Kenner Superman Man of Steel 12″ Figure

Back in the dark ages of the mid-1990s when Superman had long hair, Kenner released this 12″ tall Superman Man of Steel action figure as an exclusive to Kmart stores where it sold for the low low price of $19.99.

Just for some background… In 1991, Hasbro reintroduced the first 12″ G.I. Joe in 15 years with its Hall of Fame Duke character sold only through Target stores. Unlike the original 12″ Joes, however, Duke featured a rubbery, heavy body with short arms, big hands, and limited poseability. In the mid-1990s, Kenner, which at that point was a division of Hasbro, used a similar body in their rerelease of 12″ Star Wars figures. The body used on this Superman figure is pretty close to those predecessors with similar shortcomings (huge freak hands, short arms, limited articulation). Through the 90s, this body, which was employed for just about every 12″ line Hasbro and Kenner did, was a bone of contention among toy nerds like me.

In retrospect, this figure isn’t that bad… it’s the first cloth-costumed Superman figure since Mego stopped making them in the early 1980s, and the outfit is certainly well-executed, though it and the boots are not removable. The figure also comes with an embossed stand with the Superman emblem, so it looks pretty good on display, though I really hate the long hair.

Kenner issued a special edition History of Superman set of three Superman figures done in Golden Age, Silver Age, and Modern styles using this same body. It was an FAO Swartz exclusive, but turned up a year or so later at a steep discount at Value City.

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2 thoughts on “Kenner Superman Man of Steel 12″ Figure

  1. Ah, Super-Mullet. I was really excited to get that figure when it came out. I still like it in general, but you’re right, the ham-fists and Super-Billy Ray make it hard to swallow nowadays.

    I regreat never getting the “History of Superman” set. I got the Batman set, but I never found the Superman set cheap enough.

    Chris

    • I was happy to find it, too. I found the History of Superman set at Value City… I’m sure I’ll post it here eventually. I still remember how upset the people that paid full price at FAO were. I think the original price on that set was around $199.

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