DC Comics Painted Wooden Figure: Superman

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For someone who runs a Superman toy web site, I’m shockingly inattentive to new release Superman toys. Several weeks ago back in February, I was pleasantly surprised to discover this new wooden Superman figure, part of a new line of figures from DC Collectibles. My local comic shop Comix Connection also had a similar Batman figure from the line.

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Packaged in a no-frills brown corrugated box with a simple one-color imprint, this is billed simply as a Painted Wooden Figure and has the Superman emblem. The side panels of the box show the three heads that come with each figure, too. I really like the design of the packaging; it reminds me of the style of design you’d find in organic or natural foods or environmentally friendly products and evokes a hand-made, DIY aesthetic.

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The back of the box features a silhouette of the figure. I didn’t buy Batman, but his body style is almost exactly the same save for the bat-ears on the head.

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The top panel flips open to show the same silhouetted figure from the back of the box printed on the inner flaps of the box, die-cut around the right side of the figure.

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Opening the die cut inner flaps reveal the toy inside, plus the two additional heads.

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The figure itself stands a hair short of 4″ tall and includes two additional heads with pegs on the back for very easy swapping. The hands are drilled with holes, though this figure doesn’t include any accessories. Kind of a lost opportunity, in my opinion. (I checked and Batman doesn’t come with anything either… you’d think they’d give him a Batarang or something!)

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Articulation is limited here. The head can turn on its post on the back, the arms can turn on the pegs in the shoulders, the wrists can turn on pegs into the arm, and the one-piece legs/pelvis can turn side-to-side at the waist.

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The figure can be disassembled and reassembled very easily, too. Just pull gently at the joints and the pieces come right out… the only thing holding them together is friction. If you have multiple figures, you can mix-up the parts, too. Too bad the figures aren’t split in half or you could make Composite Superman. Hmmmmm… possible custom?

Here are some detail shots of the three different heads that come with this: a face with a neutral expression, one with scowling eyes that’s angry or determined, and one with fire/heat vision coming out of its eyes. Neat.

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I really like this figure, but I’d like it even more if it were in the classic costume instead of the New 52 style. Fortunately, the design is so simple on this that some of the extraneous elements of the New 52 uniform, like the armor and the mandarin collar, have been eliminated.

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If you look carefully, you can see the paint operation on this figure isn’t the greatest. The yellow of the emblem is slightly off register.

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The back has the black cape emblem. Unfortunately, another error in paint application has left it crooked and off-center, but with the retro hand-made style of the toy, the flaws don’t detract from the overall presentation because they fit the aesthetic.

I don’t know how well the line is selling, but I hope it continues. It really is one of the nicer pieces of Superman merchandise DC Collectibles has offered in a while, and the $12.95 price tag certainly is a great value when you consider that a regular Star Wars figure now costs $12.99 at Target.

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