SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (NECA)
I love 1979’s Superman: The Movie. No joke. To date, it remains one of my top movies, and it’s just about my favorite superhero movie ever. Sure, it’s a little dated, but it’s got great cinematography, some pretty decent effects, and a truly amazing score by John Williams. On top of that, it had Christopher Reeve in the title role, which may well be one of the most spot-on casting choices of all time. That guy was Superman. Literally the only downside to the movie is that, up until recently, there were no toys specifically based on the movie versions of the characters. Things changed when Hot Toys released their truly magnificent 1/6 scale version of Reeve’s Superman. However, if you wanted a more traditional, small scale version of the character, the only real option was the 3 ¾ inch Mattel figure, which was alright, but not the be-all-end-all. NECA also got in on the game with their 18-inch scale figure, but he was kind of on the large side. So, what was a fan to do? Do just a little more waiting. See, NECA worked just a little more of their licensing magic, and partnered with Warner Brothers in order to release their awesome 18-inch Superman sculpt in their more standard 7-inch scale.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Superman was one of the three figures, along with Adam West Batman and Heath Ledger Joker, released as part of a partnership between NECA and Warner Brothers for a DVD-based promotion. The figure is a little over 7 inches tall and has 26 points of articulation. Superman is a pretty straight scale down of NECA’s larger Superman figure. I liked that one a lot, but I felt there were just a few small issues with the overall presentation. Well, it seems that the shrinking in scale has done the sculpt quite a few favors. Chief among them is the softening of the expression on Clark’s face. The 18-inch figure seemed just a bit too angry for Reeve’s Superman. This one’s still got an intense look, but it’s a fair bit less menacing, and therefore bears a much closer resemblance to Reeve in the role. That’s definitely his face, and even the hair’s pretty spot-on. The body also exhibits some truly awesome work; the musculature looks just right for Reeve, and the level of texturing on the uniform is just superb. Superman’s torso is handled via two separate pieces: there’s an underlying base torso, with an overlay piece for his shirt piece. This adds a nice touch of realism, but it also helps to facilitate the proper attachment of the cape. Like Batman, the cape is cloth, but I actually think this one works a lot better. The fabric is a heftier material and hangs a lot better, and just all around looks better. There’s even a Superman symbol on the back, which looks great. The assembly of the torso is a little iffy on my figure, with it sticking up a little more on the right side than on the left. However, with the cape properly placed, it isn’t noticeable. The paintwork on Superman is decent overall, but mostly you just don’t want to look at it too closely. The face has some of the best work, with everything being pretty clean. On the costume, the colors are well chosen, but there are a few spots of slop, especially around the edges of the logo. There’s also a pretty noticeable spot of blue paint on his neck, which is slightly frustrating. Superman is a bit light on the accessories, only including a spare set of hands for flying. Be careful swapping them out, though, as the pegs are a little brittle.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Superman was quite a chore to get. See, you either had to find him in a Toys R Us or by him in a bundle with a DVD from WB’s eBay store. I missed the window on getting him online, so that meant I had to keep checking all the nearby TRUs in my area. To make matters worse, Superman ended up shipping later than the other two figures, so there was no telling when he’d hit. I searched for three weeks with no luck and I was this close to just giving up entirely. It’s not NECA’s fault, of course, since WB handled all the distribution, but it was still frustrating. Then, I was out and about with my family, a little out of the way, and we came across another TRU, and I actually managed to find this guy (plus an extra for my mom, who loves Christopher Reeve. Because I’m an awesome son). I’m really happy I found him, because he is, no contest, my favorite Superman in my collection.