By Michael Bailey
Upscale figures based on Superman are not a new thing. It seems like one is solicited every month or so. This isn’t a complaint, more a jumping off point to say that it’s nice that Superman is getting this much attention. It also means there is some competition and therefore a figure not only has to stand out but also vie for the money these figures cost. In that regard, Beast Kingdom’s Superman figure sits in the middle. Not as nice as some, but definitely better than others.
The packaging for the figure is modest but eye catching. The S symbol on the front of the box looks a little off, but that gives it some character. The back of the box gives a break down of what you are going to find inside including…
- The figure (with 20 points of articulation)
- 2 exclusive sculpts (on taciturn and the other with the now obligatory angry red eyes of anger)
- Built-in LED light function in the angry red eyes of anger face (more on that in a minute)
- 5 pairs of replaceable hands
- 1 chain effect (to allow you to recreate the cover of SUPERMAN #233 if you so desire)
- Special, branded figure base with bracket
When you slip the front lid off you see a nice piece of Superman merchandising art. This comes off easy and you have the figure, the second head, and the hands all well packed and easy to remove. Under that is the base, the instructions, and the chains. I had no trouble getting any of the items out of where they had been packed, which was a definite upside. Sometimes these things are so well packed that I feel like I am going to damage the figure as I try to free it from its plastic casing.
One note about the base. It’s easy to put together but the grips that hold the figure are equally easy to fall out. This happened to me as I was putting it together and I had a hard time finding it, so you may want to consider unpacking the figure in a room that doesn’t have dark carpeting or flooring.
The figure itself is handsome. The overall presentation is classic Superman. The cape is the right length, though the wiring inside to allow you to make it look like it is being caught up in the wind or put in other positions is a bit weak, which makes positioning it difficult. I finally gave up and let it hang as you see in the picture.
If you turn the figure around and lift the cape, you’ll see where the batteries go to make the angry red eyes of anger head light up. There’s just one issue. The figure does not come with the batteries necessary to make this happen. I studied the back of the box and didn’t see any notice about this. There’s copy that tells me that the figure and accessories require some assembly and that the figure on the box may look different than the figure inside, but at no point in any of the copy does it tell you that there are no batteries in the box to make the light-up head work. This is incredibly inconvenient because if I bought this figure at a store or ordered it from the website and then got it home hoping to make the angry red eyes of anger light up, I’d be disappointed that not only did the figure not come with the batteries, but the batteries are not common, like a watch battery. This is a definite drawback to the figure as whole because I’m starting with disappointment that I can’t do everything with the figure that the box is telling me I can.
Once you have the figure on the base the entire package comes together nicely. The articulation of the arms is a bit tricky and don’t be surprised to hear some clicking as you move them. I liked that I could put Superman in a traditional pose.
Taking the hands off is easy. Getting the new ones on is less so as the ball joints tend to shift as you are trying to put the new hand on. This isn’t a complaint, just a heads up if you want to play around with the different hands that the figure comes with.
The chains are a neat accessory but are a little stiff. Regardless, you can place them on the figure with relative ease and then position them to look like Superman is busting out of them if you so desire. A definite win for the figure.
The head sculpts are nice. I like the expression on the standard face and the angry red eyes of anger head doesn’t look cartoony, which was a possibility given that his mouth is open as if he’s screaming. The spit curl is there, and the little flame effects are sturdy and don’t feel as if they are about to fall off.
Looking closer at the figure, I was impressed at how good the S symbol looks. It is the right proportion for the size of the figure, as are the belt and the trunks. These are 2 areas where a figure can go off the rails, but Beast Kingdom did a good job with the design here.
The boots on the other hand are a little wonky. I realize making a figure with this many points of articulation is tricky and ankle joints are hard to hide, but the books look like the figure is wearing red shoes and then a leather piece to simulate a boot sewn to the legs of the costume. This is a minor, minor complaint but it is one of the first things I noticed when I got the figure out of the packaging.
If you want to make the character look like he’s flying, you can but it’s difficult. Finding the right balancing point on the stand is tricky and the head can’t look up, so the overall effect makes it seem like Superman isn’t paying attention to where he’s flying and is scanning the ground for something. There are hands for this effect (or you can mix it up and have one hand be a fist and do that classic pose) but the figure does not look good in this position and, to be honest, I’d be worried about leaving it in the flying pose because it looks like it could fall over at any time.
I realize that this review might sound like I’m suggesting you pass on this figure and I’m not. Just about any high-end figure is going to have their issues. If you are a completist it’s a must have and it’s also good for a newer collector because the price point isn’t too high. If you are interested in buying this figure head on over to Beast-Kingdom.us to do so. Beast Kingdom is also offering a coupon code that gives you 10% off in-stock Dynamic 8ction Heroes products. Just use promo code SHDAH10 at check out.