Name of Toy Line: Kinnikuman Keshi (Kinkeshi) Standard-Sized
Production Company: Bandai
Characters and Elements: Yudetamago
Years of Production: 1983-1987
Countries/Regions Available: Japan
Figure Trade Markings: (c) Y/S . N. T
Approximate # of Figures: Thousand +
Details: According to an entry at Wikipedia, Kinnikuman keshi are:
[A] popular and extended collectible monochromatic keshi line based on the Kinnikuman anime and manga franchise, the primary motif of which is professional wrestling, that has existed since 1979, as well as the name of the main character, a wrestler. The line was launched in Japan in 1983, licensed in the United States in 1985, as M.U.S.C.L.E., using a harder rubber, and its sequel, Ultimate Muscle, was partially released in the United States in 2003 [made of an even harder, brittle plastic].There a several different types of Kinnikuman keshi including Super Deformed, Mini, Chibi, Re-Released, Deca-Kinkeshi, etc. You can see a brief overview of the various Kinnikuman keshi in the following LRG forum topic: Brief Guide to Kinkeshi Types. As mentioned above, this Toypedia entry is focusing on standard-sized kinkeshi. One might assume that the term "standard" is used because this sized Kinnikuman keshi was the original keshi size to be made for Kinnikuman.
Standard-sized Kinkeshi are made of a soft rubber material, vary in size from 1 to 1.5 inches, and each sculpt can be found in 5 colors: peach/flesh, green, blue, yellow, and orange. (Certain sculpts and parts were available in special translucent "crystal" and "glitter" colors.) Kinnikuman standard-sized keshi were released in a series of 30 sets referred to a "parts." (You can browse images of all the Kinkeshi standard-sized parts at Naochin's impressive and invaluable online archive.) The various parts consist of varying numbers of characters, but usually each release consisted of 10-20 unique, new sculpts. In total, the Kinnikuman standard-sized keshi toy line consisted of 417 unique sculpts. (One can see them all at J. Karis' Kinnikuman Index.)
Let's take a look at these unique figures!
One of the coolest things about Standard-sized Kinkeshi is one of the ways in which they were sold -- in gumball machines! The figures, along with a small booklet, were crammed into a small, colored capsule. An interesting thing about the material many keshi are made of is that over time, it can warp and "melt" other types of plastic it has prolonged contact with. Note the "melt" marks in the capsules pictured below.
Take a look at these awesome little booklets! (Click on the link under each one to see a larger, easier-to-read image.)
Standard-sized Kinkeshi were also available in a series of 28-packs seen here at Naochin's Kinnikuman Archive.
Related Web sites:
Nama Niku Blog
Naochin's Kinnikuman Keshi Archive
The Little Rubber Guys Kinnikuman Forums