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TNI Toy Review: DC Direct First Appearance Superman

DC Comics: Shaun Wong - 2005.01.02
DC Direct had a bumper year in 2004 in terms of figure releases, such as the Return of Superman, Justice League Series 2, First Appearance Series 1 & 2, Hush Series 2, and last but definitely not least, the Dark Knight Returns. 2005 looks promising, with Alex Ross' JLA (a line I'm personally looking forward to), Green Lantern and Crisis on Infinite Earths showing great promise.

Though DC Direct is a line that has always stood out and appealed to comic figure collectors due to its sheer variety and top-notch sculpts, its slightly higher price point* and lack of articulation, do not always work in its favour. To put higher price point into perspective, here in sunny Singapore, two Marvel Legends figures gets us one DC Direct figure.Tragic.

The fact that this figure comes in a box package (as in the case of Kingdom Come, Dark Knight Returns and Hush, not the usual cardback) and a reprduction of the original comic which Superman appeared in, is a nice touch and does soften the blow of forking out more than you would for a normal action figure. However, Marvel fanatics/DC detractors would point out that though you'll get a forgettable clamshell package, you'll get a normal-sized comic when you Make Yours (figure choice) Marvel.

Notice that the round window on the top box flap allows light to frame the figure's face nicely, as seen in here. The package art is very eye-catching, brightly-coloured and glorifies the golden age theme. One point to note though. I'm sure collectors would like the option of being able to keep the figure back into the box easily, the package looking really cool and all. The fact that the bubble has to be cut to free the figure's stand is a downer, and it makes you wonder why the manufacturers had to glue the bubble to the interior card for this figure, when they didn't do it for Hush?

Superman's smile is cheese personified, which actually does fit the series' theme, harkening back to Golden Age of Comics and days of innocence lost.
His insignia is very cleanly painted, which is a very welcome change from previous DC Direct figures this year. I clearly recall having to scrutinise numerous Supermans (from Return of Superman) and Batmans(from Hush), just to get figures with decent insignias and paint jobs. Also, stray bits of paint are conspicuously missing from the figure's face, which were previously seemed to be an expected feature of DC Direct figures.

Articulation-wise, we are treated to a ball-jointed neck, ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, hips and knees, which does allow for a decent selection of poses.

The icing on the cake for this figure has to be the cloth cape. You may feel that the use of cloth for the cape allows the sculptor to save on detailing effort. However, in the case, it is well used as it adds a certain sense of grandeur to the figure. Also note that the presence of wires at the seams allows a flared/unflared cape option.

DC Direct First Appearance Superman is one fine figure that will appeal to Supes freaks and comic fans who just need the first incarnation of this iconic figure. However, collectors looking for a definitive version of Superman would be advised to check out DC Direct's JLA version first.

Find it @  Big Bad Toy Store - Ebay


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