I was cautiously optimistic when DC announced DC Rebirth. New 52 never really clicked for me, but Rebirth seemed to be a focused effort to correct the reboot. I’m glad I gave it a chance as Rebirth has provided some of my favorite stories from DC in years. Two of my favorite titles have definitely been Rebirth Superman and Action Comics.
After a few false starts at relaunching the DC Classics line, Mattel went a revamp of its own with DC Multiverse with a Rebirth focus. Distribution of this initial Rebirth wave has been …challenging, but I was thrilled to get the Rebirth Superman from Amazon. Let’s see if Mattel has sufficiently stepped up its game to be the equivalent of Marvel Legends DC collectors have envisioned.
Packaging: I really like the packaging. Looking at the backlog of figure reviews it’s a plethora of red and black color schemes. The blue Mattel opted for here really stands out and looks pretty classy with the angles, embossed top and figure presentation. Mattel stuck with a blue color scheme throughout, although there are some areas like the figure lineup that would benefit from some white to break up the blue.
Since Hasbro has dominated the mass market 6” front, it’s fair to do a comparison. The Multiverse packaging clearly shows off Rebirth Superman, his accessories and the Collect and Connect Clayface figure part. Taking hints from Hasbro, Mattel added Jim Lee drawings on both side of the package to make it easier to grab the figure you’re looking for theoretically if you ever find them on shelves.
The back clearly breaks down the rest of the wave and the Collect and Connect figure. I actually prefer this setup over Hasbro’s version, which has a big picture of the figure you bought and a smaller scale pic of the Build a Figure.
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As usual, the bio gets shortchanged to accommodate all the various countries. Superman probably doesn’t need a massive bio and this one is Rebirth focused, which makes sense.
Likeness: While it’s not perfect, I like the head sculpt. It’s Superman ready for battle. Ideally, the head sculpt would be more like the Jim Lee drawing with a wider face and slight smile.
Build wise, Rebirth Superman looks about right. I’m likely just going to keep the Rebirth figures with each other and won’t compare them with DC Classics or previous Multiverse release. Superman is broad enough with good ratio of chest, arms to legs. Superman doesn’t look too long or have extended arms.
Mattel sculpted the belt and didn’t just paint it on, which was an unexpected plus and smart as it provides a better visual distinction of the torso and lower waist. I wish they’d done the same with the cuffs and boots. Mattel attached the cape better here than on most figures with no rise or gap. It connects how it looks in the comics.
Scale: The cool thing here is we’ve got a Superman who is indeed Superman. Taller than most DC Classics offerings and even taller than the Marvel Legends Captain America, this isn’t a shrimp Superman.
Paint: I don’t have a ton of complaints here. The shade of blue looks to be right in line with the Rebirth costume. The shield stands out with bold yellows and reds. Line work on the belt and cuff are solid and the cape tampo was flawless. Mattel looks to be trying to the popular dot matrix type approach to painting eyes, which gives Superman a shimmery eye effect. It looks fine in person, but it caught the light weird in pictures.
My figure had a black mark underneath the chin. Hopefully that’s removable, but that’s the only paint issue on my figure.
This is based off the first Rebirth Superman attire, which really needed the red boots to break up all of the blue. I wouldn’t be upset about getting another Rebirth version with red boots and more of a Patrick Gleason style headsculpt.
Articulation: Mattel’s revamped body is a major improvement over the old molds though it’s missing a few elements to be a Marvel Legends killer. The double knee joints allow for much better range of movement. I wish Mattel applied that to the elbows as well as punches don’t look as good as they could have with it included.
The torso has great range and getting good flying poses is not a problem now. I did really miss the rocker ankle joint that’s the norm on Marvel Legends. I know this is a different line, but Rebirth Superman at least marks the first time Mattel offers up some legit Marvel Legends 2018 articulation competition on the mass market front. They’re really just a few points off from giving us Marvel Legends style articulation with DC figures.
Rebirth Superman has:
- ball-jointed shoulders
- knee (double-jointed)
Accessories: Superman comes with two outstretched flying hands. This is something collectors have been clamoring for with DC figures for a while. These swap out easily enough and definitely add some added value in terms of poseability and display options.
Also, he comes with the massive right arm of the CAC Clayface. I didn’t necessarily think I needed to switch out my DC Classics version, but this is very impressive.
I wish for a few more accessories like a heat vision head sculpt, but this is a fair amount of accessories.
Worth it? I got Superman for standard retail price of $20, but for the first time in a long time with retail DC figures, I think this is a fair price. There’s a quality six inch figure with alternate hands and a huge CAC piece.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
I wasn’t expecting to like this figure so much. But with the added heft and improved articulation, Mattel might be on to something. Now if they can only stick to a regular release schedule and get more Rebirth era figures on shelves…
Where to get it? Ha-ha. That’s the trick with this guy. Mattel has apparently made better figures with the revamped Multiverse line, but finding them in stores has proven impossible so far. The best bet at this point is to give Amazon or Big Bad Toy Store a shot.