The online M.U.S.C.L.E. community would have come to fruition with or without me. I was just lucky enough to be the first M.U.S.C.L.E. enthusiast to get it bolstered. I'm sure I wouldn't have took on the task, if not for my good friend from the U.K. Tim Drage. In our early days of M.U.S.C.L.E. collecting, Tim encouraged me to build a fan-site and supplied me with scans and images of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures at a time when I had no digital camera or scanner at my disposal. I made it my mission to learn how to build a web-site, and Tim followed suit, eventually building the Internet's 3rd M.U.S.C.L.E. site.
One of the most interesting things about all of this, is that 98% of what I know about M.U.S.C.L.E., was learned after I founded The M.P.S. Tim has since carved out quite the career for himself in film and sound ( See his impressive show reel here )
Not long after The M.P.S. was formed, I learned that the concept of M.U.S.C.L.E. was no new concept at all, and originated from a Japanese toy line called Kinnikuman. Our beloved M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line paled in comparison to The massive kinnikuman toy line enjoyed by youngsters in Japan. After I had obtained almost every item that there was in the American toy line, I found myself getting more and more interested in Kinnikuman. It wasn't long after that when I became friends with Taka Kurosaka.
Taka knows practically everything there is to know about Kinnikuman. He gladly offered tons of information which helped clear up questions about the M.U.S.C.L.E. toy line, and quenched my thirst for Kinnikuman knowledge. He didn't stop with The M.P.S. though. He helped many other web-sites supplying them with Japanese names for the figures, history, plots, translations, and much much more. Alot of the Kinnikuman sites out there today wouldn't even exist if it weren't for him. You don't find too many people like Taka who are so ready to selflessly give of themselves, and he's helped the hobby to evolve and grow more than he'll ever know.
Pat was one of the first collectors I met when I began my quest to attain every M.U.S.C.L.E. ever made. He also encouraged me to make the transition from a simple fan based site, to a more organized site for fans. His enthusiasm for the hobby never ceased to amaze me. He at one time had so many M.U.S.C.L.E. four packs in his collection, he could completely cover himself up under a big pile of them on the floor. His now defunct web-site "Patrick Gresham's M.U.S.C.L.E. Page" was always fresh, funny, informative, and is truly missed.
Jason Radniecki -Vivid M.U.S.C.L.E. Entertainment
An extremely talented individual. I met Jason on the web shortly after I began collecting M.U.S.C.L.E. again in 1996. His talents at web-page design even waaaay back in the days of HTML 3.0 were astounding! He also never ran out of fresh and interesting material to put on his web-site. He started the very first online M.U.S.C.L.E. Wrestling league (M.U.S.C.L.E. Championship Wrestling) and his customized hand painted M.U.S.C.L.E.'s were the stars. They all had their very own distinct personalities which he brought to life though his site. He drew many new people into the hobby, and was one of our biggest supporters, helping us in any way he could with promotion and design aspects of the site.
Nathan Newell - Nathan's M.U.S.C.L.E. Blog
What can I say about Nathan that already hasn't been said before. He's one of those in our hobby that are affectionately referred to as "old timers". He was there almost from the very beginning and became part of our very close knit circle of collectors who spent endless hours searching for, buying, and cataloging M.U.S.C.L.E. finds with us. When any of us would obtain new bits of info, we'd meet in the old M.P.S. chat room and discuss it for hours, and then share it with our friends via online and printed newsletters.
Always more than happy to contribute to the M.U.S.C.L.E. community, he decided to start his own site as well. The end result was truly amazing. Pleasing to the eye, informative, easy to navigate, and above all.. FUN! He was real adamant about building a web-site that was completely different from the M.P.S. and succeeded in building a site which helped take our hobby to the next level. Nathan's own brand of humor and imagination are showcased through his great site, and no matter how much you go there, you can never get enough of it. He was my biggest source of inspiration to try and keep things fresh at The M.P.S. Through the years, Nathan has selflessly contributed his time helping us with graphics, design elements, and research that has helped the entire hobby evolve into what it is today, and we're truly thankful.
John Morey - founder of The American Kinnikuman Archive
One of our most avid members of The M.P.S. back in the day. John joined up with us when he was just a kid, but he always impressed me with his maturity, wit, and passion for the hobby. John was one of our most loyal members, showing up at weekly chat room sessions, and actively volunteering to create content for both the site and M.P.S. newsletter. He ran the most comprehensive American Kinnikuman web-site in the U.S. for awhile, and schooled us all in the history lesson we never knew we needed.
Johhny Karis - Littlerubberguys.com
Johnny is one of the collectors I met a little later than all of the others listed here. He is a huge Kinnikuman fan, and what he's done for our hobby is unparalelled. Johnny took the reigns of AKIA from John Morey, and designed a forum of discussion boards which has helped the hobby to grow by leaps and bounds. His Keshi and Minifig discussion boards have helped to bridge collectors of very different, yet very similar toy lines, and in turn has generated new interest for multiple hobbies.
Just when we thought it had all been done, and many were losing interest in the M.U.S.C.L.E. hobby, Johhny saw an opportunity to make it better and took the bull by the horns. Frequenting the boards is a great way to keep a pulse on the hobby, and keep in touch with wonderful like minded collectors. LRG has kept the subculture alive, and I'm very grateful for that.
Chad Perry - The University of M.U.S.C.L.E.
Mr. Perry just may be the most dedicated M.U.S.C.L.E.-Head I've ever known. M.U.S.C.L.E. websites have come and gone over the years yours truly included, but Chad has kept the flame burning for this hobby without ever letting up. He without a single solitary doubt, runs the most comprehensive and thorough M.U.S.C.L.E. site in the world. He posts fresh content every week, and continually tweaks and adds to what he's already built.
Chad has done things in the hobby I never could have, or ever dreamed of. He interviewed Joe Morrison, the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Mattel who oversaw the toy line release. This resulted in solidifying many of our hypothesis about the toy line, and flat out obliterating others. When we thought we'd learned all there was to learn about M.U.S.C.L.E., Chad would overturn another stone and publish news of something like the discovery of 16 different 28-pack packaging variations. I take my hat off to you sir! You have made the hobby so much better, and countless collectors are surely grateful.
Brian Bonanno - Brian was one of the most passionate members of The M.P.S. back in the day. He endlessly traded with me and was always eager to contribute to The M.P.S. web-site and quarterly newsletter in any way he could. He has always been a pillar of the M.U.S.C.L.E. community, and is also very respected in the keshi and mini figure communities as well.
Old M.P.S. Alumni
- Ben, who was kind enough to give me lots of background info on M.U.S.C.L.E. when I first got back into collecting them again.
- Phil Soltesz, who inspired me to turn the M.P.S. into an organization with members.
- Brant Snell, another incredible great trading buddy who always helped me brainstorm on ways to make The M.P.S. a lot more fun.
- Dave Woodrum, Chad Blackford, and Chris Boles for always cranking out content for us to use on the old site and in the M.U.S.C.L.E. Times Newsletter