we learned that there were two named characters, Muscle Man and Terri-Bull.
And since M.U.S.C.L.E. was based on a Japanese toy there was a crazy back story about Muscle Man leading the Thug Busters and Terri-Bull leading the Cosmic Crushers in a battle for intergalactic dominance through wrestling. Granted it’s not as crazy as some other toys (I’m looking at you Sectaurs) but who comes up with this stuff? I had a ton of these things but never quite completed my collection. And some of the sculpts were pretty insane.
M.U.S.C.L.E. was only distributed through Mattel and were only available from 1985-1988 but they did become very popular during their short run and even had a video game on the NES. Like I said, I had a ton of these things as well as the wrestling ring and I enjoyed many hours of playtime. Sadly, most of my M.U.S.C.L.E. figures disappeared over time and I now just have one but I do have a special place in my heart for these unusual small creatures and I like to think they are still battling for intergalactic dominance. Where ever they lurk.
As a side not, JAKKS Pacific has a new line of toys coming out later this year called S.L.U.G.S. which they have openly admitted are inspired by M.U.S.C.L.E. I cannot wait to start my collection!!