Most of my friends growing up liked baseball cards, Transformers, or G.I. Joes. I was the odd one out of the group. I loved toys just as much as the next kid, but I was the only one that was obsessed with the superhero variety. Luckily for me, BOTH DC and Marvel had toy lines release at roughly the same time. Even luckier? THEY’RE BACK!
DC Comics released The Super Powers Collection in 1984, with roughly 35 different figures. (I say roughly because one of the figures was The Riddler, which was literally the Green Lantern figure repainted. I don’t think that counts.) This toy line ran concurrent with the last two seasons of the long-running Saturday morning cartoon, Super Friends.
Marvel follwed suit with the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars line the same year. These figures were to help promote the 12-issue maxi-series Secret Wars (a term you may have heard quite a bit in the last few months). There were 16 figures total in this line, mixing characters featured in the comic series with other Marvel Universe characters.
What was great about both of these toy lines, and what sets them apart from today, is that when my mom bought me Batman or Spider-Man (I had no preference), I got Batman or Spider-Man. I didn’t get Spider-Man with a snowboard or Batman in his astronaut outfit. I got the heroes they way they are supposed to be.
Now during 2015 and 2016, both toy lines are making a comeback. A HUGE comeback if you are a fan of terrible puns. Gentle Giant will be releasing 12-inch versions of both Super Powers and Secret Wars. Using digital scans of the original figures, Gentle Giant has been able to make perfect duplicates of these toys, albeit on a grander scale.
Secret Wars will be the first ones released, with three figures officially announced. You can now pre-order Wolverine, Black Symbiote Suit Spider-Man, and Hobgoblin right now. Here’s what they look like. (If you can’t tell the difference between these and the original figures, that’s the idea!)
On the Super Powers side of things, the only information we know is that they will be released in January 2016. From this promo image, it looks like we have quite a bit of excitement ahead of us.
And that’s not all! Kotubukiya will be releasing a line of Super Powers-inspired statues in their popular ARTFX line. Superman will be released this August, followed by Green Lantern and Flash in October. Here are images of what we can expect from the Man of Steel and the Emerald Crusader:
These look fantastic, and will definitely be added to my “I think I may have a problem” figure collection. As much as these figures bring me back to when I was little, the price doesn’t. The Secret Wars figures range from $90-$120 each, and the Super Powers will run $29.99 each. Hmm, I wonder if my mom will let her grown son mow the lawn for $200 a week?
Secret Wars figures can be pre-ordered at Gentle Giant.
Super Powers ARTFx Statues can be pre-ordered at Kotubukiya.
What do you think? Are you ready to relive your childhood? Are you ready to experience these great toy lines for the first time? Are you ready to complain about “yet another reboot”? Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.