The original waxwork of Christopher Reeve’s Superman was given pride of place in the exit stairwell of London’s Madame Tussauds for many years after its introduction in 1979. The figure was suspended mid-air in a dramatic flying pose and had strobe lighting and a strategically placed fan to billow out the cape. Concrete rubble was distributed around a hole in the floor to create the effect of Superman bursting up through the ground and the effect was quite breathtaking, at least to my teenage self and all the other kids who stood around it yelling ‘Look! Its Superman! Christopher Reeve!!”
While the likeness was probably not as well-realised as the elaborate display across the pond (at the Movieland Wax Museum) and the hair somewhat flat, the costume had clearly been made as per the originals (supplied by Bermans & Nathans) to include a lightweight cape for movement. By the early 2000’s however, time and wear had taken its toll and like many Superman Movie costumes, the colour had faded dramatically and so a replica costume was produced for the figures relocation to the ‘Movie Room’, (bottom pic) where it would reside until the figure was retired sometime after 2010. If any Superfans out there have any more images of the figure (prior to the costume switch) I’d love to hear from you..!
In response to an ad from the pages of Toyfare magazine and back when action figure customs were in their infancy – The above item was borne out of frustration at the lack of an official Superman action figure line. The Andgor Toy Co’s pledge that they could customise any figure you could think of was too good an opportunity to miss (or so I thought) so I hurriedly commissioned one based on Christopher Reeve (requesting the likeness from the Superman IV poster but incorporating the kiss-curl).
Over a year later and after hundreds of ignored emails requesting progress reports, the above is what I finally received. I recall it was very expensive for something I thought barely passable at the time but sufficed until Kris Meadows version erased all memory of it. Although the headsculpt shown here would be available on their website for years afterward, it would appear I wasn’t the only unsatisfied customer as Andgor’s name would be met with derision in the collecting community and would eventually disappear altogether…
Produced in low numbers and expensive (even at the time of release) this incredibly rare, unlicensed statue by sculptor Lee Ames is notable for being the first ‘Garage Kit’ based on the Superman Movies with the likeness of Christopher Reeve (In a pose from Superman II) ever released.
Made by 5th Sense in the early 1990’s and available exclusively through Frontier Models, In typical ‘Garage’ style, the four part kit (Body, leg, hat and base) in ivory resin came in a plain brown box with label featuring colour picture which doubled as a build guide.
The dynamic pose made the statue top-heavy and skills were required to ‘pin’ it to the base by the one foot. Extensive modifications of the hair and chest shield were also required to make it more screen-accurate. However the portrait of Reeve was decent for the time and the finished result made it a worthy addition to the collection.