I found a ton of new Man of Steel toys at Wal-Mart last week, most of which I found pretty disappointing, save for this very cool 6" Movie Masters Superman, only two of which were left on the pegs. There's been an uproar over the altering of Superman's outfit since Jim Lee redesigned it for the New 52 reboot, and while that took me a minute to digest, I'm a fan of variant costumes on my favorite heroes in general, and the Man of Steel's uniform is essentially the same. The packaging looks outstanding, and the figure inside surprised me with it's great detail and quality! Mattel released a Jor-El and General Zod in this line, which I have yet to see, though I was only interested in Kal-El for my Superman collection.
The sculpt is very realistic on this figure, more proportionately correct than the Mattel DCUCs, and slightly shorter. The Man of Steel's suit is finely textured throughout, just like in the promotional photography and trailers for this summer's forthcoming motion picture- it reminds me of the texture of the Amazing Spider-Man's outfit, finely scaled/webbed throughout, which seems to be the popular trend in superhero outfits as of late. Superman's paint looks pretty good, black washing throughout to bring out surface detail, but it came off a little splotchy across the top of the cape's back. There's also some really great shading around the jawline, almost a five o' clock shadow affect that really adds dimension to the face, the evident likeness of Man of Steel actor Henry Cavill.
The Movie Masters figures Mattel have produced have articulation similar to the DC Universe Classics line, minus the abdominal hinge- Superman has a ball-jointed head that snaps locked into 2 positions, hinged elbows, ankles and knees, hinge/swivel shoulders, swivel biceps, waist, wrists and thighs, and those unique DCUC hinge/swivel hips. I don't miss the abdominal hinge, which would have interrupted his nicely sculpted torso.
The Man of Steel's cape is pretty long, pegged in the back to stand away from the body as though rippling in the breeze. There's no "S" shield across the back like we are used to, but the sculpt is artfully done and it's length adds support to the figure. The dark silver piping around the torso meets in an almost diving bird pattern on Superman's back, under his cape.
It was nice to get a base with this figure, during a period in action figures when we seem to be denied time and again, Mattel and Hasbro now notoriously stingy with the once standard accessory. It also looks fantastic! The Man of Steel doesn't need it to stand, but looks beautiful in it's matching gold/dark red deco.
The movie's costume designers obviously took cues from the New 52 Superman, but removed the "S" shield usually found on the back of the hero's cape, and added dark silver cuffs at the wrists, and piping down the torso and legs. The boot tops are split at the top like classic Superman's, a design element not used in the comics New 52 Superman. This outfit looks really good, especially the dark gold behind the "S" on Superman's chest insignia.
In spite of the criticism Superman Returns received, it's my belief that Superman's outfit rendered in shaded tones came out of the 2006 film. Yes, we saw that in Superman III (1983) when Superman confronted his "evil twin", born of the hero's exposure to synthetic Kryptonite, but actor Brandon Routh wore the darker colors well in the later film. Mattel Movie Masters Man of Steel with Brave & The Bold Superman and DC Direct New Frontier Superman...
The omission of Superman's red shorts in his New 52 redesign is a hot topic, but while I'm a fan of the former design element, I'm accustomed to it now, and really like the red belt on the comics version. Mattel Movie Masters Man of Steel pictured on the left with Mattel 5" Justice League Superman and DC Collectibles 7" Justice League Superman and pictured on the right with DCUC Superman.
This figure was a nice addition to my Superman figure collection, one that I predict will be hard to get later due to the high anticipation of this summer's forthcoming film. He looks even better in person. Regardless of any misgivings one may have about the new suit, I'd highly recommend him for his singularity in aesthetic, high quality and great color.
More Later Make It FUN!