Remember these guys? Of course, we all do. They were M.U.S.C.L.E.'s. Millions of unusual small creatures lurking everywhere. They were awesome, outrageous and totally cool! But did you know that they were spawned from a very popular Japanese toyline called Kinnikuman? Yes Kinnikuman was such a hit in Japan, that Bandai, decided to give it a go here in the States and released them via Mattel. The only problem was that they imported the toys only, and none of the storyline. So if you've ever sat back and wondered what the deal was with these little guys, well you've found the right site.

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Showcase #66: Kinnikuman Sofubi Collection


Showcase #66: Kinnikuman Sofubi Collection


At one point I wanted to sell some of my Kinnikuman Sofubi but am super glad no one bought them! the Kinnikuman Sofubi are super cool and I see them as pieces of art. They are however not cheap, so if you are interested in acquiring them I would go the yahoojapan route.


I will showcase pieces of my collection and I would love to see the Sofubi collection of other LRG members!

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Is there a comprehensive color guide for Kinnikuman Kinkeshi?


I casually entertained the idea of collecting non Muscle sculpts of legit Kinnikuman keshi. Is there any type of guide or checklist that shows all the colors available for each figure like Soupie's color archive? 


While I'm here I'll go ahead and ask about ballpark prices. Are there rarer colors? Are the clear colors legit/vintage keshi? 


I guess I'm just looking for general information. It would be appreciated if anyone wants to add anything else important to add.  

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Showcase #65: Animax Shop 29th Anniversary Limited Display Case


Showcase #65: Animax Shop 29th Anniversary Limited Display Case


I recently acquired this display case, in 2008 the 29th anniversary Kinnikuman DVD set was released. The release had some special tie-in promotions upon its release.


According to the listing on yahoojapan this came from the Animax Shop but what I dont know is if it was a pre-order promotion or if this was the actual store display of the re-release Kinkeshi sculpts (which I just recently sold!).


This was the listing: https://page.auctions.yahoo.co.jp/jp/auction/x525606406


For 7,471 yen I thought it was an interesting piece of Kinnikuman history to own.


I was concerned it would get damaged while being shipped but luckily it was not.


The thing is bigger than I thought and gorgeous! It has a door latch that you can open but there is no way the Kinkeshi can stand on their own without falling (haha).


I might have some left over acrylic shelves pieces that could fit those same dimensions, then I could put some double sided tape and have the Kinkeshi stand perfectly.


I might use this to display the creme de la creme Kinkeshi in my collection :)




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Smaller red authentic? And color variations.


I'm getting the impression that a lot of red (though a very orangish red) kinkeshi end up casting smaller or undergo some shrinkage.


Looking at red ones, from three different people or lots, several are a little smaller than the MUSCLE or other color kinkeshi of the same figures, but still larger than the 29th anniversary reissue.   They seem legit as the Y/S NT on the back is perfectly clear.   Also a Kinnikuman Soldier (A) is oddly stiff for vintage kinkeshi, especially his right arm.


Also how many official colors do they come in, not counting odd special clear ones?


It seems the standard are flesh, red, blue, yellow, green.

So are more salmonish or light orange ones just faded red?  And therefore safe to keep together?

I have a very light keyman that I just think is an extremely faded flesh.

Most mysterious is a very beige or taupe color Skyman, that's darker than flesh and substantially different from any yellow.

Smaller darker yellow, certain orange, and certain blue ones seem to be obvious bootlegs even if the Y/S NT is clear.

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Showcase #64: "The Sweet 16" Super Rare Kinkeshi


Showcase #64: "The Sweet 16" Super Rare Kinkeshi


Besides the vintage 418 Kinkeshi collection & Part 30 sculpts, amongst collectors the Super Rare Kinkeshi are "Holy Grails" of sorts. For "Holy Grails" or "Super rares" they sure are readily available but the problem is the price.


In the collection you have sixteen (not counting the 2 Super "Super Rares" haha) total and you can find some of the sculpts in almost every Mandarake branch in Japan & online (Mandarake or Yahoojapan).


These "Super Rare" Kinkeshi have no markings whatsover and some eventually became real characters in the Kinnikuman manga. Their existence is due to theree things:


1-Thanks to Weekly Shonen Jump


2-The readers of Kinnikuman




*Some of the information I got from Nama Niku:


In 1984 Weekly Shonen Jump and Kinnikuman creators Yudetamago had a contest in which the readers of Jump could create a new character for the Kinnikuman manga.


In the process many characters made the final run or "top sixteen" list (rough sketches shown in Weekly Shonen Jump).


Leave it to those bootleggers to sculpt those fan creations and release them in gashapon capsule form! (Pachi versions).


Even before they made official debuts in the manga!


What is not known is how many made it to circulation or which regions of Japan etc


As a result they have become the thing of legends and myths! especially in terms of value and scarcity for some particular colors or sculpts.


Getting any of the sixteen is an investment and you might get lucky on yahoojapan on a sleeper auction but most of them sell for upwards of 30,000 to 300,000 yen!!! (depending on the sculpt)


I only own two of the sixteen and even if I wante to collect all sixteen finding some of them is really difficult; the most common to find but not any less cheap being Train Man, MR. VTR & The Hawkman.

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Harder Plastic in Recent Bandai Kinkeshi Gashapon Figures?


I just purchased two figures from Vol. 4 of Bandai's recent Kinkeshi Gashapon toys - Omegaman and Silverman - and was SHOCKED to discover that they're made of harder plastic! They feel very much like M.U.S.C.L.E. figures.


So please help me! Which Kinkeshi series use this harder plastic? Is it standard now?


Every Kinkeshi figure I've ever owned, from the '80s or later years, has been made of the typical eraser-like, softer rubber. Honestly, I've always wished they were more durable and sturdier like Mattel's figures. So this discovery blew my mind and made me really happy. I'd love to buy more Kinkeshi that are made in this manner.

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Was the Manga ever released in the States?


I'd be interested in reading the original Manga. Was it ever translated and released in the states? How many volumes were there?

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Showcase #63: Part 20 Kinnikuman Gashapon Capsules


Showcase #63: Part 20 Kinnikuman Gashapon Capsules


I already owned a vintage Gashapon machine with a Part 21 Daishi which I showcased: http://www.littlerubberguys.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=258726


That machine came with capsules (mostly original reissue capsules from the 2008/29th Anniversary Kinkeshi release + some vintage capsules too).


So I always loved the idea of either...


1-Filling up that Gashapon machine with actual vintage Part 21 capsules.


2-Owning 30 vintage capsules from each respective part.


I came across a Lot of over 100 vintage Gashapon capsules that I could not pass up!


They mostly belonged to Part 20 + some capsules from other Parts too.


Some crazy Kinkeshi capsule melting on some!


I own an original Part 20 Daishi (backing board) so I decided to switch the Part 21 Daishi with it and placed the vintage Capsules inside.


The Lot also helped me get to 16 total vintage capsules of the original 30 Parts.


I am missing 14 more capsules/Parts along with a couple of Daishi, that would truly give me a complete collection!


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Showcase #62: Kinnikuman Crystal Senshi 28 Packs


Showcase #62: Kinnikuman Crystal Senshi 28 Packs



Along with the classic Kinkeshi 28 Packs (11 Packs total) 2 Crystal Keshi packs were released as well. Each containing Blue & Green Crystal Kinkeshi (which they called Senshi).


Yesterday I was finally able to complete my collection by acquiring volume 1 (minus the box unfortunately).


I have a mint volume 2 and I looked for Vol 1 but I only saw it once (tried bidding on it on yahoo japan but the price went over 300 EUR so I tapped out LOL).


They are made of a different material unlike the vintage rubber Kinkeshi but still rubbery. These sets are quite expensive.


Unfortunately they never made all 418 in Crystal Senshi form but besides the 56 Senshi, I also have some sculpts from Part 26 & sculpts not released in the boxes.



Volume 1

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Showcase #61: Tatakae! Ramenman Japanese DVD Set


Showcase #61: Tatakae!! Ramenman Japanese DVD Set


If you are a fan of 1980's anime or even animes like Saint Seiya or Fist of The North Star, the Ramenman anime might be for you. It is in that vein and style, my favorite part is the soundtrack and was more serious in tone than the first Kinnikuman episodes.


The anime consisted of 35 episodes & aired for one year in Japan (January to September 1988).


Just listen to the opening theme sung by Junichiro Oda (輝け!ラーメンマン, Shine! Ramenman):



The DVD was released in March of 2009 and had a price tag of 35,000 yen (circa $320!!! Japan being notorious for expensive DVD releases). The set included the 35 episodes (6 DVDs), episode guide & 2 exclusive Kinkeshi releases not available anywhere else.


This pops up on occasion online (yahoojapan) but it can be bought and is currently available at Mandarake for 15,000 yen (circa $137): https://order.mandarake.co.jp/order/detailPage/item?itemCode=1072042529&ref=list


I have not taken out my Kinkeshi from the package but plan on doing that when I collect more of the Ramenman Keshigomu releases.


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The DVD release is unfortunately only in Japanese but one can find the anime with English subs online; besides Buffalo Man I think Ramenman is one of the most recognizable Kinnikuman characters (a big part being the anime and manga release).






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