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Superman - "Evil" Version - Superman III
Hot Toys

Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys


When Hot Toys released their first Superman based on the classic 70's film, nerds were ecstatic. Christopher Reeve resonates with his fans in a way no other Superman - or Batman actor for that matter - ever has. There's plenty of reasons, and his battle to survive and help others after his own accident is no small part. But he also brought a humanity to the famous alien that's hard to match.

I suspect that most of us expected a villain from the earlier Superman movies to follow up the first Reeve, but that's not how it worked out. Our second figure is another Reeve, this time from Superman III, and this time a Hot Toys 'toy fair' exclusive.

Each summer, Hot Toys announces several of these exclusives, which are sold at various conventions and shows that they attend, or through specific retailers. This Superman, called the 'evil' Superman, is available through Sideshow for U.S. collectors, and I believe collectors in Hong Kong can get him through Toy Hunters, the specialty shop for all things Hot Toys.

If you remember Superman III, and yes, I know you've done your very best to forget it, you'll remember there were two versions of Supes. Richard Pryor creates a synthetic Kryptonite, and rather than kill or disable Superman in the usual manner, it causes him to split, Captain Kirk style, into a good and evil version.

This figure commemorates that evil incarnation, with an undated costume and a new look. He runs around $200 - $250, depending on the retailer, and should start shipping within the next 30 days.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys

Packaging - ***1/2
I like the box, and it is a step up from some of the rather basic work we've seen lately.

It's still pretty short on text, although it does have one line from the movie. But there's a cool outer clear plastic sleeve that gives the cover more depth, and makes it pop a bit more on the shelf.

It's all collector friendly too, just as you'd expect, and you can easily remove the figure and accessories without any damage.

Sculpting - ****
It's tough to tell if they've done anything to alter the actual sculpt from their original Reeve Superman. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since the first version was outstanding.

It does seem like the eyes are slightly different here, just a smidge more squinted. The lips may also be just the tiniest bit thinner as well, and those minor adjustments, along with the inclusion of a little facial hair (more on that in the next section), turns a nice guy Supes into one that looks like he's far less kind.

The hair looks identical, and I love the amount of detail in the stranding and curl. It's one of their best hair sculpts, and is proof that short hair should always be sculpted.

He's sixth scale of course, and since he uses a TrueType body, comes in at right about 12" tall.

Paint - ****
In the movie, it's some messed up fake Kryptonite that makes Superman go from America's sweetheart to dangerous villain. Here, it's the subtle yet immaculate paint work.

The skin tone is slightly darker, with a truly amazing realistic beard shadow, and this is the meanest Reeve ever looked on film or in plastic. I don't know how they manage to get this kind of perfection from a production paint application, but they do - and we're all the better for it.

The face is *slightly* darker than the neck and hands, but it's only noticeable after someone points it out, and is not likely to be an issue for most people when they see the figure in hand.

Articulation - ***1/2
Underneath the stretchy costume is an excellent TrueType body, designed to replicate Reeve's appearance fairly well. It's also extremely well articulated, with all the usual joints you expect.

The legs and hips, in concert with the waist and ab-crunch, work extremely well together to allow for lots of great stances. That's because the overall costume is not very restrictive, with one exception.

The boots are pretty stiff, making the ankles less useful. It's a minor nit, and one that won't hurt too many poses.

It's also worth pointing out here that the cape has a thin wire encircling it, making it possible to pose it to some degree. It can't hold the weight of the cape out straight or high particularly well, but you can get it to flow outward and wrap around the body nicely. I included a shot from the back showing it flowing in a more dynamic manner.

Accessories - ***
There's not a ton of extras here, which is perhaps this figures biggest weakness.

He does come with two extra sets of hands, along with some extra wrist pegs just in case. There's a set of fists that he comes wearing, along with a pair of flat palms and slightly relaxed grips. With these 3 sets, you should be able to create a perfect combination for most poses.

They also swap easily, and I didn't have any fear of breaking a post.

There's also a display base, designed to look like the set for the final conflict between good and evil Superman. The street concrete is broken up from a landing, and the sculpts and paints look very realistic.

There's a sturdy clear pole and adjustable clamp to allow you to place Superman above the base in a flying, landing or taking off pose. It works well, and the base is offset with a silver name plate. The plate is covered with a protective plastic covering to avoid scratches during shipping.

Outfit - ***1/2
In some of the photos, it might seem like there's a color variation or spots on the suit, but that's only because the material i very reflective, bouncing the light off at different angles depending on the pose.

I've already mentioned the posable nature of the cape, but the symbol looks terrific, and the top of the cape is perfectly layered across the shoulders.

The materials are all top notch, as you'd expect, as is the stitching and edging. The boots are a little thicker, which restricts the ankles a bit, but still look terrific.

The slightly altered belt is not removable - they point that out to you in the small instruction sheet. The emblem on his chest is straight and even, and the overall effect is outstanding.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
While this is mostly fun for the adult collector, the articulation and diorama will give you a chance to create just the right look for this figure on your shelf.

Value - **
With only a couple extra sets of hands and a relatively basic diorama base, it's hard to justify the $200+ price point. Of course, this is an 'exclusive', although just how limited the production is remains a secret. It's also not a figure that anyone other than the most die hard Reeve fan is going to require, making it a good choice for one of their summer exclusives.

Things to Watch Out For -
The instructions warn that the belt is not removable, and to take the usual care when posing the head to avoid damaging the paint on the neck, especially around the Adam's apple. Other than that, you should be good.

Overall - ***1/2
Let me start out by saying that this is a very expensive figure that most collectors will not feel bad about missing. He's not even critical for most DC specific collectors, and while everyone will gaze upon the figure with admiration for its beauty, few will actually break down and pay more than $200 to own him.

That, combined with the light accessories, is what pulls him down that half star for me overall. That being said, I'm mighty happy that he's in my collection, with the hope that we'll at least get one or two villains to add to the overall mix.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has it for $215, but it's a pre-order.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the pre-order listed at $300.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
Check out the Hot Toys Chris Reeves Superman from the first film, a fantastic figure.

Discussion:
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Superman "Evil" version from Superman III sixth scale action figure from Hot Toys


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

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