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Review of Superman - Super Powers ArtFX+ statue

Kotobukiya
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Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Introduction

In the 1980's, there were many amazing pop culture events. From Indiana Jones to Masters of the Universe, kids were treated to a plethora of quality shows and movies perfect for them, and plenty of licensed product to break their parent's wallet. These shows, and the toys sporting their images, are a massive part of the current collector nostalgia.

One of the best action figure lines of the 80's - of all time, in fact - was the DC Super Powers Collection, produced by Kenner from 1984 until 1986. With almost three dozen figures and almost a dozen play sets and vehicles, it was a staple in the toy box for many 80's kids.

Kenner devised an action feature ("super power") for each figure.  For example, squeeze the legs and an arm punched, a concept designed to separate the line from the earlier Mego DC figures as well as the then contemporary MOTU series.

Because of the nostalgia for this classic line, there have been several recent releases that pay homage to the style and concept. Earlier this year, Kotobukiya announced a line of their ArtFX+ 1/10th scale statues in this vein, starting with Superman in August and followed up by Green Lantern in September and the Flash in October. Retail price is $30 each, and Supes should start shipping very soon. Along with those three, they had Batman and Robin on display at SDCC a few weeks ago.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Packaging - ***1/2
The original packaging is one of the best features of the older line. While Kotobukiya went with a box - yes, that's the front of a box in the photo below - they did it in such a way that they captured that classic look perfectly, right down to the sort of wear that was common on the card.

The images of the figure in the bubble is printed on the box with accurate shadowing to give it depth. They've even printed an un-punched hanger hole at the top! It has the modern text but in the font and colors of the original, and the overall appearance is both nostalgic and beautiful.

So why did I knock off a half star? There's a fair amount of waste with the box.  It's several inches deep, and the figure does not require that much interior space. There's no COA, but these aren't sold as limited editions.

Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Here's a nice, big, clear image of the original Super Powers Superman. Hey, he was an 80's toy, so he's going to be a little goofy, but squeeze his legs together and you got a power punch!

Kotobukiya didn't go for an exact match to the original toy - thankfully.  I'm not a fan of exact reproductions done in another scale, because in the end they seem like novelty gags, like a giant pencil. Instead, they went for the major elements, and captured not just the feel of the figure, but of the general comic art used for the packaging at the time.

And in that they've done a fantastic job.  This is not a duplicate of the figure, but it is a an excellent rendition of the Superman advertised on the card back. These statues are done in a solid PVC, giving them heft and the ability to hold finer details. The face and hair look excellent, and the proportions match the art.

The original figure had a removable cloth cape, but they skipped the removable part here for aesthetics. They did stick with the soft goods though, an excellent decision, and included the S logo on the back.  The cape is permanently attached at the collar, although you can adjust how the cape hangs by flipping it forward over the shoulders or backward along the back.

The original figure also had the 'power punch' action, where you would squeeze the legs together and the arm would move up and down. They didn't want to skip this idea all together, but they didn't want to incorporate an actual action into their statue line. They came up with a pretty creative solution: there is a second right arm, which is sculpted to appear in motion. It's a nifty way to handle the situation, and looks damn cool.

He stands great on his own of course, and comes in at about 7 1/2" tall, which fits in with the 1/10th scale of the ArtFX+ series. They are expanding this scale quite heavily with the DC and Star Wars licenses as well.

Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Paint - ****
A key area that sets Kotobukiya statues apart from the average action figure in the same scale is the high quality paint work. There's no slop, no poor cut lines, no wonky eyes or uneven skin tone.

That's apparent with this release. The blue suit is gorgeous, bright and even in tone and color. The symbol on his chest (and the one on the cape) are properly aligned, with perfect edges and lines.  The eyes, eyebrows and hair line are immaculate, all key areas that the eye is drawn to immediately.  Overall, this is a very impressive piece of work, particularly considering the price point.

Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Articulation - N/A
There's none - this is a true statue.  This won't effect my overall score, but is informational for the reader only. It's particularly important since it may appear that he has joints, since the design is intended to look like an action figure...but isn't.

Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Accessories - ***
I mentioned that they've included the second arm, sculpted as though it is moving upward, smacking the crap out of Darkseid. The arms swap easily, and it's a very creative solution to a tricky problem.

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Value - ***1/2
Thirty bucks?  You can't get a MOTUC action figure at your door for less than that these days.  Remember, Mattel did a 6" DCUC action figure version of this Superman, also based on the Super Powers look, and they charged $30! Even Kotobukiya tends to charge $50 - $60 each for their other ArtFX+ statues, making these an extremely good deal.

Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm generally not a fan of 'nostalgic' lines, but when they are done well, and aren't merely re-makes of something that came before, I can get behind them. I like this design - and the ones we've seen so far - and fans of the old series will appreciate the homage.  Add in a great price point that is much easier on the wallet, and this is a line that will strike a perfect chord for a subset of today's collectors.

One other note: I remember reading somewhere that these were supposed to have magnets in their feet.  I don't know if I'm hallucinating on that one, but if you read that as well, don't expect it.  They don't have the magnets...and perhaps I'm miss-remembering anyway.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ****
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - ***
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has him for $30.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
While I've reviewed a lot of the ArtFX style (larger scale), I've only covered a couple in this slightly smaller 1/10th scale: Arkham City Batman and General Grievous.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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Super Powers Superman statue by Kotobukiya

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

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