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Best of 2021: Medicom MAFEX Superman

It started as many great things do: with hazy magazine scans. Robo posted the illicit Clark Kent photos way back in November 2019. Fifteen months later, in February 2021, I received my favorite figure of the year.

It’s been hard to be human for the last two years—and maybe more—if I’m honest. Between the pandemic, climate change, and about 100 other major issues, there’s more than enough dread to go around. For me, and probably for you, collecting toys is a way to escape that.

Sometimes you escape for 45 seconds when a new figure is revealed. Sometimes you escape for five minutes when you absentmindedly pose the figure on your desk. Sometimes you escape for two hours when you join a Fwoosh livestream.

When I received Medicom’s MAFEX Superman, I posed it and put it on my nightstand. It’s still there now. It sounds silly, but whenever I walk into my bedroom, it sparks a little joy. It’s the smallest possible escape, but it’s an escape nonetheless. The “S” really does stand for hope, you know?

As I’ve gotten older, and largely less cynical as a whole, I’ve come to appreciate Superman. He’s unbridled optimism. He’s a reminder to strive to be better. He, like so many superheroes, is altruism personified. In year two of a global health crisis, that’s exactly what I needed.

MAFEX Superman is more than just a symbol, though. It’s comic art come to life. It’s 80 years of character history finally rendered in super-articulated 6” form. It’s a damn fine toy.

TSI’s best-of archive:


2020 – Hasbro Marvel Legends Doctor Doom
2019 – Medicom MAFEX Spider-Man
2018 – Bandai S.H. Figuarts Avengers: Infinity War Hulk
2017 – Mezco One:12 Collective Red Skull
2016 – Mezco One:12 Collective Captain America
2015 – Hasbro Marvel Legends Spider-Man
2014 – Hasbro Marvel Legends Star-Lord