37 Years of "Superman The Movie" - The Merchandise! ~ What'cha Reading?

37 Years of “Superman The Movie” – The Merchandise!


37 years ago today, we believed a man can fly.  Superman The Movie, directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, gave audiences a hero to believe in and a film to cherish.  Superman The Movie, in many ways, was the first superhero comic book movie in modern times that gave way to films we’ve taken more for granted like Batman ’89, X-Men, and Spider-Man.  A major staple of the modern superhero movie is merchandise.  Just look at March 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  We’re getting all the merchandise one could handle with action figures, statues, and more.  But, back when Superman The Movie released, there weren’t too many collectible items featuring the likeness of Christopher Reeve.  Fast forward 37 years from December 15, 1978 and we now have the all the action figures and statues that a fan of Superman The Movie could want.

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It’s only in more recent times that we’ve gotten a Christopher Reeve Superman action figure(s).  Mattel released the first Superman The Movie action figure of Superman Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), and General Zod (Terrance Stamp) in 2010 under their Movie Masters line.  Standing at 12″, all three figures came featured in beautiful window box displays and featured iconic artwork from Superman The Movie and Superman II.

The three figures in the series were produced in 12″ scale with removable Mego-like cloth outfits and were arguably the first action figures sculpted with the likenesses from the classic Superman movie series, so it generated a lot of excited buzz among collectors who never had a Christopher Reeve Superman action figure before. – www.collectingsuperman.com


2014 saw the release of another Superman The Movie and Superman II action figure by Mattel.  This time two figures were released, Superman and Gen. Zod, under the DC Multiverse line and stood at 3 3/4 high.  The Superman action figure was highly sought after and remarkable for being the first true action figure based off of Christopher Reeve’s likeness whereas the Movie Masters offered him at 12″ high.

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DC Direct, celebrating their 75th Anniversary in 2010, released a statue and bust of Christopher Reeve as Superman.  They both also serviced The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.


This past year of 2015 saw Sideshow Collectibles release a Premium Format Figure of Christopher Reeve as Superman as he appeared in the 1978 original.


Hot Toys produced a Christopher Reeve Superman figure a few years back which is definitely the most accurate and detailed of the Superman The Movie collectibles.

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This past year, fans also got to see Neca release a Christopher Reeve Superman in their acclaimed 1/4 scale line of action figures, along with the surprise 7″ action figure exclusive which we reported a month ago.  While the 1/4 scale of Superman is easy to find at specialty shops, local comic stores, and online, the 7″ version of Superman by Neca is extremely hard to find.  Our suggestion is if you find one in the wild, pick it up immediately.  It also happens to be the best Superman action figure in comparison to the Mattel figures.

It’s amazing to think of how much Superman The Movie influenced super hero films; of how the grandfather of modern super hero comic books is the grandfather of modern super hero/comic book movies, as well.  37 years ago today Superman The Movie opened and gave us a performance by Christopher Reeve that to this day many believe is the epitome and definitive portrayal of the Man of Steel.  If you’re a Superman fan, it’s probably a safe assumption that you have a special place for Christopher Reeve’s Superman.  Chances are you have most of, if not all, the above mentioned collectibles bearing the late actor’s likeness.  If you like Superman The Movie, have any of the statues or figures, or maybe noticed something that we left out, let us know in the comments below.

I’d also like to recommend checking out www.collectingsuperman.com for more on classic and modern Superman collectibles.



About Author

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) Always ready, professional, and on the scene, those closest to him may suspect he's actually from another planet. @ReggieMantleIII

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