Man of Steel: Movie Masters Superman by Mattel

I’ve scrapped the intro to this feature twice because both times it deteriorated into a rant on the new Man of Steel movie. Kicking movies that I don’t like is not something I enjoy doing, so I’m happy to abstain from it. The film is obviously a unique take on the character and one that doesn’t jive with what the character means to me. Fair enough. In the multiverse of Infinite Earth’s I’m perfectly fine setting aside one for the Zack Snyder Superman to reside on, so long as I don’t have to visit it ever again. Anyway, if there’s one thing I did like it’s the design of Supes himself, and so I still wanted a figure for my collection, and that’s what we’re here to talk about, so enough said about the movie… let’s talk toys.

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Mattel went with a very cool presentation for this line. The “Man of Steel” title is seriously underplayed. It’s type is even smaller than the “Adult Collector” label on the top of the card. The rest of the card features a large “S” Shield, making up the back of the bubble and a flowing red cape motif. The bubble is large and shaped like Superman’s shield crest. The insert follows along with the cape motif and has “Superman” printed across it in large lettering. The package certainly works for Supes, but I think the diminished title of the movie may be a little odd for the Jor-El and Zod figures. Whatever the case, this is an attractive package and it certainly draws one’s eye to the pegs.

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As I already mentioned, I really like the movie version of Supe’s costume. It draws a bit on the “New 52” design in that he isn’t wearing his red undies. On the other hand, instead of the panel lined light blue suit, we get a darker blue suit with a basketball like texture. There’s also some dark grey piping that runs along the sides and the back. I like it, as it gives the suit a little bit of an alien motif, although most of it is concealed by his cape. The “S” Shield on his chest is actually sculpted into the figure. It’s textured like the rest of the costume and features some nice metallic gold paint. The cape is especially well done. It attaches over the front of his shoulders and flows wide behind him. I do miss the “S” Shield on the back of the cape, but I can live without it.

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The portrait is surprisingly good for a figure based on a real-world likeness. I may have a number of issues with the movie, but one thing that I can’t deny is that Cavill looks good in the suit and Mattel’s sculptors did a fine job reproducing his likeness in the head sculpt. It’s not the spitting image of the actor, but it’s closer than I would have expected. I’d dare say it’s one of their best.

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The articulation here is very close to the DCUC style, with just one real notable omission. There are ball joints in the neck and shoulders. The arms feature swivels in the biceps and wrists, and have hinged elbows. The legs have the usual DCUC style hip joints, swivels in the thighs, and hinges in the knees and ankles. Superman can also swivel at the waist. The missing POA is the chest ab-crunch. It was probably sacrificed in favor of the added sculpting detail of the suit, and I’m fine with that.

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Superman comes with an “S” Shield figure stand. I’m always happy to get a figure stand, but I’m not sure that I’ll use it, as he stands just fine on his own. There are no other accessories. If you want a motorcycle for him to rip apart, you’ll need to look to the 3.75” line.

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If you want a Man of Steel figure for your shelf, you can’t go wrong with Supes here. He is an exceptionally nice figure with a great sculpt, excellent paint apps, and no QC issues to speak of. Can this really be a movie toy? From Mattel? Well, in fairness Mattel’s Movie Masters figures are usually solid efforts and Superman raises the bar a little higher. That having been said, this is probably the only figure I’ll buy from this line, because I’m not at all keen on the other character designs. Ok, maybe I’ll pick up Zod, just so I can have Superman punch him through a city block and thoughtlessly murder hundreds of human bystanders.

On a side note, while buying Superman, I also thought I might as well get a movie version of Batman to go with him, so I picked up the Movie Master version of Batman from The Dark Knight Rises… we’ll check him out tomorrow.