‘The Collection…’

Exclusive to the UK and released around 1989, Superman; The Collection was one of the first video boxsets made available by Warner Bros.  Culled from the second run of individually released titles and repackaged as ‘The Superheroes’ collection (Including Supergirl and other WB catalog titles including Santa Claus: The Movie) the set was  expensive at the time and therefore a rarity today.

Contained in a handsome box utilizing elements of the shield artwork from Superman: the Movie and Daniel Goozee’s painting for the Superman IV: The Quest For Peace poster, its interesting to note how many production companies were tied into the distribution (WB/Weintraub/Cannon/Hollywood NItes) before Warner’s regained full ownership.  It would be decades before advances in technology would permit them to exploit the titles once again in a far more definitive boxset on DVD…

14 thoughts on “‘The Collection…’

  1. wow this brings back memories. i was about 12 or 13 when this came out. saw it in WH Smith in what mustve been late 88 or late 89. i held it in my hand. £39.99 seems to stick in my mind for some reason (maybe thatd be about 70 quid in todays money?) it was nearly xmas and i was asked if i wanted it. for some reason i said i only wanted Superman II (you could buy them seperate for about 9.99 each and i think i was trying to save my folks money..guess i didnt want them to get anything too expensive…plus i think i was in a brief 'im not bothered about superman anymore' phase – or trying to act like i wasnt bothered – Batman was the 'cool' thing to be into then and had somehow managed to (briefly) overtake my interest) so i only got II for xmas (back then i thought STM was abit boring, didnt like III and had seen IV 4 times at the cinema and many on vhs rental so wasnt to bothered about seeing it again so soon in 88 or whenever it was).

    always regretted not getting it. in fact it become something of an obsession trying to track it down after when i realised how stupid id been (they sold out fast). eventually managed to track down III and IV years later in about 1998 or so. I found STM in the local VHS rental store and went in one day and asked if i could switch covers with the STM vhs i had (which had a different cover to one from the 'Collection' set – the one i had with a photo of supes in front of the statue of liberty) so finally had the 4 videos as in the pics but not the great looking box(which i never found)

    it was one of those times in life when you just make a full on wrong decision (in this case not just saying i wanted it for xmas and thinking i was too grown up for superman) and the consequences of the action haunt you for years after….

    ebay has changed all that (although i could never find a set on there – and even if i had id have had to think twice about buying all the vids again and alot on P&P – just for the box really) and of course when then they brought out DVD all the searching and wanting seemed such a waste LOL (well not that great until 2006 as for some reason they wouldnt release III and IV on dvd until then)

    that nice shiney silver 13 disc dvd set sitting on my shelf sort of makes up for it now though

    but it was a big regret not saying i wanted that box set for xmas. its crazy for me now to think back then i said 'nah just II please'

    thanks for sharing the pics anyway – you obviosly didnt make the same mistake i did (and why would you)

  2. oh btw there was a Supergirl VHS released around the same time with the same 'SuperHeroes' packaging (which i also managed to track down in the intervening years)

    man its really coming back to me now just how bad i wanted that set! mustve been about a good decade of regret every time i looked at my vhs collection! (there was other superman movie stuff i desperatly wanted for years too that i couldnt track down until ebay – e.g. the Starlog Superman III poster mag, the jumbo DC Superman II magazine) but i never managed to get that damn box set!

    kids today have no idea about this stuff

  3. Hi there –

    Thanks for your comments, amazing how your story mirrors my own!!!
    This box was a fairly recent purchase (having been taunted by seeing the set as a kid on a top shelf behind the counter in Woolworths!) as I owned all four 'Superheroes' movies already. The VHS cover you describe with Superman flying past Liberty was also the first video tape I ever bought.
    I never forgot that box and with the phasing out of video never thought I'd see it again. You can imagine my suprise when I saw it at a toy fair of all places for £10. This is the well-preserved set you see above. I take your point well about kids today having no idea about this stuff as the channels of availability simply did not exist. I remember one of my first eBay purchases being the set of paintings by Jim Dietz and being mesmerized when they arrived….

  4. Hi again. yeah my 1st ebay purchase was another 'wanting for years as i let it slip through my fingers as a kid' deals.

    the very first film i remember being taken to see at the cinema was Superman II (mustve been about 4 years old) and obviously was blown away by it. but before we went in to see it i can vividly recall there was a guy standing outside the cinema selling Superman II programs. i can remember there was this image of reeve on the back cover:
    http://levelorange.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/christopher_reeve_superman_born__sep_25_1952_nyc.jpg

    anyway for whatever reason i didnt get one and i recall whining about it after and my family saying something like 'why didnt you say you wanted one at the time?' dont know why we couldnt just get one another day, maybe theyd sold out. (i didnt make the same mistake when SIII came out and demanded i got the comic adaptation and UK postermag that they were selling at the foyer)

    anyway like the VHS set, the SII program thing sort of haunted me for years and when i first discovered ebay in 99 i got one sent from america (although it was probably slightly different to the UK program as the STM UK/US programs differ slightly, but it had the same pic on the back..i cant be arsed getting a UK version now)..then i got the other stuff id been wanting for years but had only ever seen advertised in other magazines etc (the SIII starlog poster mag, Jumbo SII DC mag, movie editions of Last Son Krypton and Miracle Monday, SIV novel etc…) to go with all the other superman movie stuff id managed to pick up at the time of the movies release and over the years. even managed to replace stuff id once had been had been destroyed long ago (e.g. the SII edition of 'Superheroes Monthly')

    anyway the whole of 99 i mustve bought about 30 or 40 items that id desperatly wanted over the years (superman and other). it was like xmas. Literally any crazy obscure thing that was only avaiable in the US or some rare thing id seen as a kid was now mine! it was an odd feeling! almost like 'well whats to live for now?' (btw way none of the stuff was real expensive or considered that rare, it was just stuff that was important to me really.)

    occasionally i still buy stuff like that (but its less of an obsession now) but at the time in 99 i couldnt quite believe what i was seeing with ebay …like 'OMG! a website that enables you to buy anything you ever wanted from anywhere in the world?!..no more trailing around 2nd hand bookstores or car boot sales or charity shops looking for obscure stuff i wanted or to fill that gap in the collection?!'

    actually i probably overdid it, in fact some of the stuff id ebay bought ive now sold again!..almost like 'ok ive seen that thing i once saw as a kid and ive wanted for years, bored of it now'

  5. one last thing…alot of the stuff i wanted over the years was US only based. i cant describe the frustration of seeing stuff advertised in stuff that was avaiable in the UK (like starlog) that was only avaiable from the US as there was just no way of getting it pre ebay. sending $ in the post or postal cheques? whenever i enquired about how to do it everyone seemed to sell me it was impossible.

  6. Yes indeed –
    Make no mistake, this blog would not exist were it not for the explosion of the collectors market that is ebay and the introduction of paypal. I too used to glare with envy at anything 'exclusive' to the US and have spent years (and a fortune!) making up for it…

  7. yknow, Im still tempted to track one of these bad boys down despite the fact itd cost a mint in p&p and already having the big dvd set now!…just for the heck of it. then maybe one day if i invent a time machine i'll go back to xmas 88 or 89 and put it under the tree. (along with Mattels new Superman and Zod figures)

    man i STILL CANNOT get over how f***ing STUPID i was in holding it in my hands, being asked if i wanted it for xmas..and then saying 'no'

    sorry to eat up all your comments with all this regret talk but its actually making me quite angry! think it took me about a month or so before i realised id made a huge mistake (by then theyd all gone). I think i would have literally killed for it throughout the 1990s

  8. ok one last thing and i'll shut up about it,

    in the late 90s i purchased the Lethal Weapon vhs box set (4 films) and it was very much like the superman one. at the time it just annoyed me to think i had the tip top of the range box set for LW – films i wasnt that bothered about – yet no box set for my all time favourite movies! i mean THE most important part of any movie fans collection is possibly the films themseleves (VHS in the 90s, DVD for the 00s)

    its an amazing set though – i mentioned in a previous topic about how i think IV has the best poster so its great they adapted that one for the box. (makes sense as it'll have been the first time IV was out on home video)

    a couple of things have always bugged me about the set though:
    -using a still from II for the STM cover. Why not use a STM movie poster like II, III and IV? (even a still from STM like the statue of libery one wouldve been preferable)

    -theres a still from III on the back of II (icing the lake)

    -the corperate logo at the bottom of III threw the alignment out of the others (nit picky but at the time that was important when displaying!)

  9. ive just remembered – it wasnt WH Smith i saw it – it was John Menzies!

    oh and btw in addition to the 4 Supermans and Supergirl i cant be entirely sure but I *think* they did 'Santa Claus The Movie' in the same 'Superheroes' style box cover (mustve been a Salkind thing…funnily enough i only recently found out the same guy directed Supergirl and Santa as well as a few Smallvilles and Somewhere in Time!)

    Happy Christmas and im still kind of hoping i somehow wake up to find that awesome boxset there under the tree..(like my douchebag 12 year old self should have)

  10. Ah – John Menzies!! Blast from the past.
    You are right about the questionable addition to 'Santa Claus; The Movie' being amongst the 'Superheroes' collection.

    As I still attend allsorts of Collector fairs I will keep my eye out for another boxset as it seems you have a hole in your fandom life similar to my longing for a perfect official Superman figure, something I always wanted for Christmas…

  11. thanks man.

    im assuming youve already got the new official Mattel Superman figure – did you get it in time for xmas?

    stuff like that id have killed for as a kid but now…not so much. unless Mattle do an Evil Superman from III, i wouldnt be able to resist that – id have to have it. Might be interested in getting the hot toys Reeve as well. (if it looks amazing which im sure it will)

  12. Pingback: ‘The Collection’ Pt. 2… | SUPERMANIA

  13. Hi all, I have own one of these since childhood, got it for my 5th birthday. I was Superman obsessed, even my nickname was Superman! Anyway, I’m thinking of putting the set on eBay, wondering what it’s worth?

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