The Miniature MUSCLE Men Toys

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published Aug. 27, 2007, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)

Not that I would ever fantasize about Greedo in a Speedo, but that's what I imagine when I think of alien wrestlers.

In terms of overall importance, intergalactic wrestlers fighting for supremacy of the universe kind of dwarfs the importance of the Super Bowl, World Series, Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, etc.

But what was started in 1985 by a group of 2-inch tall, pink rubber figures still continues today. The MUSCLE Men did what Vince McMahon could not: make wrestling important.

The Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere (MUSCLE) were slightly more gawk-worthy than The Rock or Hulk Hogan. For one, they were aliens; some figures looked like humans with extra limbs, some figures had only torsos and no limbs, while some wrestlers were merely limbs themselves.


One of the more unique figures was a giant hand that resembled Thing on steroids. In fact, Jose Canseco did detail a trip to the Addams Family mansion on page 84 of his book.

Most of the 236, Mattel-produced figures looked like mental images that George Lucas could have created at 3 in the morning after having gone on a Golden Corral binge the night before.

Only two of the wrestlers had names: Muscle Man, a good guy who wore a Rocketeer-like helmet and the leader of the Thug Busters, and Terri-Bull, a bad guy and leader of the Cosmic Crunchers, who had an Andre the Giant perm and wore a metal toga and devil horns.

The figures were sold in toy stores in 4-packs, 10-packs and 28-packs, and there was also a wrestling ring, the Hard Knockin' Rockin' Ring, that collectors could buy. I bought one since I'm a collector.

The ring was surrounded by actual elastic ropes. Outside the ring were two joysticks: blue for the good guys and red for the bad guys, as upon my declaration in the mid '80s.

The joysticks controlled two clamps inside the ring. Figures could be attached to the clamps, and the result was a G-rated, alien version of WWE.

I spent hours in my room doing both the announcing and color commentary in two different voices for the matches. This continued until 1988, when the line was discontinued.

It also so happened that one of the clamps on my wrestling ring broke, coinciding with the halt of the figures. Nothing quite like selling products guaranteed to last for three years and then pulling up stakes after three years, never to be heard from again.

Somewhere, savvy garage sale shopper Fred Gillweight is enjoying my collection of MUSCLE Men, which I abandoned with much melancholy after I began collecting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

On the other hand, I no longer get mental images of Mos Isley residents wearing nothing but wrestling trunks.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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