Welcome to my latest Super Powers Highlight! I apologize for the relatively lengthy delay between entries. I didn’t have access to a digital camera to take some decent shots for the blog here, but I got a chance to not only borrow one but also purchase a nice used Nikon off the ‘Bay…so hopefully no more interruptions of a week or more on these. I’m having a blast putting them together, and will actually get to a figure next time that three of my readers have suggested…ya feelin’ me, android fans?
Anyhoo…no, you’re not seeing double, and you don’t need your eyes checked. This blog is about Two Riddlers. Why two, you ask? Well, for most average Super Powers collectors, it is known that the line is essentially 35 figures, and not 34 as indicated by the backs of the final series’ cards plus Clark, of course (Thanks Joe!). For most anal-retentive-obsessive-compulsive Super Powers collectors, it is known that the line is essentially 36 figures (and possibly 37)…but we’ll get into that "abominable" mess at another time.
So, about that 35th figure. Well, the Pacipa Toy Company of Argentina decided to throw their own little curve ball over the Super Powers plate and make a nifty repaint of the Kenner Green Lantern figure. Thus, "El Acertijo" (The Riddler) was created. As I stated before, most people would actually search this guy out to "complete" their collections and for most of them it’s a grail piece. Difficult to obtain, and usually costly.
However, after Pacipa was done producing Super Powers figures, they sold the molds/rights/printing plates to another Argentinan toy company going under the "Play Ful" name. Of generally poorer production quality, Play Ful not only didn’t make every character Pacipa made, but they also produced characters Pacipa *didn’t* make. Following along so far? No? Okay, take some aspirin and then come on back after your nap.
As you can see, Pacipa produced Plastic Man & Green Arrow, while Play Ful took care of Joker and Penguin. However, Riddler is nowhere to be found on either card back. Ah yes, welcome to the madness that is foreign Super Powers figure collecting! Not only has Shazam never shown up (as of yet) on a Pacipa card, but I’ve got a loverly Play Ful Wonder Woman that’s wondering why no one decided to include her with the boys on the card back. Yup, intermittent "collect ‘em all" entries. Have any of that aspirin left?
You don’t have to adjust your monitor’s gamma calibration…there actually IS a difference in the hue and vibrancy of the card color. The Pacipa is much duller and "color-accurate," while the Play Ful is glossier, more saturated, and "off" as far as the colors. The Pacipa peg hole punch makes a bit more sense, as well…not obscuring the character logo and balancing the figure vertically as it hangs on the peg. They had their act together, those Pacipa People.
Golpe golpe golpe! I have no idea what that means, but it seems to be in every word balloon on every Super Amigos card. Let’s plug the whole phrase into BabelFish and see what it spits out, shall we?
"Con mi super golpe de mano!" means "With my super blow of hand!"
I believe the ROTFLCOPTER response would be appropriate here.
One thing that’s weird about the Play Ful Riddler is the actual riddle sheet that’s included with the figure. At least that’s what I assume that small piece of paper is inside the bubble. Though the bubble is lifting a bit on the bottom, the paper is actually on top of the tray and under the figure, so I can’t get it out without opening it up. No, before you ask, I *won’t* be opening it up.
As I mentioned before, the Play Ful Riddler is of overall poorer quality than it’s Pacipa counterpart, as evidenced by the huge hole in his shirt. Maybe some Speed Stick Antiperspirant is in order, here?
Also, while it’s not that bad considering where it was produced, it’s still not *quite* up to Mattel’s standards. I keed, I keed!
"Pssst! Hey, buddy! Can ya spare a page of riddles? I left mine at home today!"
One last oddball thing about this figure. While relatively common to find on a Pacipa card, this is the only example of The Riddler to surface thus far on it’s *correct* Play Ful backing card. More than one example exists of Riddler on a Play Ful Joker card back, and one example has even turned up of Riddler on a Superman card back. As if it wasn’t confusing enough to keep track of all this crap, eh?
Until next time…stay thirsty, my friends!