Back In The Summer Of…’87…

More recent and scarce additions to my collection from the vast archive of SuperFan William S. Wilson. The above double-page vintage promos from 1985 culled from the pages of weekly Variety are a Cannon Films showcase published during what could be arguably described as their prime. The announcement of Superman IV was quite the coup for new producers Menachem Golan and Yoram Globus who look rather pleased (along with the board, bottom pic) with their acquisition of the Superman Motion Picture Property from the Salkinds, shortly before slashing its intended budget and ultimately delivering the picture that would kill the franchise…
My thanks to Chris King for re-assembling the artwork & Mr. Wilson for his continued generosity..

You’ll Believe A Figure Can Fly…

…Onto the shelves of a million patiently waiting SuperFans! Announced last August by Hot Toys as a ‘Winter 2010’ release, photographs of the prototype 1/6 figure were finally released online this week creating what could only be described as fanboy hysteria. Indeed, online collector forums such as Sideshow Freaks had two threads comprising of hundreds of pages of speculation before a single picture had been shown. Was it worth the wait? Hot Toys detail often speaks for itself, though one should bear in mind this is a prototype and unlike most other Toy companies HT listen to fans and often ‘tweak’ details before November’s release. Though the headsculpt (by renowned Korean Sculptor Arnie Kim) is a work of art in itself, pictured bottom is SuperFan Sebastian Columbo’s manip side-by-side with the original, proving in Kim’s hands its easily the closest likeness in any scale to date…

Mattel Movie Masters – Lex Luthor…

Based on this preview offered some months ago in the now-defunct Toyfare magazine I was initially skeptical about the quality of this figure and only purchased it when offered for completest sakes. At first glance it seemed to be poorly rendered with only the barest resemblance to Gene Hackman but the accessories (choice of wigs/Kryptonite on a chain) nonetheless sounded compelling.
Imagine my surprise when the figure arrived (quicker than previous orders) and is arguably the best in the line so far.  For whatever shortcomings the figure might have sculpt/paint-wise its clearer than ever these figures are produced with considerable love for the subject matter as exemplified in the details. Packaged in the familiar oversize transparent case as the other figures, look closely at the background card for a great rendition of Luthor’s Lair and the Train Station ‘Condemned’ door (serving as the lid of the accessories). The specifics extend to the figure itself with Lex’ tasteless 70’s suit adorned with lapel flower besides neckerchief and wristwatch. Even his gold ring is present and the chunk of Kryptonite is held menacingly in his hand. The case of accessories is as comprehensive as before (stand/2xpairs hands, 3xwigs) but the addition of the scale transparent plastic map of ‘Lexifornia’ simply has to be one of the most inspired Action Figure props of all time. And take another look at the close up of the sculpt – Its an infinitely more convincing Hackman than we were led to believe which highlights a real issue;
It was recently announced that this figure would conclude the line of figures based on Superman: The Movie due to what Mattel branded ‘poor sales’. The fact not one decent photograph nor single piece of sufficient advertising for the line was available in advance suggest Mattel should be astounded they managed to move any units at all. The desperately sad thing is (besides the Superman figure being the weakest of the set) is plans were officially in place to produce at least the remaining Phantom Zone Villains had the line been more popular. With that in mind I implore the ever-faithful fans who have purchased the entire set to let Mattel know (through their facebook page) what a mistake they have made and campaign to resurrect the run as based on the quality of this figure, they were just hitting their stride…