‘I/4 Art Works…’

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While it would be SUPERMANIA’s ultimate pleasure to inform Superfan’s that what you see here is an all-new soon-to-be-available licensed statue from (insert your favourite manufacturer here), sadly this breathtaking work in progress is the latest private art from the father of the Hot Toys Superman figure – Arnie Kim.

Literally expanding his longtime 1/4 scale head project to a full-figure, the shots above portray the astonishing level of detail Arnie is renowned for even on a sculpt that will mostly be enveloped in costume.

And what a sculpt it is – rather than opting for a generic body Kim has obviously put as much work into studying his subject’s physique as he has the face, perfectly capturing Christopher Reeve’s proportions (long legs, short torso) as well as the finer motif’s such as the protruding ribcage and broad shoulders (top pic) making it the most accurate rendition in this scale to date.

And the pose, simplicity itself, proving beyond doubt that a statue need not be contorted into an uncomfortable looking ‘action’ pose to be dynamic.

The future of this piece is unknown at this point, maybe even to Mr. Kim himself.  There is always hope, however, that this could be made available in a similar fashion to Arnie’s recent (extremely) limited run of the finished headsculpt.  While these were expensive, certainly, the quality was such that its unlikely their current owners will ever part with them.  Should this figure yield a similar run history may well repeat itself.  We shall see…

 

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…

 

“Freeee!”

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SUPERMANIA closes out the month the way it began with a pictorial review of Mattel’s DC Comics Multiverse General Zod from Superman II.

As of now only the third figure ever to bear the likeness of Terrance Stamp as everybody’s favourite Kryptonian villain, this release had credible competition as its 1/6 counterpart (from the 12″ Movie Masters series) was far and away the best of the trio with its all-round superior sculpt.

Thankfully nothing has been lost in the character’s translation to 4″ scale, with crisp details similar to the Superman figure and splendid articulation.  Perhaps wisely this time the maroon highlights (a subject of contention with the 12″ figure) were dropped in favour of the perceived all-black costume as seen in Richard Lester’s footage.  Zod even has an accessory in the bendy shape of an M-16 rifle which is a nice little touch but again, given the authenticity promised, a straight one with strap would’ve been welcome (and where was Superman’s accessory?  is a tiny crystal too much to ask??)

Only minor quibbles then in an otherwise solid release – now, can/will Mattel follow through and fulfil collectors dreams by rounding out the group with Ursa and Non or are they to remain in the eternal void that is the toy Phantom Zone..?