In 1984, Mattel were looking to launch a new collectable figure range and decided the Japanese Kinkeshi figures were the perfect line to launch quickly. Bandai produced the figures and licensed them to Mattel who would market them as M.U.S.C.L.E. However, Mattel required the figures to be manufactured out of a harder plastic, in a darker pink colour and also slightly larger in size, and so began what we became to know as M.U.S.C.L.E.
How many Flesh Figures were available?
The official Mattel poster shows 233 figures, but there are more! The Hard Knockin Rockin’ Wrestling Ring came with two figures not featured on the poster: ‘MuscleMan’ and ‘Terri-Bull’. The Terri-Bull was a completely new sculpt, while MuscleMan is a smaller version of the poster figure #141 but with a rectangular belt buckle. The Mega-Match board game came with a green version of the Terri-Bull wrestling ring sculpt but was unique to the game. The mysterious figure called Satan Cross takes the total official M.U.S.C.L.E. figure count to 236.
What’s the story with the ‘Satan Cross’ figure?
Over the years there have been reports about rare figures not found on the poster, but the only one that has been officially confirmed is ‘Satan Cross’. It has been officially confirmed because it has been found in sealed 4 & 10 M.U.S.C.L.E. packs. This designated the figure number #236.
No one knows why Satan Cross was not featured on the poster, it could be as simple as it ruined the symmetrical layout of the poster or he could of been a ‘chase figure’. Satan Cross has a hole in his back, which in the Kinkeshi line has separate pair of legs which slots in to create a horseman style. The hind legs have never been found in the M.U.S.C.L.E. line and were most likely never released by Mattel, further adding to the mystery of this figure.