Sunday, March 12, 2006

Ultimate Muscle - Kid Muscle toy

Back in the 1980’s there were these one-inch pink toys titled M.U.S.C.L.E. (Millions of Unusually Strange Creatures Lurking Everywhere) depicting all sorts of bizarre monsters and beasts that competed in an intergalactic wrestling promotion.  Sound crazy?  Believe me, it definitely was; and although reaching a cult status here in America, over in Japan they were a certifiable phenomenon.  In Japan, not only were there action figures galore, but also an extremely popular manga (comic book) series, and other merchandise.

A couple years ago, a new Saturday morning cartoon lineup was announced boasting all kinds of awesome shows that had us geeks salivating, titled FoxBox this four-hour block of cartoons was animated nirvana.  One of the shows announced was titled Ultimate Muscle — I instantly connected it with the line of miniature action figures from my childhood, and upon doing some research, found out that my suspicions were correct.  Conceptually, it’s a brilliant idea for a cartoon; you’ve got aliens, animals, masked thugs, and a whole assortment of other misc. creatures brawling it out for supremacy.  The show ended up shattering my expectations, mixing not only action, but tons of comedy, plus an engrossing ongoing storyline.

Here’s our man… Kid Muscle!  When he gets the rare bout of courage, he becomes one of the top combatants in these interplanetary slugfests.  But, most of the time, Kid is a complete coward.  He’s afraid of just about absolutely everything, is completely lazy, and isn’t particularly interested in doing much of anything.  His one true love is… food!  He’s addicted to food, of all varieties, shapes, colors, and sexual predilections.   We’ll touch more on that momentarily, but for now, it’d be remiss for me not to say, without a doubt, this is one of the most downright hilarious animated characters of all time.  If you haven’t seen this show, which likely applies to all of you, except that one kid with the contemptible hair that sends me those funny pictures, you’ll probably think I’m just overselling it – but I’m not being factitious, this show is genius.  And the toys that represent it, well, they’re pretty freaking awesome, too!

Here’s Kid Muscle’s championship belt, which he won defeating a horde of crazy competitors, proving his critics wrong and gaining the glory his father, King Muscle, once held.  If I had a belt like this I’d probably wear it, and nothing else, the next time I went club hopping… with your Mom.

Kid Muscle loves food, and his favorite meal of all… beef teriyaki and rice!  He actually sings a rather infectious song about it, sung in a positively annoying and obnoxious way; it goes something like this, “With my rice like I some cow, cow, cow!  It tastes so very good I don’t know how, how, how!”  Did I say how brilliant this show is?

Here are some bonus cards that come with the toy, which I know little to nothing about.  Apparently, there’s some sort of “battle game” you can play with other friends armed with their own cards, creating your own wrestling wars anywhere you please.  As tempting as that idea sounds, I think I’ll pass.  If you look closely at the card on the left, it instructs you to make your wrestler stand up, and according to the upper left hand corner of the card, standing up is worth 7,000 battle points.  Jesus!  I wonder how many points kicking a guy’s head is worth, 25,000?

In all seriousness, this toy rocks; but, my friends, the real joy is the animated series Ultimate Muscle, which sadly was cancelled here in America after only two seasons or so.  You can find some episodes on DVD at most online retailers or wherever you purchase movies, though, and I’d imagine if you tried hard enough and scoured the Internet, you could probably find a whole lot more than that.  I give it my highest recommendation.

Brian: I think I love you…

Kid Muscle: Would you like to go get some rice and cow?

Brian: Yes, yes I would.

Overall Grade: A+ 

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