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I’m a bit late on getting these posted, but better late than never!  

Back in August we showed you collector Brad Rader’s cool custom Super Powers display where he built a custom shelf, and blew up the figure line up for the Super Powers line up from one of the 33-back SP cards for his display.  The then put all of the coresponding Mattel DC Universe Classics figures next to the Super Powers figures. 

Brad sent us even more updated pictures as he wanted to include his newly acquired SDCC DCUC Swamp Thing (even though Swampy is only an ‘honorary’ member of his Super Powers collection and was never planed to be included in the vintage line) and his display of Super Powers mini-comics.   We give you part II of Brad’s impressive collection display:




Thanks again to Brad for letting us showcase his display and collection.

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Last week Super Powers collector Brad Rader posted some pictures of his custom Super Powers display on the AFi Facebook page.  It was so cool that I asked if I could post them on our Super Powers blog.   He shot some new pictures and sent them over.

The cool thing about his display is Brad found the highest resolution image of the figure line up from the original 33-back Super Powers cards, blew it up and used it as the basis for his custom display cabinet.   Then he took the original Super Powers figures, matched them up with their corresponding DC Universe Classics figures and posed them together in the same poses as the card back image.

Check out this impressive display below:






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We’ve got a lot of great stuff related to the Kenner Super powers collection coming up in the months ahead, and this new blog will be the place to read about all of it!

To launch this we’re running an interview with famed Super Powers fans, the Four Horsemen (Eric “Cornboy” Mayse, Eric Treadaway, Chris Dahlberg, and Jim Preziosi). These amazingly talented guys have injected their love of SP into the ongoing Mattel DC Universe Classics line with all-new versions of such SP classic characters such as Golden Pharaoh and Cyclotron, with more on the way. The interview was originally conducted in May 2008 for the SP article done by Jason Geyer for Back Issue magazine #30. All answers are by Eric Treadaway.
Why do you think Super Powers has stood as an iconic toy line? What does the line mean to you, personally?

I think that Super Powers is so iconic for a number of reasons. The main reason I think, though is that it contained such a broad variety of characters in a completely consistent size and scale. The line also had great vehicles, cool mini comics, and really nice packaging with classic artwork. For me personally it set one of the great benchmarks in super hero toys, and it remains one of the more inspirational toy lines that I collected as a kid.


When did you first hear about the unproduced Super Powers toys?

It seems like this was something that I had heard rumors of for years, but it was the article on your site where I got to see the real deal. I love seeing what could have been! When looking at some of the concept art and future plans, it impressed me to see how relevant the line-ups would still be today.



Have Super Powers had any influence in your work, especially the DC toy lines you are working on now?

Absolutely! The entire time we have been doing D.C. characters one of our main goals has been to create a modern incarnation of Super Powers, and to even go beyond it if we are lucky. The Superman wave that we did with Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and Darkseid was a dream wave for us, and in retrospect was the first hint of what was to come.


And finally, do you think there would be any interest in reviving a Super Powers-like toyline today?

I definitely do. I know that I personally have been waiting for a revival for years. In a way I think that we are already attempting to do it. Certain things in the DCUC are different -such as the scale and lack of action features, but I think that at it’s heart DCUC is a lot like Super Powers. We are really trying our hardest to maintain the quality and spirit of the originals. Super Powers had such an impact on fans that in some peoples eyes it can never be topped, but that won’t stop us from trying. I think the fact that Super Powers still creates that type of inspiration is the sign of a what a classic line that it really is.

Thanks to the Horsemen for the interview and all the great toys!

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Hello, and welcome to another week of me sprouting off about Super Powers awesomeness to no one in particular!  Today the Super Powers Highlight focuses on all the figures released at retail on the offer-less, comic-less 33-back card design. 

To many SP collectors, the 3rd series card back redesign is known as both a step back for the overall line and a huge step forward as far as visual presentation.  No included mini-comics, no artwork behind the figure and no special offers meant that cost-cutting was taking place behind the scenes, and as a result the line would not be long of this Earth.  However, it also meant a wonderfully crisp and clean card design that showcased the amazing sculpts of the figures and the industry-leading artistry of The Masters…Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, George Perez and Jack "The King" Kirby.

For the bulk of those brave enough to take on a carded Super Powers collection, the 10-character populated 3rd series is the final hurdle…usually more of a financial strain than even a full set of 12-backs.   It’s also something not instantaneously achieved, since carded examples of all 10 pieces aren’t usually available at the same time even when haunting eBay.  Factor in a somewhat nice condition desired and you have a true challenge before you.

Read the rest of Super Powers Highlight – The 33-Back Production Set


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Wow, really?  Another edition of The Super Powers Highlight, so soon after the last one?

Yes, you’re right…I must be sick.  

Today we’ll be looking at the right-hand toady of one of your more major villains…Grima Wormtongue…err…I mean, DESAAD!  Darkseid’s torture master was indeed part of the Super Powers line from Kenner toys back in the mid-1980′s, and when looking around my display hoping to be inspired to write another blog I realized I had a small Desaad focus amongst my collection.   Desaad, along with the rest of the Series 2 characters released was a major reason why the line was eventually canceled.  If you want to be cute you could say that he tortured the line to a slow retail death.

However, since I’m not keen on acting cute…to the pics! 

Read the rest of Super Powers Highlight – Desaad


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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!

Read the rest of Super Powers Highlight – Shipping Cases!


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Hello everyone, and welcome to another Super Powers Highlight!  Fresh out of the post office box today is one of my newest arrivals…and a pretty damn cool thing to boot!  This is the master color key for the Martian Manhunter mini-comic.  I was fortunate to add a couple of these to my collection this past week (the other being Red Tornado), but I selected this one to showcase here in my blog because it arrived with an extra added bonus…an alternate cover that differs from the final version included with the figure.  

Each page contains color code information for the printer, and as far as what is known each copy is one of a kind.  The colors on each page seem to be applied with a watercolor-type marker.  The seller only had examples from Wave 2 of the Kenner figure line, but he did tell me that at one point he had Wave 1 characters as well.  Upon inquiry I was told they were sold years ago at a convention.  If anyone knows the whereabouts of the Brainiac…well, you know where to reach me.  :-)   Without further ado…here are the images!

Read the rest of Super Powers Highlight – Martian Manhunter Mini-Comic Master Color Key


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Toy Fair 2011 has come and gone and while this year seemed a bit more sedate for what new items were shown, one group of action figures stood out above all others: DC Universe Classics Wave 18. Why are these toys special, you ask? Because for the first time ever, not only do we get a mass market assortment of Super Friends specific toys, but it’s centered around four figures that you would be justified in thinking no one would ever think to make figures of, let alone all four in one wave! Yes, I’m talking about the controversial "ethnic" heroes: Samurai, Black Vulcan, El Dorado, and C&C Apache Chief.

Click here to view the embedded video.


I know some people think these characters are superfluous, or not "comic based" and therefore not worthy of a figure, but I don’t agree with that logic. First and foremost, there is a big section of fans who do want these figures and have waited for them for 20 years.  And on top of that, this is a toy line, not the comics. And these guys make GREAT toys! And they do give a selection of diversity to an all too-white toy aisle (with the occasional black character thrown in). How many Native Americans are on shelves? Asians? Hispanics? Is it going to kill collectors to add one more? And Mattel made it super easy to skip this wave if you don’t like it by tying in the C&C to the theme, so if you just want Bronze Tiger, then by all means just get Bronze Tiger.


Plus, with the addition of Toyman the Legion of Doom is now complete as well!


But the big "completion piece" is Samurai, who wraps up Mattel’s recreation of the fabled Super Powers lineup. With the further additions of Dick Grayson Robin from Wave 16 (out now!) and the upcoming SP Mr. Freeze repaint in the Batman: Legacy line I’ve updated the DCUC/SP picture below. Sure, we could still use repaints of Superman, Batman, and Penguin in more Bronze-Age accurate colors. And Kalibak and Orion would need resculpts to be perfect recreations (although it’s been hinted that the new Lex Luthor armor will be repainted and rereleased down the road to be more SP accurate as well).  But if the line ended with these guys I would be content that we have a complete SP lineup in the greater DCUC line. And with Creeper, El Dorado, and Black Vulcan we’re three more characters closer to finishing off all the unmade SP figures as well!  Now all we need is for the Four Horsemen to make some awesome figures of the sculpted-but-never-produced  Quadrex, Silicon, Rocketman and a C&C Shockwave and I’ll be happy. All of these guys have form factors or special treatments that would make them really neat toys. I’d probably buy Howitzer and Executioner, too, but even I don’t think they’re necessary as figures…


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Howdy howdy, and welcome to another edition of the Super Powers Highlight!  For your consideration today is the other catalog I have relating to how Kenner promoted their toy lines.  This one is from 1985, and was given to Kenner accounts probably either by a representative, salesman or directly at their Toy Fair showroom.  It details all of the various giveaways and purchase incentives that customers would have when buying Super Powers (as well as other) product put out for sale by Kenner Toys back in 1985.   Of note are the changes made to the fan club kit as opposed to the 1984 edition and the specific noted use of the DC comic series as a vehicle to promote the toys.  On to the images…so enjoy!

Read the rest of Super Powers Highlight – 1985 Consumer Promotions Catalog


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Welcome to the Super Powers Blog!  Today I’m highlighting 16 black and white hand-drawn pencil logo concepts that were pitched to represent the line on the figure card backs.  Thanks to a former Kenner employee 24 of these survived destruction when Kenner closed down it’s offices for good.   Oddly enough one was never recovered for what proved to be the final design, but the last one shown in this blog is the closest one to the one used. It is also the only one mounted on an acetate overlay.  Enjoy this glimpse into the early development of the line!


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