Collecting little plastic figurines were all the rage in the mid 1980’s and early 90’s. M.U.S.C.L.E. and Monster in My Pocket are the most well known worldwide and still fondly remembered today.
Anyone with a little more knowledge in the collectible toy market knows that M.U.S.C.L.E. was actually an import from Japan based on the popular Shonen Jump wrestling series Kinnikuman.
The vast amount of characters with all kinds of crazy designs gave Bandai the ability to churn out dozens upon dozens of small plastic single colored figurines that kids could knock and fling around without worrying too much about breaking them. Their size also meant you didn’t have to worry much about running out of space to display and store them.
GeGeGe no Kitaro being as popular as ever in Japan during the 1980’s got its own line as well. Unfortunately for Bandai it was never imported to other countries like Kinnikuman was… at least not officially.
In come the “Lucky Yuckies” which were released everywhere else. These bootleg versions of Kitaro and friends hit the market but failed to really catch on. Kitaro is now called Shorty, Neko Musume is called Beth, and Nezumi-Otoko now looks like an actual rat. Their descriptions are incredibly silly and nonsensical, well even more now that it has nothing to do with the actual Yokai in question. I have no idea what all this “Wishing” stuff is about either. Its like the whole book got ran through an online translator or something.
Minifigures XD has plenty of photos of the various non bootleg Kitaro toys along with a bunch of other toy lines.