"Take Flight – Spring 2001…!"

As details slowly emerge regarding the arrival of the Superman Motion Picture Anthology on Blu-Ray in the coming months, many will remember that 2001 was a vintage year for Superfandom. Warner Brothers had planned nothing less than a limited cinema release of the newly restored and remastered Superman: The Movie followed by a sparkling new DVD release resplendent with all-new extras. The anticipation was heightened to feverish proportions when this trailer was released online (still considered the best trailer for the movie to this day) but would finally disappoint many fans by not making it back onto the big screen outside of the US.
Debate still rages over many aspects of the Superman: Special Edition DVD over anything from the ‘remastered’ sound to the inclusion of deleted scenes, but few denied it was a spectacular presentation with fantastic documentaries (and even Christopher Reeve’s screentest, something I longed for but thought I’d never see) regardless of its cheap, unassuming ‘Snapper’ case.
WB would later follow the Special Edition with TheComplete Superman Collection as a gleaming box-set. The debut of the sequels on DVD was a more ‘vanilla’ affair but no less pleasing to have the entire series in the best format of the time…
From the top; Region 1 Boxset, contents, Promo for the Special Edition and Spanish ad for The Complete Collection

The Quest For Rental…

1988 was a landmark year for the Superman character – his 50 year anniversary was intended by DC Comics to be a grand event celebrated across all mediums. Other than making the cover of Time magazine it was instead a subdued occasion with only the best-forgotten TV special (hosted by Dana Carvey) to mark it. The film series had bowed out on a sour note with disappointing returns and poor critical and audience response to Superman IV. Initiators of the Superman Film series, Alexander and Ilya Salkind would eventually buy the rights back from Cannon Films after premiering their SuperBoy TV show to similarly lukewarm notices. Though the series would continue for three seasons, Superman would be absent from our screens for some time. From the top – Vintage magazine ad, scarce A3 size pop-up promo card for video rental, an original copy in oversize case and the UK Laserdisc…

SuperLunchBox…

If you were a schoolkid in the 70’s and 80’s, there is a strong possibility you will have carted your dinner around in a lunchbox from Aladdin industries. With licenses ranging from ‘Annie’ all the way through to ‘Zorro’ their sets (including matching thermos flask with one gulp capacity) were robust and distinctive, often adorned with exclusive artwork on the lid.
Though boxes had been produced by Aladdin for both Superman: The Movie and Superman II, shown above is the inexplicably scarce Superman III edition. As almost all of these were put to good use back in the day (I last saw one through envious eyes in possession of a school pal) it is also rare to find one in such good condition – a testimony to their resolve. Photograph’s by me with the exception of the clean graphic at bottom loaned from capedwonder.com…