Howdy all! Welcome to yet another CAPtivating edition (hee hee) of the Super Powers Highlight. This go-around we’re looking at one of the oddest things ever to come out of the Super Powers line in any country…El Capitan Rayo from Gulliver Juguetes in Brazil. Covered in this blog, and I believe for the first time in-depth anywhere with detailed pictures will not only be the regular version of Rayo but also the rarer release with the correct chest emblem.
As most people somewhat familiar with the Kenner US line know, there were 33 characters released at retail, with a 34th offered as a mail-in premium (Clark Kent). Those that are a little more advanced in their obsession in collecting the line know of the Super Amigos Riddler released by Pacipa in Argentina. However, once one delves a little deeper into the madness of acquiring everything toy-related released under that awesome logo, worldwide…you will learn about the good Captain, and wonder WHAT THE FLUFF were they smoking down there to come up with such ridiculousness?!
The first thing you’ll notice is that apparently the people in charge at Gulliver Juguetes didn’t have much confidence in releasing another of the characters that Kenner chose to, and so much so that they didn’t want it to even be a "Super Powers" figure. Instead it’s a "Super Heroes" figure, which is appropriate in the context of the line. They never did release any villains, you see. However, instead of releasing another hero…like Hawkman or Green Arrow, they felt like making up their own. So, they used a time-old formula that many companies have used in the past…the "rip-off of Superman" formula. Their own twist was that he also had lightning powers.
The more common version of Ray has the red thicker lightning bolt over a yellow circle on the chest. Also, just to be clear…saying "common" is a relative term here. Less than 30-35 examples of El Capitan Rayo have been confirmed to exist. It’s certainly much rarer than the Pacipa Riddler, but not as rare as some of the Kenner-released 33-backs of first- and second-series characters such as Red Tornado, Firestorm, and Batman.
The rarer version of the figure has the yellow thinner lightning bolt over a red circle on the chest, which is more accurate in relation to the card artwork and figure prototype shown on the card back. As with all other Gulliver Super Powers figures, a free poster was included. Sadly, this example had the bubble lifting on the left side not only enough to remove the figure…but also the poster. Somewhere between the original owner and the person I purchased it from the poster was lost. One will turn up some day, tho…
There are other subtle differences in the variations, which are as follows :
First off, the card itself might point toward this being either an earlier or later release…possibly a later release with the chest emblem difference being a running change in production. This is only evident in the deletion of the printed UPC bar code on the upper left corner above the list of produced figures. Other characters in the line have turned up with and without the bar code on the back of the card.
The other differences in the release have to do with the figure itself :
As mentioned before, the most obvious difference is with the chest emblem. The hair color on the head is slightly different in shades.
As with all good blogs, the obligatory crotch shot illustrates the brighter shade of yellow on the more common version as well as the different definition to the shorts.
The boots have a similar paint job, yet the yellows are once again different. The rarer variant seems to have a more realistic end result with the top cuffs of the boots being better defined.
This the picture of the original painted prototype from the back of the card. You can see the accurate chest emblem, albeit a bit thicker than the actual production piece. Oh…and if y’all haven’t figured it out yet, the figure is a repainted Superman (with an Aquaman head). Heh.
Perhaps a hint of what figures were to be produced next? Check out the enemies list from Cap’s bio card :
How much does it cost to own one Francisco D’ardoine? Well, apparently 500.00…but of what? Centavos? Reais? Someone from Brazil, please chime in!
The full card back (taken from the rarer variant) :
Wow, finally done. I hope you enjoyed my (hopefully rather exhaustive) highlight of the Rays…it’s been a long time coming. They are certainly a big highlight of my collection, and something that I regard essential in a complete carded set from Gulliver. Here they are, flanking the man who’s identity they stole…
As always, feedback, comments, and even insults will most certainly be welcomed. Until next time, my friends…thanks very much for reading!