When I was younger, so much younger then today, I was addicted to these creatures.
I would read the Japanese comics, even though I couldn’t understand the language. I made up stories from the pictures and spent hundreds of hours collecting these little fleshy pink things and had all my friends who traveled to Asia pick me up different toys, mag’s and anything that was related to the show.
Originally created as a parody of Ultraman, Kinnikuman was a clumsy goof of a superhero whose services were only called upon to battle monsters if no other superheroes were around.
Sounds like a back up superhero…
The wildly popular Kinkeshi figurines came to the United States in the mid-1980s under the brand name M.U.S.C.L.E., which stands for “Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere”. For this release, Kinnikuman was renamed “Muscle Man”, leader of the heroic M.U.S.C.L.E. characters, the “Thug Busters,” and Buffaloman was renamed “Teri-Bull” as the leader of the “Cosmic Crunchers” (although in a M.U.S.C.L.E. video game released for the NES, the Japanese names of the other major characters were used).
The story involves Kinnikuman (his real name is Suguru Kinniku), a clumsy fool of a superhero, finding out he is the missing prince of the planet Kinniku, known for turning out the greatest superheroes in the universe. Being a clumsy fool, however, he must prove himself worthy of the throne. To do so, he enters into wrestling competitions and battles evil Chojin, ultimately culminating in a tournament between Kinnikuman and five pretenders to the throne (Kinnikuman Big Body, Soldier, Zebra, Mariposa, and Super Phoenix). Many of Kinnikuman’s allies begin as villains (Ramenman, Buffalo Man, Ashuraman, Warsman), and extremely arrogant heroes (Terryman, Robin Mask, Rikishiman).
They came in random packs and you never knew what you were going to get.
They were rad toys and I wish I could remeber what I did with them all.
Long Live M.U.S.C.L.E