Presents Superman Vinyl Doll

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This 15″ high vinyl doll of Superman was released by Hamilton Gift in 1988 under their Presents brand. Though the tag is dated 1944, this is definitely an 80s release and a perfect example of why you can’t necessarily rely on copyright dates to accurately date toys.

In an odd coincidence, sculptor Tim Bruckner just posted a story about his sculpting of these figures on his Facebook page. He says, “The company, having just gotten the DC license to produce a set of vinyl dolls, decided they could save some dough by having the figures sculpted in the Philippines. When the sculpts came in, they were terrible. In less than a week, the company was scheduled to present the dolls to DC for approval. My new best buddy and new AD, informed me that I had four days to resculpt mold, cast and paint all four characters (Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman and Superman) and have them to Florida so that he and his boss could fly out to NY and present them. Four days. Four figures in four days. There was only one hitch. Keep the Philippine proportions. I did as I was told. They were done on time. And I hated them. HATED them. I shipped them off and my wife and I went on vacation.”

These vinyl figures were originally shipped in clear cellophane bags and included display stands. They have very limited articulation and some very odd poses, but they aren’t all bad, especially knowing they were turned around in four days. The line sold well enough that Hamilton later offered a Joker figure, and moved into Marvel characters, producing Captain America, Spider-man and the Hulk in a similar format.

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2 thoughts on “Presents Superman Vinyl Doll

  1. I had no idea Bruckner sculpted these, but now it all makes sense. You can see his work in there, especially the Joker. I got the Batman in 1989, and Robin and Superman on my first visit to Metropolis, IL in 1991. There is a Flash figure too.

    The proportions are a little off, but the portraits are nice, with Superman and Batman looking very much like the Jose Luis Garcia Lopez (Praise Be His Name) style guide art, and Robin looking quite Burt Ward-ish.

    Chris

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