“The Wall” Chapter 1 – Mattel’s Retro Action DC Super Heroes: Superman.


How cool is this? Thanks to Dawn O'Connell I can stand side by side with my favorite super hero!

Mattel Toys Sucks. Period. They cancel lines blaming lack of fan base support while they themselves offer the products o market in the most piss poor manner possible. I went out on a limb with these reviews as a fan trying to push the product. In the end Mattel showed that they are not worthy of mine or your accolades or MONEY. I’m not editing the reviews however. At the time of their writing I meant what I said and in regards to the figures themselves I feel the same way, however the emotional connection is gone – Signed, Jim 01/14/12

 

Despite hundreds of artist’s and numerous actors’ degrees of difference, the Man of Steel is perhaps the most recognized icon on the planet. The Red, Blue and Yellow costume emblazoned with the big red “S” for me and millions of other fanboys that spans several generations including my father and grandfather, has been the definitive image of the term hero.

In this review I’d like to introduce you to this latest incarnation of the World’s Greatest Super Hero and share with you my take on this “throw back” to a simpler time that has led some purists to “throwing up”. With that said I want to address this matter first and foremost. This is NOT a Mego WGSH Superman, was never intended to be and never will be although a side by side comparison shows some wonderful similarities. The main one being the 8 inch scale.

So with that fact pointed out let’s move forward with this review looking at this modern toy from the fact that this is a NEW toy that will have to be judged on its own merit in today’s toy buying world which is flooded with competitors that Mego never had to contend with.

While these two "Supermen" share a lot of the same characteristics the fact remains that the nearly 40 year age gap between the two shows how the passing of time can both enhance and skew ones view through the nostalgic rearview mirror.

Point 1.) What it is; Retro Action Superman, produced by Mattel – Released 2010.

The Man of Tomorrow, based on THEN, living in the NOW.

Point 2.) Where it came from.

This particular carded figure came from T.J.Maxx for only $9.99 as part of the Wave 2 Assortment. The loose figure used for this review was actually purchased on ebay. While I can’t recall the exact price I paid I do know that it was a couple bucks more than the MSRP of $19.99 and I also had to pay shipping which was at least $9.00.

3. The Good.

The return of the 8 inch clothed action figure for me sparks a wonderful feeling of sentiment. I just wish I could get my son to care as much.

Despite what will seem like a laundry list of complaints this “toy” is still fun and does have real play value. In a world were playtime is dominated by the video game industry this throwback to an era long since passed is a great way to show young boys the fun that comes from action figures. So in that respect I see this as a great opportunity for fathers to play with their children in a way that is familiar to them.

Also the construction is overall pretty sturdy. Having seen what customizers have had to do to cannibalize the heads and hands of this figure, tearing the body a part is no easy task.

4. The Bad.

Loosey goosey body style… has since been fixed for Waves 3 and on.
Cracked emblem with very minimal play
The Red is a bit pale, almost pinkish. I only use the Mego Superman to show the contrast in the red's.

Limited Retail availability. Being a Toys R Us exclusive item isn’t as great as it once was. Mind you I live in an area where the nearest TRU location is over an hour away so  this definitely doesn’t help the situation. Add to that the TRU locations that I have visited (3 hours away in Little Rock) seem to have never updated their stock since the first wave.

5. Why I like it.

Outside of the obvious…
And the biggest deal maker for me is the Yellow "S" Shield on the back of the cape. Truly a wonderful finishing touch that adds to the Super Friends feel.

On the nostalgia scale I have to give this toy a “10”. It is so remarkably cool to see this version of the Man of Steel that I myself relate to best from my childhood.

6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.

You should because…

It’s a very fun display piece. The retro card art along with the style itself is very fun from a nostalgic point of view.

You shouldn’t because….

 

With an M.S.R.P. of $19.99 it may be a bit of a tough impulse purchase.

 

Along with the “Bad” comments above… Price is a consideration. With an MSRP of $19.99 it could be considered a higher end price for a toy however if you browse the action figure isles you’ll see that the average prices of plastic figures are considerably higher all across the board. Considering over Toys R Us prices it is actually a bargain. At last check in a store new retro vintage carded Star Wars Figures were retailing for $9.99 and they are a lot smaller, with no cloth clothing. So in the end the budget minded parent may find it a tough “Try me” toy if a kid isn’t truly into Superman. And considering that there is no direct toy, movie or video game tie in, kids today don’t have such a strong connection to Clark’s alter ego.

In conclusion

Overall: As is the case of every review I write, I leave the final conclusion to you the individual consumer. For me however this was a must have toy. From the initial announcement of the line I had a strong feeling that I myself would get hooked. I was right. Of the four waves released so far I’ve picked up all but three of them (Shazam, Black Adam and Darkseid). But those last three will eventually make it into my collection but considering there non connection to the “Challenge of the Super Friends” I’m not as inclined as I was with the previous releases.

And to the purists, don’t hate, appreciate. While this fellow can never be a Mego, with the improvements that Mattel has been making to the bodies I do see these Re-Mego’s as a great addition to an action figure collection.

Play time is still fun time for me and my "Supermen"

Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at jimstoybox@gmail.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com

 

All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com

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5 thoughts on ““The Wall” Chapter 1 – Mattel’s Retro Action DC Super Heroes: Superman.”

  1. Thank you Ben and welcome to the blog. Perhaps Mr. A Non will get hit by a truck delivering Superman comic books? Mind you I would hate to see the guy dead but a very significant limp would suit me fine.

  2. Dear anonymous;

    Superman was the begining, the Alpha, the door to all the cool world of super-heroes we enjoy today. I gather by your comments that you have very serious issues you need to deal with like low esteem, homosexual issues (your deeply in love with his alter ego Clark Kent and don`t want to admit it)etc…
    Anyway`s please keep your ridiculous, idiotic and moronic comment`s to yourself. You`re not only a loser but a COWARD that fears identifying himself in an open forum.
    …what an ass hole you are….(LOL)

  3. Superman SUCKS!
    He’s the most useless & stupid (shit) supervillain.(This needless & unnecessary loser like him is gonna ended up as a villain)
    Superman is scum, dumb moron & arrogant asshole.(His brainless fans, actors, etc are weak-minded, sore losers with low IQ)
    All of his comics, movies, etc are all shit, all dump, garbage, rubbish & suck-ass.
    He (his presence) must be removed from this face of this planet.
    Superman (forever) SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS, SUCKS & SUCKS!

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