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Superman - Christopher Reeve
Hot Toys/Sideshow Exclusive

Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys


The terrible injury and subsequent death of Christopher Reeve was a tragic end to the life of an actor loved by many fans around the world. While he starred in almost 50 movies and television shows, he'll always be best remembered as Superman.

Hot Toys has been working with Warner Brothers in the development of some truly gorgeous sixth scale figures based on their comic book films. We've seen the Batman films hit hard, and with Dark Knight Rises coming out next year, there's no end in sight for that series. But Superman has been woefully neglected, with only a couple releases more than a couple years ago. And the biggest hole has been with a Reeve version of Superman.

Thankfully, that hole has now been filled. Hot Toys Superman, based on the Richard Donner film of 1978, has just started shipping. No matter how many future film versions we get of this character (and we have another coming next year), it's unlikely anyone will ever take Reeve's place as the iconic appearance.

This is one of Hot Toys more expensive non-DX figures, coming in around $200 depending on the retailer. As always, I have some suggestions at the end of the review in the Where to Buy section, but the figure is going fast, and the speed of his disappearance is likely to increase substantially now that people can see the final production version.
Click on the photo below for a life size example
Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys
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Packaging - ****
If you thought you'd seen outstanding Hot Toys packaging, think again. Sure, those cool rectangular and square collector friendly boxes they normally provide have all the art and text to take them to the top, but this time they've added shape to the formula.

The box itself is the classic Superman shield shape. Say that three times fast! It's made from a very heavy duty cardboard, and to allow it to fit properly in a rectangular outer box, it was necessary to include a filler piece. This filler piece could have simply been a hunk of brown cardboard, but that's not good enough for Hot Toys. They decorated this piece in Fortress of Solitude graphics, and by giving it its own decoration, you can use it to support the box on the shelf!

The inner trays are covered by a thin cardboard layer, with the words "in Memory of Christopher Reeve" simply printed front and center. It's a very classy touch, further adding to the nostalgia and emotion this figure is sure to engender.

Sculpting -****
I showed this figure to three different fans of Superman, none of which have ever owned a Hot Toys figure or even really know who Hot Toys is. And all three instantly recognized the Reeve likeness, and all three were taken aback with just how good it was. That's a true telling point.

With some recent figures there has been varying degrees of debate as to how well Hot Toys captured the character likeness. For example, the debate on Indy is pretty intense (with good reason), while the debate on the most recent Jack Sparrow is not quite as divided, but still there. Looking at this figure in person, I suspect that only the most dedicated HT basher is going to find any fault. I think it's one of their best sculpts, and really is a great tribute to the man. The care and dedication they put into making it the best they could really shines through.

The hands are sculpted in different poses that work well with the usual Superman stances, and the fists at least seem slightly less oversized to me than usual. Maybe it's just my perception, but if so I'm all for it.

Paint - ****
Once again, Hot Toys impresses with their final production paint operations. How they manage to get this kind of lifelike color and shading out of a production facility is beyond me, but it's key to their success.

With the paint work on a sculpt like this, it's less about accuracy and more about realism. While the sculpt has to be as accurate to the actor and their portrayal of the character as possible, it's just the basic skin tone, hair color and eye color that needs to be right for accuracy sake with the paint. Anyone should be able to get that right - it's taking the paint to the next level of human-like perfection that sets Hot Toys work apart from almost everyone else.

Articulation - ***1/2
This TrueType body is a slightly new design, with a beefed up torso that better matches Reeve's physique without going to the extreme with something like the body they developed for Schwarzenegger characters.

All the joints are tight and sturdy, and I had very little trouble getting the poses I wanted. He had little trouble keeping them once I got him there as well. My only real concern here is the neck, which is tightly covered with the rubber skin. The fit between the head and neck is quite tight as well, which means that moving the head in just about any direction risks damage to the rubbery skin.

Accessories - ***1/2
Considering the price, the accessories are a tad light this time around, but still very well done.

There are three sets of hands - the fists he comes wearing in the package, plus a set of flat open palms and a set of relaxed open palms. All switch easily enough, and don't seem as oversized as we usually see with Hot Toys figures, at least with the fists.

He comes with a Fortress of Solitude themed diorama stand as well, which comes in multiple pieces. These snap together to form a very cool looking frosty backdrop.

Finally, there's the standard display stand. While I don't use them, at least the inclusion allows for consistency in the display for those that do.

While the diorama/stand is a nice addition, the overall set still seems just a little light to me, considering the $200 or so price tag.

The exclusive version does add one extra though - a kryptonite necklace. It's a pretty big hunk of green stone on a real metal chain, and helps boost this score a bit, especially since Sideshow was selling it at the same price as the regular version.

Outfit - ****
The outfit is pretty straight forward and simple - a classic if there ever was one. Blue tights, red boots, red cape, yellow belt and red undies on the outside.

All the pieces are extremely well tailored and fit great. Nothing rides too high or is out of scale, and even the emblem on both the chest and cape is as close to perfect as it gets.

The boots are especially nice, made from a soft leather-like material. They give just enough for the ankles to move, yet remain stiff enough to look great in any pose.

Let's also not forget the nifty thin wire in the cape, designed to allow you to give some poses to the fabric. It's not strong enough to hold the cape out straight from his back, but it is stiff enough to add some realistic curls and contours.

It's important to point out that the belt is NOT removable, or at least it's not intended to be removed. The instructions say so, and it's been my experience that a wise man pays attention to the Hot Toys instructions when it comes to things like this.

Fun Factor - ***
The figure is fairly sturdy, as are the accessories. Breakage is less an issue, but dirt and rub marks are the bigger concern. Normal handling should pose no real risks, but I'm not sure this would be the best toy for the average 10 year old.

However, if you're looking for the perfect figure for the older Superman or Reeve fan, you've come to the right place, and they'll have plenty of their own brand of fun.

Value - **
The price tag on the normal version varies pretty wildly right now, ranging from $190 - $220 at most retailers. Assuming you're paying around $200, the price is getting awfully close to a DX, and you aren't getting nearly as much. No PERS, no second head sculpt, and a limited number of accessories - it's really the Reeve factor that is driving this price.

Things to Watch Out For -
When you turn the head, you can mark the front of the neck unless you take some care. Otherwise, you should be good.

Overall - ****
While Hot Toys has shown the DC world some love with their extensive Batman movie line, DC fans have been longing for some of the same treatment that Marvel has gotten over the last few years. Of course, much of that is effected by the films being released, and DC just hasn't ponied up in that department the same way Marvel has (can you say Green Lantern?). But adding a Reeve Superman goes a long way to bolstering the DC side of the Hot Toys display.

There's no doubt that in comparing this figure to some of the other recent Hot Toys releases, especially the DX series, it comes up a bit short with value. This isn't one of their $150 figures, and yet there really isn't a whole lot extra here over figures in that range.

Still, it's the Reeve likeness that sells it, and if you're looking for perhaps the most iconic version of Superman, certainly the most iconic movie version, then this is a must have figure. They put a lot of attention and concern into the portrait, and the overall effect really benefits.

Score Recap:
Packaging -****
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ****
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Outfit - ****
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **
Overall - ****

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow was the place to pick up the exclusive, but you'll need to jump on the wait list now. Or you can go with the regular for $210, same price that the exclusive was originally going for.

- Alter Ego Comics has the standard version for $189.

- Capstone Comics has the regular at $189 as well.

- Fanboy Collectibles has him at $190.

- Super Power Collectibles for $191.

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $195.

- Urban Collector has him at $210.

- Hollywood Heroes has him at $210 too.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other Superman reviews include:

- if you like your Supes smaller and sillier, check out the Retro Action Mego styled version.

- there have been lots of Superman figures in the DCUC series, including the recent Cyborg version, the Modern Superman

- DC Direct did their own Public Enemies version.

- you can pit the Mattel 12" General Zod against this Reeve Superman, as long as you can rationalize the extreme difference in quality.

- there's a nifty Public Enemies version of Superman.

- Mattel also did a 12" Cyborg version.

- this isn't Hot Toys first version of Superman, as they did the Routh version, along with Jor-El a couple years ago.

- back when Superman Returns was out, Mattel did their own 12" version, as well as some smaller scale figures

- if you like Batman and Superman, and just can't make up your mind, check out the Composite Superman.

Discussion:
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Christopher Reeve Superman action figure by Hot Toys


This product was provided free for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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