Super Powers Highlight – Shipping Cases!
April 30, 2011

Junk.  Waste.  Garbage.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and oh BOY is this trash a treasure…at least for me!  

Welcome, one and all, to another edition of the Super Powers Highlight.  Today we’ll be looking at some of the various shipping cases used to transport Super Powers figures to their intended retail destinations (way back when).

Yes, that’s correct.  We’re looking at boxes.  Three different boxes.

Used shipping cases are very difficult to come by, especially for vintage toy lines.  I don’t think I’ve seen pictures of any other Super Powers shipping cases on the internet, but I’m sure that some of the "high-roller big-baller" collectors have examples in their stashes.  I also know that at least one case of Canadian-release 33-backs was cracked open at some point, since there are AFA-graded U90 (the "U" stands for "uncirculated") MOC Shazams and Orions on eBay.  Sad that a sealed case had to be destroyed to make something desirable for those silly label collectors, but that’s a profanity-laden blog for another day.  I’m sure I’ll get to it, since I can’t stand stuff like that.

On to the pics!

According to what I’ve been able to figure out, this is the case for assortment 67000 which was a revision case of Series 3 characters and 33-back re-releases.  I’m not sure if the assortment numbers changed with each new half-year of production, but this case has a sticker for assortment 67000 that’s been placed over a sticker for assortment 67600.   That leads me to believe the cases were returnable and re-used multiple times.  I know this sometimes happens in retail.




This particular case was shipped to a Kay-Bee Toys warehouse in Danville, Kentucky.


This Kay Bee internal label was used to ship the case from the warehouse to a store in Arlington, Virginia.


Here’s the case pictured with a few of the 33-back figures originally released at that time.  


Darkseid, Lord of Apocalypse, was such a badass that he had his own shipping case.  As most Super Powers collectors know, due to the size of the figure Darkseid had an over-sized card back that was unique to him.  So, because of that reason he was shipped in a different assortment composed entirely of himself.  What an ego, eh?




The ultimate bad guy along-side his favorite method of transportation when his Boom Tube is on the fritz.


Finally we have a shipping case for assortment 67600.  The original owner acquired this in 1986 at the time Series 3 was released (he purchased several of them the same day), so that makes me think this was the first assortment of 33-backs sent to retail.




Here’s the shipping label on the case, showing it was sent from Kenner to a K-Mart in Michigan.  How cool is the SS Kresge designation on the title?  Those were the days!


Finally, here’s the case with a few rarities from that era of Super Powers at retail.  No, they aren’t for sale.  


This last image is a treat for y’all.  It’s from the Super Powers section of a Kenner retail buyer internal order sheet.  This was from late 1986 after the bridge assortments were finalized that were to fill shelves until Series 4 was released.  As you can see, all of the 33-back re-releases are listed across two assortments.  Of particular note is the confirmation that Clark Kent was indeed to be released carded at retail.  Until the mock-up proof card resurfaces (it was sold years ago by a well-known dealer), this is the only confirmation known of this information.  


These cases are a fun way to complement any existing Super Powers collection, and are a great reminder of the glory toy-buying days of our youth.  I’ve been lucky enough to find these three so far, and hopefully I can acquire more examples of them in the future. 

Thanks for following along and reading my meanderings…until next time!



Read other articles by ChipCataldo.





  • Jason Geyer says:

    As always, Chip, you leave me delighted and amazed by your great detective work on this line!

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    Thanks, bud. I’m glad you enjoy the blogs. I need to write some more of them this coming week.

  • Erik superfriend says:

    Great blog. As a former Hasbro employee, I have several cartons similar to these from Star Wars and Aliens that I picked from their trash that I use to store various MOC figures. I also have at least one Toy Biz carton from one of their Marvel lines in the 90’s. I remember the checkout clerk telling me I could not buy the entire case and then showing them that I was only buying a few figures and wanted the case to store them in. With a somewhat confused look, they let me take the box.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    Erik, how you spelled my name was the highlight of my day. 🙂 Thanks for the comments!

  • demoncat says:

    cool another nice article. not to mention. another rare thing for very few collectors keep the shipping boxes of whole cases not to mention never knew darkseid was so nasty he had to be shipped all by himself. plus also found it cool to see the order sheet the stores used to order super powers back in the day

    • Jason Geyer says:

      I never realized that Darkseid was also a different price point than the rest of the line, Very interesting…

      Also interesting is how far Clark Kent got to being produced, yet hardly any samples exist of the packaging, apparently. TOD and ATT didn’t get as far, but we’ve seen lots of examples of work in progress from them.

      • Erik superfriend says:

        The thing I remember about this figure is that it peg warmed. Along with Flash and Lex Luthor. And due to the extra size of the figure, did not fit well in a box with the others (Did not play nice with the others?). I still blame the inclusion of the New Gods as the downfall of the toy line even though they were heavily featured on the show.

  • Mario says:

    You da man, period.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    Jason, there aren’t any samples of a carded Clark that we know of. I am aware of one person that knows what collections the three existing Tower of Darkness engineering pilots are, but he won’t tell me.

    That bothers me a bit…there are things locked away in private collections that we’ll never see. I’m betting there are a couple Kent carded samples out there somewhere.

  • The Penguin says:

    Hobby. Obsession. Illness. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!) Thanks for keeping Super Powers alive. Looking forward to your next blog. I’d like to see Mattel re-launch Super Powers with scaled down DCUC figures, or something along the lines of the current Marvel Universe figures. Little guys, little packages (meaning the package that they are packed in, not the package that they are packing), great scupts, and a lot of articulation….all under the Super Powers banner. That would be even better than the Mego re-launch.

  • Daniel Pickett JuliusMarx says:

    This is awesome Chip. I’ve seen pictures from afar of these in your collection but I love that you did a feature on them.

    I always try to pick up shipping cases for figures anytime I can for storage since the are the perfect size to keep the carded figures since that’s what they were created for. I’d love to find a couple of these too since right now I don’t have the room to display my carded collection.

    • Chip Cataldo says:

      Thanks, Dan! Why can’t you display your collection? I thought it was all pinned up on that one wall…or was that from your old place?

      • Daniel Pickett JuliusMarx says:

        That was the old place. I have all my loose ones out and some other key pieces, just not the carded collection right now.

        • Chip Cataldo says:

          Sounds like time to have Abby move into the shed in the back yard so you have room to display the SP goodness. 😉

  • lightso says:

    Your blogs are pointing more and more to an eventual book – which, as Super Powers gains more years will be necessary reading for collectors. It reminds me of the kind of, ahem, obsession Ben Holcomb put to good use with his Mego book (look what those old Mego case boxes go for now). But, it would require someone getting access to this uber-rare stuff locked away. Even for just photos and info it would benefit all collectors. These A-list collectors aren’t doing anyone any good. They can keep their museum – the rest of us would at least like to see it, so I for one appreciate your efforts Ch’p.

  • Chip Cataldo says:

    Thanks for the compliment, man. Unfortunately whereas the Star Wars Collector’s Archive has all the top collectors working together for the good of the hobby, the top 4 or 5 Super Powers collectors will never be able to work together due to secrecy and stubborn-ness. I know that because the only one who would be willing to showcase everything he has for a common project is me.

    A sad state of affairs, but I’m sure a very nice, somewhat comprehensive book could be created with those of us here at AFi going all-in. Also, I’m pretty sure I could get Derek Ho to lend us his key piece accomplishments in Super Powers…of which there are many. Ben Holcomb did a fantastic job with his Mego book, and believe it or not the 67600 case seen in this blog came from his personal collection. 🙂

  • Danny CantinaDan says:

    Who would’a thought a blog about shipping containers would be this interesting. And I’m not even a Super Powers collector! You’re an SP Archeologist, Chipster! Cool stuff. SS Kresge, heh.

  • Mike Maz08 says:

    Hey guy’s. New to the blog, but a couple of you might remember me or know me off ebay, as your names are familiar. I know i’ve bought or sold some SP stuff from some of you in the past. Chip, just saw pics of your collection for the first time. Impressive indeed! I can’t imagine how much time and money you’ve spent putting that together. You must have a second mortgage, lol! Myself, I just really collect the minty mint, USA stuff. I’m a picky s.o.b. when it comes to conditions of ‘unpunched’ cards. I was buying a lot of the AFA stuff off ebay for a few years, until I realized I was just ripping myself off. I’ve put together a handful of AFA 90 pieces, just to sell them off due to financial issues. Regretful, yes! As far as AFA, I’m done buying graded fig’s or sending them to be graded. I think it’s a waste of money (imo) and I’ve had graded fig’s that should of been graded higher (again, imo) and vise versa… Well, just wanted to say hello to some of you and it’s great that there are some out there that have an appreciation of a line of toy’s that are considered to be the best. When I was 11yo when these first came out, I thought so and I still do.

  • Chip, I’m looking for an update on the money you owe me. Can you e-mail me?

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