Kinkeshi ), a contraction of Kinnikuman Keshigomu (キン肉マン消しゴム Kinnikuman Erasers) is an extensive and popular line of collectable erasers, an instance of the modern Japanese popular culture institution of keshi.
- For more information, see: MUSCLEpedia
The keshi included in the kinkeshi line are monochromatic and derived from the Kinnikuman (キン肉マン) anime and manga franchise, whose primary motif is professional wrestling.
The line was launched in Japan in 1983, and licensed in 1985 for the American market as M.U.S.C.L.E. (reflecting Kinnikuman's English title of Muscleman). M.U.S.C.L.E. used a harder rubber than Kinkeshi; its U.S. sequel, Ultimate Muscle, had a small release of about twenty Kinkeshi, though a larger run of figures using a plastic softer than M.U.S.C.L.E. but not eraser-like was released exclusively in the USA.
Starting in Japan in 1983, Bandai's Kinkeshi line was two years later licensed to Mattel for exportation in United States and Canada where wrestling is popular; the line became "M.U.S.C.L.E." in North America.
Circa 1987, unlicensed Kinkeshi were marketed in Western-Europe, e.g. the "Exogini" in Italy and the "COSMIX" in France
In 2003, Bandai America launched a new Kinkeshi series extension exclusively for the North American market. Ultimate Muscle: The Kinnikuman Legacy, the American dubbed version of Kinnikuman Second Generations, is actually more successful overseas than in Japan.
- Naochin's Kinkeshi Archives Japanese site based on Kinkeshi/M.U.S.C.L.E. and other related Kinnikuman toys.
- Tortle's Muscle UK figure photo archive
- The American Kinnikuman Information Archive
- The AKIA forum, home of the Muscle community
- Exogini Italian collector's tribute site