Funskool Muskrat

Funskool Muskrat

Although not the case as much anymore, at one time a collector could acquire Funskool figures as a sort of “poor nerd’s” toys. Most collectors of the time preferred the superior Hasbro versions, so Funskool releases were seen the same vein as a knock-off. Still, for the economical and less picky collector, it was a fun way to often acquire interesting variants, or if nothing else, a cheap stand-in for an American figure. Sometimes, it was even a fun way to acquire a relatively common figure, such as with this Muskrat.

Amusingly, I had almost forgotten how I got this figure, until I remembered it was at the same time that I got a lot of Funskool Hydro Vipers from some guy who was likely dumping off large amounts of his collection. It’s a little depressing to think about, but buying ARAH figures in the early ‘10‘s was a good time. Everything was super cheap, and nothing was really too scarce either. Of course, the reason it’s sad is because I think a lot of it was from people selling their collections because of the economy, and also o-ring collectors exiting the hobby once it was apparent Hasbro had abandoned them.

1988 figures are kind of like cult classics when it comes to ARAH. They were produced in smaller numbers, the media tie-ins were sparse that year, and not a lot of people talk about half of them. Still, it was an incredibly strong year of figures, certainly an improvement over ‘87. Muskrat’s that kind of figure that’s very hard for anyone to outright hate: he has great colors, fun parts, and a creative specialty. It’s a good balance of being a reasonable looking soldier while still having a gimmick fun enough to make him unique.

Funskool Muskrat is in no particular way different from Hasbro’s Muskrat, besides being made with all the typical hallmarks of a Funskool figure. The figure’s a remarkably similar green color to the Hasbro one, and most of the other paint applications are more or less the same. He’s missing the red stripe that was painted onto his boogie board, but that’s no big deal depending on how you look at it.

For parts, you get the pump-action shotgun, machete, and boogie board from the original release. Besides the machete being silver and the missing stripe on the boogie board, there’s nothing new going on here. With that said, Muskrat was a figure who came with some simple, but really nice parts you saw frequently in the years after his release; both the shotgun and machete were common to 90‘s part trees, and were usually the kind of thing you didn’t mind getting a few extras of given their realistic and easy to use nature.

Comparatively, Muskrats aren’t that hard to get ahold of, still. A good supply of these coming out of Russia still float around the market, and they weren’t produced too long ago, either. Of course, buying from Russia is hard and costly, so that limits how easily you can get one. Overall, I’d say you can get a loose complete figure for less than $15 if you hunt, which is about the same as the Hasbro version right now.

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4 Responses to Funskool Muskrat

  1. Mike T. says:

    I miss the days of cheap Funskool. Back then, I bought this figure just for the silver machete since it was better than the blue one that came with the American figure. For $4, you could do things like that. And, if you didn’t have a US figure, this was a great replacement.

    It’s really too bad Hasbro never gave us an updated Muskrat. The use on the Dreadheads killed the body mold’s popularity. The Torpedo from the VAMP is a good figure. But, a real Muskrat repaint could have been cool. There’s that weird ass Muskrat with a Hydro Viper arm prototype that floated around for years. Yet, we got neither figure….

  2. A-Man says:

    What makes you think 1988’s figures were produced in smaller numbers?

    I never considered getting Funskool Muskrat, too similar to the US version, I guess.

    • Nekoman says:

      Now that you mention it, I have no way of sourcing that comment and can’t remember where I read that or if it’s a false memory… odd.

      I had thought it was that the ’87 line underpreformed generally, which solicited Hasbro to make slightly fewer ’88 figures. Of course, sells improved afterwards and the line flourished for several more years, but because of that there were slightly fewer ’88 figures compared to the years around it.

      Maybe I read that on Joedeclassified somewhere? I had taken the notion for granted, but now I realize I could be remembering something else.

      • R.T.G. says:

        I’d say the likelihood of ’88 figures being produced at a lower number than the 1987 series, is likely accurate. However I don’t think they’re available at numbers lower than anything from 1985 or 1986.

        The repaints (Tiger Force, Night Force, Python Patrol) were all done at lower numbers, since they were just single year releases, but most retail figures up until 1991 likely don’t have truncated production runs.

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