As seen at Toy Fair 2014, the above assortment of figures is meant to be the last hurrah of the long running 6-inch DC Universe Classics toyline from Mattel and Four Horsemen Studios. At first glance, they might not appear all that special. After all, aside from Mr. Mxyzptlk, this is essentially a bunch of redecos of already frequently redecoed molds! The true beauty lies within the intent: a giant, mushy homage to Kenner's legendary Super Powers Collection toyline from the mid-80s.
Though I was born somewhat in the middle of the Super Powers craze (which even included comic book tie-ins and a continuation of that wacky damn Super Friends show), it stuck around long enough for me to receive a clearanced toy or two in my early years. From a very early age, I was absolutely in love with comic books and it was only natural that any related action figure I could get my hands on had me completely over the moon. My small handful of Super Powers figures were some of my very favorite play-things.
As time went on and my interest in collecting continued, the Super Powers name seemed to always come up. I'd see the figures hanging in comic shops and referenced often in collecting magazines. Once the glorious Internet entered my life, I scoured it for information on every single plastic-crack related thing I could think of. Naturally, I found myself looking over Super Powers check-lists and figure galleries more than a time or two. Even as the continual progression of action figure sculpting and engineering made them less and less attractive, the Super Powers figures always managed to hold a highly coveted spot in my plastic-loving heart. TL/DR version? Super Powers: IT'S KIND OF A BIG DEAL.
While I never had many Super Powers figures, I certainly collected my fair share of the modern equivalent: DC Universe Classics from Mattel. The line has been waning in the last year or two, but in it's prime it was always one to keep an eye on. With gloriously simple-but-effective sculpting, serviceable articulation, and a fairly well-rounded cast of characters, DCUC did a lot to spruce up the DC-related shelves of collectors everywhere. Four Horsemen Studios (the line's sculptors) even did a lot to cater to long-time toy collectors, particularly with the high number of homages to...you guessed it...SUPER POWERS!
Numerous characters such as Steppenwolf were offered with two different sculpts, one with a more comic-accurate appearance, and one representing the Super Powers design. There were other DCUC figures such as Golden Pharaoh that were obviously only produced due to the Super Powers connection. The affection shown for the old 80s line was truly amazing, and now that DCUC is officially winding down, they're going all out:
Sweet merciful Plastic-Jesus, I can't describe the feels. The cards are based right on the original Super Powers line, complete with the old logo! I'm sure to some this packaging inspires nothing but mehs, but for me? This is a giant nostalgia bomb and I absolutely love it! The line-up even includes nods to slightly more obscure parts of Super Powers history, such as Riddler being a Green Lantern redeco just like the Argentina-only "Super Amigos!" version, and a Golden Superman based on Kenner's unproduced Superman 50th Anniversary figure:
Though there's certainly a lot to gush about, I know these won't be for everyone. At the end of the day, the figures are largely just redecos of molds we all have by now — and at $30 each they sure are expensive — but the overall presentation is stupidly beautiful. If DCUC is going to end, I'm happy this is the way it's going down.