With Merit…

Merit1Pictures32Pictures33Merit2Edition One of Merit Publications magazine is quite the enigma given that there were no subsequent issues and that it is arguably one of the finest pieces of vintage Superman items produced in conjunction with the movie.

Though it proclaims to showcase Warner Bros. New films, it is actually an elegant portfolio of photographs and accompanying text all from Superman: The Movie featuring the best publicity stills and some uncommon prints.  Anybody seeking info on Clint Eastwood’s and Stanley Kubrick’s latest would’ve felt short-changed as coverage amounts to nothing more than ads for Every Which Way But Loose and The Shining inside the back cover.

As if the glorious layouts (above) were not enough, the centrefold is a pull-out poster of the iconic ‘Punch’ shot taken by Bob Penn in New York in 1977 – all of the above making this the ideal companion piece to the Collectors Album and SUPERMANIA’s recommendation for an inexpensive addition to the perfect Super-library…

Coming soon – The Japanese edition…

Poster Gigante..!

Postermag120160607_14230520160607_141900Postermag2Presenting the latest piece of vintage memorabilia to be added to the SUPERMANIA archive – this unique poster magazine was released exclusively in Spain and is so rare this is the first and only copy seen in decades of collecting.

The Superman Movies have a long and rich history with this most ’80’s of collecting staples.  Most big genre movies of the decade were awarded with similar colourful fold-outs which would adorn many a childhood bedroom wall until, much like cinematic events themselves, their fade into obscurity.

Whereas the foldout format would be limited to European/UK shores (with II and III upcoming in future posts) Stateside offerings would be appropriately heftier affairs with the glossy magazines for Superman III and IV by Starlog Press emerging as arguably the best tie-in’s for each picture – both of which will also appear here soon..!

God’s Gift…

Screentest1“He hopped off of the balcony and said “Good evening Miss Lane” – and Geoffrey Unsworth looked over at me and went (mugs impressed face) because the tone was just right.  We went through the test and we knew…we had him.  I remember we sent the test back to Warner Brothers and we prayed.  We said we love, love this kid.  And they saw it and they went great, go with him, if you feel that strongly that’s terrific…”

-Tom Mankiewicz, Taking Flight – The Development of Superman

Screentest 4

An infamous casting call so grand in scale it echoed the the search for Scarlett O’Hara decades before, the question of just who would fill Superman’s boots for the upcoming 1978 movie would similarly become the stuff of Hollywood legend.

39 years ago today, young, idealistic and ambitious actor Christopher Reeve took to the makeshift set at Shepperton Studios clad in the most embarrassingly makeshift of superhero costumes to perform a pivotal scene for Director Richard Donner.

Sweating profusely in longjohns with layers of black shoe polish in his hair, Reeve, although clearly nervous, manages to somehow transcend the outfit and even at this early stage, convey the most human of aliens in the most earnest of ways.

It would take a year of weight gain and pumping iron before lean Reeve would fill out the cape in the style to which comic-book readers had become accustomed to over forty years, but the excitement (and relief) must have been tangible by the end of the audition process – having screened everybody from Sylvester Stallone to the producers dentist.

The final word is best left to Donner about his ‘discovery’ of the man who would go on to embody the Man of Steel for 10 years, three more movies and beyond.

“I didn’t find Chris.  God gave him to me…”

Thanks to Seb Colombo/Capedwonder.com for the rare pics above and Jim Bowers for the video.

I Score…

People1People2Pictures8People5Pitched somewhere between the heights of Rona Barretts Hollywood and the depths of The National Enquirer, this special pull-out from obscure US publication Modern People is a perfect example of 1970’s trash journalism.

On the stands from February 11th 1979, this cover story plus four page spread focuses on the seedier aspects of the hit movie of 1978, with (mostly fabricated) tales of the love lives of both leading men casually enforced by paparazzi photographs nestled alongside official press release stills.

SUPERMANIA continues its mission to revive and restore the most obscure vintage ephemera from around the world by adding this great rare find to the archive.  Enjoy!!

NECA Delivers…

NECA-7-Inch-Superman-001NECA-7-Inch-Superman-012NECA-7-Inch-Superman-015NECA-7-Inch-Superman-018Despite repeated denials on the subject when the question of the possibility of a smaller scale Reeve Superman figure was posed by SUPERMANIA on Twitter, NECA have surpassed expectations by not only producing this all-new 7″ figure but having in the shelves already.

Part of an exclusive promotion (similar to their Keaton Batman figure DVD tie-in a few years back) by Warner Bros. to boost DVD sales, this limited-edition figure is one of three (Adam West Batman and Heath Ledger Joker scaled down from their respective 1/4 scale versions) available online and selected branches of TRU.

Famed for their constant interaction with fans it would appear NECA have heeded some criticism from fans regarding some of the inaccuracies of their recent quarter-scale release (especially the headsculpt) and have delivered a superb package worthy of any collectors inventory.

While the likeness is improved beyond measure by the flattening of the hair and broader face, the figure appears skinny overall and the chest shield (bottom pic) is still an embarrassing afterthought.  Minor quibbles with what is the most elegantly presented figure in any scale to date with a beautiful box (top pic) and sporting a fabulous cloth cape (third pic) this is a serious contender for the best Superman action figure to date.

Due to restrictions of the promotion this figure is frustratingly limited to the USA at present with no word from NECA on whether or not the run will be extended or indeed make it overseas.  The apparent indifference from NECA regarding availability paired with QC issues reportedly arising from the first batch (breakable limbs and poor paint apps) may have left a poor first impression but overall this release should be cause for celebration for fans of the classic Superman Movies…

Thanks to TOYARK for the quality pics – read their review here