As announced, back in February at Toy Fair 2014, the final figures in Mattel’s long running 6″, Four Horsemen sculpted, DC Universe Classics line will be a series of tributes to the 30th anniversary of Kenner’s beloved DC Comics ‘Super Powers’ 3.75″ action figures. Mattel is repainting 6 figures (including a collect-and-connect figure) and giving us one last new mini-figure sculpt as a “thank you” to the fans. In it’s 7+ year run, Mattel’s DC Universe Classics has released 6″ versions of all 34 characters that were released in the 1984-1986 Kenner Super Powers line, however not all of the paint jobs on the Mattel figures matched their vintage counterparts.
I think by now everyone that knows me knows that I am a HUGE fan of the original Super Powers line. After all we house the Super Powers Archive here on AFi as well as have a dedicated Super Powers blog. I have loved and encouraged and even helped Mattel out with some of the past DCUC Super Powers figures so I was greatly looking forward to these, and even with Mattel sending me samples I will be buying a second set to keep carded when they are released.
I think it’s important to note that these are merely a Super Powers tribute/homage and not a intended to be a replica in figure or card. There are quite a few differences in details on all of the cards and figures from their original Kenner release. That said it’s still a nice and fitting end that the line end with a tribute to it’s roots. While some will argue that the DC Universe Classics line surpassed it’s predecessor in terms of “wow” factor, and certainly DCUC has far surpassed the Kenner line in terms of time and character selection, still all involved with the DCUC line were big fans of the original line and wanted to see it recognized as a blueprint to doing a great line of in the same style and in the same scale DC Comics action figures.
There’s a lot I COULD say about the Gold Superman figure that Kenner had planned as part of the Super Powers action figure line and tied into the 50th Anniversary of Superman, but it’s all already been said by AFi co-founder Jason Geyer right here in the Super Powers archives:
In 1988, DC Comics was due to celebrate the Man of Steel’s 50th Anniversary with a new series, a new movie, and other scattered odds and ends. Kenner was making plans in 1985 for this celebration, too. Mainly, there were planning on painting a bunch of existing items gold. To start with, the basic superman figure would be re-released, possibly with new arms and a new “flying” action feature. The irony here is that Gold Kryptonite caused Superman to lose his powers. The mock-up of the card for this figure surfaced a short time ago (click on the link to see Michael Mensinger’s page about it), but nothing else was know until now. We can see that in addition to the figure above, they also were planning a golden collector’s case, much like the golden C-3PO case long featured in their Star Wars line. Kenner also planned a gold repaint of the existing Supermobile, which they made a mock-up of for the presentation.
It’s safe to assume that the final products would be vac-metallized gold, not gold paint. Basically, this is a chrome-like finish like that on the existing Brainiac and Cyborg figures. This process can only be achieved at the factory, so the mock-up pieces can only use paint to demonstrate the rough concept. I made a digital mock-up of what the carded figure might have looked like below, based upon the existing card mock-up and the concept art above. The card mock-up shows his shorts as being gold, also, but I went with the red as on the concept art.
The Card - The Card is similar to the other cards that we saw in the first wave, but this one has a twist that is very topical…
Interestingly enough the actual card mock-up from Kenner that was to be for this figure 25 years ago is now on Ebay being sold by Mark Huckabone. (So if you’ve always wanted to get me something but didn’t know what I’d like… this please )
When Jason was originally writing the article on this figure back in 2004 he hand-drew the card for the mock-up for the feature. It looks like Mattel might have done the same thing using his mock up.
Collect and Connect – The Collect and Connect Kalibak piece is in the mailer box not in the bubble with the figure. It is polly-bagged and taped to an “L” shaped piece of cardboard in the mailer box so that it’s not in the package with the figure, as that would not be accurate to it’s vintage counterpart. Gold Superman comes with Kalibak’s right leg.
Comparison- Here’s Gold Superman next to the new Super Powers style Superman.
I have a custom Super Powers Gold Superman that I bought off Ebay many years ago, so here’s what he looks like next to that.
Gold Superman will be available later this year in the 2nd wave of 3 figures on MattyCollector.com
This sample was provided by Mattel.
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