Tuesday, December 01, 2009

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 89: The Super Powers Collection (Kenner; 1984 - 1986)

In keeping with my Super Friends theme from yesterday, today I'm looking back at a famous DC Comics Super Friends toy line from the decade of Regan. The Kenner Super Powers Collection was sold in toy stores from 1984 - 1986 and featured a full range of vehicles, action figures and even a play set.

In terms of action figures, the Super Powers Collection consisted of the 3 3/4 inch size popularized by Kenner's Star Wars line, and included three waves.

The first wave of figures included twelve iconic figures: Superman, Flash, Batman, Robin, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Hawkman and villains such as Brainiac, Luthor, Penguin and Joker. Joker came with a green, overzied Joker mallet, and Penguin was armed -- of course -- with an umbrella. So he could battle Superman, Luthor wore a "power suit."

Second and third wave figures in this Kenner line included Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, Dr. Fate, Darkseid, Kalibak, Plastic Man, Shazam, Samurai, Mr. Freeze and more. There was even a mail-away Clark Kent action figure that today is highly prized amongst collectors.

In terms of vehicles, the Super Powers Collection offered several. There was a blue batcopter and blue Batmobile (two-seater) and a rocket-like "Supermobile" (though why Superman would need a vehicle is a question I need answered immediately...). Other vehicles were a bit more unfamiliar.

For instance, Lex Luthor had his very own plane/car combination, the Lex-Soar 7. This purple rocket was described as his "assault ship" and came complete with a Kryptonite Crystal, laser cannons and action figure "gripper claws" so Luthor could "use Kryptonite to weaken Superman!"

Another villain's conveyance was the Kalibak Boulder Bomber Vehicle, the "Cruel Crusher's Massive Machine." It came pimped out with spring-launched maces, grinding teeth (!) and removable spearheads. The box advertised that "No one gets in the way of Kalibak as the teeth of this vicious vehicle grind into action!"

Perhaps the coolest to associated with the Kenner Super Powers Collection was the very large, cast-in-yellow Hall of Justice Play set. Once opened, this huge toy revealed several internal computer rooms, two jail cells for villains, a trap door mechanismon an upper level, and a storage center for Super Friend equipment. Opened up, this great toy featured three over-sized rooms, one in blue.

As you might have guessed from yesterday's posting, I've got a Hall of Jusice, Lex-Soar 7 and Kalibak Cruiser (plus Superman, Green Lantern, Batman, Lex Luthor and Penguin...) waiting for Joel come his Christmas morning. Can't wait to see his face when he opens up the boxes...

Now if only Kenner had produced a Legion of Doom HQ in this series...


  1. Anonymous11:25 AM

    Will you adopt me?

  2. Anonymous12:44 PM

    IIRC, the Super Powers series (or maybe the SuperFriends before it) had a show where Superman had to use his vehicle because someone (probably Luthor) had Kryponite and was wanting to use it.

    I loved the Delta Force One myself, and the Darkseid with the red plastic piece in the head that, when you shine a light at the top of his head, makes the eyes glow. I also had to have the Green Lantern, because Green Lantern is WAY cooler than the rest of them (Firestorm was #2, IMHO.)

    I still resent how the Superfriends (et. al) ignored Green Lantern, and how the DCAU never had Stewart use his ring well. But that's another rant.... :)

    I don't have the boxes, but I'm lucky to still have most of the action figures, ready to pass down to Number One Son's kids.

  3. This is one toy line I collected from the very start. I still have my Hall of Justice that I saved up for and bought when I was 11 years old.
    The toys were and still are very durable, and IMHO the best representations of Superman and Wonder Woman ever cast in Plastic.

    And for your info John, The Supermobile was introduced to allow Superman to go on defending metropolis in the face of losing his powers to Kriptonite, Magic or anything else that was getting him low..in fact, the Supermobile makes a story arc appearance in Action Comics #'s 480-483...Supes had to defeat Amazo using the Supermobile after the earth passes thru the Red Sun Energy cast off from Krypton's Sun....causing Amazo to reawaken and Superman to lose his powers.

    Hope this helps.

  4. Hey Kentucky Packrat and Dan Briggs,

    thanks for explaining the Supermobile. Now it makes perfect sense...

    And yes, these toys are really gorgeous and well-made...thx for sharing your memories...