I was 5 years old, super into wrestling, and M.U.S.C.L.E. miniature figures were released here in the United States. From the moment that I got my grubby little paws on those M.U.S.C.L.E. figures, my life was forever changed. He-Man didn't matter anymore, GI Joe couldn't get my attention at all, and Transformers also took a back seat to the little monster wrestler figurines.
Over the years, I grew up and moved on to other things, but I always had a certain affinity for those M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. I didn't have any of my own, so I would get polymer based clays from the hobby store, and I would (laughably) try to fashion my own. Even if I had pictures of some of my freshmen and sophomore efforts, I sure as shit wouldn't show them to you... They were awful.
But, I kept with it, and when Ebay became more of an entity, I started to rebuild my M.U.S.C.L.E. collection. Having the coveted toys of my childhood in hand, I learned a few new approaches to making my own miniatures, and even tried my hand at making molds of some of these laughable "toys".
I also learned, that M.U.S.C.L.E. came from Kinkeshi, or little rubber figurines from Japan. They were based on characters from the comic and cartoon property "Kinnikuman". I started following the comics, I kept on sculpting, and here we are today...
I have met tremendous friends, all over the country (and world), because of Kinnikuman/M.U.S.C.L.E.
Eric Nilla, and I have even become friends with one half of the creative team behind Kinnikuman on Facebook...
So, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Takashi Shimada (Shimada Sensei) for all of the inspiration.