Super Powers Action Figures Identification Tool with Pictures

Super Powers Action Figures Identification Tool with Pictures
Super Powers logo

After Kenner made their mark in the late 70s, they were ready to introduce many new toy lines in the 80s, such as the Super Powers. Kenner expanded with new licenses because they couldn’t rely solely on one toy line. This brought them to a partnership with DC, who needed a new home for their license after the downfall of Mego. Thus, the two companies combined their talents in 1984 to bring the characters of DC to life in the Super Powers toy line.

The History of DC

DC’s roots trace back to 1935 when Malcolm Wheeler Nicholson founded the National Allied Publications to create unique new comic books. Soon after, Detective Comics came onto the scene in 1937, leading to the establishment of Detective Comics, Inc. Another sister company, All-American Publications, also formed around this time. These three companies would eventually merge to become National Comics Publications.

While many heroes that became synonymous with DC arrived on the scene during these decades, the company had not formally taken on the name yet. Instead, the DC stamp appeared occasionally in various comics as shorthand for Detective Comics. This all changed in 1977 when Jeanette Conn took over the company. She decided to rebrand the company as DC as she reshaped it into the company that it is today.

DC became the home to many of the most famous heroes around. They had powerhouses that became synonymous with superheroes like Superman and Batman. They also had more down-to-earth heroes like the Green Arrow. This massive pool of heroes allowed them to create one of the most beloved heroic groups, the Justice League. Moreover, the company had become one of the largest comic book publishers, with only the likes of Marvel directly challenging them.

DC Joins Forces with Kenner to Create the Super Powers

After Mego’s downfall, DC required a new partner in the toy market. While Kenner became the new home to the license, they were not the only ones in the running. Both Mattel and Knickerbocker had been contenders for the license. However, Kenner’s recent successes allowed them to secure the license.

So, both Kenner and DC looked forward to their partnership as they set out to introduce the Super Powers toy line to store shelves. Understanding that the toys needed to feel super, Kenner included action gimmicks into each Super Powers action figure. So, they devised a system where arms or legs would swing when other appendages were squeezed. This would allow them to market these toys and truly super-powered heroes.

Each action figure in the Super Powers toy line came with a mini-comic, helping to reinforce the comic connection. Each 3 ¾” action figure came on a colorful card back with art depicting the enclosed hero. Moreover, there was a small bio card describing the hero and their abilities on the back of the cards. Some of these toys even came with fan club offers.

Action Figures of the Super Powers Toy Line

Kenner 1984 Super Powers Batman

When the toy line launched in 1984, they brought out a line-up of 12 action figures. This first wave of Super Powers action figures included Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman, and The Joker. Lex Luthor, The Penguin, Robin, Superman, and Wonder Woman were also in this wave.

When Kenner released the second wave in 1985, they sent 11 action figures to stores, leaving one more as a mail-in exclusive. The characters sent to stores were Darkseid, Desaad, Doctor Fate, Green Arrow, Kalibak, Mantis, Martian Manhunter, Parademon, Red Tornado, and Steppenwolf. Meanwhile, an uncostumed version of Clark Kent was sent to customers in the mail-away campaign.

Unfortunately, the Super Powers toy line’s popularity waned by 1986. Thus, wave 3 only had 10 action figures with low production numbers. So, many of these toys are the rarest of the entire toy line. Wave three included Cyborg, Cyclotron, Golden Pharaoh, Mr. Freeze, Mr. Miracle, Orion, Plastic Man, Samurai, Shazam!, and Tyr.

Vehicles of the Super Powers Toy Line

Aside from the Super Powers action figures, Kenner produced a large selection of vehicles. Even characters that could fly on their own received special vehicles. For instance, Superman received the Supermobile, a plane with an opening canopy, punching action, and jail near the tail fins.

However, there was a more ridiculous vehicle designed for Superman, the Justice Jogger. This vehicle featured power-stepping action, allowing Superman, or any other Super Powers figure, to jog across the floor inside the cockpit. This vehicle’s step flipped up to become a control panel while the protective shield swung down. Moreover, players could wind up the radar dish to make the vehicle take off.

Another jet within the Super Powers toy line was the Lex-Soar 7, designed with Lex Luthor in mind. This vehicle featured power cables that could plug into Lex Luthor’s power suit to generate additional power. It also included a gripper claw and a kryptonite crystal.

Then, there was the Batmobile, Batman’s iconic vehicle. Batman and Robin could jump into this vehicle to activate the pop-up bat-eye headlights. There was a Bat Claw at the front of the vehicle. So, the Batmobile could capture villains like the Joker.

Another Batman vehicle from the Super Powers toy line was the Batcopter. This vehicle featured rotating chopper blades and a spinning villain grabber. When the chopper’s blades rotated, the villain grabber spun along with them. Moreover, it featured a blast-off nose cone that could knock down villains. Figures could then be pulled up with the wrench. The canopy also featured a protective shield.

Kenner’s Super Powers toy line also included the Delta Probe One vehicle. This submarine-like vehicle featured an infrared shield covering a rotating cockpit. There was also a villain catcher, a villain detection radar system in the cockpit, stun rays, and a demobilizer bomb.

Then, there was the Kalibak Boulder Bomber. This vehicle featured spring-launched maces and removable spearheads. There were also the catapulted boulder and grinding teeth.

Finally, there was the Darkseid Destroyer, an aerial vehicle with two forms. It featured omega beam light action, battle-ready cannons, and power action sound. Two removable wing pods could be positioned on the movable flight wings. Likewise, the command post in the vehicle’s center could be removed. When all these pods were removed, they could combine and become the triceptor vehicle.

The Super Powers Playset

Aside from vehicles, Kenner created an exciting play set for the Super Powers Team, the Hall of Justice. This playset had many sections, like a vehicle pad for both take-offs and landings. There was the computer command center to direct operations, the revitalization and storage chambers for action figures, and jail cells with a hidden trap door. Otherwise, a working elevator provided quick access to the roof and working security doors that protected against attacks. This playset was fully portable so that fans could take the action anywhere.

International Super Powers Toy Lines

America was not the only country that received the Super Powers toy line. The toy line was licensed to several companies, making it available globally. Some of these foreign regions also received exclusive characters.

In the case of Canada, a division of Kenner produced and released the Super Powers toy line. These multilingual variants also appeared in Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Lili Ledy produced the Super Poderes Colleccion for the Mexican market. Many companies, including Parker, Palitoy, Clipper, General Mills, and Juguetes, helped bring these toys to the European market.

Several other companies brought the toys to the South American markets. Cuick produced the Super Powers toys for the Argentinian market while two other companies, Pacipa and Play Fui, distributed them. Notably, Cuick’s Coleccion Super Amigos line was the only place where fans could find an action figure of the Riddler. Otherwise, Estrela localized the toy line in Brazil, while Nibo brought the toys to Uruguay in 1987. Another notable manufacturer, Gulliver Juguetes, produced the toys for Columbia. Their toy line also featured two exclusive characters: Captain Ray and the Abominable Snowman.

Even though the Super Powers toy line ended three years after it began, Kenner had planned for a much more extensive toy line. They planned and even showed off a playset for the vile Darkseid, the Tower of Darkness. Even though this product appeared on card backs, it never materialized in stores. Otherwise, fans have unearthed designs for multiple characters like Man-Bat, Bizarro, Metallo, Reverse Flash, and many more. There are even rumors that Kenner had considered creating a Catwoman action figure, though there is no physical proof to back up these rumors.

Super Powers Merchandise

Aside from the action figure toy line, the Super Powers received an extensive merchandising campaign. These characters appeared on lunch boxes, puffy stickers, t-shirts, and more. Kenner even negotiated tie-in campaigns with companies like Shell Gas.

Deciding to support the Super Powers toy line, DC also produced material to market the toys. The company created three mini-series featuring characters from the Super Powers toy line. They even enlisted the talented Jack Kirby to write the story for the first of these mini-series. Aside from the comic books, DC arranged for a rebranding of the classic Superfriends cartoon series with a new subtitle “The Legendary Super Powers”.

Beyond the demise of the Super Powers toy line, Kenner reused many of the molds. Kenner famously reused some of these molds to create characters for the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves toy line.

The Modern Versions of the Super Powers Toys

Unfortunately, Kenner’s decline led to a new company, Toy Biz, taking over the license in 1989. Since then, multiple companies have created action figures for DC’s famous heroes, including Hasbro. However, the Super Powers remained a beloved line of fans and collectors. Thus, many companies have paid homage or brought back the line.

For instance, Mattel temporarily revived the Super Powers for the 30th anniversary celebration in 2014. Then, Kotobukiya’s ArtFX+ featured multiple statues based on the Super Powers toy line in 2015.

Then, Gentle Giant released a brand new Super Powers toy line in 2015. Characters like Batman, Robin, The Joker, The Flash, Super Woman, and Lex Luthor appeared in this revived line. Gentle Giant also featured 12” jumbo versions of the action figures and convention-exclusive toys.

Sideshow Collectibles produced several maquettes based on the classic toy line in 2018. Then, Boss Fight Studios produced their Power Stars toy line in 2022, which used the Super Powers as inspiration. Recently, DC Direct and McFarlane Toys revived the Super Powers again in 2022. This new line has multiple new characters and vehicles, like Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet.

How to use the Identification Tool to find your action figures and toylines

Do you have any vintage toys you are trying to identify? Don’t know the name? No problem! We can help you out with this useful identification tool.

Using our Identification Tool is simple; you can easily search for any toy in your collection. For example, type “jet” into the figure name field and hit search. You’ll see all the toys that are jets. Otherwise, you can try “car” and select the color “blue” and a list of action figures with matching results.

Even if you know the name of your toy but do not know its proper spelling, our tool will help you. For instance, you can type “Wheljck” and still find the results for various Wheeljack action figures.

Our database has an extensive list of toy lines from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. So, you can seek out information about your favorite toy lines and even sublines like Droids or Ewoks. Some of our other prominent lines include, but are not limited to:

Our Identification Tool will help you locate the basic information for each action figure and much more. For instance, you may discover whether or not your action figure came with a sticker sheet or instructions. Our identification tool includes detailed information on which accessories and weapons were included with the toys. We will even help you determine the release date of your toys.

If you need additional help, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also buy and sell toys through our toy shop. Thank you for stopping by.