#2188: Superboy Vs. King Shark



“It’s the battle of the beach as Hawaiian-based hero Superboy takes on King Shark!  Superboy may not have the massive might of his idol, Superman, but he does have his own special powers and abilities.  He describes them as ‘tactile-telekinesis’ which means that the Teen of Steel can affect anything he touches with his super-strength; in addition, he is also invulnerable and can fly.

Of course, all his strength may not be enough to take a bite out of King Shark!  It’s uncertain whether King Shark is some kind of mutation or, as some Hawaiians believe, the offspring of a shark-god and a mortal woman.  Whatever the case, King Shark is every bit as ruthless a predator as any real shark, with razor sharp teeth, extraordinary strength, and deadly claws on his hands and feet.”

In the mid-90s, Kenner had given Batman a couple of lines, so figured why not give DC’s other big guy a go at it.  Ta-da! Superman: Man of Steel.  It ran two basic series, two deluxe series, and two multi-packs series, and then ended with a bunch of un-released items.  A handful of those pieces would make their way out a few years later.  Among them?  A canceled multi-pack including today’s figures, Superboy and King Shark!


Superboy and King Shark were originally planned for the third assortment of Man of Steel multi-packs, due for release in ’96 (as can be noted from the date stamps on the figures), but were ultimately shelved and then repurposed as one of the four HasbroCollectors.com exclusive DC Super Heroes two-packs that surfaced in 1999.


Superboy was quite negatively affected by Man of Steel‘s early end, with two separate figures canceled.  This one got saved, and is, admittedly, the more conventional of the two that were cancelled.  As far as I know, the costume seen here was made for this figure, as were most of the variant costumes for MoS.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  Hooray for that waist swivel.   It’s essentially an all-new sculpt, with a bit of a pre-pose going on.  This one serves the surfing nature of the figure well.  He’s a little larger than the original MoS Superboy, a fact I can tell by the use of a slightly retooled basic Superboy head to top things off.  It’s nice from a consistency standpoint, and nice from a “it’s a good headsculpt” capacity.  The paintwork on Superboy is pretty basic; it matches the standard colors of the character, and the application is pretty solid, if perhaps a bit roughed up on my figure.  Superboy is packed with a hi-tech surfboard, which he can peg into.


King Shark!  He’s a shark!  He’s King!  And this was his first action figure!  How about that?  King Shark’s figure is another 5-incher (though it’s because he’s squatting; he’d be much taller standing) and he’s got 5 points of articulation.  His head is separate at the neck, as if to add a joint, but there’s no actual movement to be had there.  King Shark’s sculpt is a fair bit more cartoony than a lot of the others in the line, but it’s admittedly not totally out of place for a character like King Shark.  It’s certainly unique when compared to the others.  The paint work on him is rather monochromatic, but, again, fairly accurate, so I can’t really complain.  King Shark had no accessories, but given his larger stature, it kind of made sense.


I was a big fan of Raving Toy Maniac’s action figure archives back in the day, and they had a pretty solid one dedicated to the Man of Steel line, where there was a whole page of cancelled items.  These guys were included there and always piqued my interest, so I was beyond thrilled when they actually made it into production a few years later.  I still really dig this set, in all of its gimmicky goodness.

#1859: Green Lantern



Back in the day, Mego were the first company to really offer up substantial action figure product for either the Marvel or DC super heroes.  Sure, Ideal Toys had briefly touched on them for their Captain Action line, but that was more as an augment to an established thing, not their own thing outright.  Mego gave them the treatment they deserved, and because of that, they’ve both become tentpole properties within the toy market.  Of course, now that Mego is back around, DC and Marvel are both tied up with a multitude of other manufacturers.  DC in particular has been getting consistent Mego-style coverage from Figures Toy Company, but there was still some room in the market for the the over 12” and under 18” market.  It’s a pretty specific niche, but Mego was there, offering up a rather classic selection of DC characters, including, for the first time ever as an official Mego product, Green Lantern!


Green Lantern is part of the second series of Mego’s DC Super Heroes line, alongside Superman, Batgirl, and Poison Ivy.  Hal is sporting his classic ‘70s appearance, which is the correct era for a genuine vintage GL, had Mego released one back in the day.  The figure stands 14 inches tall and has 18 points of articulation.  All of these figures appear to be patterned after the body of the Mego-designed and Denys Fisher-released “Power Action” Superman figure from the late ‘70s.  It’s a respectable starting point.  It’s similar to the standard Mego body, but with slightly tweaked proportions, giving it a generally more heroic stature, which works nicely for the likes of the DC Super Heroes.  It’s also got some extra articulation in the knees, which is fun.  GL gets an all-new head sculpt, which is actually quite nice and surprisingly detailed.  I’d love to see it shrunk down for an 8-inch body.  GL also gets a unique right hand, sporting his lantern ring, as has become the standard practice for such figures.  His costume is a three piece affair, made up a spandex jumpsuit and a pair of plastic boots.  The body suit is fairly well tailored to the body; I appreciate the use of different materials stitched together, rather than just silk-screening.  It makes it look a lot cleaner.  Hal’s paintwork is mostly confined to the head, which is nicely applied, sharp, and sporting some quite subtle accent work.  GL is packed with his power battery, which is another fairly standard thing for him.  He can’t really hold it, but it’s nicely sculpted, so there’s that.


I passed on the first series of DC Super Heroes due to not really having an undying need for any of the characters offered.  Of course, Green Lantern’s my boy, so when he was shown off for Series 2, I knew I’d be tracking one down.  Okay…well, maybe not personally, because it was actually my dad that tracked him down for me.  He’s goofy, he’s really big, and he’s kinda awesome.  I don’t know if I’ll be really investing in this whole line, but I’m certainly very happy with GL.

#0346: The Riddler



If there’s one positive to Toybiz’s DC Super Heroes line, it’s that they managed to do a few more figures in the Super Powers style. Most of the figures weren’t up to the same standards, but some mix in alright. One such figure is the Riddler, the well-known Batman foe. What’s interesting about the Riddler is that is seems that everyone but Kenner wanted to add him to the Super Powers line up. When Argentinian toy company Pacipa purchased the old Super Powers molds, they released their own Riddler, dubbed El Acertijo, made from repainted Green Lantern molds. Toybiz followed suit, also releasing their own version of the Riddler, which I’ll be looking at today.


The Riddler was released in the first series of Toybiz’s DC Superheroes. The figure is about 4 ½ inches tall and features 7 points of articulation. The first series of DC Superheroes made use of Super Powers molds with some slight retooling, and Riddler follows the trend. He’s a slightly retooled SP Flash figure with a new head. Flash has a pretty great sculpt, so Riddler has a pretty good starting point. They’ve made adjustments to give him his proper gloves and belt, so it makes him different enough from Flash that they don’t look bad on the same shelf. They’ve also tweaked his right hand so that it can hold something, which doesn’t really work. It just makes the fingers look really stubby. The new head is… well it’s a sculpt. It manages to be neither good nor bad. It’s just there. Which is okay, I guess. The paint is fine. Once again, it’s not amazing, but it’s not bad. The question marks are handled pretty well, so that’s good. The figure included no accessories, which is super annoying because they clearly re-sculpted his hand to hold something!


Like Green Lantern, Riddler was part of the rather sizeable selection of figures I picked up from Yesterday’s Fun over the summer. I mostly picked up Riddler to accent my Super Powers collection. For that purpose he’s not bad. I must admit, while he’s not a particularly good figure, he’s not horrid either, and he looks okay mixed in with other figures. He’s certainly better that the GL figure and he’s probably one of the best figure’s Toybiz released in this line. So there.

#0345: Green Lantern



The now defunct toy company Toybiz is a name that is most commonly associated with making Marvel toys. This isn’t surprising, of course. They ended up bailing Marvel out of bankruptcy in the mid-90s, leading to them becoming a part of Marvel proper and thereby passing the name onto Marvel’s in-house toy making branch. However, their first major property was not Marvel. No, it was actually Marvel’s main competition, DC. See, when Super Powers ended, DC was looking to move the DC license elsewhere. They turned to a small upstart company by the name of Toybiz, who launched a line simply titled DC Superheroes. The line was pretty much the same scale as Kenner’s Super Powers, mostly because it was pretty much just a slightly lower budget version of Super Powers. The sculpts were just slightly tweaked and made out of inferior plastic. Needless to say, DC wasn’t thrilled by this offering, and after just two series, the rights reverted back to Kenner. Today, I’ll be taking a look at that line’s version of Green Lantern!


Green Lantern was released in the second series of Toybiz’s DC Super Heroes line. The figure is just shy of 5 inches tall and he features 7 points of articulation. The second series is a little different from the first in that they actually featured new sculpts, rather than just retooled SP ones. So, for better or for worse, GL got a brand new sculpt, wholly unique from his SP counterpart. I suppose it’s not fair to compare the work of Kenner at their prime to that of Toybiz in their infancy, but the sculpt of the TB Green Lantern is not up to the quality of his predecessor. The sculpt is wide and oddly proportioned. He’s got these bent arms, which are honestly impressive, because I’m surprised he could bend arms that thick. The torso is huge and ill defined, and the legs lack any real detail. The head looks not unlike a papier-mâché head sculpted over a balloon, which is not a compliment. To top it all off, the joints are horrendously obvious, to the point where you have to question if they did that on purpose. I suppose if I were really trying to find something nice to say, I’d say he bears a passing resemblance to the Filmation version of the character, which isn’t a terrible thing. The paint is…well it’s there. It’s mostly cleanly applied, but other than that, there’s not much to be said of it. The figure is incredibly shiny, which really plays up the whole obvious toy angle. The figure came with an array to let him squirt water from his ring or something. I don’t know, I bought mine loose.


This figure is another from the haul I picked up during the summer from the super cool Yesterday’s Fun. As an avid Green Lantern collector, it’s a figure I’d been looking to pick up for some time now, I’d just never gotten around to it. They had one for a reasonable price, so I went for it. Now I’m reminded of why I put off buying it. It’s not a terrible figure, it’s just overwhelmingly mediocre. It feels like one of those incredibly obvious toys they’d use on a TV show to more easily convey that it’s a toy. I just don’t quite know what they were thinking with this one, especially since it followed up figures that re-used the far superior Super Powers sculpts.