DC Direct 13" Superman Deluxe Collector Figure Review

by Shaun Wong
November 18, 2005
DC Direct Superman 13" Deluxe Collector Figure Review

For a Superman freak who gets Supes as he gets them...

... and has frivolous pursuits like creating such images...

...this figure is indeed a God-send.

I mean, I really wasn't gonna say no to a 13" Superman, with a touted 28 points of articulation, a reasonable assortment of detailed accessories AND changed from Clark to Superman.

On to the review proper.



Composed shot of Superman, Clark and an exploding Krypton, which sums up Superman's premise. The unlikely mix of colours, blue, yellow, red, green and black should spell gaudy, and shout out to you from the racks. Thankfully, it is attractive in its simplicity of presentation. If the packaging is a hint of the figure being more expensive than your normal 12" inch figure, the small white copy on the top right of the box, indicating it being 'Limited Edition of 5000' will dispel any lingering doubts.


The back of the box is a more sedate affair. Clark's picture simply tells us that he can be posed to look like he's removing his jacket. Nice. Notice it also hints of how bulky Supes will look with all the clothes piled on top of his suit.

I'd personally think it would better sell this piece if Clark were shown in his classic shirt-ripping pose, to reveal that iconic insignia. It brings to mind doubts about whether the articulation on this piece can even achieve that pose. More on this later as I attempted it for myself.

I think it was needless to show Superman bending the steel girder as well. Bendy accessories aren't exactly the newest phenomenon on the toy scene. Having him in a flight / articulated pose would be cool enough for me.

To illustrate my point...

photo used on the side of the box tells more of its articulation, but the cape looks like the one used in earlier prototype images.

In-Box View

I'll admit it, I opened the box with apprehension, having seen initial shots of Supes' mug and was hoping against hope that the cape would be at ankle level, as shown in the official promo images.

Yes, I was relatively disappointed about the cape's length, but was thankful that DC Direct did not bungle up on the paint application on Supes' face.

Accessories stored in the main portion of the box include the steel girder, chain (which was too short to be of any significance) and figure stand.

Viewing the portion of the box which stores Clark Kent's disguise threw up one surprise. Yes, Clark's outfit is there, alternate hands, check, so's the copy of the Daily Planet, but what on earth's that blue piece of cloth? I found out later, to some amusement.


Releasing the figure isn't that much of a chore, there weren't many twist ties to warrant bringing out the cutters.

I'd initially propped him on the stand provided...

... but was pleased to later find out that he can manage balancing on his own

I do like the intense expression, though admittedly, the facial features might be too pronounced, from certain angles. His insignia also comes across as a tad large.

The yellow insignia is present on the back of his cape, but notice the huge, round space from the neck to the cape? I found out later it was to facilitate removing Supes' entire costume. As the cape is attached to the costume, you'll need flip the cape over Supes head to access the zip to remove the costume.

There are zippers on the boots, which are quite a chore to put back on.

He can't really pull off the folded arms pose.

His ability to balance while executing slightly dynamic poses is quite laudable.

The articulation comes in handy for posing fun.

You can actually prop him on the stand to simulate flight, but you run the risk of permanently bending or damaging the stand. My guess is that it wasn't made to withstand such exertions.

He can hold the steel girder quite well. However, it isn't much of how well he grips it, but rather balancing it at the appropiate spot in his palm and using the thumb to 'hook' the girder. I was apprehensive about bending the fingers too much as the paint started to peel, which it eventually did after further posing.

Clark Kent

Yup, the 'S' curl really flips up. I really wouldn't be playing with this bit that often, as the strength of the joint feels rather dodgy.

The reason of having the cape at that length became apparent when dressing up Clark. The only item you need to remove when 'changing back' to Clark is only the boots. That's right, the whole cape fits into Clark's outfit.

Which makes him look rather bulky...

... and a few inches short of the Hunchback of Notre Dame

I appreciate the detail on the clothes / accessories, in this case the shoes have laces. Which tend to come undone when you're removing or putting his shoes back on. The process of getting the shoes back on is more of a chore than the boots. You wouldn't want to consider changing Clark to Supes every day at the risk of speeding up the wear and tear of the shoes.

The Daily Planet that comes with him is printed on all four sides. Again, he can't firmly grip it (I honestly did not want more paint falling off his articulated fingers), and it's a case of balancing the paper in his hand.

The moment of truth...

Due to the bulk added by his clothes, Clark can't exactly pull off the shirt-ripping pose perfectly. So that's why it was shown on the packaging. Quite a disappointment for me in this aspect, cos this really is one of the iconic poses people associate with Superman.

At this point of time, too much paint had flaked off from the underside of his fingers. I really don't understand why the figures could not be cast in the exact flesh colour. Granted, the articulated fingers (wired underneath) enables you to achieve nice hand poses, but the sacrifice of ruining the hands is really discouraging of any attempt to do so.

Chillin' with his homies

Remember that mysterious blue item we initially discovered in the box?

My suspicions were indeed confirmed.

Yup, we got free boxers, folks

I honestly wasn't aware of the certificate of authenticity, and discovered it when I was replacing some stuff back into the box. It's rather flimsy and the edition number looks handwritten. It's a nice extra to have, I guess.

Final thoughts

Ok, retailing at US$89, this item ain't exactly cheap.

I guess it really depends on how much the scale, articulation and accessories matter to you as a Superman fan.

I've been dreaming of this figure since I was five (
it was twenty years ago, though not today) and had a Super Powers Superman and an aunt actually sewed a shirt and pants for me to 'change' him to Clark.

So yeah DC Direct, despite all my grouses, you've made this boy's dream come true.

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