Super Powers Highlight – Samurai Carded Sample
March 5, 2010

Hello, and welcome to another edition of the Super Powers Highlight!  Since Toy Fair 2010 has recently passed us by, I thought it appropriate to photograph this piece this week…the Samurai carded sample. It’s unclear as to what this sample would have been used for, but until subsequent information disproves me I’ll continue thinking it was used for Toy Fair in 1985 when the 3rd wave of figures was presented for retail buyers to purchase for their stores.  Unfortunately no documentation exists to confirm it, but then again none exists to disprove it either…and this little boy will continue to dream big.  🙂

An overview of the piece : hand-painted first-shot figure, hand-carded to a pre-production proof card with velcro circles adhered to the back for presentation display purposes.  *whew*  A mouthful to say, and I’m sure I’ve already used more than my usual allotment of hyphens.  


Sporting the same Asian-influenced font of the production figure, the colors nicely compliment both the character artwork and the paint on the figure.  Being on the offer-less and comic-less 3rd series card back certainly helps.  It’s a nice clean look, as I’ve said in my blogs ad nauseam.  The less said about the "Gale-Force Spin" the better, though.  Heh.

The character artwork is exactly the same as the production version of the figure. 

The tell-tale sign of it being carded on a pre-production proof is the hang tag punch.  This thin-style is exclusively seen (as far as the 3rd series card back) on the proofs.  It was changed before production to the one commonly seen with the larger "center."

The figure itself is a hand-painted "first-shot" or first test of plastic injected into the mold.  Usually the samples on the 3rd series of characters were hand-painted, whereas for previously-released characters (like Superman & Batman) they had production examples handy to mock-up whatever samples they wanted to produce.  Here are detailed shots of the level of skill on the paint work :

The hand-painted detail is especially nice on the face of the figure.  Talented people worked at Kenner Toys, that’s for sure.

Of particular note on this unique piece is not only the location of the sword in the figure’s bubble, but the fact that they included two.  There are both a hand-painted first-shot and an unpainted production version taped to the inside front of the bubble.  I love this aspect of the piece…it really sets it off at first glance as something from the pre-production part of the hobby.  That is, until you inspect the figure and realize it’s hand-painted…thus confirming it.  The dual-sword inclusion probably did not mean he was originally going to come with both (and they didn’t end up costing out), since his other hand wasn’t sculpted to hold a second sword.

Here’s a shot of the back, showing the velcro circles that allowed the piece to be mounted on the presentation board for whatever random display Toy Fair 1985.  (Hee hee…told ya I’m sticking to that theory!)

Darkseid’s gotta be pissed off that the circle is covering his face.  Doubt that’ll stop his Omega-beams, tho.

Welp, that’ll do it for this edition of The Super-Powers Highlight.  Until next time, thanks a lot for reading!  I surely appreciate it.




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