Sidney Takes Off…

DSC_3185-001DSC_3178DSC_3190DSC_3188SUPERMANIA extends many happy returns to director Sidney J. Furie on this, his 82nd birthday and marks the occasion with this super-rare vintage proof sheet for his movie Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

A beautiful oversize colour lithograph intended for print in Daily Variety in 1987 (second pic), this double-page ad puts Daniel Goozee’s striking poster art to great use (third pic) while delivering the great news that the movie had grossed a very respectable $5,683,122 domestically in its first three days (bottom pic).

While this great opening (across 1511 theatres) would ultimately falter in the proceeding weeks, this unique treasure is a fitting tribute to what many consider to be the most well intended of the Superman series, even if it wasn’t the best executed.

Many happy returns Sidney J!

At The Abyss…

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Enjoy this vintage German promotional material for the international release of Superman IV: Die Welt Am Abgrund’, (Interestingly translated as ‘The World At The Abyss’) where the copy goes to considerable effort to make the movie sound like the greatest thing to ever grace the silver screen.

Featuring the ‘unique’ German cut & paste poster art, the tiny Cinenews Program from March 1988 (top pic) proudly declares this is ‘Superman’s last chance’ in ‘The huge battle with over 300 optical effects’ before opening up to a nicely composed spread of publicity photos (second pic) where the accompanying review labels it ‘As strong as Kryptonite’.

Exhibiting far more restraint is the large pull-out poster (third pic) from an unknown magazine produced in association with the movie’s broadcast on German TV channel Sat 1, where it was presented as the cult movie of the week…

Squaring Up…

Pictures9-001Shreddies_Front-002Pictures10SUPERMAN SHREDDIES AD SEPT83In an era where cereal premiums and movie promotions really gained momentum, the Nabisco Company had wisely remained faithful to the Superman movie franchise after a successful campaign backing Superman II a few years earlier.

Always looking for new gimmicks to push product out to kids (and ensuring its longevity by making their giveaways a collectable series) the ‘Action Replay Games’ found in special packs of Shreddies were a cunning use of nothing so special as laminate cardboard that would wipe away felt-tip pen.

Based on various scenes from Superman III this handsomely illustrated (with art provided by the stalwart Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez) series of six cards were an instant hit but by their very nature would deteriorate quickly (quicker still had you not read the instructions & used ball-point pen) and so would ultimately be disposed of, making them a rarity in the years to follow.

SUPERMANIA therefore, is proud to present not only the comic book ad (bottom pic) but scans of an original pristine Shreddies cereal box detailing all the fantastic artwork (and some rare stills) used in the promotion.

And coming soon – the complete set of ‘Action Replay’ games reproduced front & back in resolution suitable for printing…

NECArrives…

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From the NECA website;

“We still believe a man can fly… Decades after its release, Christopher Reeve iconic portrayal of Superman: The Movie in the 1978 remains the definitive version. Working closely with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Warner Bros, we are deeply honored to present this new 1/4 scale action figure of the hero as generations have known him.

Superman stands over 18” tall and features the authorized likeness of Christopher Reeve. The figure comes with a tailored soft fabric cape and interchangeable hands. Highly poseable and movie-accurate, this is a must-have for fans of every age. Ships to retailers in May!”

Highly anticipated and unveiled only yesterday at the New York toyfair, flourishing US toy company NECA, having already capitalized on vintage WB/DC Batman properties, finally came through with their long-hinted Superman figure in quarter scale.

Presenting the fourth contemporary action figure (discounting statues) based on the likeness of Christopher Reeve (top pic), NECA will be the first to release the largest to date at a whopping 18″ tall due to be released this May.

Cautiously optimistic since the announcement from last year’s NY Toyfair and encouraged by the company’s output and constant interaction with fans through their Twitter account, SUPERMANIA is typically as frustrated with the prototype shown (second third & fourth pics) as it is elated.

For something apparently approved by the Reeve estate and WB, its galling that something that claims to be Movie Accurate (that term again!) has obvious issues in the forehead area (where the towering hairline makes the hair itself appear disproportionate) and the now standard free (juvenile) interpretation of the chest shield detract from a figure that gets so many other details right.  Indeed, among the positives are the rendering of the boots, (managing not only to achieve the correct cuff widths but even incorporating the correct seams) passable representations of the screen seen costume colours, correct cut of the shorts and a correct length cape.  The likeness, though suffering from slight cross eyes in the prototype (top pic) has great merit with the nose, cheekbones and lips possibly the best attempt since Hot Toys 1/6 version.

Of particular note is how NECA have listened to their fans and gone to considerable effort to mask the articulation in this figure (always difficult in a ‘skintight’ suited body) having wisely excised the abdominal joint that became such a distracting eyesore on the Adam West Batman figure.

As ever, one hopes for intervention and some amendments being made before the figure goes to production (and, refreshingly, for NECA this would not be a first) but as of right now, one can forsee this item being popular in its own right and of infinite potential for customisation.  SUPERMANIA will keep you informed…

Thanks to TOYARK for the pics taken from the show…

Undisguised…

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Always striving to bring the discerning Superfan rare ephemera from around the world, SUPERMANIA presents another rare find from the archive with this fantastic piece from Fotogramas (Frames) magazine 1577.  Entitled Superman sin disfraz or Superman undisguised, this interview with Christopher reeve by Robert Howard is enhanced with some great imagery.

For those of you who can read Spanish, enjoy – and please feel free to either translate or express the highlights in the comments section below..!