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Looking Back at – M.U.S.C.L.E.

review.gifWelcome to a brand new column about…toys. Each week I’ll be digging out an old toy from the 70’s, 80’s or even the 90’s and babbling about them. So if you hate toys and hate babbling, stop reading now. Seriously. Stop.

Ok, now that the big doodyheads are gone, it’s just us.

In order to start small with this inaugural column, the topic this week deals with one of the smallest and strangest toylines of the 80’s. M.U.S.C.L.E. Those tiny, weird looking guys that really don’t do much except stand around and look odd. M.U.S.C.L.E. stands for Millions of Unusually Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. There weren’t millions of them though, so though the marketing department was a whiz at acronyms, they weren’t very good at math. (There’s a backstory to them involving japanese toyline called Kinkeshi, based on a Manga called Kinnikuman. But that’s way too much technical info for now, so let’s just keep it to the acronym at hand.)

Though there’s not millions of them, there ARE over two hundred of them, so I figured I’d focus on just one. The one M.U.S.C.L.E. figure who actually CAN’T stand around. The misfit among misfits.

This guy.

The Pyramid. The pyramid with a head on top. Or…bottom. The upside down pyramid. In a toyline that has living globes, spraycans, columns, big headed children, 6-armed men and a large hand…he’s the most uselessly bizarre. Considering it’s a wrestling line, and he can’t even stand on his own…how did he get ever get a contract? It’s like a guy who’s just a torso getting into the WWE.

I may actually watch wrestling if that happened.

I’m assuming he got in because they needed an Egyptian guy, and he was the only one that showed up. I’m also assuming he’s Egyptian, because he’s a pyramid. But that may be some form of profiling. Please don’t sue me.

I remember when I got him, in one of those three packs the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures came in. He looked a bit like a top, so I figured he would spin pretty easily. I mean…that had to be the point, right? The pyramid guy spun. So I spun him.

Spun isn’t quite the right word though. As soon as I tried it, he didn’t so much spin as fly across the kitchen table and land near the refrigerator. On his side. Smiling inanely at me. Now we’ve come to the theme of the pyramid man’s life.

 The novelty of these little guys wore off quickly when I was a kid, and I moved on to something else rather abruptly, but when I did play with them, for some reason I had them fight in large glops of the Evil Horde Slime that you got free if you bought three MotU figures. I know. I was crossing the streams. But playing with these little guys was much more fun if they were fighting in big green pools of slime. That says something about…something. Not sure what.

But pyramid guy…he just laid there, half concealed in a puddle of goo forgotten and alone like a porn star at the end of the day’s shoot. Oh, sure, occasionally I’d have one of the other guys pick him up and attempt to jab another guy with him, (I hear that happened to Gary Coleman and/or Emmanuel Lewis a lot back in the 80’s also) or even make it seem like he was twirling his way into battle…but in the end it was just too much work. So back to the blorpy pile of green goo he’d go, until the time came when I suddenly wondered what the hell I was doing, and cleaned the slime from my hands.

Anybody ever have those moments? You were making explodey sounds with your mouth, deep in some fictional battle with GI Joe, Transformers, MotU or whatever, and suddenly you’re standing outside yourself, watching yourself pursing your lips and making a tiny plastic guy blow out another tiny plastic guy’s brains, and you suddenly think “I must look like a complete idiot. I’ll never be president!” Then you get the sudden urge to put on a tie.

Ties make everything more respectful. Even making explodey sounds with your mouth. Actually, I’m wearing a tie right now. And making explodey sounds. Take THAT Mr. adjective! Kerpow!

Aaanyway…Pyramid Guy was useless, and just got in the way. He was apparently the Snarf of the M.U.S.C.L.E. line. Snarf, I’m sure, was ignored a lot. Which meant he routinely was able to watch Cheetara get undressed. I’ll bet Pyramid Guy spent a lot of time pretending to be a lamp. “Oh, Don’t mind me, ladies. Go ahead and change, I’m just a lamp shaped like a pyramid.” Of course if he said that out loud they probably would have heard him…So he probably just leered in that inane way of his.

Toys based on 80’s properties are popular nowadays. If they made a Movie based on M.U.S.C.L.E…who would play the pyramidguy? They’d need somebody who was willing to be basically a prop, stand around a lot, staring at people, smiling like an idiot. Sounds like there’s finally a use for Andy Dick! Seriously.




And that’s about all I can squeeze out of the pyramid. Thanks for reading, you’ve been very patient. Stay tuned sometime in the near future where I babble on and on about some other toy. 

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