I'm pretty happy that the Street Fighter II M.U.S.C.L.E. set is small, mostly because it means Super7 will be doing a lot of other licenses - sure, there are more Capcom fighters, but they got the main 12 first. "The World Warrior" subtitle of the game means we go all over the world to fight, and we also get to see some vague cultural stereotypes along the way. This is more or less a staple of fighting games of the era - it's handy to have shorthand, and it probably says a lot of how everybody perceived the world in that era.
First up is the then-declining Soviet Union's Zangief. He's a big bruiser with wrestling moves and a severe haircut, effectively delivering a whiter, more shirtless Mr. T in briefs. He has a massive beard, a hairy chest, and the figure is sculpted with these important geographic features. His boots are here, his bracelets are here, and he even has back scars. I almost can't believe it, but I'm seeing it and it's all here. This furry, ripped man is about the same size as the other figures with a little more bulk.
Next up is Chun-Li, complete in China dress. Unlike other women in the neo-M.U.S.C.L.E. line, she's bulked up and posed like most of the men with arms spread out and fists clenched. And spiked bracelets. And the hair things. And high cheekbones, and earrings. Just like in the games, she has massive thighs and laced-up boots. The dress looks almost exactly like the game, complete with the sculpted detail and patterns. She's a sturdy figure that stands ready to brawl, but the poses of this figure line don't lend themselves to her signature moves or poses. She can still deck the other figures with her fists, though. Not that I've done that, or am doing it right now.
The big and bulky E. Honda is dressed to impress. The sumo is both chunky and ripped, with clearly defined muscles and a face with clenched teeth. His bushy eyebrows and face decoration are sculpted on, and I think he has the thickest limbs in the line so far - and rightly so. Due to the sumo proportions, he looks a little less like the wrestling figures on which this entire line is based - but it's a sturdy figure with a striking silhouette. I love the hair and his face, and the pose is a perfect mini-figure unto itself. It's almost too modern, but I still like how he turned out as a figure unto itself.
Based on fighters from the east, this set has three of the fighters you probably played a ton and used to annoy your friends. Well, you could annoy your friends with any of these fighters - so why stop here? The level of sculpted detail on these figures is above and beyond what I would have expected, and I love how they're sculpting color detailing on the figures' bodies. They're bigger than a traditional mini-figure, with E. Honda's arms and Chun-Li's upper and lower bodies seemingly all being separate pieces. The original line of figures were almost always - if not always - one single piece of plastic. This design variation allows for more detail and personality, like Chun-Li's dress or bigger arms, but sometimes the visual cuts are distracting. They seem to have resulted in better figures, so overall I'd say this set is a worthwhile one to track down. I've not seen them in stores yet, but I dig them.
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