Action Replay 3&4…

Game3Game3BackGame4Game4BackThe series of vintage cereal premiums continues with the hopelessly complicated (for its target audience) card No.3 ‘Ski Chase’ and the ‘Hangman’ inspired ‘Tower Of Pisa’ game.

Once again the only saving grace here is the fantastic artwork (presumably by Garcia-Lopez) that is a great prelude to the definitive works he would produce only a year later for the beloved Kenner ‘Super Powers’ Action Figure line…

Coming soon – The final pair..!

Action Replay 1&2…

Game1

Game1BackGame2Game2BackAs promised, here are the first two (of a set of six) Superman III Shreddies promotional wipe-away ‘Action Replay’ game cards.  Game 1 you will notice is a thinly-disguised version of Battleship and game 2 is a weird variation on Connect 4. 

As the play potential of these is evidently limited, thank goodness the colourful artwork elevates them above your standard cereal giveaway – parts 3&4 coming soon..!

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…

Computor Games..?

Badge3Badge4Badge1Badge2-001This latest addition to the SUPERMANIA archive is a generous gift from longtime Superfan Chris King.  Distributed in 1983 by Present Needs Ltd, this complete set of four promotional pinbacks were a mainstay of local comic shops for years (bagged separately on a blue backing board) and, according to Chris, available in the foyer of the cinema where the movie was screening.

Featuring sharp, colourful graphics, besides the obvious spelling faux-pas (third pic down) the most curious concoction is easily the last button (fourth pic) where a still from the computer showdown is paired with a still from the junkyard sequence for a supposed ‘reflection’ (with the help of a laughably rendered mirror).

Like many promotional items from Superman III these, although considered ‘shelf warmers’ at the time, are increasingly rare as a set today…

DNA Encoded…

Screenused_TunicScreenused_Tunic_LabelScreenused_BeltScreenused_Belt2

Superman III / Superman’s Bodysuit (Christopher Reeve)

(Warner Bros., 1983) Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1 (June 1938) and subsequently appeared in various radio serials, television programs, films, newspaper strips, and video games. With the success of his adventures, Superman helped to create the superhero genre and establish its primacy within the American comic book. In the late 70’s, Christopher Reeve became the embodiment of the Man of Steel. Though he had predecessors, his name became synonymous for the Man from Krypton, sent to Metropolis to protect Earth. In 1995, with the tragic announcement of Chris Reeve’s spinal injury from a horse accident, rendering him paralyzed in a wheelchair, fans’ ongoing hope of Mr. Reeve once again donning the suit were shattered. As a result, Chris Reeve’s Superman costumes have become one of the most sought after artifacts in film history. As witnessed in the fine arts world, it did not take long for the forgers to see an opportunity and today, several fake suits, manufactured long after filming – yet copied from the real thing, therefore identical – are known to have ended up in private collections, sold as “originals”. Many of the die-hard collectors are aware of that fact, which naturally makes a purchase choice in today’s market a rather difficult one, especially since hardly any of the suits documented in public sales seemed to be accompanied by any meaningful provenance. In fact, the standard “COA” often reads that the suit was given to “x” person by an employee from the costume department with no direct link that would allow tracing it back to a credible or indisputable source.

ScreenUsed is proud to offer a rare original Christopher Reeve Superman bodysuit with his trademark belt, accompanied by an actual Certificate of Authenticity direct from Warner Brothers Studios. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only original Superman costume ever to be released to the public with full Warner Brothers Archives sanctioning. The studio’s unique DNA encoding system allows for matching the suit with its corresponding COA at any given time, eliminating the risk of the valuable and authenticating paperwork ever being matched up with a replicated body-suit. To adequately display the suit, it was dressed on a custom muscular ‘heroic’ mannequin with custom sculpted Christopher Reeve head (painted in silky white to direct the emphasis towards the suit, not the sculpture) and completed with a replicated set of cape and boots. Superman’s appearance is distinctive and iconic, making this costume instantly recognizable the world over.

Currently offered in auction by Screenused.com this excellent piece from Superman III represents a first in authentication technology – although exactly what it is and how its achieved remains unclear.

As acknowledged by the outstanding description above, the market has been saturated by fakes (some better rendered than others) but all with corresponding paperwork with ‘legitimate’ correspondence easily capable of fooling the casual fan in to spending thousands.  Prevalent throughout the nineties, it is unknown just how many of these copies are still out there pertaining to be the real thing.  In fairness to the buyer, there was very little out there for reference as a basis for comparison until the last decade where access to genuine costumes was kindly made available (by the likes of the Propstore.com etc.) where extensive research and studies could be made for a definitive guide to what makes Yvonne Blake’s creation quite so Super.

Thankfully there are now sites committed to policing the web to ensure the consumer is not being fooled auction by auction as they become available.  The best of these by far is Jason DeBord’s Original Prop Blog, where the dissection of every listing (right down to the fabric weave) caters for your every authentication concern.  For those wanting a more exhaustive overview may I recommend SUPERMANIA’s very own essay on the costume found right here on the incomparable Capedwonder.com. 

Revolutionary and genuine as the lot here is, however, its not all good news.  While the bodysuit looks to be in fantastic condition (studio labelled throughout – even the belt – noting Reeve was a 36″ waist at the time of filming) the overall display does it little justice.  Mounted on what looks to be a plain white basic shop display mannequin (lacking anywhere close to Reeve’s height or proportions) with a cast of Howard Senft’s stylised Reeve bust added painted to match, the obvious reproduction boots and cape, while completing the costume, seem to undermine the legitimacy of the production-made pieces.

Whomever the lucky new owner is, SUPERMANIA’s advice would be to remount the bodysuit as is (while binning the repro gear) or at least reinvesting in sharp new pieces from either Super Costumes or Action Costumes for a closer match…