Based on the preview offered some months ago in the now-defunct Toyfare magazine I was initially skeptical about the quality of this figure and only purchased it when offered for completest sake –
At first glance it seemed to be poorly rendered with only the barest resemblance to Gene Hackman but the accessories (choice of wigs/Kryptonite on a chain) nonetheless sounded compelling. Imagine my surprise when the figure arrived (quicker than previous orders) and is arguably the best in the line so far.
For whatever shortcomings the figure might have sculpt/paint-wise its clearer than ever these figures are produced with considerable love for the subject matter as exemplified in the details. Packaged in the familiar oversize transparent case as the other figures, look closely at the background card for a great rendition of Luthor’s Lair and the Train Station ‘Condemned’ door (serving as the lid of the accessories).
The specifics extend to the figure itself with Lex’ tasteless 70’s suit adorned with lapel flower besides neckerchief and wristwatch. Even his gold ring is present and the chunk of Kryptonite is held menacingly in his hand. The case of accessories is as comprehensive as before (stand/2xpairs hands, 3xwigs) but the addition of the scale transparent plastic map of ‘Lexifornia’ simply has to be one of the most inspired Action Figure props of all time. And take another look at the close up of the sculpt – Its an infinitely more convincing Hackman than we were led to believe which highlights a real issue;
It was recently announced that this figure would conclude the line of figures based on Superman: The Movie due to ‘poor sales’. The fact not one decent photograph nor single piece of sufficient advertising for the line was available in advance suggest Mattel should be astounded they managed to offload any units at all. The sad thing is (besides the Superman figure being the weakest of the line) is plans were officially in place to produce at least the remaining Phantom Zone Villains had the line been more popular.
With that in mind I implore the ever-faithful fans who have purchased the entire set to let Mattel know what a mistake they have made and campaign to resurrect the run, as based on the quality of this figure, they were just hitting their stride…