A special shout out to these friends in the M.U.S.C.L.E. Community..
Matthew Dale, Nathan Newell, Barrett X, Matt Davis, Paul Griffin, Joe Dunnigan, John Morey, Karl Youngblood, Peter Vanderhaeghe Jonathan Karis, Douglas Grote & Chris Olian.
I will never forget about what you guys did for me, and feel the need to share this for all to see.
I'm an avid collector of various pop-culture items, with my toy line of choice being M.U.S.C.L.E. toys. The Fall of 2000 brought on certain circumstances in my life that forced me to start selling of bits and pieces of my vast toy collection to generate some cashflow. At first I started selling off items that weren't all that important to me, but as time passed, the need for money was getting more and more urgent, so I had to start making some sacrifices. One of these, was my most prized possession as far as toy collecting goes. A full set of 233 Pink M.U.S.C.L.E. Men.
After several days of struggling with the idea, I finally decided to put them up for auction, all the while hoping that it wouldn't fetch the reserve price I had set. November first rolled around, and the auction ended. The set did indeed sell for my asking price. I was very disheartened, and even though I had made some money, I was very saddened knowing that I would soon have to part with the collection that took me years, along with endless hours to complete. One consolation was that a collecting buddy (Matthew Dale) who I had built a friendship with over the course of forming The M.P.S. had bought them, so at the very least, I knew they were going to a good home.
It was the third week in December, and I received a package in the mail from my buddy Matthew. The outside of the package read... "do not open until Dec 25th". I respected his wishes and waited until then to open it. We had traded so much in the past, I thought maybe he was kicking me some doubles etc. to get my collection started again. Imagine my surprise when I opened the package on Monday the 25th to find my complete set of 233 M.U.S.C.L.E. Men staring back at me! I was dumbfounded, speechless in fact. Feelings of joy, guilt, appreciation, as well as a many other feelings overwhelmed me. How? Why?What in the world did I do to deserve this? Attached was a card and it read as follows..
Many of us owe you a great deal for the vast number of hours you have put into establishing the online M.U.S.C.L.E. Community. It is inconceivable that you of all people should have to give up your collection of pinks. So in the name of M.U.S.C.L.E. Heads everywhere, we wish to present you with this small token of our appreciation. Signed..
Matthew Dale, Nathan Newell, Barrett X, Matt Davis, Paul Griffin, Joe Dunnigan, John Morey, Karl Youngblood, Peter N. Vanderhaeghe, Jonathan Karis, Douglas Grote, Chris Olian
They even included a custom card with art by Nathan Newell!
The extraordinary thing about this situation, is that I had never even met a single one of these guys in person! They are all buddies I had made within the online M.U.S.C.L.E. community. Thanks to them, I had been reunited with my most prized possession in collecting. As I sat back grinning from ear to ear, it started to sink in. Everything has got its price, except for friendship. These guys spent their hard earned money not only to help me out during a bad time, but also to help me keep what I had worked so hard to achieve. Why? Because they felt they owed it to me. I still own the collection to this day, and the thought of parting with it has never crossed my mind since. How could I? That set has a lot more history connected with it now.
Now in 2021 as I've relaunched The M.P.S. and am just beginning to gain a following on Instagram. it still shocks me that people are so appreciative of what I've done by forming the M.P.S. As a matter of fact, I've always said that someone else would have done something like this if I didn't. I consider myself very fortunate to be the first one to form a M.U.S.C.L.E. web-site and collectors club. I've made many friends over the the years, and I have no intention of backing off from our love of the hobby anytime soon. If anything, I'm more motivated than ever to help get our community buzzing with lots of activity again.
I'm honored to share the title of 'M.U.S.C.L.E.-Head' with the amazing people listed above. This experience has made me see that a club such as ours goes far past the act of collecting for oneself, and I'm truly honored to know that these people think this much of me. It's good to know that there are people out there with hearts as big as theirs. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all very much. I don't know if I can ever be able to fully express my gratitude for what you have done for me, but you can bet I'll certainly try.