Oh NECA…how you drive me crazy! And I mean that in, overall, very good ways. However! This will be the first time I can’t give something a 100% glowing review… ‘and yes, I feel strange about that. Especially considering that it’s Superman. Although, in complete fairness, I view most any Superman product through a fairly intense lens. He’s been my #1 favorite superhero since I was… geez…… 6? 7? ‘no more than 7. We’re talking 30 years of devotion here. As an example? I’m strongly considering not buying the “Man of Steel” Blu-ray, much less any other special edition of the film, purely based on the last 15 minutes. Where was Superman being Superman??? I didn’t see him, ‘just a generic brawler. And! lest you think this review has gone off the rails, the previous summation applies to this figure too. Just as the “Man of Steel” film is Very Good – to – Outstanding for the majority of it; this figure is awe-inspiring in almost every way; save one.
For starters, I’m a sucker for large figures. If that sounds odd, so be it. But as a kid I only owned 3 3/4″ to 6″ figures. I was insanely jealous of my friend Daniel’s 12″ Indiana Jones figure. (and btw, if you’re thinking I sound ungrateful for my parents’ generous support of my He-man / G.I. Joe / Super Powers / Secret Wars love? You’re right! …but that’s another article) Anyway, I’ve held a fascination with good, detailed large-scale figures for awhile. At 18″? This one fits the bill. Moreso, the proportions align far better in the final production model than they appeared to in the Preview imagery. If you’ve seen that? (NECA”s page displays it) You may be like me and think he looks too puffy and a little short, rather than the massive, strong force which appeared on-screen. I’m very glad that the Production model is indeed better realized to look more like actor Henry Cavill. And that’s simply a result of a well-crafted figure model. Once you add in the detail on the suit; from the neck-down it’s absolutely amazing!! I’m an unapologetic fan of the “Man of Steel” costume, and this figure must be as close to reality as you can get; ‘short of standing next to Henry on set. Textures and line details, e.g. the piping of his belt, are no easy feat to balance with the near 30 articulation points this guy boasts. Dynamic posing is highly doable and I encourage everyone who gets one to take advantage of it! ‘either have some fun by adjusting him into a few classic poses or create your own unique Superman stance! Plus NECA went the cloth cape route, which is just terrific. As a long-time purchaser of caped figures; it seems like 9.9 times out of 10 plastic capes are the order of the day. ‘maybe that’s due to scale? cost? ‘both and other factors? probably! But my expectation is set for plastic, so the reality of a cloth cape takes the enjoyment and value of this figure up another level.
And then the the face sculpt evens things out.
I can’t say they made the right call on how the final “face” turned out. Really, it’s the head sculpt overall, as even the hair looks a bit serve. And that’s the word that best summarizes my view of the face..”severe.” It’s sharp angles on cheekbones combined with beady eyes that don’t look much at all like either Mr. Cavill or even a broad-scope interpretation of Superman. Either would have worked for me, but not what I see here. It’s a bummer for certain, and my strong hope is that NECA retains the license, starts with the body and then re-sculpts the head when “Man of Steel 2″ comes out. I’ll be first in line to get one!