DC Comics, the longest running comic book publisher, has been celebrating the 75th anniversaries of their iconic characters. Last year, the publisher had a year long celebration of Batman, ranging from special variant covers to contests and even postage stamps! For 2015, DC has already begun noting the three quarters of a century anniversaries for such characters as The Flash, Hawkman, Catwoman and The Joker.
One of the most endearing licensed products featuring DC Comics characters was the 1984-86 action figure toy line, the “Super Powers Collection,” from Kenner. Through three waves of figures, vehicles and playsets, the “Super Powers Collection” emphasized the super powers of the characters via action features, triggered most notably by squeezing the figures’ legs together. The Superman figure punched, the wings of the Hawkman figure flapped and so on. Thirty-one years later, and the toy line remains beloved by fans and collectors.
What better way to celebrate these epic anniversaries than with a re-issue of one of the characters’ most beloved representations? Simply recreate the figures from the original molds with the original packaging, but with a “75th Anniversary” stamp on it. DC Comics and/or its licensees have utilized the “Super Powers Collection” packaging in recent years, most notably by Mattel’s collector market focused division, Matty Collector, to celebrate the line’s 30th anniversary. Therefore, there is, likely, no licensing issue regarding the “Super Powers” trademark and dress. Gentle Giant’s announced 12-inch line of “Super Powers Collection” figures would also suggest there are no licensing issues for the designs, either.
There are enough characters with an anniversary in 2015 to fill 2-3 waves of re-issued figures. The earliest incarnations of The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, Robin, Lex Luthor, The Joker, Shazam!, Dr. Fate, Red Tornado and Cyclotron (in his civilian identity Terry Curtis) all debuted 75 years ago and were featured in the “Super Powers Collection.” While Catwoman was also created in 1940, the character was not featured in the “Super Powers Collection.” Although, there is a supposed prototype of a Catwoman action figure from that era, which would make a huge impression if incorporated into the line this way.
Looking forward, 2016 has some major characters celebrating 75th anniversaries too, including two characters set to appear in 2016’s “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” feature film – Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Additionally, The Penguin, Green Arrow and Plastic Man were created in 1941 and appeared in the “Super Powers Collection.” DC could really get fans clamoring for these figures if they were to produce Vigilante and Rocketman. Both characters will be 75 next year and were rumored to be part of the unreleased fourth wave of the “Super Powers Collection.” Simply re-brand “Rocketman” as “Steve Trevor,” who would make a great pairing with the re-issued Wonder Woman figure, and the figure works seamlessly with the concept. Collectors have long wanted to see this fourth wave produced and this would make an ideal way to produce two of them and, perhaps, gauge interest in releasing the rest of the wave.
All of this may seem like wishful thinking, but if DC notices enough interest they may respond to the idea, as they recently have with their “DC Super Hero Girls” initiative, after receiving a letter from a young fan requesting more female super heroes. So, if you would support seeing these re-issued “Super Powers Collection” figures, be sure to let DC Comics know it.