It’s time once again to look back on the legacy of Kenner’s Super Powers Collection and the figures that followed in its footsteps. This time around we’ll look at the man of steel himself, Earth’s greatest hero – Superman!
For almost as long as there’s been a Superman, there have been toys of the character. Some of the earliest ones were tin toys, and later simple, unarticulated plastic figurines, crude by today’s standards. The ’70s saw Mego produce several different sized Supermen – 8″, 12″, and 3 3/4″ – before a Superman figure helped kick off the Super Powers line. Toy Biz’s Superman was the first figure of the last son of Krypton to follow Kenner’s. Let’s take a look at the figure and his packaging.
Click on any of the photos for full-size views
Superman was part of the first wave of Toy Biz’s expanded DC Super Heroes line. The logo these cards bear was not widely used outside of this series of action figures and a few other products.
Questionable proportions there, Supes. Then again, it was the ’90s, so we should be thankful that Rob Liefeld didn’t draw him. Has Liefeld ever drawn Superman?
…okay then. That was drawn in 2008. THE MAN KEEPS GETTING WORK.
And here’s the figure himself. This Superman is quite a bit thicker than the Super Powers version, and I don’t mean that in the British sense of the word. Think of him as the Wayne Boring Superman figure. That thickness seems to be a general trait of this whole line, though. He comes packaged with a “kid-sized Kryptonite ring”, which we will come back to shortly.
Hard not to notice that the Toy Biz cardback straight up rips off the red line with yellow stars in it from its Super Powers predecessor. It’s used nicely, though, as a border across the top of the card. On the whole, though, I think the Super Powers card pops off the shelf a lot more than the Toy Biz one does.
And here’s the back of the card, providing our first glimpse of the rest of this first wave of DC Super Heroes figures. Interestingly absent are Batman, The Joker, and Bob the Goon. Is Robin supposed to fight The Penguin, The Riddler, and Mr. Freeze all by himself?
As is the case on most of these cardbacks, the figure used to display the ‘action’ appears to be a mildly-repainted Super Powers figure. The red is much darker, and the legs on this guy look like the Toy Biz legs, but the torso, arms, and head are all Kenner.
Now let’s talk about this ‘action’. Superman has a magnet in his chest, so that when the Kryptonite ring that comes with him (which also has a magnet in it) is held near him, he is repelled. This is a toy of the greatest superhero of them all, and his action feature is that he falls down. Granted it was really fun as a kid, but looking back…it’s an odd choice. Still, I know one person who would be excited.
Jesse doesn’t have a lot going on.
I’m sure Ma and Pa Kent love being referred to simply as ‘Earthlings’ whenever they’re mentioned as part of Superman’s origin story. Also I’ve always wondered why The Daily Planet is always publishing stuff about Superman’s weaknesses. Like in Superman: The Movie Lois is sure to include that he can’t see through lead. That’s not exactly helping, Ms. Lane.
That’s it for Superman! Thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon with a look at another figure from the Toy Biz DC Super Heroes line!