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Dear Mezco: Please Tweak the One:12 Collective Superman

Superman. It doesn’t get more iconic than that. Every modern superhero owes a debt of gratitude to Superman. I know there are some people don’t even like him, but regardless of where your loyalties lie, you have to respect him, and you have to respect his legacy.

But he has not had the best of luck in the toy world.

Superman has had scores of toys over the years. You could fill a room with just action figures of Superman. But I can’t point to one Superman figure that makes me say “There, that’s it. I’m done. I don’t need another Superman.”

But Mezco, you can do it. You can make the perfect Superman. But you have to fix the one you’re working on now.

In doing research on the One:12 Collective Superman, I ended up digging back to SDCC of 2015. 2015! Superman has been in the works for two years now, and his release date is still in a state of flux. For two years those of us who are both Superman fans and One:12 Collective fans have been waiting with various stages of patience for Superman to finally debut. I don’t know about anybody else, but for me, a DC line can’t call itself a DC line unless there’s a good, comic book Superman figure.

Superman was shown off yet again at the 2017 SDCC with one more overhaul to his general aesthetic. Mezco, I love you guys and I’m in for a massive amount of your figures, but Superman still needs work.

That’s not to say there have been no improvements. His clothes have gone from ill-fitting to tightened up, improving his overall look immensely.

Now, I understand that some might consider him just fine as is. However, the feedback I’ve seen on the forum hasn’t been too pleasant. I understand that Fwoosh is just one group of voices among the many, and it might not be representative of a whole. In the myopic bubble I view on a day-to-day basis, Superman is still not up to the standards that so many Mezco figures have achieved with far less angst.

So unsolicited and representative of my own view alone, these are the current issues with Superman that need to be fixed, in my eyes.

The “S” Shield.

Superman’s “S” is a defining trait. Without the S, you’ve just got a dude in blue pajamas. The S on the Mezco Superman has been pretty consistent, so far. There is a magnetic feature that allows you to place bullet-deflection “ping” effects on it, which is a very cool feature. But this necessitates a thicker, raised shield that looks, in a word, awkward. Superman would be a much sleeker, much more streamlined figure if you just got rid of the magnetic deflection feature and just went with a thinner S-shield similar to the Bat symbol used on the Dark Knight Returns Batman or Flash’s lightning symbol.

The magnetic effect would work fine on another Superman down the road, once all the bumps on this one have been fixed. But I’d much rather a Superman that eschews any gimmicks and looks like the absolute best One:12 Superman it could be than sacrifice perceived perfection for a cool photo or two. In short, for the inaugural debut of the iconic Superman figure, any of the bells and whistles that could detract from him being perfect need to be left off.

The belt.

The belt needs to be thinner. Superman’s belt has never been tactical nor practical nor needed at all, really. It’s purely decorative, but it’s such an integral part of his overall look that he would look weird without it. The current belt is “fine” as in it’s not overtly wrong, but it could stand to be a little less “there” as a separate piece. If it could be incorporated into whatever eventual solution for the trunks that would be ideal, as it doesn’t look right hovering overtop as a separate piece.

Not to get too nerdy, but in terms of the belt and the “S” shield … Clark Kent wears his Super-clothes underneath his work clothes, so the costume has to work for me in that direction. Again — hardwired into my brain. I can’t see that big honking belt and large “S” not causing people to look at him weird at the Daily Planet.

Speaking of the trunks …

The trunks.

I am a fan of Superman’s red trunks. I am a fan to such a degree that I can’t truly consider any Superman without those red trunks to truly be “Superman.” The loss of that bold streak of color midway between head and feet just grates on me in any story featuring anyone who calls himself “Superman.” I can’t help it; that feeling is hardwired into me. So I am grateful that this Superman is proudly wearing a pair of red trunks.

But for two years the figure seems to be constantly searching for the best way to present those trunks. The initial images showed them as a separate piece — which I think everyone knew were going to be refined over time. But then time passed and they were shown to be stitched into the fabric. Unfortunately, this gave them a very strange look that took away the “trunks” aspect and gave them even more of an “Underoo” effect than a superhero usually has.

Clearly this was still a point of contention, because at SDCC 2017 he was shown with yet another attempt at the trunks, this time featuring a rubbery, vinyl-looking type of fabric. Admittedly, the fit on these are much better, and it is definitely better than having them stitched into his legs like the previous attempt, but it’s still … off. The idea is there, and it is heading in the right direction, but the difference in fabrics is jarring, and he ends up looking like he’s about to compete in the Olympics.

The trunks absolutely need to be a separate piece, but instead of a speed-swimmer look, they still need to be aesthetically similar to the fabric of his costume. If the direction is heading in a real world application of Superman’s costume, then it should have the overall look of a Frank Quitely-esque aesthetic, whose Superman was depicted in the same general manner of a Mezco figure, without the overly defined muscles. Quitely’s All Star Superman essentially looked like a One:12 Collective Superman.

The thing is, the initial One:12 offering — Dark Knight Returns Batman — did most of what needs to be done here already. There have been advances since then, but with an overall tightening up of those same aesthetics, this could finally be the best Superman action figure that’s ever been made.

I personally think the fit of the costume, the head and the accessories are looking really good, much better than the bulky Superman sweater of two years ago. Superman is only being held back by a handful of elements, all of which are fixable. It’s been two years since he was shown off, but I think most of us are willing to wait however long it takes if it means we get a Superman that is everything he needs to be.

If the “S” shield, the belt, and the trunks are tweaked, the entire figure will come together as the defining Superman action figure. While I don’t like the face, a 6-inch version of the Sideshow Superman from the neck down would be my ideal. Concessions would have to be made due to scale, but this general look would really hammer home what I want in a superman.

25 thoughts on “Dear Mezco: Please Tweak the One:12 Collective Superman

  1. No worries at all William. Thanks for that reply. Excitement and anxieties over how Mezco does our beloved characters TOTALLY understood! I definitely did change the subject though woops! 🙁
    …I kind of hastily summarised my original comment after losing it dammit! What I’d written was going to convince Mezco to give us exactly what we want while restoring peace and order to the whole galaxy…but I forgot to sign in! hahahahaa Damn!!!

  2. You just hijacked a One:12 Superman discussion. Why not make your own brand new Spidey discussion? Cheers!

    EDIT: my bad, you were just speaking about One:12 in general. I am a little excited, and typed before I re-read. Apologies. 🙂

  3. Apologies my man. I had a lengthy comment written out on the Superman figure and all that I thought was wrong with it but I hadn’t signed in and lost the whole lot! Was a bit over it after that so I just wanted to vent on the Spidey figure and the “additions” Mezco ads to their figures. Was hoping to add further weight to the argument. I should start a Spidey discussion you’re right.

  4. I have that figure too, but it doesn’t have that “comic” feel. Don’t get me wrong, the NECA Supes is a wonderful figure (albeit a little to tanned), but he is not the Superman that jumps off the covers of my wall-art, vintage lunchboxes, and comics. Cheers, ‘trooper! I have decided to not force-choke you! 🙂

  5. I couldn’t agree with your sentiments more. It’s like you’re inside my brain! I still hold onto hope. Wavering hope.

  6. Most of us have been at the mercy of MEZCO for over a year – needing to pre-order early for fear of such an iconic figure selling-out. Slowly but surely, he keeps getting worse and worse. No one wants to cancel their pre-order just in case MEZCO pulls a “hail Mary” miracle last minute.

  7. I strongly disagree. Give us a Universal strong Superman out of the gate, and THEN you can tweak-away with concept figures. Not all of us want fifteen iterations of $80 Supermen.

  8. I have been looking for literally over a YEAR for someone to speak-up and deliver an open letter like this to MEZCO one:12 … If there is ONE figure I would say needs to get nailed in classic comic form, this is the one. It has been frustrating waiting and waiting for all the tweaks, but I’ve been patient for over a year – I can be patient for another. ‘man-thing, you have voiced EVERY concern I have had over the time we have waited, and with such clarity and sincerity. I’m not exactly web-skilled, but some needs to PLEASE get this into MEZCO’s hands somehow. I would cry on my knees if I was so diligent in pre-ordering what should be the ONLY Supes I’ll ever need, and have to send him back after so much anticipation. Thank you so much for this comprehensive post. Respect!

  9. “But I can’t point to one Superman figure that makes me say ‘There, that’s it. I’m done. I don’t need another Superman.'”

    Thankfully I can point to my NECA Chris Reeve Supes and say that.

  10. That’s what I don’t get about this Superman figure. They nailed the bright red Shazam outfit, and the white Space Ghost bodysuit is pretty much perfect. Why is Superman singularly having so many issues?

    I’m in the minority, I’m sure, in that I actually like the figure a lot as is. But I do see that it could use some improvements.

  11. Yeah, I’ve been wondering if he isn’t using an older body, one that’s similar to DKR Batman’s.

  12. The trunks now look more like a thong or a speedo. And the crotch is horrible, super feminine – it looks like Superman stole Lois’ underwear. Mezco should learn that classic is the way to go. The modernized boots and belt are not really working. Their Dark Knight was so striking because of fidelity to the original and classic design.

  13. Hmmm.. the bright colors is highlighting the limitations of the fabric on a 1:12 scale figure. They need to come up with thinner yet equally durable cloth material for these.

    With the shiny blue, it really does look like he’s wearing roughly knit sweaters. On figures with darker color schemes, it’d show way less.

  14. I totally agree with all that’s been said and feel the exact same way about the Classic Spiderman figure! The web-lines are too chunky, the head, arms and boots are too shiny and do not blend with the fabric suit. And what’s with those God-awful “sneaker-grips” on his feet! WTF?!? PLEEAAASE Mezco, if you’re going to make such brilliant figures with actual cloth outfits then please give us the most accurate CLASSIC interpretations possible! It’s a bit of a dream come true to have THE MOST ICONIC POP-CULTURE ICONS in real material outfits, in a One:12 scale so please do the long-time fans this courtesy. It might pay to focus on getting the classic characters right instead of worrying about releasing dozens of less recognised and obscure characters or interpretations! Thank you!

  15. Completely agree with everything you say, Benty. I’m as big a Supes fan as they come, and willing to give a lot of leeway in presentation, and I’m still disappointed with the Mezco effort so far. I have him on pre-order but that’s questionable given the latest version. Really hope Mezco takes a deep breath and objectively looks at where they’re at with it, and start asking whether this is the best iteration of the character they could turn out. I mean, take a look at those great Curt Swan and Jerry Ordway images and ask if that’s what we have here. I know they want to put their own spin on it but he still has to look iconic and the he guy who can stand in the center of the shelf and tie it all together.

  16. I think all star Superman is the best aesthetic to go with. Making the trunks a separate piece looked good on the dkr Batman I don’t see why they are not doing it that way. The body type does seem off too it feels too short and stocky.

  17. To be honest, I hope they keep the current look. I passed on it because their take didn’t work for me, but I imagine others ordered it because it spoke to them. They shouldn’t change it too much now. (And, selfishly, I’d like a crack at a more comic-accurate version down the line. I’d hate to miss out because I didn’t pre-order the Mezco-ized figure.)

    The shape of the belt bothers me way more than the thickness. It’s just odd, and the lack of loops looks off. I think the added detailing only draws attention to something that doesn’t need that much focus.

    This is probably a price-prohibitive solution, but it would be much cooler if the magnet was mounted in the figure’s chest rather than in the shield. Then you could avoid the awkward, Superman Returns-style plastic hood ornament.

  18. You’d think Superman would be one of the easiest costumes to do, but it seems the simplest things are sometimes the hardest to get right. Hopefully Mezco will listen to some of your suggestions. If done correctly I’d be down for picking this one up.

    I definitely agree with you that, of all characters, Superman needs his trunks. His costume is just too iconic to be “tweaked”, and those responsible for the change should be ashamed of themselves. Some things are too sacred to be messed with. It’s like if they changed the American flag because they thought it was too old fashioned or something. It’s just not done.

    I really thought when they got rid of the New 52 continuity that Supes would go back to his original costume (trunks and all) but that didn’t happen. So, as far as I’m concerned the current DC is still not the “real” DC Universe.

  19. I still think the body is bad. It’s the Hyperion looking buck that bothers me for this. Besides the above stuff, the body is still too massive.

    I feel this will be a dud when it drops. It’s been too long and too many changes that made the figure worse in a lot of aspects. Mezco is trying a bit too hard to reinvent the wheel. I get it, they want that whole, “if superman was real,” but for so long it has been in development and still looks a bit off and unimpressive.

  20. ….THIS. Oh man, you essentially figured out what was going on in my head and couldn’t quite place. “Something’s off…” Belt loops!!!! This. Wish I could upvote it more than once.

  21. Agreed Benty. Agreed agreed agreed agreed.
    Also, his belt could do with some red “loops” to help tie it into the look.

  22. I obviously want him to be great, but I imagine that we’re going to get other comic Supermen in this line. I think the current iteration looks perfectly serviceable for the time being. I’d rather get my Supes sooner rather than later. Then if they want to do a TDKR Superman, a Kingdom Come Superman, Quitely Superman, Mezco-interpretation, etc., I’ll just upgrade.

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