Review – Hot Toys 12″ Superman Returns

20 01 2007

I must say that this Hot Toys Superman Returns figure is probably the most satisfying purchase for me in 2006! It’s so damn satisfying. This satisfaction stems from a collector deciding to stay true to himself and ignoring the other versions of the same figure from other manufacturers. Hot Toys Superman is a limited release figure. And because of that, I was not able to get hold of one when it was released locally. Did not even had the fortune to see one!

All those months of agonising over missing out on it was terrible. There were the Medicom and DC Direct alternatives and I was tempted to get them as desperate replacements. Honestly, I did thought that the chance of getting the Hot Toys Superman was pretty slim for me. And I do not want to pay a premium for it. However, my personal opinion is that the Medicom Superman looked awkward with the face and body proportions. The DC Direct version was too tall and the face resemblance was not there although the body’s muscle sculpt was rather good. So I am damn happy to see Hot Toys Superman putting some bright red and blue on my display shelve which are largely dominated by black and brown(think Batman and Predators).

One thing you will notice from the pics in this review is that there are no flying pics. I was not able to get a satisfying flying shot with my current setup and decided to scrap the idea until I get one of those flexible display stands. Alternatively, I could augment my workbench with some beams and attach wires to it. Sounds like a good DIY project next!

Anyway, I would say that this figure is probably the best figure for myself for 2006. Not because I had to get it from overseas but rather because it is a fantastic figure in itself.


Probably the best 12″ Superman figure right now. I can hazard a guess that only a good Christopher Reeves Superman figure can topple it. This Hot Toys Superman has a superb sculpt that is very comfortable to look at. Very handsome… like Mr Routh. The uniform is another winner. Very well tailored. Superb implementation of the Superman chest insignia. I can’t sing enough praises of it so see it in the pictures yourself! Love it!

What’s good:

  • Splendid headsculpt that resembles Brandon Routh.
  • Superb uniform!
  • Proportionate muscle sculpt.
  • Stable figure.
  • Looks great from just about every angle.

What could be better:

  • Can be tough to find one.
  • Pricey.
  • Can be slightly taller.

Review Details


Hot Toys Superman comes in a collector-friendly box with a beautiful embossed sleeve. Breaking out the figure requires no cutter. You can find pics of the packaging here. Removing the sleeve reveals a matte printed box with a flap for previewing the figure inside. Once again, Hot Toys did an excellent work in the box art and design. Superman comes suited up with the entire uniform. Cape comes attached so no work required!

One minor gripe I have is that I’m gradually noticing the way Hot Toys is packing their display stands these days. Usually, the display stand is found behind the plastic tray with a huge adhesive tape slapped over it. It looks rather messy. Pretty weird given that much thought and effort has been put in to the packaging and the rest of the figure. To make matters worse, for a limited release figure like Superman, the Certificate of Authenticity is simply slotted into the space next to the display stand. You’d be lucky if your COA is unbent or unwrinkled. This is where Hot Toys should learn from Sideshow.


The resemblance to Brandon Routh is unmistakable here in this Superman’s face sculpt. It is really an excellent piece of work as the face is so comfortable to look at. Very suave from almost any angle. Very fitting for a Superman figure. I found myself not missing Christopher Reeves’ Superman. Rather guilty about that. Anyway, the pics speak for themselves.

Quality of Product

Apart from the headsculpt, the famous blue and red uniform is the next area due for inspection next. Afterall, that’s all that Superman zips around in. The tailoring of the suit is impressive. Hot Toys got the colors and material right. At least it is not a light blue shiny material as that worn by the Mattel Ken Superman. What we have here is a masculine true blue and blood red uniform!


The ‘S’ insignia is accurate to the Superman Returns movie. I have no problem with that. The original big ‘S’ insignia worn by Christopher Reeves is great but I love this new take on this universally recognised logo. It’s compact and does the job of conveying that the Man of Steel is just a centimeter behind it. Moreover, the insignia is not flimsy but firm , embossed and rather thick for a clothing accessory.

Superman’s uniform is tailored to fit the nude body underneath… and it is very fitting. It brings out the muscular contours of this Superman figure. The belt and shorts looks good too although the belt buckle looks like the result of a faint mould. The ‘S’ in it is not too defined. Honestly, I have never noticed Superman’s belt in the movies! Superman’s crimson boots have beautiful wrinkle marks to convey that weathered look. Very well implemented.

Finally, there is the cape. I was really impressed with how the cape was attached to the suit. How those folds on the cape around the collar were beautifully tailored. I am really grateful Hot Toys took note of this detail. It could had been done like Batman’s cape which would had been much easier. The length and size of the cape is just about right. Although there are different takes on the shape of Superman’s cape in the comics, I am pleased with this rather round edge version. I prefer to have Superman’s cape behind the shoulders rather than over. Somehow the latter reminded me of Shazam!


I was able to appreciate the nude body underneath after I saw how disproportionate Medicom’s Superman looked with its nude body. No unrealistic muscle definition on the Hot Toys! The only gripe I had was that I was not able to get it to make a good folding arms pose. Those biceps seem to prevent it!

 In short, fantastic Superman uniform! Fantastic figure!


Hot Toys Superman is also a very stable figure. I did not encounter this figure falling over throughout the photo shoot. Getting a stable upright pose is a matter of seconds. And no feeling of worry once your fingers leave it. I believe the cape has a part to play in its stability.



Hot Toys Superman commands a rather high price now in the secondary market. At times, some prices are overly inflated and absurd. For a figure of this price, the accessories are really little. But you can’t really expect any accessories to come with Superman. This alien carries no weapon and requires no extra gear! Moreover, with Hot Toys producing a Clark Kent figure, out goes any wishes for a working suit and dorky spectacles.


What is included is a pair of ‘flying’ hands – straight open palm hands. Maybe they could have included a kryptonite shard or a kryptonite chain from the Christopher Reeves movies which Lex Luthor have a knack for bestowing upon Superman. Or how about a Metropolis phone booth! That would be out of this world!

Finally, being a limited release figure, Hot Toys Superman Returns comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity.







6 responses

21 01 2007
Shaun Wong

excellent review man, its my fave toy of 2006, loving it more every day.

22 01 2007

Off-topic, sorry, but I did finally get Maul; so you can go ahead with that review now, lol.

10 09 2007

i got the DC Direct version and very satisfied with it. Although frankly the head does not look like brandon at all. The body though is perfect! I think if you put Hottoys’ Superman with DC Direct’s, you will see which is the better one to display. 🙂

10 09 2007

hi ian,
yes, i am reallyr impressed with the DC Direct’s body. The musculature is much better and more fitting for Superman than the HT. Too bad I really want the HT sculpt. When I was unable to find the HT, I was seriously considering the DC.

22 05 2011
José Iván Santiago

nice review of a great figure, thanks!

18 01 2016
Rencontre un trans

trouve une transexuelle simplement a avignon

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