Packaging - ***
The box shows off the articulation with a series of action shots of the
figure on the front. It also has a very large window area, with the
Supes preposed. It's not collector friendly packaging - no surprise -
but it is quite sturdy.
You may get a little frustrated with the twisties though, which are taped
down as well as tightly twisted. There are also several plastic
retainers holding the cape in place, and they always leave small holes in
the material once you remove them.
Sculpting - ***
This isn't a bad Routh sculpt. It has the cleft chin, the long nose,
and the approximate shape of his head. The hair looks about right, and
they did a nice job with the detailing in the curl. This is no
Sideshow or Hot Toys version, but it is my favorite that Mattel has given us
so far. He's recognizable as Routh, even if it's not dead on, and
that's probably as good as we're going to get in this series.
If you thought Action Cape Batman was a touch big at 13", then
you'll really think Supes is big. He stands a full 14" tall at
the top of his head. However, the good news is that he
fits in nicely with the AC Batman, since he's slightly taller and
thicker. Superman should be bigger than Batman, at least in my
opinion, and here the size is about right to pose these two together.
I would like to think that Mattel was actually going for that, and just
didn't get lucky.
I wonder if it would be possible to transfer this head to the Ken doll
version of Supes?
Paint - ***
At a quick glance, there's certainly no slop here. The cuts between
colors are clean, the hairline neat, the eyes straight, and even no glopping
in the skin tones. Of course, that's largely because most of the
pieces are cast in the color, not painted, more common with mass market
There are also details missing that a higher end toy would include, like
coloration for the lips, or variations in the hair. The techniques
used on other figures to bring out detail are missing here, largely because
detail is missing in the sculpt.
Still, the paint ops that are present are clean, and won't be an area of
major complaint for anyone. The figure could have been improved with
the kind of attention to detail that higher end items get, but then it would
be a higher end item, wouldn't it?
Articulation - ***1/2
I gave the Action Cape Batman this same score in this category, and I was
being a little generous that time. However, Superman has added some
new joints that work quite well.
He has the ultra cool ball jointed neck, and it allows for some terrific
tilting. It also *almost* allows him to do a great flying pose, but
not quite. It does have a pretty good range of movement though, and
really adds to the posing possibilities.
He has ball jointed shoulders, with the joint articulated on both sides
of the ball, pin elbows and knees, pin and peg wrists that allow the hands
to move in and out, along with twisting, cut thighs and shins, the same
funky hips that allow for forward, backward and in/out mobility, a cut
waist, and an ankle joint that not only moves the foot forward and
backward, but side to side.
Unlike Batman, who had permanently sculpted hand positions, Superman has
two pin joints. One is half hand, and one is at the base of the
fingers. This allows for everything from an almost fist to wide open
Finally, there's his mid chest joint. It allows for quite a bit of
forward movement, in case he wants to check out his own snazzy boots, but
doesn't move backward a whole lot. If it did, that would have helped
even more with the flying pose.
Accessories - Bupkis
That's right - nada. Zippo, Zero. The big goose egg. I
suppose the theory is that the 'hyper' articulation is the selling point,
but a little kryptonite or something would have been nice.
Fun Factor - ***1/2
This is easily the most fun of the Supermen I've seen so far for the
film. The smaller onces are a tad too high on the lame meter, but you
get good articulation, nice heft, good sculpting, and a nice big scale here,
all adding up to some decent play value. You're only problem will be
finding villains for Basketball Jones here to battle.
Value - **
At twenty bucks, he's about five bucks high. No accessories, and
no action feature like the Action Cape Batman, should mean decent
pricing. I suspect that this is a case of pricing him at the next step
up from many of the other items in the line, rather than at what is best for
him specifically. Let's face it, Toybiz can deliver 12" rotocast
figures for a ten spot, so Mattel should be able to hit that for $15.
Things to watch out for -
Not a thing. I doubt there will be any consistency issues across
this line, so what you see is what you get.
Overall - ***
If you thought the Action Cape Batman was good, there's a very high
probability that you'll like this Superman. If you hated old AC Bats,
then it's a pretty safe bet you'll hate this one.
I'm pretty happy with him, and he's going to go extremely well with
Batman on the shelf. He has a few more joints than the previous
13" superhero, and the Routh head sculpt is passable. I'm still
waiting for a definitive sixth scale Superman, and this certainly isn't it,
but he'll make a nice movie based figure for the shelf.