Monday, August 14, 2017

Superman The Animated Series (Kenner)



Superman The Animated Series
Kenner
1998 - 1999

We've been meaning to get around to this one for a while now. Sadly, Superman doesn't get much love around here at The Toy Box. We're hoping to change that here rather quickly. There are so many lines that the Man of Steel has had based on him, and the animated series is one of the most commonly known.

When Batman the Animated Series concluded in 1995, Warner Bros. ushered out Superman the Animated Series which debuted on September 6, 1996. The show featured the very noticeable voice talents of Tim Daly, Dana Delany and Clancy Brown. It also featured the music of Batman the Animated Series composer, Shirley Walker.

Midway through the series, The New Batman Adventures aired (1997). It was during this time that the series were combined to create The New Batman / Superman Adventures. This lead to a new spin of series, Justice League. Fans of the DC animated lineup know that this in turn lead to the sequel series, Justice League Unlimited.

Back to what we're here for though - Kenner's awesome line up of action figures based on Superman the Animated Series. While the animated series ran from 1996 to 2000, toy isles only got a variety of related figures from 1998 to 1999. Kenner covered a lot of ground, but still managed to miss the mark on several key players that could have and should have been included. Where was Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen or Perry White (to name just a few)? The animated show featured tons of characters, and even encompassed many of the heroes and villains from Batman the Animated Series.

SERIES 1
Capture Net Superman*Deep Dive Superman*Evil Alien Braniac*Lex Luthor

SERIES 1
Neutron Star Superman*Quick Change Superman

SERIES 2
Capture Claw Superman*Electro Energy Superman

Part of the issue could have been that (much like any Superman series of the past), there's way too many Superman variants. Had Kenner put some of these aside, it could have certainly made more headroom for other characters.

SERIES 2
Omega Blast Darkseid

SERIES 3
Evil Bizzaro*Metallo*Power Swing Superman

Unfortunately fans of the figures would be forced to specialty shops when series 3 was produced. The wave was distributed strictly via Diamond Distributors, which meant the main people ordering them were comic shops. Since this was based on each individual shop's preference for if they even wanted to order them, the line became rather scarce for casual collectors.

SERIES 3
Supergirl*Tornado Force Superman*X-Ray Vision Superman

SERIES 4
Anti-Kryptonite Superman

Wave 4 didn't help matters as it was only released in European countries.

SERIES 4
Fortress of Solitude Superman*Strong Arm Superman

In addition to the standard figures, Kenner released a handful of deluxe versions. Unfortunately they were all Superman variations.

City Camo Superman*Flying Superman*Kryptonite Escape Superman

Ultra-Shield Superman*Vision Blast Superman

In 1998, ToyFare released an exclusive mail away Superman Eradicator figure. For its time it was a hot collectible, but these days it's rather common, and not very expensive to obtain.

Superman Eradicator (Mail Away)

Kenner produced only one vehicle which featured an exclusive Clark Kent figure. The vehicle was actually a repainted, and re-released piece from the Man of Steel line-up of figures from 1995 - Originally known as the Matrix Conversion Coupe.

 
Superman Conversion Coupe

Overall the entire lineup of Superman the Animated Series toys isn't difficult to come by. Nor is it very pricey. Even the European exclusives can be grabbed up for as little as $5.00, mint on card.

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2 comments:

  1. I loved this cartoon ad the toys. I had such high hopes but for some reason, unlike the Batman line, we only got like one villain per wave! Was so happy when the previously "European" Exclusives were offered by Diamond's Previews (as I had a good relationship with the comic shop owner at the time and got him to order them so I could get the non Superman figures!).

    ReplyDelete
  2. They were pretty stingy with the villains now that I look back through the photos. What's that all about?

    ReplyDelete

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