The success of Batman: The Animated Series in the early to mid 1990s helped pave the way for more DC cartoons, including Superman: The Animated Series, which ran for four seasons from 1996 to 2000. Hasbro had the toy license to produce Superman: The Animated Series action figures, and released several waves of carded figures beginning in 1996.
This four-figure boxed set, The Battle for Metropolis, showed up in stores at the tail end of the cartoon’s run in 2000-2001, one of two different boxed sets they released in this period. It contains three characters released previously as single-carded figures. This set is notable, however, because of its only brand new, never-released character: the first appearance of Lois Lane in action figure form.
As you can see, the box is super wide, taking a huge amount of shelf space at Toys R Us. My light tent is about 24″ wide and this thing is almost touching the sides. The front of the box has some nice style guide art of Superman and Lois, as well as Brainiac and the Metropolis skyline.
Here are some detail photos of each of the characters in the set. As I mentioned, Superman, Lex, and Brainiac were all previously released as single carded figures with these same accessories, but the Lois is brand new.
While I like the Superman sculpt in this series, I never really understood why the sculptor made this version of Superman “raise the roof.”
Lois includes useful accessories for reporting: a handheld computer (remember, 2000 was pre-smartphone) and a clipboard. The sculpt really doesn’t look very much like the drawing, though… kind of a poor first effort, but, in spite of its relative lameness, this figure remains fairly important as the first Lois figure.