#2326: Superman



“Sent to Earth from the dying planet of Krypton as a baby, Kal-El was found by farmers Martha and Jonathan Kent and raised as their son, Clark.  As Clark grew up, the radiation from Earth’s yellow sun gave him extraordinary powers, which he kept hidden.  Now fully grown, he uses his powers to protect his adopted world as Superman.  The Man of Steel is virtually invulnerable and has the powers of super-strength, super-speed, and flight.  He also has enhanced senses, including heat vision, X-ray vision, super-hearing, and super-breath.”

When Mattel lost the DC license (or chose not to pursue a renewal, depending on who you ask), it was split between two main licensees.  For the more all-ages oriented toys, Spin Master has the license, and I’ve already taken a look at a couple of their offerings.  Now I’m jumping over to the other company, McFarlane Toys, who will be handling the more collectors-oriented side of things.  I’m kicking things off with their take on the Man of Steel.


Superman is part of the rather large assortment 1 product launch for McFarlane’s DC Multiverse line.  While all 12 of the initial figures are technically part of the same assortment, they’ve been broken down into a few different subsets.  Three variants each of Superman and Batman make up the first grouping of figures.  This particular Superman is the most standard fare, being based specifically on his appearance in Action Comics #1000…at least according to the box.  I’ll touch on that in a bit.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 33 points of articulation.  In terms of scaling, these guys are pretty big.  You won’t be mixing them with your Legends to be sure, as they’re more in line with McFarlane’s other offerings or the stuff coming from NECA.  You could also probably mix some of them in with the DC Essentials figures, thought they’re a bit large even for those. While there’s certainly a lot of articulation, the effectiveness of a good number of the joints is a little on the iffy side.  The neck joint and mid-torso both have some decent range, as well a smooth motion to them.  The legs have decent mobility, but the joints are really clicky and a little tricky to work with.  The arms are the worst of the bunch, with really heavily ratcheted joints, poor range on the shoulders and the elbows, and some truly hideous design on the wrists.  Ultimately, you can get some fairly decent poses out of him, but for someone who’s used to Legends, he’s a bit of a pain to pose.  Articulation aside, how’s the actual sculpt.  Well, in my eyes, Superman is the best of the initial offerings, so I don’t think it’s that bad.  For the most part, the proportions are fairly balanced and realistic, while still being rather heroic.  Although he’s supposedly based on Jim Lee’s depiction of Clark from Action 1000, I don’t get much Lee out of this sculpt myself.  The head’s a little wonky; I’m not sure exactly what kind of likeness or expression they’re going for here, but he seems a little…off from my usual mind’s eye version of Clark.  It’s not terrible, though, and far from the worst head sculpt in the bunch.  It’s probably not helping that the head was one of the few things I unquestionably liked about the Essentials figure when I reviewed it.  The body sculpt is decent, but does run into a little bit of Todd being Todd and adding details that don’t necessarily need to be there.  He’s got some various piping running along various parts of his costume, and the insignia is now large and raised.  I do like the cape a lot; while I’m not always a huge fan of the overly large cape for Superman, it works well here, and it has a nice, dynamic flow to it.  Superman’s paintwork is pretty basic, which is a good thing, because I was a little worried that was another area where things might get all Todded up.  Application is mostly pretty clean, apart from a few small issues here and there.  The most glaring thing on my figure was a little spot of flesh tone on the hair.  Superman is packed with two sets of hands, a flight stand, and a collectors card.  The hands are probably my biggest complaint, because they don’t feel very suited to the poses I want out of a Superman.  The relaxed hands aren’t as handy as a pair of flat flying hands might have been, and I can’t begin to fathom why we got a gripping hand for the right instead of a fist to match the left.  He doesn’t even come with anything to hold!


So, I was hesitant on the McFarlane stuff, due to them not having the best track record.  When they showed this figure off, I wasn’t much of a fan of the proto, but after getting to see him in person, I decided to at least give him a chance.  Ultimately, he’s not bad, and certainly an admirable effort from McFarlane.  He’s still got his flaws, though, and I’m hoping they can offer some improvements.  Still, he’s a solid piece on his own.

I got my figure from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

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