In keeping with his annual tradition of great vintage Superman toys for Christmas, my friend Ron gave me this hard to find Flying Superman figure mint in the original box. I don’t know a whole lot about this one since I’ve never seen it before, but the front of the box says “Manufactured in Italy by New Toys.” The box is also dated 1979, meaning it was out around the same time as Christopher Reeve’s Superman The Movie.
The box has a great photo on the front featuring a bird’s eye view (or should I say Superman’s eye view?) of the New York City skyline including the iconic Chrysler Building with a film motif overlay and some illustrations of Superman and Italian text. I don’t speak Italian, but thankfully, Google Translate is around to help us. It reads:
BIG NEW TOYS CONTEST prize… …many Giant Superman jointed figures.
The back of the box is pretty spartan, with a photo of the Flying Superman toy in the sky (VOLA! means “FLIES!” in Italian). The flap on the right has an illustration of the big jointed Superman figure from the contest on the front, which you may recognize as directly from the package and advertising art on the original piece.
Here’s a detail shot of the contest instructions on the flap, plus the mail-away coupon. As a collector who likes original packaging, I wonder how many of these boxes were destroyed thanks to this contest. Here’s how Google translates the Italian:
To participate in the BIG NEW TOYS CONTEST, cut and send the coupon, duly completed, to: [address here] You’ll have one chance out of 13 to win the GIANT SUPERMAN jointed figure. Applying red triangle in the Good special, which you’ll find on your favorite magazine, you will increase your chances of winning. Drawings will be held on 2.4 / 2.5 / 1.6 / 29.6.1979.
Based on those dates, I’d guess this was initially released in late 1978 or early 1979.
The figure itself stands about 16″ high and is made of hollow plastic. I don’t know exactly how it would have been made, but it almost looks like the figure was silkscreened on a clear sheet of styrene, then vacuformed and molded together. The figure is hollow and very light, similar to the Transogram Flying Superman figure I featured on the site a while back. It seems a little less brittle than the Transogram version, but I have no plans to take it in the yard and see if it splinters into a million pieces if I try to fly it.
The back of the figure has Superman’s yellow cape logo, which is a nice detail.
Another Christmas, another great gift. Thanks, Ron!