Monday, June 4, 2018

LEGION TOYS: Superboy (Mattel 12-Pack)

 by Derek William Crabbe
"The Greatest Hero Of Them All." Saving the best for last, we come to Smallville's Favorite Son, the inspiration for the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superboy!

I've always been a big fan of Superman, so by default, that same love extends to Superboy. When discussing the comic books that my father would read as a kid, he would always cite a preference for Superboy. My earliest introduction to the Boy of Steel probably would have been the Filmation cartoons and the earliest comic book that I can remember reading featuring Superboy was Legion of Super-Heroes #259. It was part of some comic swap that me and a buddy had going on. The buddy would later buy better condition copies of LoSH #259 and everything else and exchange them to me for the beat-up copies for the sake of nostalgia. For more of my thoughts on Superboy and the Filmation Cartoon, check out History of Comics on Film Parts 16 and 22.

This is one of the better sculpts that Superboy has received over the years from Mattel. I like the smiling head sculpt and wish they had used a similar tween sized buck on Superboy Prime. The Legion Flight Ring is sculpted on the right hand and the shins on the boots are also sculpted. While I think the Reign of the Supermen Superboy is a superior figure, I've given you, the reader, clues as to which Superboy head sculpts I feel are inferior or just straight-up fugly. As you can see, those Superboys have been "fixed" with the assistance of Starro the Conqueror's starfish.

There are 24-points of  articulation that I count on Superboy. Head moves from left to right, and slightly up and down,  Arms can move up and down, as well as rotate in a circular fashion. There are bicep cuts that swivel, joints at the elbow and the fists can rotate as well. He has an ab-crunch that moves in an approximately 30/70 ratio. He has a waist swivel. His legs move up and he can also do the splits. Swivels are just above the knee. Knee joints and ankle rockers complete the standard articulation.

"Derek's Favorite Character Archetypes."

The yellows and reds on Superboy are great with virtually no paint bleed. The tampo for the Superboy 'S' shield is excellent and it how I expect a tampo to be done on a collector level action figure. The reds and yellows are bright and loud and have no fade or distortion from the blue base paint on the chest. In addition, for the longest time, this was the only Super-Figure from Mattel that had the proper Carolina or Powder Blue color for a Superman or Superboy figure.

From Left to Right: Gotham 5-Pack Superman, Legion 12-Pack Superboy and Matty Collector Super Powers Superman

Superman only had a limited set of figures that were leaked out from overseas, which are now going for extremely high prices on the aftermarket (if you see them at all). Even the Matty Collector Super Powers Superman, which has a similar Powder Blue, has a gold belt buckle instead of a yellow one, an inferior tampo which has more fade than solid yellows and reds. and the back of the cape is missing the yellow 'S' shield. I bring up those issues to highlight where the Superboy figure could have gone extremely wrong, but didn't.

Rare Powder Blue Superman. If you see one on ebay and it's not $350, let me know.

If you haven't noticed, I highly endorse all the figures from this set, Superboy included. Superboy ironically, is probably the best Pre-Crisis Superman figure from DC Universe Classics that I own (since I've never tracked down one of those powder blue Supermans). My only real complaint about this box set, is that they didn't make a second one.

While this marks the end of the reviews for the 12-Pack, we've still got some Legion related Mattel items to take a look at before moving on to the DC Direct figures. So stay-tuned, and Long Live The Legion!

1 comment:

  1. Superboy was a mixed blessing for DC. He got a lot of young readers because of the "relatability" factor, but coordination with Superman's history was problematic, to say the least. By the time they ended him, Superboy was interacting with President Kennedy, as indeed had Superman. Oh, they worked around it be keeping Superboy in the "Happy Days" environment of Smallville but that limited story-telling. And every kid, sooner or later, realized that nothing could happen to Superboy because he, at some point of course, grew up to become Superman. It was, therefore, the height of irony that they actually killed of the one character that everyone thought to be bullet-proof (in a manner of speaking).